Sailing Classes

Report on Round Ynys Mon 2 Stage Race

Race 1 Saturday 23rd July

Some bleary eyes were seen gathering in the clubhouse for the skipper's briefing at 07:00. Our thanks go to Geoff for running the launch from 06:30 to get the skipper's off the moorings for the briefing. John Jones' briefing covered the safety aspects of the course with the experienced skippers adding advice. A decision was made to communicate on Channel 6 to avoid clashes with the marina traffic for the 08:00 start but this proved awkward as it was monopolised for

ages by some wretched fishing tourists who rabbited on about rubbish without any reasonable protocol!


There was a turnout of 6 yachts for the race ranging from 22ft to 42ft.


The 10 minute starting sequence was started from Lily but in the panic to get organised the 4 minute signal was missed, apologies. The start from the Club Line went without incident and the yachts progressed out of the harbour before any commercial traffic heading up to Carmel Head. Madam Wen lead the field out of the harbour with Lily and Incantation in hot pursuit as the yachts prepared to fly spinnakers in the light SSW winds.


A reasonable push from the spring tide saw the boats rounding Carmel Head with spinnakers on a tight starboard reach. Madam Wen managed to fly her asymmetric past Middle Mouse but Lily's symmetric spinnaker had to come down just past Wylfa. The sea state was wonderfully calm although the usual spring tide turbulence caused strange helming sensations as the tide raced past the islands. A pod of Harbour Porpoises were spotted feeding on the flood tide always a great experience.


Dancing Dot was keeping up with the group running her engine to give her some additional push. The yachts were fairly spread out by the time the lead yacht, Madam Wen, rounded Point Lynas. Here the tidal stream started to fall away from the 6+ knots which we had seen along the Northern coast of Ynys Mon which had given SOG readings of 11+ knots for several of the yachts.


The winds started to rise as we approached Puffin Sound and Madam Wen stayed wide approaching the sound while Lily took a line very close to the lighthouse. In the fickle winds past Penmon head Madam Wen was caught by the tide race and had to tack to avoid the rocks to the SW edge of Puffin Island allowing Lily to get an advantage as she headed for the first starboard buoy in the Menai Strait. (Please note it is the Menai Strait, it is not plural but singular! I just like to be picky...)


The winds in the Strait were much stronger gusting at 19+ knots and Lily was struggling with too much sail, allowing Madam Wen to pull away again. Lily's problems continued as she past Beaumaris with large motor boats getting in her way as she attempted difficult tacks through the moored yachts and the narrow channel. Finally Lily had to furl her genoa when the tack came adrift leaving her to struggle tacking to windward without any foresail.


After crossing the finish line at Menai Boat Club the yachts rafted up against the Prince Madog and the social side of the event began. It was great to hop between the yachts and chat about the day and share a glass or two.


During the afternoon Lily received her alternative No 1 and No 2 genoas thanks to Dyfan and these were stored onboard ready for use on the Sunday.


At 19:00 the group met in the Liverpool Arms for John to summarise the day and for Mark to provide the results with a special award to Andy for his efforts on Dancing Dot. From there a party of 11 went to the Taste of India where some tried the VERY HOT Jhall Chicken, much to the amusement of onlookers!


The order over the water was:

  1. Madam Wen

  2. Lily

  3. Incantation

  4. Jura Haze

  5. Invicta

As Dancing Dot had used her engine she didn't qualify for a finish but for sticking out the course she was awarded the status of DNF.


On the NHC handicap system the result was:

  1. Incantation

  2. Madam Wen

  3. Lily

  4. Invicta

  5. Jura Haze

Race 2 Sunday 24rd July​

The situation at 09:00 on Sunday morning was a little bit of a mess. The Balmoral was due in to St Georges pier and Prince Madog was going to have to vacate the pier she was due to leave by 10:30. This, inturn, meant that the 6 yeachts, 5 from Holyhead and 1 from Liverpool, rafted off the Prince Madog were going to have to move too. Dancing Dot who was round the back of the pier on the pontoons would not be affected... 


We all set too and stripped the mooring lines allowing the Invicta, Jura Haze, Incantation, Lily and finally Madam Wen to motor off to pick up a mooring each while we waited for the start at 13:00. Lily's crew change over had been set for 12:00 by which time there was a huge crowd of passengers lining up for the arrival of Balmoral. It was pouring with rain and Lily made a rapid dash at 12:00 just before Balmoral arrived but the crew had to push past the waiting crowd causing some angst! 

Lily then motored round to check the other boats were on the agreed comms channel and to check who was doing what. Then Lily organised the starting sequence while getting her sails set ready and changing the arrangements for the No 2 genoa settings for the off. 

The start was rather spread out with Lily leading and Madam Wen taking a different line in second place. Lily's track across to the mainland side proved less effective than Madam Wen's track closer to the middle of the Menai Bridge arch. Incantation didn't get a good start but the three yachts managed a good set of tacks westbound through The Swellies. As they sailed past Felinheli and on towards Caernarfon the wind speeds inreased to gusts over 20+ kt. Lily decided to reef her main as she past the old Ferrodo works, then made better progress as she followed Madam Wen out past Fort Belan. 


Invicta and Jura Haze decided to motor through The Swellies and were finally caught by Madam Wen and Lily as they exited the channel out over Caernarfon Bar. The weather began to close in with the forecast visibiliy going to poor and good strong winds. The sea state from Ynys Llanddwyn towards Cable Bay was a little choppy with a quartering swell making the beam reach a little awkward to steer but as the leading yachts approached Rhoscolyn Head the sea flattened and they were able to report back to Invicta and Jura Haze that the conditions were much better than expected.


Even going round South and North Stack we were surprized by the calm seas with only a small area of disturbed water to the east of North Stack. Winds were a little gusty around the lea of the stacks but once clear the yachts had a steady broad reach down to the end of the harbour wall. 


Over the water the results were 

  1. Madam Wen
  2. Lily
  3. Incantation


All 6 yachts arrived safetly back in Holyhead and a really good time was had by all. Thanks to all who took part. 


I forgot to download the track from Lily's chart plotter for the Sunday and now the plotter has been sent back to B&G as it has lost its touch screen operation. I have asked Navionic

s if they will save the file and transfer it back to me so that I can add it to this article. I will keep you all posted along with photos from the various yachts once I get access to them.