Dinghies Gather at North Wales Sailing Mecca
At Pwllheli SC, the RS400 and RS800 classes started at the weekend and will be racing until Tuesday. Then the RS200, RS300 and RS600 classes take over until Saturday. The combined RS championships require a lot of space and organization both on and off the water. Around 330 boats are sailing, involving some 700 competitors, this is without families and friends also attending.
The RS Association supplies its own team of results input and sign-in people to handle the paperwork in making sure that boats and crews are legal and correctly located in the boat parks. Although the RS boats are strict one-design manufacturer classes, several of them require the weighing of the crews for setting rack and/or sail combinations. The beach and on-water race organization is by Pwllheli SC, who have a long history of running events at this level.
Along the coast at Abersoch racing starts on Wednesday for the B14 and the 49er classes, involving smaller numbers, but still around 100 boats. The 49er crews will be battle hardened and no doubt battle weary after a long season involving the top teams in selection for the Sydney Olympics. The B14s have already visited Australia this year, for their World Championship, with UK boats sweeping the board in the classes home base.
An unfortunate prelude for the early arrivals at Abersoch has been the actions of "Holiday Hooligans" who set five of the boats adrift during Sunday night. Luckily, the wind conditions were light and the boats were recovered in the morning without damage.