Llandudno SC hosted the 29er northern grand prix and 49er open meeting last weekend
The new 9er venue of Llandudno SC last weekend welcomed a good fleet including some fresh, new faces. And as many experienced the joys of 9er fleet racing for the first time, the event for them was as much about transferring their club racing practice to a higher platform as it was absorbing as much information from the others on how they set the boats up and why.
Conditions on both days were more akin to the south coast of France with a cloudless sky, light breeze and plenty of tourists watching from the promenade. Saturday was the better of the two days with a constant onshore breeze, slightly above that forecasted and some challenging waves.
In the 49er fleet the pairing of Jonny Coates and Charlie Muir showed good pace in the conditions pulling away from the pack in all races to take four firsts. The Irish contingent (from Glasgow) of the Mclaughey brothers put in a good show demonstrating impressive upwind pace and course position to grab a couple of seconds and a third to take over to Sunday. The rest of the fleet were close with positions changing lap by lap as crews tried to figure out whether it was better to go out of the bay to get the breeze or stay in for the tidal advantage.
On Sunday the wind had dropped further to 2-4 knots so the starts and tide would play a large part on who would come out on top. It was clear that the top prize was not a certainty from word go with the crew on 806 doing their best to throw away their hold on first place. Everyone in the pack had a moment of glory in the light breeze with Connor and Johnny on 746 showing great light wind skills to pop out on top in all but one race. That said the racing was much closer with Allan Bennet and Mike Melles exploring how far you could go inshore and grabbing a second, Ed Stevenson and Pete Nicholson quick off the line in the seventh race to grab a first. The Reynolds brothers showed that siblings don’t have to sail in the same boat and fought hard against each other appearing at the leeward marks with good pace in the light conditions.
When the fat lady sang Jonny and Charlie had done just enough to hold onto first, joint on points with Connor and Johnny they had more firsts to their name and just took the £250 first prize. Connor and Johnny took the £150 second.
In the 29er fleet national squaddies Huw Humphries and Max Todd had a perfect day leading the way throughout all four races to end the day with only four points. Behind them a fight for second place developed between Sarah Martin and Nicola Groves and Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor, both boats ending the day with two seconds and two thirds each.
Sunday dawned slightly less than idyllic with cloudy skies and very little breeze. However, by the time the 29ers had hit the racecourse there was a Force 2 blowing and the sky began to clear.
Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor made excellent use of good starts and shallow water to win the first three races of the day, while Humphries and Todd had a second but had to count a fourth and an OCS penalty in what was a no discard series.
In the final race of the day Humphries and Todd won despite a fierce duel with Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor who were followed home by Sarah Martin and Nicola Groves who maintained consistency on Sunday with two second and two third places.
Overall consistency of results paid with Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor taking first overall and the big cash prize with Huw Humphries and Max Todd in second.
1st Jonny Coates and Charlie Muir
2nd Connor Mclaughey and Johnny Mclaughley
3rd Simon Evans and Stephen Cronshaw
4th Ed Stevenson and Pete Nicholson
1st Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor
2nd Huw Humphries and Max Todd
3rd Sarah Martin and Nicola Groves