New Quay was the only place to be sailing on the West Coast of Wales for the Keel Boat Regatta.

IRC and PY/Byron based fleets enjoyed ‘champagne sailing’ for the most part and those not here on the water will surely rue the day they decided to do something else.

The standard of sailing and race-management for this six-race series was second to none - ably led by Mark Willis and stand-in Roger Griffiths.

For the first two days, four Inshore windward/leeward or Olympic triangular courses were completed in southerly 20-30 kt offshore winds. It was full-on racing, with Brainstorm winning all four races.

Chris Seal, Brainstorm, (IRC Overall Champion) thanks the organisers
Chris Seal, Brainstorm, (IRC Overall Champion) thanks the organisers ( Peter Thomas and Mark Willi)

A coastal race on day three was started in a gentle breeze to Aberaeron and planned to route back past New Quay to Cwmtydu but racing was curtailed, as the wind slowly died through the afternoon. Only four boats made it to the finish before the time limit of six hours.

Day four was another gusty offshore-wind affair with more sunshine as the yachts completed a round-the-cans race – even the dolphins joined in.

In the non-IRC fleet, using a locally Modified PY/Byron system, Carl Rich’s Blythe Spirit (Parker 285) took the biscuit from Aberaeron YC’s Hey Jude (Sadler 29), owned by Julian Driver/Nick Allen.

In the IRC fleet, Crawford McLeary’s Sprite (Hawk 20) and the ‘new, out of the box’ Drychin Bach (a much modified Hunter Duette) of Jon Price-Jones had a great four days of competition swapping 3rd and 2nd places, with Sprite eventually coming out on top.

Sprite was first Hawk and Drychin Bach was first bilge keeler.

Overall KBR 23 Champion, however, was the venerable Super Seal 26, Brainstorm, of Chris Seal, being first on the water in all but one race.

At the closing ceremony, prizes, trophies and gifts were spread all-around by ‘Mr and Mrs President’ George and Jean Legg.

Many votes of thanks were given - not least to the excellence of the course laying team, bar manager, Ali Davies and for the ‘tres magnifigique’ French meal on Saturday night, prepared by chef Ian Jennings and team. AYC’s Tim Greenslade and his crew aboard Seren Wib won ‘best dressed’ yacht!

As in previous years, the club is indebted to their Sponsors; Golwg Y Môr and Morgan & Davies.

Overall IRC: 1, Brainstorm (Super Seal 26) Chris Seal - NQYC/RAFSA; 2, Sprite (Hawk 20) Crawford McLeary – NQYC (and First Hawk); 3, Drychin Bach (mod Duette) Jonathan Price-Jones (and First Bilge Keel) – NQYC/AYC

Overall Non IRC: 1, Blythe Spirit (Parker 285) Carl Rich – NQYC/RAFSA; 2, Hey Jude (Sadler 29) Nick Allen/Julian Driver - AYC