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Bridge Starts To Be Used As IRC Welsh Championships Goes Ahead

21st July 2020
Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club is the venue for the 2020 Welsh IRC event in August Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club is the venue for the 2020 Welsh IRC event in August

After a great deal of work in conjunction with RYA Cymru Wales, and the Royal Dee Yacht Club, the IRC Welsh Championships will go ahead in a “stripped down” fashion but still provide challenging racing.

As Afloat previously reported here, the championships are slated for August 14-16.

To comply with UK government COVID-19 regulations some changes to the format are reflected in the Notice of Race (NOR) which can be downloaded below.

The main change, according to Mark Thompson, Rear Commodore of Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club is that all classes will use bridge starts, to avoid the need for committee boats and reduce the numbers of race management volunteers.

The 'bridge start' uses a race starter ashore in a dedicated start hut with a start line between the hut and an outfall buoy (dŵr Cymru)

The hut is known as “PSC Bridge” and reduces the need for committee boat and incorporates auto countdowns and timekeeping.

The championships will use one RIB for laying a mark to assist with course setting.

Thompson says the championships 'will be a more laid-back regatta, for competitors to get out on the water with friends and family and enjoy some fun racing, in a less formal way'.

Short handing sailing which is part of the revised regatta format is more demanding, so courses will be set with longer legs to allow for crew manoeuvrings!

The entry process is open, and the organisers have significantly reduced entry fees.

IRC 1 and 2

Racing from a Bridge Start (PSC Line) around the fixed marks, plus one Inflatable mark at the discretion of the race officer. The fixed courses may be used, and there may be a coastal race one day.


Cruisers scored using NHC racing one or two races per day around the fixed and geographical landmarks. Races may be two laps of the same course, scored as two races.

IRC Coastal Class

These races will be managed by ISORA and will race around the bay, 20-25 miles using both geographical landmarks, fixed and virtual marks. Timekeeping will be by YB tracker

Crew Numbers

As this is an “organised activity” we are able to take advantage of a Welsh Government regulation that allows us to have more than two households on a boat, but social distancing of 2 meters must be maintained between households. In order to facilitate this, and recognise its harder on some boats, the following crew numbers will be set to ensure fairness. This will be reviewed if new Regulations allow.

IRC boats – the IRC certificate crew number, divided by two (rounded down if applicable) plus 1.

Example: IRC crew number 7 would allow 4 crew on the boat

NHC Boats – 3 crew members for boats up to 9m and 4 above 9m

Thomason says the championships need to demonstrate that it is complying with regulations, and the above should facilitate this. This is similar to the formula used in Regattas currently held in England.

On the Pontoons

Again, this year berthing on the Plas Heli Pontoons is free for competitors during the event. Spaces are limited so it will be on a first-come basis. Please adhere to the pontoon protocol for the use of the pontoons.

On the Deck and Bar

Plas Heli will be open as normal, and we propose to not organise any formal social activity, but hope we can all enjoy the facilities for après sail

Jugs of beer will be provided for daily prizes, and just the perpetual trophies awarded to minimise costs allowing us to reduce our entry fees

Downloads Team

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