Jonathan’s Blog 9th May

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Back to work this morning on the first working Monday in three weeks thanks to the late Easter holiday and the Royal wedding. I’m just waiting for the order to come through for us, at JKA, to build sails for the royal couple’s yacht. Ah well can but dream.

I was walking round the dinghy park at Pwllheli Sailing club last weekend and looking at all the lasers, reminded me of the fun I had when I was learning to sail as a youngster, in an old Albacore (no196) spent most of the time capsized. The dinghy park was crowded with excited mums and dads. Despite the wind there were a lot of dinghies out in the bay and the atmosphere was really encouraging. Instead of being on the water sailing my 1720 on the Bank Holiday I was at the Nefyn Show but the wind was so strong it took a couple of the tents out into the Irish Sea, Chickens and all.

Has anyone got an Elan 37 keelboat for sale? Because I am doing my best to get a good friend of mine to decide that he should change his Beneteau 39 cruiser for a decent racer/cruiser. And despite all my powers of persuasion and sitting outside in the warm spring weather overlooking the marina at Pwllheli Sailing Club I couldn’t make much progress. Possibly because the Elan draws 2.2mt and the entrance to the marina is as we all know apart from the council is now very shallow. Perhaps I should take him out on my 1720 and show him how racing in a keelboat really does the business, and show him what he’s missing.

Midweek and I was turning my attention to building sails for Mike, coxswain of the Porthdinllaen lifeboat and listening to him enthuse about his sons sailing 29ers’. While he has been restoring an old keelboat a UFO 27 both his boys have been racing a 29er all over the country and enjoying every minute. They are certainly racing machines and very exciting and demanding to sail. The wot-tac stand at the RYA Volvo dinghy show was just next to the 29er and 49er stand and all the new boats looked pristine. Quite fancy one myself.

Everyone in South Caernarvonshire Yacht club is getting tuned up for the Edinburgh Cup. And Rob who now owns JKA Sailmakers is Dragon class captain is heavily involved in all the planning for the Edinburgh cup. As everyone who sails knows the Dragon is the Bugatti of the sailing world and I’m looking forward to an invitation to sail one of the Dragons – need to ask for time off first though. It’s been a while since I last sailed a Dragon and they really can be exciting to race and great to handle. A Dragon was the very first keel boat I sailed on at Burnham on Crouch with Mike Patten in “Flap Jack”. Soon discovered what a riding turn was.

On Saturday we went down to Pwllheli Sailing Club to watch the Lasers sailing in strong winds that meant a few capsized. There must have been over fifty lasers out in the bay and it makes a great spectacle watching so many dinghies en masse enjoying the sailing in the bay. I expect some were already using their Wottac for the start line bias as well as the course to steer round the marks. I know that the planned marine development at the Pwllheli Sailing Academy is aimed to attract a lot more sailors both dinghy and keelboats to north Wales. Without doubt one of the finest sailing venues in the UK.

Might be a while before the crew of Luvly Jubbly, our Cork 1720 based at  Pwllheli Sailing club will be racing  – Andrew Brook and Eleri Griffiths are doing  a tandem ride for charity from Walney to Whitby on the east coast (172 miles) raising money for the Jubilate Fund  Charity.  Don’t forget to take the pain relief cream. Best of luck to them both – anyone interested in sponsoring then here is the link to the Pwllheli sailing club website

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wot-tac explained

Using the wot-tac is simple.

  • First, find the bearing of the true wind direction.
  • Second, set the bearing into the dial, which clicks every five degrees and then
  • Move the pointer arm to the same bearing.

wot-tac is ready!

Use it once you’ll never sail without it