Anglesey Offshore Dinghy Race – Allen Endurance Series Round 3

After four years of COVID-initiated absence, the Anglesey Offshore Dinghy Race returned with a windy day of a high-speed action on the 13th of August.

Given the forecast of gusts of over 30 knots in the open Red Wharf Bay, the Race Officer Jeremy Entwistle, delayed the decision to run the full course until 90 minutes before the start. The briefing, kindly hosted as usual by the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club, was focused on the very different nature of the AODR from your usual round-the-buoys outing.

Despite the points available for the Allen Endurance Series none of the qualifying cats or high-speed monohulls could be induced onto the water at Beaumaris leaving the three Fireballs as the fastest boats to launch.

A few entrants took the opportunity to practice their righting routines in the pre-start but bang on time those still vertical set off on the run down the Menai Straits. The long leg down to Puffin Island meant that there were tactical options; keeping in the stronger tide on the shortest route or pushing out towards the mainland to catch the really (really) big gusts coming off the mountains. it was the second option that paid with the new 420 pairing of Fflur & Rayner already showing their speed.

The rounding of the Puffin Lighthouse was a flat water affair this year meaning that the crowd watching from the rocks didn’t get the spectacular “can we get our entire hull airborne?” exhibition that is sometimes a fan favourite.

The leg to the Quarry was a beat into what was now an offshore wind with the chop diminishing as the fleet got closer into beach. Most boats stayed in high mode close into shore but the planning Fireballs and 420 really stretched out the fleet as they sailed low into the big breeze out in the centre of the bay.

The close fetch into the beach mark at Benllech didn’t offer too many passing opportunities but the final screaming broad reach in the flat water before Moelfre again gave options for looping out in the biggest winds or sailing directly toward the RNLI slipway landmark.

One short reach back to finish at Treath Buchan and it was time for some very tired sailors to head back to the RWBSWC for lunch and prize giving. Dan Johnson & Ben Latham’s Fireball led the way, followed closely by the 420 pairing of Arwen Fflur & Matthew Rayner, who secured the overall victory on handicap. Freddie MacLaverty’s speed upwind through the waves got him the third spot on the podium as well as being the first RWBSWC boat. Steve Ward was the first GP14.

Many thanks to the rescue crews who kept the racers safe, the shore crew who fed and watered everyone and to for their financial support without which we wouldn’t have been able to run the race.

1st Overall – 420 – Arwen Fflur & Matthew Rayner – Pwllheli SC / WKSC

2nd Overall (and 1st Fast Handicap) – Fireball – Dan Johnson & Ben Latham  – Weston / Errwood SC

3rd Overall – ILCA 6 – Freddie MacLaverty – Red Wharf Bay SWC

The full results, more on the race and course here