THE RBC AT HOLYHEAD
25-27 May 2013
As we have been here before, we organised nothing that would not work should the boats not arrive, which is exactly what happened. With most of the boats 100 miles away and foul weather right up until Friday night we did not expect any boats until Sunday.
However, we did not anticipate the arrival of Joe Pennington on Master Frank who arrived on Friday evening having sailed single-handed from Ramsey, Isle of Man in a NW7. As forecast Saturday was a beautiful day with little or no wind which saw the arrival of local boats, Bridget, Dreva, Comrades, Daisy and Mary and Greensleeves (by road). Also the Dutch vessel Windflower arrived. The arranged Saturday evening bash in the sailing club featuring local legend Casey Jones went ahead as planned.
At 21.00hrs. the Combined location map showed the nearest RBC boats to be Bonify and Annabel J, both off Bardsey Island about 40 miles from Holyhead. At midnight we were somewhat surprised and delighted to hear that Bonify and Windbreker were entering the harbour. A quick shore party assembled and guided them into suitable marina berths, before all concerned headed back to the bar. As Windbreker approached the Marina she switched on her “million watt” spreader lights which made her look like something from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Back at the party we heard that Toucando and Witch were due in about 2am. So again shore party assembled to bring the crews to the bar. Sometime later we heard that High Barbaree were arriving in the harbour so this time we abandoned the party for the night and the crews guided her to her berth.
Sunday dawned with pleasant weather as forecast, but with more wind. Annabel J was tied up snugly after arriving at 06.00hrs. Having heard Monday’s forecast all the local boats scooted for home. Later during the day we saw the arrival of Syene, Minstrel and Capraia.
Sunday evening’s party saw the Silverback Band rocking the sailing club, ably assisted by Windbreker’s Else Wagemaker on sax. and vocals (watch them on YouTube!). Monday’s forecast had made it obvious that there would be no sailing, so the club remained crowded until the early hours of Monday morning.
As forecast the weather on Monday was not nice! All the crews did their own things until meeting in the sailing club in the evening (what again?) to drink beer and sing songs. Not such a late night as most skippers had decided to leave early on Tuesday morning.
Thanks to Holyhead Marina for free berthing for all RBC boats. Thanks also to Holyhead Sailing Club for their hospitality, the RNLI for providing lifejacket inspections all weekend, and Holyhead lifeboat for being on standby should we have needed an escort for a parade of sail. We wish all the crews bon voyage for their onward passage.
Sue Farrer, Secretary North Wales Area
Boats that had planned to attend...
Annabel J (Hamble)
Bonify (Pin Mill)
Capraia (Milford Haven)
Cine Mara (Schermer)
Furstin (Yarmouth, IoW)
High Barbaree (Bucklers Hard)
Master Frank (Ramsey)
Minstrel (Milford Haven)
Witch (Walton on the Naze)