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Pwllheli SC is located on the south side of the Llyn Peninsula and the relatively shallow waters of Cardigan Bay combine moderate tidal and sea conditions with varied patterns of winds. The sailing waters are open to the South Westerly winds which prevail throughout most of the year – as evidenced by the trees and hedges all learning the same way – which the club says allows for largely unbiased racing areas.

South Westerly – the bay is exposed to the sea and this is the cleanest direction for breeze. This direction will see less shifts and longer oscillations so you will be holding a tack for longer, and need to know your numbers so you know whether you are on a lifted or headed tack. A compass will be important as there will be no visual references looking out to sea. It is also likely to be wavey for the wind strength, an important factor when considering how to get the best boat speed. You’re unlikely to get many gains from shifts so boat speed – getting your boat set up right, getting a feel for the waves, and body movement within in the boat - will be key.  Depending on the wind strength consider whether deeper sails with more twist rather than flatter sails might help power through the waves. If you are not used to sailing on the sea and are due to be at Pwllheli for an event, it is well worth trying fit in some practise at sailing on waves before you go.

Westerly – Depending on where the course is, there may be more breeze along the shoreline due to compression so it’s worth checking out the right hand side of the course which might provide lifts and gusts, but you could also find big holes and never escape the corner. Think about the possibility of pairing up with another boat and doing split tacks before the start.  Also consider the tide – there might be less tide along the shore.

North West to East – This will be shifty flatter water as the wind has come from the mainland. Look for possible stronger windbands / gusts coming from areas of lower land such as valleys, by looking at what’s happening on the water. Be alert for lifts and headers.

South East to South – Going up the beat you now have the mainland on your left so there may be more wind up this side of the course if it is close enough to the shore. This is probably unlikely so as with a South Westerly it should be a fairly clear track, albeit with flatter water and a few more shifts. Nevertheless, look out for any land effects on the left which might be consistently there. Again a split tack could be useful.

Sea Breeze - The Llyn peninsular might generate a very small localised sea breeze but this is unlikely to last. The main sea breeze in summer is likely to be generated as a result of warming on the mainland in settled and sunny weather, coming from the South West in the afternoon:  meteorological information for Pwllheli shows on 12 per cent of days an offshore morning wind is replaced between 10.30am and 12.30pm by a sea breeze which persists for the rest of the afternoon and is normally steady and reliable.

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