Castle to Castle/Caernarfon League April 2024

On 27th April MYC Rowers, Porthmadog took on the Menai Straits for the 1st competitive weekend of rowing in 2024.

Castle to Castle

The Royal Welsh Yacht Club at Caernarfon hosted the 2 day event which began with the ‘Castle to Castle’ Challenge Row.

24 Celtic longboats and 3 scull’s from as far away as Ireland and England set off from the start at Beaumaris.  The 13 mile course took the rowers under the Brittania and Menai Bridges, passing through The Swellie’s which is the famous tidal race at the centre of the strait.  It can reach speeds of 4 metres per second during spring tides. The finish line was in the shadow of historic Caernarfon Castle.

MYC Rowing, Porthmadog entered 3 boats with the Ladies team winning their class of 5 other Celtics. The ladies were 15th overall of the 23 Celtic longboats with a finishing time of 1hr 50 minutes and 36 seconds.

MYC men’s crew came 7th overall in a time of 1 hr 47 minutes 2 seconds, being 5th Celtic home, coming 2nd in their class of Super Veterans (0ver 60)

The star of the show was Wendy Grainge who joined MYC last August, and completed the race in a single scull, picking up a certificate for 1st place in her class. Wendy said ‘I did have a few doubts at the start if it was a good idea as the waves washed over the boat. Glad to be still upright at Menai Bridge!’

Only 20 minutes separated all the Celtics from 1st to last. Aberystwyth was first Celtic in a time of 1hr 41 minutes and 50 seconds, and the overall race winner was Vartry from Ireland in a quad scull in a time of 1hr 29 minutes and 15 seconds.

The Menai Straits is a channel of the Irish Sea between the island of Ynys Mon (Anglesey) and main land north west Wales and is notorious, with Admiral Lord Nelson reputedly saying, ‘if a sailor can sail a ship through the Menai Straits, he can sail it anywhere in the world’.

Caernarfon League Race

The following day spectators gathered on the Aber foreshore at Coed Helen, Caernarfon for the first Welsh Sea Rowing (WSR) Northern League race.

The first race was the ladies with a field of 13 boats, the conditions were excellent with a bright sunny day and calm water. Aberdyfi came 1st in 28 mins. 55 secs., and MYC rowers came 6th in 31mins 55 secs.

The mens race again saw Aberdyfi coming 1st in a time of 24 mins. 48 secs. and MYC came 2nd in their class, but 12th overall of 13 boats.

Aberdyfi were on form as they also claimed 1st in the mixed race in a time of 28 mins. 3 secs. and MYC came 10th out of a field of 17 boats in 32mins 20 secs.

MYC were also represented in a double scull rowed by Bob Chamberlain and Mike James who completed the course in 28mins. 20secs.

After the races the rowers and their supporters went to the Royal Welsh Yacht Club, located within the walls of Caernarfon Castle, for prize giving and a great catch up over a bowl of hot food.

In Summary…..

Well done to our Ladies SupaVets team -winning team in their class out of a field of 5 crews and 14th boat home out of 27 starters!!! Whoop whoop

Boys did really well too only 6 seconds behind the winning Men’s SuperVets team.

Congratulations to all who raced on Saturday, superb conditions, but a very special congratulations to Wendy who took on the Straits in the single skull and survived!



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2024-05-13T17:46:31+01:00April 29th, 2024|2024, News, Racing|0 Comments

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