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2023 Phantom National Championship at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club - Preview

by Mark Spruce 4 Sep 03:48 PDT 16-18 September 2023
Phantoms on the startline © Kevin Clark

In just twelve days time, the UK Phantom fleet will start Race 1 of their 52nd UK & Open National Championships at Abersoch on the Llynn Peninsular in Norh Wales.

Abersoch has long been a favourite of our coast-starved Midland and Northern Fleet sailors and for good reason. It has a wonderful safe sandy beach, ideal for boat launching and sunny family days out. The sailing club itself is set on the top of a rocky promontory with the balcony almost floating over the water at high tide. If you don't believe me, just take your nightcap out onto the balcony in the dark - you can see 5metres right down to the sea bed - as if the water isn't there - magical!

There is plenty in the area for the family or non-sailors to do or, like me, make an extended holiday. Right on the doorstep there is access to the Snowden (Yr Wyddfa) mountains for walking, narrow gauge railways, slate mines, underground power stations, surfing lakes, zip-lines, mountain biking trail centres and also the magical Celtic Island of Ynys Mon (Anglesey). There is no excuse for the non-sailors to be bored.

There are plenty of accommodation options from basic grass field campsites right up to expensive posh villa rentals with everything in between. Now the kids are back at school, the last-minute availability and pricing should be good.

And what about the sailing? Exposed to the Irish Sea to the South and South-West, Abersoch offers an unrivalled sailing location for open sea championships racing. The South Caernarvonshire YC are experts at running big Championships and will put on a very professionally managed event. I competed here in the late 80's (I know, don't say it!) in an 80 boat Laser World Qualifiers - one of the best events I ever sailed.

Included in the entry are two evening dinners, two breakfast rolls and a quality event Shirt as a memento. Everyone knows that the Phantom class is the most inclusive and social class out there! I did my first Nationals 2 years ago at Stone. I learnt more about sailing the boat in 3 days there than a year at my home club and made many good friendships. Everyone will offer advice freely if asked and the depth of knowledge is huge. The Yacht Club will, of course, be the focus for the socials and we are guaranteed a warm welcome.

The entry list is looking very good and we could reach 60 boats. The names on the list read like a Who's Who of the Phantom (and other) classes - there is quality in depth and I'm already thinking I'm going to have to fight B-hard to achieve my personal target this year (what is that, you ask? You'll have to by me a glass of nice red or two to find out!).

What I can say is that we have this years' Inland National Champion, a previous National Champion, virtually all of the top 10 from the last 2 Nationals as well as the entire, newly emerging Welsh Phantom fleet from some place I can't pronounce in mid-Wales. Plenty of experience there from other hot classes, they might just show us a thing or two?

I already have my snouts and reporters out around all the sailing clubs and dodgy pubs & bars in the entire country for the up-to-date Bookie's Form Book and will be publishing a highly accurate and, mostly true, informative guide to the runners and riders in due course!

The event is sponsored by and with couple more still to be confirmed.

So, don't delay. This is the last chance to get your entry in to what will be a great event - wherever you and I are likely to end up in the fleet.

You can enter at

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