Llanishen Outdoor Activity Centre

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July 23, 2018

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© Anne Barrett 2015

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Sailing between January and March is not for the faint hearted - conditions are cold, sometimes wet and the wind is unpredictable. Twenty eight children aged 8yrs - 14yrs battled these odds to have a fun-filled ten weeks. As a group they are a special bunch, always working together, and helping each other to develop skills.

In recognition of their efforts a prize is awarded at the end of the Course to the boy & girl who have been extraordinary throughout the Course - Helen Cunningham (10) and Sam McDonald (10) have not only improved their own sailing skills (together in a Mirror - and in an Oppie in a Force 5) but are always willing to help others, and have a never give up attitude that is quite remarkable.

Well Done !! - that also includes everyone on a Saturday - a great group to teach !!!


Instructor Training

The Centre continues its regular Instructor Training programme this year with two Courses. Currently attending the RYA Instructor Course: Katy Oliver, Gemma Colman, Andrew Whittaker, Ben Redwood, Edward Green, Ben Smith and Roger Heslop. This course is taken by the Centre Principal, Frances Hurley.

Enthusiasm to become instructors at Llanishen means that this year the RYA Assistant Instructor Course has been attended by some of the youngest students ever - the following students: Paul O'Regan, Ceri Davies, James (The Salmon) West, Chris Davies, Graham Oliver, David Evans, and Shehan Nithiananda have shown all the qualities needed to become the Llanishen instructors of the future. This course of Happy Bunnies is being taken by Chief Instructor, Anne Curtis. Already James Munn, Rhian Williams and John Kay are training in preparation for the next course.

Welsh Sailing Squad Members 2000

Edward Green: Laser
Andrew Whittaker, Ben Redwood: Topper.
David & Sean Evans, Hannah Mills: Optimist.
Welsh Optimist Coach - Oliver Green


Students at Llanishen are a multi talented lot - here are just a few things that they have been up to.
Ceri Davies (14) from Sunday Race Training has achieved his RLSS Bronze Medallion Award.
Clare Dallimore (11) from Saturday Morning has become the Welsh under 12 Orienteering Champion.
Helen Cunningham (10) Saturday Morning gaining her Gold Medal in Disco dancing.


Hannah Mills (12 yrs) and David Evans (13 yrs) have been selected for the GB Optimist Squad to compete in the European Championships at Lake Garda later this year.

The two started their sailing here at the centre, with their first taste of competition being the 'Dragon' Inter Clubs Competition. Bitten by the bug, they became involved with the WYA Welsh Squad and continued training with Oliver Green (Llanishen) at British Steel.

Success such as this does not come easily, although both are extremely talented, they have put in a lot of hard work and shown the dedication that is required. The support given by both sets of parents has been paramount; sailing at this level is costly and time consuming. But it has been worth it.

David and Hannah would like to thank all at the centre, coaches Ollie Green and Alan Williams, the WYA, National coaches Kirsty and Jessie and all at British Steel.



For the first time the Centre offered an Introduction Day using both the Cyphur Kayak and the 'Trapper' Canadian Canoe. Under the direction of Roger Heslop - Head of Canoeing, a group of children and adults were kitted out in wetsuits, waterproofs, buoyancy aids and helmets for an exciting day on the water.

The Kayak offers the development of individual skills, whilst the Canoe combines paddling skills with team work. It was in Beaver 1 and Beaver 2 the class seemed to have the most fun, with the stronger paddlers helping along the weaker ones.

At the end of the Course the class seemed very positive, they had "enjoyed the opportunity to try different boats", and " I always wondered what it would be like to be Davey Crockett" all the class felt that they would "do more".



Ten students aged 8 - 10yrs braved a rather nippy April evening to get their first taste of sailing. During the session the children are taught how to rig an Optimist, then a race is set up so that the students can rig their own boat.

Quickly, it's out on the water with an instructor, to get a feel for the sport. Basic boat handling skills are covered - but it's all really about fun and confidence building. After a 'warm' ashore, the children de-rig their boats, are shown how to paddle, the boats are paddled to the slipway and all equipment is put away.

'Give one word to describe the session' "Brilliant!" "Fantastic!" "Fast!" "Fantabulous!" (is this a word?)

It seems the children had a great time, and they are coming back for more, having enrolled on future courses at the Centre.

The success of this session was due to the Instructors and Assistant Instructors on duty - THANKS!!!



Cardiff Yacht Club are continuing with their efforts to get people qualified by sending six club members on an RYA Level 2 Powerboat Course. The Course completed over two days resulted in all six achieving RYA qualifications.


Instructor Training

The Centre continues its regular Instructor Training programme this year with two Courses. Currently attending the RYA Instructor Course: Katy Oliver, Gemma Colman, Andrew Whittaker, Ben Redwood, Edward Green, Ben Smith and Roger Heslop. This course is taken by the Centre Principal, Frances Hurley.

Enthusiasm to become instructors at Llanishen means that this year the RYA Assistant Instructor Course has been attended by some of the youngest students ever - the following students: Paul O'Regan, Ceri Davies, James (The Salmon) West, Chris Davies, Graham Oliver, David Evans, and Shehan Nithiananda have shown all the qualities needed to become the Llanishen instructors of the future. This course of Happy Bunnies is being taken by Chief Instructor, Anne Curtis. Already James Munn, Rhian Williams and John Kay are training in preparation for the next course.


For some of us just running is hard enough, but to run and have to work out where you are suppose to be running seems impossible - but not for Saturday morning sailor Clare Dallimore. Already Welsh Under 12 Orienteering Champion, she recently competed in the British Championships and achieved a highly respectable tenth position.

Keep tuned into this page for more news of Clare and other Llanishen sailors - you just never know what they might be up to next !!!


They started as beginners and now are fully qualified RYA Instructors. The Centre prides itself with having the best instructors the sport can offer, and this new group of 'in house' trained students will be no exception. As Assistant Instructors they have played an important role in the tuition of 8 - 16year olds, and will now become more involved in the tuition of 'grown ups', and have their own Assistant Instructors to work with.

The Instructor Training Course was taken by Centre Principal, Frances Hurley, over the winter months. The Course is not an easy one, with students having to be of a Level 5 sailing standard, hold a current First Aid certificate and be RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualified. They must have a full knowledge of the teaching requirements for Stages 1 - 3, and Levels 1 - 3. Land Drills must be learned and lectures given - and then the Assessment !!!!

But it is has been worth it, with RYA Coach Assessor Miss Nicola Ponsford heard to say 'impressive, safe - no problems'.

Congratulations:Andy Whittaker, Ben Smith, Katie Oliver, Gemma Colman & Edd Green.



At last - the long awaited arrival of the Topaz. For the first time in six years the Centre is introducing a new Class of dinghy. This strong centre main boat will be used as a step up from the Optimist, and as an alternative for those students who find the Laser a 'bit of a handful'. It is quick and easy to rig and can be reefed like a Topper - no need for all those different sails and bits. It is a wide boat making it stable and comfortable, although this will make life a little difficult when it comes to dry capsize. For those who require instruction or the company of a friend two easily fit in. In fact with the addition of a few fittings and an extra sail the Uno can become a Duo - wow!!!.

The Monday night Adult Improver Class couldn't wait to get them on the water. Already the Topaz is doing its job, Sarah (Silly) Lilley and Penny Hill have not sailed a centre main boat before, and after a quick tacking demonstration they were off !!. A few turning problems at first - but they soon got the hang of it and stayed dry for the whole evening. Centre stalwart Tony Jenkins found that after the Laser the Topaz was easy to control and spacious, and was impressed with the sturdy extension and tiller. Dry capsizing was not as comfortable - although succesful Tony thought that some may have a few problems.

Lets hope that others enjoy the Topaz as much as they have !!!


Schools Learn To Have Fun on the Water

Local Primary Schools took part in the Optimist Roadshow 2000, the children had lots of fun, taking part in sailing and on land activities. Eglwys Newydd also took advantage of our Environmental Studies programme learning about the Reservoir and its wildlife. Teachers strongly believe that pupils benefit from their experience at the Centre. If it were not for the Roadshow many children would not get the opportunity to take part in sailing. In total 600 children got afloat.

It is hoped that more Schools will come to the Centre in the future - it's well worth it !!

The Centre would like to thank Sally Wood from Hamdden for her help with the Environmental Studies.

You're Safe on the Water with Ceri

When the casting for the next series of Baywatch comes up, they should consider Saturday Morning sailor, Ceri Davies (14yrs). Ceri has been training hard in developing his life saving skills over the past months, and recently passed his RLSS Award of Merit.

Graham & Clare Achieve Saturday Morning Honours

Saturday morning continues to be the biggest Course at the Centre. A happy group of students of mixed ability have recently completed a twelve week Course. Without exception all the have improved, learnt about new boats and most have achieved a higher RYA qualification. But at the end of every Saturday Course the excitement builds to find out who has won the coveted Best Boy & Best Girl Award.

This is always a difficult decision to make - the winners this time were Graham Oliver & Clare Dallimore.

Graham's sailing has developed so much this Course, and he is now more than proficient in all the boats at the Centre. Is exceptionally good sailing with Big Ceri in a '420', and marks one of his favourite boats as the new Topaz. Graham has also proved himself to be a valuable member of the Centre's Assistant Instructor team, reliable, hardworking and great with the younger sailors - not bad for someone who is still only eleven - yes eleven.

Talented Clare shows great determination, enjoys learning new skills and like Graham is doing well in a range of Classes. Always supportive to other students, and it is hoped that in the future she will train to be an Assistant Instructor.

Rhian Hits Competitive Waters

Leaving the safe inland waters of Llanishen to pursue success in competition is a huge step. Not only does the sailor have to contend with larger fleets, strict competition rules, they have to adapt to sea conditions and huge courses.

These obstacles have not stood in the way of Rhian Williams (10), who is determined to follow in the steps of the Green brothers - Oliver & Edward, and most recently David Evans and Hannah Mills in achieving Welsh and Great Britain Optimist success.

With the support of her parents, who have just purchased a new Optimist for her, she is currently competing in the WYA CORC series achieving a notable second overall position at Tenby. The CORC series is a great starting point for those new to the racing arena, and it is good to hear that Rhian was given help and support from other competitors and parents.

Rhian has the potential to become very successful, is talented and has a 'cutting' competitive edge. We all wish Rhian every success in the future !!!


For many children learning to drive a Rescue Boat is all about racing around at top speed. Not for the group of students who attended this Course recently run at the Centre. They covered a basic introduction to Rescue Boat work, which involved learning about the engine, what to carry aboard, how to handle the boat at slow speed and manoeuvre at high speed, coming alongside, towing, man overboard and the emergency stop procedure. They took the Course very seriously and worked hard to get all the manoeuvres correct. It is hoped that they will continue in the future and gain their RYA qualification.

Sportstar Award for David

To complete his successful season David Evans attended the Western Mail & Jurys Sportstar Awards at the Jury Hotel Cardiff. Accompanied by his parents and the Centre Principal, Miss Frances Hurley, David was presented with his Youth award by Ian Barker (Olympic Silver medalist - 49er Class). Lets hope that in a few years David will achieve Olympic success just like Ian !!!


New Assistant Instructors for Llanishen


Having completed a Summer season of assisting with the running of the Centre's courses, the following students have received their Assistant Instructor qualification. Graham Oliver, Ceri Davies, Shehan Nithiananda, Chris Davies, Paul O'Regan & David Evans

Richard & Hannah Show What Saturday is All About

For every child who attends the Saturday morning class there are new skills to learn, and personal challenges to overcome, On this Course the winners of the Best Boy and Best Girl prize showed that with determination anything is possible. Richard Roll went from sailing aft main boats (Topper/Mirror) to become proficient in the Topaz (centre main), but this was not enough, it was the Laser he really wanted to sail. 'Would this be too much ?' thought the chief instructor, but it wasn't !!! and Richard has made a very successful transition from the easily controlled Topaz, to the frisky, unpredictable Laser.

Sailing is a sport that very few find easy to master straight away, but it is those who 'stick at it' when many would give up, who become good sailors and have provided the Centre with many of its best instructors. One such sailor is Hannah Kilroy, who has not found learning to sail the easiest thing she has ever done, but has kept going, taken her time, improved gradually and on this Course finally 'made it' - when the wind decided to blow about a Force 5, it was thought perhaps this would be to much for Hannah (it would have been a few weeks previous), but no 'I'll be OK, I'll sail in the bay', and sail she did, this was a huge achievement. In this Hannah showed everything that Saturday morning is about.

Well Done to both Richard and Hannah, who return for their next Course in January together with the rest of the Happy Bunnies !!!

Students Get Into The Spirit

Following an invitation by Matthew Blick of Qubik Applications, and Alan Priddy skipper of the Spirit of Cardiff, twenty six students from the Centres' Saturday morning class met recently at the Spirit of Cardiff visitor centre located in 'The Tube', on the Cardiff Bay waterfront. During their visit the children were told all about the Spirit and the plans to circumnavigate the world in just fifty days. This won't just break the current world record, it will smash it! The highlight and the most exciting part of the morning came when the children were invited by Alan to ride on the Spirit, as you can imagine the 'buzz' afterwards was unbelievable.


A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who gave the children such a memorable time

Edd Green Achieves GB Double

To become a GB International in one class of boat (the Optimist) is a great achievement, but to get selected in a second Class is something special. Edd made the step up from Optimist to the highly competitive Laser Class last season, and this year has shown greater consistency in selection events, held around the country, to gain GB National Squad selection. A good all round sportsman ( a Welsh Junior hockey international), Edd is a determined competitor, who has shown that hard work and commitment pays off.

Having started to sail at Llanishen, Edd continues to be part of the Instructional staff at the Centre, having this year gained his RYA Instructor ticket.

Well Done Edd - Good Luck for the future !!!!

David Evans - Welsh Junior Sailor of the Year

In recognition of his fantastic season David Evans has been voted by the Clubs and Teaching Establishments of Wales as the Junior Sailor of the Year. David enters his final year in the Optimist class and it is hoped that he can achieve even greater things. As the most successful sailor to come out of Llanishen, David is a great ambassador for the sport and the Centre. With sailing hitting golden heights at Sydney, there is certainly a chance that David could follow them. But talent is not always enough, so if there is anyone out there who would like to support a sailing star of the future - please let us know.

International Selection for Llanishen Sailors

Any sportsman will tell you that to be selected to represent your country is one of the highest honours you can achieve. So congratulations must be given to the following who have been selected to sail for Wales in two of sailings most prestigious events.

David Evans, Hannah Mills (Optimist) Sean Evans, (Cadet) and Ben Redwood (Topper) in the Eric Twiname Competition at Pwllheli. This event is for sailors under sixteen and those taking part represent the thirteen RYA regions.Edward Green (Keelboat) in the Nations Cup to be held at Coniston Water. This is always an exciting event where the very best sailors from the four home nations compete.

Katie 'Having A Good Day' at Cape Cod.

Katie Savage attended the first ever Optimist Course held at Llanishen way back in 1990. Since then she has become a Welsh and GB Squad member. Katie proved to be one of the most hard working and dedicated members of the Llanishen instructional staff, and obtained her Senior Instructors qualification in 1999. Currently studying medicine at Bristol, she decided to that this year it was time to see the world, and is presently working for BUNA CAMP USA, teaching sailing and windsurfing at Cape Cod.

It just goes to show you can be anywhere in the world and still find a Llanishen instructor!!!

Llanishen Sailors Compete at Nationals

Summer is the time that competitive sailors get the chance to see how good they are at National level. All the major classes hold week long championships throughout the country. This year there was extra interest at the Optimist Nationals held at Plymouth, with European silver medallist David Evans and fellow GB squad member Hannah Mills aiming to continue their successful season. They did not disappoint, David held the lead in the Senior fleet until the final day, when light winds gave the advantage to Tim Malendine who just pipped David to the National title. Hannah came third overall in the Junior fleet, but her performance showed she is currently the leading female competitor, taking the Girls overall title. Also in the Junior fleet Sean Evans (younger brother of David), came 17th, and looks another bright hope for the future.

At the Laser Radial Nationals at Abersoch, Welsh Schools Champion Edd Green sailed one of his most consistent series to come 16th, while Matthew Anthony came 36th. Matthew changes boat to compete at the Topper Worlds in Ireland - we wish this fun loving competitor every success. At the Topper Nationals in Scotland, Ben Redwood achieved 86th position.

After a long season of competition these sailors now look forward to the PGL Regatta at Llangorse, where they can relax a little and enjoy this fun event. It is hoped that some new sailors from Llanishen will join them - who knows you could be a star of the future!!!

David Evans - Storms to European Silver Medal

David Evans held on to his overall third place at the Optimist European Championships at Lake Garda. Brazilian Rafael Lorenzo took the overall title, with the European Gold going to Italian Matteo Sangiorgi. Following a fantastic first position right at the start of the Championships, David continued to sail consistently throughout the remaining nine races only once finishing outside the top twenty, a second place in the last race secured his European silver. This is a fantastic achievement for David, whose has shown that hard work and dedication can pay off. He becomes the most successful sailor ever to come through Llanishen.

Also at Lake Garda was Hannah Mills, after a slow start (68th after five races) this most competitive of sailors did extremely well in the latter stages with two top ten positions resulting in an overall position of 47th, this placed her second Britain. The overall title went to Italian Irene Saderini.

Congratulations to both sailors and Good Luck for the future !!!

Hat Trick for Edd at Welsh Schools.

Closer to home at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, Edward Green convincingly won the Laser class at the recently held WYA Welsh Schools Championships. A regular competitor at many events this win is well deserved. His Laser performance also gave him the trophy for Best Local Sailor and combiningwith the results of Chris Hewlins and Catherine Britton Jones also received the County Award.

Other Llanishen sailors competing achieved the following results: Optimist Fleet: Rhian Williams 14th, Alex Munn 15th.Topper Fleet: Andrew Whittaker 3rd, Ben Redwood 5th, James Munn 7th, Owain ap Hywel 8th, Michael Board 9th. Laser Fleet: Edd Green 1st, Matthew Anthony 4th, Chris Davies 7th.

Well Done to everyone who competed !!



The British Nautical Awards today announced the 12 regional winners of this year’s MDL (Marina Developments Limited) YJA (Yachting Journalists’ Association) Young Sailor of the Year Award. This is the third successive year that Marina Developments Limited has sponsored the YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award, which is designed to recognise endeavour and achievement by young sailors in any discipline of the sport. It is organised in co-operation with the RYA through its regions and is open to those under 19 years of age on 31st December 2001.

Hannah Mills (13) from Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan has won the MDL YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award 2001 for the RYA Wales Region. Hannah, who started sailing at the age of eight at the Llanishen Sailing Centre, was asked to join the team selection for the World and European Championships in 2000, and despite being one of the lowest ranking sailors, she finished the event as 2nd girl and represented GBR in Lake Garda, Italy, in July. Hannah later sailed in the British Optimist National Championships where she finished 3rd junior and 1st junior girl, and by the end of the three major ranking events Hannah ranked 11th overall and top girl in the UK - leading to her place into the British National Squad in 2001.

Iwan and Ollie Go Large

Laser 4000 helm Iwan Basten and crew Ollie Green


A New Sailor for the Future as Andy 'Psycho' James becomes a Dad.

Andy's wife Sara gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (7 lb 9 oz) at half past eight Thursday morning (13 September). In true nautical tradition his name is Jonah. Mum and dad are still arguing about who's the whale... The baby was delivered at home, as planned. Everything went well and mum, dad, big brothers and baby are all doing fine, although Sara is understandably a bit on the totally exhausted side. He's healthy and thriving and all in his company are reduced to a state of blubbering and cooing (especially mum and dad).

Congratulations from all at Llanishen, especially your friends on Monday evening

Sun Sea and Safety

"Driving a Powerboat is easy, I don't need to do a Course, it's just like a car !!!!" What a refreshing change when the Petersen girls and their friends arrived at the Centre to complete an RYA Level 2 Powerboat Course. They all took the Course very seriously and were determined to achieve the skills required. They will soon be off to Cyprus, and in charge of quite a large boat, and felt it was 'really important that they knew what they were doing'.The group all passed the Level 2; let's hope that more people, especially the youngsters, follow their example.

Edd's Awesome Foursome

On Wednesday evening a group of adult students completed their RYA Level 1 course. It has always been important that the relationship between student and instructor is a good one, but we could not have anticipated that when Keri Dobson, Zoe Petersen and Darryl Rothwell stepped aboard their Wayfarer with instructor Edd Green of the 'bonding' that was to follow. For six weeks shreiks of laughter, and girly giggles could be heard across the Reservoir as Edd tried desperately to explain the the basics of sailing to these naughty ladies. I suppose it is difficult to talk about 'hardening up' without smiling. Edd battled on, and the girls coped with light winds and a night when the wind was so strong small trees were uprooted on land (well almost). To remember their Course, the girls had tee shirts made - to ensure Edd's Awesome Foursome will never be forgotten.

Oh - I almost forgot, all the Wednesday students achieved their Level 1, and are coming back to complete their Level 2. Edd is resting - but will be back.

Ruth Hardy - Chemical Industry Young Person of the Year - Wales & South West

It's always great to hear news of past students, Ruth was a regular on the Monday evening Adult Courses, starting as a complete novice and progressing to RYA Level 2. Always full of fun and willing to try anything she made many friends, who still ask about her and are really pleased to hear of her recent professional success. She was awarded her prize, for her work in the community, and impressed the judges with her natural ability to broaden understanding of the chemical industry with the public. She will go to the national final in London, where the winner will be announced at the Chemical Industry Assoc Awards Dinner.

Tom John - Barry RFC Under 10 Player of the Year

Saturday morning student Tom 'TT' John isn't just a sailor, he's also an up and coming rugby player. The talented Centre is Captain of the Barry Under 10's side and this year to mark his commitment was awarded the Outstanding Player of the Year. Tom received his award from Canadian International and Cardiff player Dan Baugh.

Let's hope that Tom will follow in the footsteps of new Welsh Squad member Robin Sowden-Taylor, who at the same age could be seen at Llanishen in a Topper.

David Evans & Hannah Mills Top British Rankings at the Volvo Musto Optimist World and European Selections

David Evans won with a race to spare and he and Josh Metcalfe, who came 5th, will go to Qingdao to represent Great Britain at the World Championship Hannah Mills came 9th and first girl and goes to Gran Canaria to represent GBR at the European Championships.

Ollie Becomes GB Coach

In July, Oliver Green who started his sailing at Llanishen, will be coaching the British Team at Flanders Youth Regatta in Belgium, with Chris Draper who won the last Olympic Trials in the 470 class.

Edd Hits Top Gear at Volvo Regional Championships

This years Welsh Regional Championships held at Pwllheli S.C., saw Edd Green prove that he is one of the best Laser Radial sailors in the country. During the two day event, in a class of fourteen, Edd battled it out with Ben Todd, who between them kept the top two places, but it was Edd's run of four consecutive 1st places which gave him overall victory over Todd.

Llanishen sailors who competed were:

Laser Radial:
Edd Green 1st
Chris Hewlins 6th
Ben Redwood 9th
Andrew Whittaker13th

Sean Evans 2nd

Owain ap Hywel 7th

Congratulations to all those who competed. A full list of results can be found on the WYA website.

Lucky Seven for Edd at Youth Championships

The UK Youth National Championships were held this year at Largs. Edd Green and Chris Hewlins, both RYA instructors at Llanishen took part. After a difficult first two days, Edd Green was placed 28th, but with an increase in the wind conditions he managed three top ten results on Day 3. By the final day Edd had battled hard to finish a creditable 7th overall. This result ensures that Edd keeps his place in the GB Laser Squad - he has a lot of sailing ahead this season, with the highlight being the World Championships in Barcelona. Chris Hewlins did exceptionally well to finish 45th in this very competitive fleet.

Ceri Goes Atlantic

No, not that Atlantic, but the College, Ceri Davies has just received a Scholarship to attend Atlantic College at St Donats from this September. Ceri is a valuable member of the Assistant Instructor team at Llanishen, and obviously impressed the panel at his interview. In addition to his academic studies, Ceri intends to join in with the Sailing activities - they also have Topaz - and is hoping to become part of the Lifeboat Crew. The Centre wishes Ceri every success !!!!

Topaz a big hit with the Students !!!!

At last the Topaz fleet has got afloat, the Saturday Morning Youth Course were the first try out the new boats, and showed that they can be handled comfortably by a wide range of abilities. After a few little problems with the rigging - well, they are new boats - it was fun all the way. Just to show that these boats aren't just for kids, on Sunday it was the grown-ups turn. As with everything, they had a few more problems than the youngsters, (they capsized a lot !!!!), but did manage to stay upright long enough to go zooming across the res' with crews trapezing.

whitetopaz1.jpg bluetopaz1.jpg

New for 2001 - A Topaz Fleet

The Centre is pleased to announce that it will be extending its Topaz fleet for the start of the 2001 season. Our Topaz fleet will consist of 4 Topaz Uno's, 4 Topaz Duo's and 2 Topaz Tres. A new centre main range from Topper International, the Uno offers a smaller and more comfortable alternative to the Laser (it reefs like a Topper), while the Duo is a crewed boat, which can be reefed - and will be used by the Centre to compliment it's Mirror fleet. The Tres is a trapeze racing boat with an asymetric spinnaker and will be used as a platform for those wishing to progress into larger two-man racing boats.

The Topaz fleet offers something for everyone, both children and adults no matter what level, will find these simple learner-friendly boats a pleasure to sail.

Dates for the Topaz Uno tuition can be found in the Brochure and we will be adding more dates throughout the year. The Duo and Tres will be fitted into our other Courses as required.


It's always pleasing to hear of the successes of former staff, but this is our first MBE. Prior to working part time at Llanishen, Nicola was the development officer for the WYA, where she worked hard to make sailing a sport that everyone could participate in. But it is not for sailing that she has been recognised, but rugby. She has been a regular member of the English Womens team for many years, and her enthusiasm for the sport led her to become its Development Officer. This MBE is a fitting reward for years of dedication to sport; before turning to rugby, Nicola was a world class sailor, and must have wondered what might have been on seeing Europe Class rival Shirley Robertson achieving gold at the Sydney Olympics. Nicola is a popular figure, her warmth, and generosity towards others, together with her undoubted natural talent make this MBE award well deserved. Nicola's last visit to Llanishen was last year, when she assessed a group of instructors, it is hoped that we will see her again in the Spring to assess our next instructor trainees.

Congratulation Nicola - from all your friends at Llanishen.

Movin' On Up - From Oppie to 29er - a report from David Evans

All through last winter I was training almost every weekend in my optimist either with the British Squad once a month in Weymouth, Plymouth or Plas Menai. But was also training with the Welsh squad once a month in Margam, Bala or Pwylleli. Once the winter had finished I had done all the training I could have done and managed to win the Selection trials to represent Britain at the World Championships. This year I have been to Holland twice and to China and all around Britain. Unfortunately I didn't perform very well in China because of the lack of wind and lack of sailing in those conditions. It was a great experience and something I will never forget.

My last event in my oppie was the Worlds but I have actually sailed them a lot since then because they are just so much fun. The next boat I moved into was the 29er, a smaller version of the Olympic 49er. I managed to team up with Ben Redwood who also leant to sail at Llanishen and we are a wicked team. The first comp was the 29er nationals we finished in 5th position in the silver fleet. 29ers are a totally different boat to the oppie:

* You have to sail with someone else! (it's a 2 man boat)

* It's got a jib and an asymmetric (which is massive)

* It's 3 times as fast as an Oppie

* You can't sail on a run, you have to zig zag down wind

* Extremely good fun to sail but drains energy!

It's a great boat to sail and at first we couldn't keep it upright it just wanted to fall over. But we've got that hang of it now and can sail it pretty fast! So far this year we have qualified for the transitional squad and are hoping to get into the national squad next year! Squad training is exactly the same in 29ers except it drains more energy from you, you have to be up at 7.30 for a run and fitness. Then its breakfast straight away and then boats rigged and out on the water with a lunch break. We come off the water at about 5pm and have debriefs and free time in the evenings! I hope I'm not putting any of you off but I have had so much fun so far and met even more new mates. Hopefully I'll be able to bring the 29er down to Llanishen and show you how it works, its a great boat to sail with its asymmetric, trapeze and many more gadgets.


Over one hundred radials sailed in the last Qualifier of the 2001 series at Royal Lymington YC. Due to light winds only four of the five races scheduled could be sailed but ex-Oppy legend Nick Thompson made the best of the conditions to win his first event.

Race one was lead by Chris Grube until the last run where he picked up a yellow flag infringement. The resulting penalty turns dropping him back into the pack. Topper National Champion Giles Scott therefore took the race, his first qualifier race win.

Second place went to Thompson, sailing out of his home club. Third to sixth was very tight with Grube and Adam Cockerill going left on the final run and Jon Emmett right into stronger wind and tide. At the last mark Grube and Cockerill had maintained their positions but Emmett lost out to Ed Green, who grabbed fifth.

Race two saw a start line that was extremely biased to the port end but with much less tide on the right it was always a gamble. Steve Cockerill of Rooster sailing showed why he is the National Champion by dominating the race from the left. Loosely covering Thompson to ensure his win. Emmett and James Tilley where leading from the right until an incident saw Emmett doing turns promoting Tilley to third at the windward mark.

Unlike the first race place changes happened frequently. At the bottom mark Tilley and Adam Cockerill lead Green and Emmett but by the top mark it was Green in third, Emmett in fourth and Steven Hall in fifth pushing Tilley and Cockerill all the way back to sixth and Seventh. With a strong tide under the fleet on the final run the positions remained static to the finish.

The last race on the Saturday saw less breeze and more tide. Turning the race into somewhat of a tacking battle with Emmett coming out on top to take the race. Grube battled hard for second but received his third yellow flag and a DND score when he was caught at the top mark giving second to Hall. However Thompson was making a collection of seconds and overtook Hall on the last leg of the course. Fourth, Fifth and sixth went to Alex Townsend, Steve Lee and Michael Simms.

Overnight leader was Thompson one point clear of Emmett but discarding a second as opposed to Emmett’s sixth and with third place Cockerill forced to count a 10th, Thompson looked good for the event. Sunday dawned with little breeze and there was only one race sailed meaning Thompson could have stayed on shore.

Race four starting in marginal hiking conditions but the wind soon died. Emmett lead from the left where there was less tide but tried to come across to early. Steve Cockerill who had a very inconsistent regatta grabbed the lead and just made it round the windward mark. With the wind dropping Emmett couldn’t make it round against the tide allowing Simms to sneak through to second.

Emmett took third from Tilley, Pilkington and Charles who just made it through in front of the chaos of the main fleet. Cockerill finished so far infront that many of the fleet where scored out of time. Hannah Blore commented that it must have taken her twenty attempts to get round the first mark due to the tide. Needless to say this was the last race of the day...

Once again the top spots went to Thompson, Emmett and Cockerill with three difference wins at each of the three Autumn Qualifiers. However at these events Natalie Lloyd has been consistently top girl and at Lymington nothing changed.


Grafham Water Sailing Club were again the host for this event providing a great venue, food, entertainment, race management and weather.

A total of 49 29ers shared the water with the 49ers, B14s and Musto Skiffs providing a very exciting spectacle.

The weather over the weekend was superb, brilliant sunshine on both days with light wind, (5-10knots) on Saturday and livelier conditions (15-20 knots) on Sunday.

Stepping up from the Optimist, David Evans teamed up with Ben Redwood, and David Freemantle was joined for the first time by Andrew Whittaker.All four boys were originally trained at Llanishen, and the Centre is proud of their achievements. During the winter they will be joining the GB Transitional 29er Squad.

Edd Green helps Wales Win Nations Cup!

Congratulations go to all the team who brought back every possible trophy from the Nations Cup weekend in Cumbrae 15-16th Sept. (The only one they couldn't was Best Local!)

Tim Hall has written the following report:

A team of 11 sailors from Wales travelled to Largs (Scotland) over the weekend 15 & 16th September 2001 to compete in the Nations Cup against England and Scotland (Ireland couldn't make the event this year).We enjoyed good sailing conditions all weekend, with 20-25 knots NW on Saturday followed by a milder 10-15 knots NNW on Sunday. Racing was held in the Largs channel on trapezoid courses and the race management was excellent.Piper skipper and Wales team captain Ben Todd and his crew dominated the Piper fleet by winning 4 out of the 5 races, only being beaten by the Scottish boat in the final race.Wales also took the fleet honours in the 420's with Susanne Bennell and Jill Shorrocks winning and also collecting the best girls trophy. Mike Jones and Craig Jones put in a top performance (3rd) to help the overall team points.In the Picos, Chris Catt of England generally showed the way, although 2 individual race wins put Kate Williams 2nd overall and Ian Haywood put a good series together to be placed 3rd.The Welsh Lasers struggled a bit with the generally breezy conditions and although put in a couple of good individual races (Chris Grube won Race one, and Hywel Poole had a 2nd), they lacked general consistency and took 5th and 6th places although points were close.Wales had a nine point lead on Saturday night after 3 races and finally took the trophy by 13 points after the final 2 races. England were second and Scotland third.Jo Dixon of the Scottish Sailing Academy at Largs did an excellent job organising the event and thanks must also go to all the Cumbrae Centre staff for their part and for providing the accommodation. The trophies will be on display in Plas Menai and Wales will look forward to defending them next year when it will be our turn to host the event.


The First South Wales Volvo RYA Champion Club

With a record that can not be surpassed by any other establishment in Wales - Llanishen has been training competitive sailors for over twenty years - Llanishen has the luxury of being able to take sailors from their very first steps in a boat through an introduction to racing to the very highest of levels.

Many Llanishen sailors have represented Wales and Great Britain as sailors and some have gone into coaching. The Centre is pleased to have been recognised for its achievements, and hopes it will be able to continue teaching and encouraging the sailing stars of the future.


The Special Olympics Come To Llanishen

The Special Olympics Movement was founded in the USA in 1968 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver - sister of President John F Kennedy. Shriver believed that the Olympic ideals of sport could give confidence and new hope to people with intellectual (learning) disabilities as well as to those who cared for them. Today these Games reach nearly 3.5 million athletes i more than 170 countries worldwide.

The Centre is honoured to be able offer sailing as part of the Games


Hannah Mills Becomes First Girl To Win Optimist Nationals

Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales played host to the Volvo Musto Optimist National Championships 2002 (4-10 August). 294 sailors were competing including entries from America, Holland, Germany, France and Ireland.

The Optimist is the most popular dinghy class and the majority of the worlds best sailors learnt to sail in it. 90% of the sailors who competed at the Sydney Olympic Games learnt to sail in an Optimist. Ben Ainslie, double Olympic medallist in the Laser Class, won the Optimist National Championships in 1992.

The Senior fleet was won by, Welsh sailing sensation Hannah Mills, (14, Dinas Powys) who has recently returned from the Optimist World Championships in Texas where she finished a commendable ninth place overall and crowned Girls World Champion - the highest place for a British girl ever. In Pwllheli, Hannah won seven of the twelve races, being crowned the Volvo Musto Optimist National Champion with two races to spare.

"After the World Championships I was hoping to do well at this event I. I am very proud to be crowned the National Champion, especially as I am the first girl ever to win this event and also that the Championship has taken place in my home country, Wales," said Hannah.

Hannah's British nearest rival was 14 year old James Murdock from Bowmoor Sailing Club, who was thirty three points behind Hannah and her nearest female rival Maria Stanley finished 184 points astray.