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Tresaith Mariners a Brief History

Tresaith Mariners Sailing Club was started in 1987 over, as usual, a few beers! At that time there was a buoy which was known locally as The Black Pig, which was moored to the east of Aberporth Head. It seemed a good idea to race round it. A few local helmsmen, crews and their boats got together, put out two other buoys, and raced a triangular course around them.

In the beginning the boats racing included GP14s, Albacores, Enterprises, 470s, Fireflies, Larks, Phantoms and even a Drascombe Dabber! Racing took place on a Sunday evening and as many as ten to fifteen boats were also seen.

After several years of monohulls, we began to see the introduction of Hobie catamarans and faster monohulls such as the 505 and Osprey. This was now a very mixed fleet and caused the committee to limit races to one hour so that the crews all came ashore at similar times. There were also special races such as the Drunken Duck (the first race of the season), the Three Ships Race, Round the Island (Cardigan Island) and the Target Race.

As the fleet built up and the sailors gained more experience, we started going to local and more distant regattas, managing to collect a fair amount of silverware as we went. Although we were only a small club we were becoming well known in different venues across the country. We attained Royal Yachting Association status in 1989.

In 1993 we sent a team to compete in the 24-hour race on the lake at Southport, taking Mistral, my GP14 6247 with us. This endurance race was successfully completed, giving us another fine trophy. We all had a wonderful weekend, which included an England v Wales singing competition in a tiny pub on the lakeside. As far as I remember Wales won!

Other early trips included Dale, Bala, The Steel Company of Wales and Cawsand.

The Annual Regatta, held at the beginning of August is the high point of our year. There are cruiser races which feed into our bay from Teifi Boating Club, Aberaeron and Newquay Yacht Clubs. The twenty or so cruisers made a wonderful sight in the bay. In the early days as many as forty dinghies entered the races. Our first regatta was in 1991.

The club has also hosted the South Wales GP14 Area Championships, several catamaran open events and more recently the Merlin Rocket Travellers event. The wooden boats, like their crews, have slowly disappeared. Most of the current sailing fleet are fibreglass and made up of F18s and Dart 16s as well as some 420s.

Recently as most of you know two of our F18 catamarans were towed from Tresaith to Copenhagen, where Pete, Suzanne, Liz and Alistair represented the Mariners at the F18 World Championships, ably backed up by Gareth to keep them fed and watered. A great credit to the club.

It’s wonderful to see new youngsters and some older members bringing new ideas and fresh blood into the club. 42 years ago, I was taking part in the Fastnet race which starts today!!

Pip Alexandre – Founder Member and Trustee of Tresaith Mariners Sailing Club

6th August 2017.