We have a program of improvements for the Plas heli Pontoons. This work includes:
The plan showing the project is available here and the completed works layout.
The Plas Heli Pontoons just gets better.
Two new 10.5m finger pontoons have been added to the Plas Heli Pontoons on on Saturday 6th January 2024.
Many thanks to our team of volunteers and also to Nick Butterworth Firmhelm for the use of the crane to launch the pontoons.
We also fitted the 6m pontoon which we has set aside and this will now extend our availability to the boats in the 6-7 m range. This is alongside the new economy pontoon which will provide berths for smaller boats.
We have also fitted a CCTV pole supplied by Walcon Marine, we have received delivery of the camera and we are about to fit this shortly. There is, of course, CCTV coverage of the pontoons from Cei Heli.
This is in adition to the economy berth and 6m berth installed under the quay wall.
We have also fitted the new CCTV camera pole
This article was written in 2021 to recognise Richards contribution to sailing, Pwllheli, and our club - when awarded with a lifetime contribution award at the Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club prizegiving evening in December 2021. We republish here an edited version in memory of our dear brother and friend Richard.
Richard started sailing at a very early age and is one of Gwyndaf Hughes oldest sailing pupils, a relationship which we know they both cherish.
He built his first dinghy from kit in the living room at home, competing in championships travelling from venue to venue, with the red mirror dinghy, Madryn, on top of his mother’s Mini. No fancy campervans in those days!
He lost his mast on Llyn Tegid, Bala when the boom of a GP 14 crossed in front on port in front of Madryn in the School Championships. Gwyndaf managed to get permission to use the Bala School craftworkshop to carry out temporary repairs (with jubilee clips) so that "Madryn" could proceed with the championship the following day.
Family boating started on "Gay-anna" with his father Huw, who is also a former Commodore, and with his brother Stephen, also a former Commodore. Keel boats started very soon after on a Halcyon 26 "Reward", but Richard wanted to go faster so there was then "Rev De Mer", "Gwobr Aur" a Shamrock and then "Panache" a Contessa.
Richard left school and took up an apprenticeship with North Sails and returned to Pwllheli to work for Brian Smart at ‘Sail Care’. Shortly afterwards Richard ventured and purchased the business. ‘Sail Care’ became ‘Tudor Sail Makers’. His white waterproofs were the height of sailing fashion for a while, and his sailing kit bags are still seen and cherished by many. He designed and built some fancy spinnakers for winners such as Greased Lighting, Mererid, and Megalopolis - all ISORA race winners. He built several suits for Panache. A few of his sails are still in use today.
He sailed his first ISORA race in 1976 with Anthony Jones and completed a RORC Fastnet race in 1977 and 1981, and with many more to follow, including one on Panache with an all Pwllheli Crew including Gwyndaf.
Richard’s dream however, was on long distance offshore racing, and he wanted to compete in the round the world Volvo race.
His dream came true when he was offered the Skipper role on British Steel 2, the Flagship for the ‘British Steel Round the World Challenge’, a race around the world the wrong way, against the prevailing winds and currents.
Things looked great, winning the first leg to Rio, and a highlight of the stop-over was to meet the infamous Ronnie Biggs, the great train robber!
The second leg took the fleet past Cape Horn. Shortly after Cape Horn, and just before Christmas, the mast came down because of a fault in the forestay fitting on the stem head. The rest of the fleet was alerted to the fault and many boats were fitted with new masts at the next stop-over.
Now the story of his 3000 mile struggle to New Zealand/Australia is well documented. Fuel was replenished from a ship en-route. A stop in Chatham Islands where he was given a mast on condition that he dug it up from the ground in some scrub land. The much smaller mast was however lashed onto the remains of the boom that had been retrieved from the Ocean.
What is not known however, is his heroism being in the water for hours on end, cutting the rigging that was endangering the boat itself. The crew of British Steel continue to meet every year, on the anniversary of the dismasting almost 30 years ago. School children across Wales learnt all about geography by following Richard’s track. These positions were radioed in, no gps and chart plotters then!
Richard with Falmai receiving the clubs lifetime contribution award 2021
The next big adventure for Richard was as skipper of Nuclear Electric, another circumnavigation as skipper. He was the toast of the town when Nuclear Electric was tied up to the pontoon on the marina. There were so many people wanting to see this fantastic vessel that the pontoon almost sank, and people had to be limited.
These two circumnavigations were massive achievements for a young man.
Richard then led expeditions to the Artic Circle and to many other warmer and more exotic places.
He was also part of the Team Phillips experimental trimaran which sank in the North Atlantic and he and the crew were rescued by a passing ship, just as the boat fell apart and sank. He ended up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He competed in Regattas around the world, was part of the Corwynt Cymru Team winning Cork Week and the 704 mile Round Ireland Race.
He still holds the record for the best time ever on his Three Peaks race win in 1998 and was a winning skipper on the Round Britain and Ireland race.
Richard formerly opened the Pwllheli Marina in 1993, and the plaque is in the reception. He was a director of Porth Pwllheli, a consortium of local people wanting to develop Pwllheli into a world-renowned Marina, it is maintained to this day that this forced the hand of Dwyfor Council to develop what we now know as Hafan Pwllheli. Less known is the plaque above the raw sewerage filters; he performed the opening ceremony of the state-of-the-art sewerage works at the old club near the Gimblet
Then it was his time to stop living out of a sail bag.
He was asked to set up a new Marine College in Pwllheli – something he had campaigned for. Richard worked as a lecturer and manager at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor - Pwllheli Hafan Campus for many years. His students learnt the skills of Marine Engineering, and many have continued their connection with Richard from all around the world.
His anchor was now firmly ashore, and he met Falmai, and along came Daughter Leus and Son Iago, both ultimately sailing with CHIPAC and also on keelboats, with Iago a popular member of both the Jackknife and Sgrech Bach crew, something that Richard was very proud of. In addition to Iago and Leus, Richard also has two loving children from his first marriage, Owen and Sarah, who have both been a tower of strength to the family, and last year welcomed a gorgeous grandson, Leo into the family. Richard was very proud of all his children, and excited about their plans and goals for the future.
Richard has been a member of the sailing club from the time of the very first building, we are now in our fifth home, he has seen all five club buildings as an active member.
Richard was Commodore in 2000 to 2002 and president in 2006 - 2008 and an active member of the club’s management committee, giving us all his experience and advice which was always highly valued.
Richard was instrumental in bringing the One Ton Cup to Pwllheli in 2001, the images of that event still resonate - a massive event in the sailing world.
Richard and Iago on J125 Jackknife
He has worked tirelessly on the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre project, which all started in 2003, and an active board member of Plas Heli, a community enterprise, a role which is of course voluntary. He has been involved with all aspects of Plas Heli’s development, and rolled his sleeves up cleaning the floors, cutting the grass, repairing and maintaining and upgrading the ageing ribs, preparing and arranging for events, inflating racing marks and ensuring we are all ready for these events, large and small, and setting the mood lighting in the bar!
In the bar we will often be treated to tales of adventure, he will often drop place names into a conversation such as Antigua, Palma and San Tropez, this is done not as a boast, and in the same way that we would talk about Abererch, Porthmadog and Sarn. His geographical and navigational knowledge was truly exceptional, and we enjoyed discussing Jet streams and weather systems over a pint (or two!)
A qualified Race Officer, Richard really enjoyed race management, he said it is a practical way of giving to others what he has enjoyed for so long, and was awarded a prized ISORA jacket in Dun Laoghaire last November for his support to ISORA and race management. He co-ordinated the setting up of our famous automated race starting system with the computer voice giving competitors a count-down to the start, now also fitted to committee boat Heli.
Richard has taken on the responsibility of ensuring that the racing marks are laid and retrieved every year and prepared the material for our annual calendar for many years, and always advised on layout and drew our tidal curves.
Richard loved sailing and jumped at any opportunity to be on the water. He was a member of the Jackknife team on that fantastic race from Dun Laoghaire to Dingle in 2019 where top speeds were achieved on the spinnaker run down to Tuskar, something that will stay with all of us forever.
In 2018 he sailed on the J80 Jac Y Do and taught us all so much about sailing a small boat against the larger boats in the Autumn series - Astonishing skills and boat handling and sewed the seed for the sport boat and crane project we now enjoy here in Pwllheli.
It has been fantastic seeing Iago and Richard sailing together. It is extraordinary to have three sets of father and sons, Andrew and Sam, Richard and Iago and Stephen and Thomas, all competing together on Jackknife over the last 10 years, truly memorable!
His contribution to our sailing boating and club in general, is phenomenal - what we take for granted would not be possible without the work that Richard has done, quietly, without fuss, and often late at night.
At the 2021 dinner, we had the pleasure and honour of reading a letter from one of sailings greats, Chay Blyth , which we repeat below:
“Richard was skipper of British Steel 2 in the British Steel Challenge Round the World Yacht Race. He was one of only 12 skippers to be chosen from over 200 applicants all of whom had the same necessary Yacht Master qualifications to apply.
He was an inspirational leader, deeply respected and loved by his crew. They suffered one of the ultimate misfortunes in a Yacht race of losing their mast in the Southern Ocean at a point virtually the furthest from land of anywhere on the planet. In adversity the true mettle of people comes out. When the rigging needed cutting from the yacht it was Richard who went over the side with bolt cutters to free the debris from the yacht. Richard had the technical expertise to know what had to be done. He got the yacht and all his Crew back safely from the depths of the Southern Ocean safely to the Chatham Islands and then on to Wellington.
He never asked his crew to do anything that he wasn’t prepared to do, and hence the lasting respect that all his crew still have for him. They were highly competitive but also had great fun on the way, a tribute to the personality of their skipper who had the sailing talent to win the first leg of the Race, from Southampton to Rio.
A truly remarkable and outstanding sailor.”
Sir Chay Blyth
Rest in peace brother and friend
Stephen Tudor and Mark H Thompson - 2021 and edited 2024
TUDOR - Richard
On the 31st of December, 2023, peacefully in the company of his family at Bryn Beryl Hospital, Pwllheli, aged 64 years, Richard Tudor passed away. The son of the late Huw and Gaynor Tudor. A loving partner to Falmai, a special father to Owen, Sarah, Leus and Iago and a proud and kind grandfather to Leo. A dear brother to Stephen, John and Anna and a brother in law to Carys ,Gwenan, Nia and Iona. He was a loved and greatly respected Uncle to many. He will be missed greatly by all his family and friends.
A public service will be held at Capel y Drindod, Pwllheli on Friday the 12th of January at 1 o'clock, and a burial to follow in the Cemetery in Llanbedrog.
Flowers for immediate family only.
After a Funeral Tea at Plas Heli - the home of Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club - All Welcome - Croeso i Pawb
It is with deep sadness we mark the passing of Plas Heli founder Director and Round the World Yachts man, Richard Tudor.
Richard worked tirelessly to help establish Pwllheli’s Welsh National Sailing Academy, subsequently developed into a £9m multi-functional event centre. He remained an active board member of Plas Heli, the community enterprise which runs it.
Mark H Thompson, commodore of Pwllheli Sailing Club, said Richard was a key figure in the club’s history. Expressing "deepest condolences", he said: "Richard, who has sailed around the world and is a former commodore of the club and an active member of the committee, had such an incredible impact on all our lives.”
Read more in the Daily Post article 'Tributes to legendary round-the-world sailor behind one of Wales' 'finest yachting venues'
Plas heli has published a new pontoon plan showing the status of each berth.
Applications for the 2024 season are now invited.
If the plan does not appear first time - please refresh the page - it is there!
The plan is for identification only and is not to scale.
Application status on the plan will be updated as soon as possible.
Pink = applications invited /awaited.
Amber = applications received and berth reserved subject to invoicing
Green= invoice issued and paid.
Updated 26th February, 2023
We have completed the migration from Joomla 3x to Joomla 4 for the PlasHeli. org web site.
This migration will provide a more stable hosting platform for the website and will allow us to develop and build on the success of the website.
You will notice more new features and functionality on the web site in the coming months.
Plas Heli is also organising the migration of the CHPSC website.
Plas Heli Cyf – The Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, a volunteer not for profit distribution community enterprise company, with charitable aims and where all surpluses are reinvested back into the facility for everyone's benefit.
We hosted seven significant sailing events in 2023 including the IRC Welsh National Championships and Feva Nationals in May. In August we hosted the ITCA Topper Nationals and 420 Class Association UK Nationals, Optimist Late Summer Championships in September and a 29er Grand Prix in October. This is in addition to many regional and National Training Camps.
We are now planning for 2024 with an exciting diary of events, including the SuperNova Nationals, the GP14 World Championship IOCA Nationals and an ILCA Qualifier Event in September 2024.
We have continued to improve the facilities with more grass areas for tents camping and we now have 53 electric hook-ups for camping! (only 15 in 2020). There is a new dinghy wash down area and we have new CCTV cameras in both Cei Heli (quayside) and Parc Heli ( our main compound). These add to our existing extensive coverage.
The telehandler makes the deployment of equipment for events and training camps a safe and easier operation. The perimeter flags have been purchased ready for the 2024 season - these make a significant improvement to the site appearance.
The crane has been a big benefit to the Centre and we hope to see growth in the sports boats fleet in 2024.
We have further extended our capacity on the pontoons with new finger pontoons. There have been substantial upgrades to the fleet of 12 RIBs and race management equipment.
We also have more landscaping projects in the pipeline including work on Cei Heli and a new security barrier access to Cei Heli for our pontoon customers.
Plas Heli Pontoon customers now have the use of shower cabins in Caban Heli.
We continue to work closely with RYA CW to provide facilities for training camps, storage, and activities, and we respect the strategic importance of the facilities for events, training and boating in Wales.
Community engagement works continues and included our work with clubs and associations, assistance with facilities for a disability boat, fundraising events, classrooms for community groups, meetings, teaching and our work with children in-need.
Catering at the centre is with our franchisee operator Sean Devlin Ltd. The service is growing in reputation, and they have built a good name for quality and customer experience.
We are reliant on volunteers and are of course, grateful for all assistance provided by our stakeholder groups and clubs.
Challenges for 2024 include energy costs and shower and toilet provision for the growing events and training portfolio.
There is more about Plas Heli in the updated Plas Heli - Prospectus
The security codes to all areas have been changed from Tuesday 21st November 2023.
Customers with 'Boat Specific Codes' or Clubs and Clubs/Associations that have been issued with 'Private Codes' are not affected by this change.
All other padlocked areas have now been fitted with new combination padlocks, and new codes. This includes the beach gate. If you have a genuine reason for any particular code please contact email@example.com or if you think your private code (or boat specific code) has been compromised.
The new CCTV pole will allow Plas Heli to extend the WiFi to cover the pontoons area.
The new finger berths will expand the berth capacity and help meet the growing demand.
Please take care onthe quayside whilst these are stored ready for deployment.