Plas Heli

The Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre .


Well, summer’s here. It’s July already. All the activities of recent months (and years for some) have been leading up to this! Plas Heli will be hosting its first sailing championship before the end of the month.

All the builders and contractors have been working full out for weeks to get the building ready to welcome visitors from 37 countries for the European Optimist Championships on July 18th.

The restaurant, cafe and bar which are open to the public and which look out over Glan y Don beach, will open a soon as possible – we have no definite date at present.

Initially, the cafe will only be open during the day, serving light meals to enjoy on the terraces which overlook Snowdonia with steps leading up directly from the beach. So, if you wish to go for a walk, to sunbathe or swim in Glan y Don this summer come and visit us. 

After the hurly burly of the summer’s activities the public restaurant will open in the evenings serving quality meals with local ingredients.

Summer Activities

Plas Heli’s major event programme starts with the European Optimist Championship between July 18th and 24th. 250 sailors from 37 countries, including Hong Kong, New Zealand and the USA (the definition of Europe has changed since my schooldays!).

Hard on the heels of that championship, we will be welcoming The British Open Optimist Championship held between July 25th and 31st. The Optimist is sailed by those aged between 8 and 15 and approx. 450 competitors along with their families are expected from all over the UK.

As we bid farewell to the Optimists we will be welcoming the British 29er Championship between August 1st and 8th. There’s local interest in this class with members of CHIPAC taking part. We wish them the very best of luck, both in the British and World Championships which follow between August 9th and 14th. For both events, about 500 young sailors and their families are expected at Pwllheli.

Later in August we will see the arrival of the more mature sailors for the World Fireball Championships (August 17 – 28) and the IRC National Championships (August 21 – 23). Again, between them, these two events are expected to attract around 500 sailors.

Even the non-sailors will be amazed with the spectacle of 450 Optimist boats being launched on the sands at Glan y Don, or they can watch the racing progress on the screen at the cafe, for the European Optimists and World 29ers. If the weather permits, the boats will be launching daily around 9.30 - 10.30 – visit our social network sites for more details.

Profitable Pwllheli

With all these summer visitors to Plas Heli, it is important for us that as many local businesses as possible benefit from this and that the sailors depart having tasted some of the life and industry of the area.

During June, we held sessions with local businesses to instigate a dialogue on how we can work together to benefit all sides. These sessions worked well and several simple solutions, which can be introduced this summer, as well as ones needing further development, were discussed. We would like to emphasise that this is not intended as just one session, and we hope to revisit these sessions, and build and develop them further in the near future.

Plas Heli Art

If you look towards Plas Heli across the harbour, you will notice that the drum of the main hall is plastic, and that light can penetrate outwards as well as inwards.

The Arts Council of Wales is supporting an artist from Llangollen to create an art work which will use the structure of the building. Jessica Lloyd-Jones is seeking photos and videos of 2015 sailing events, Pwllheli harbour, local coastal wildlife, Pwllheli seascapes and sunsets, sea and beach activities at Pwllheli and any photographs of Pwllheli sailing history, so they may be projected as part of her exhibition in November.

If you would like one of your photographs to be included in the finished art work, upload the picture to the Plas Heli social websites (using #celfplasheli) or e-mail them to by September 1st.

Well, that's about all this month. I have a few other points I need to mention, such as that the following schools – Glan y Môr, Edern, Nefyn and Llanbedrog – have been sailing with us during the month, and that we had the pleasure of the company of Angharad Elis from Coleg Meirion Dwyfor here on work experience and that there are several other events in the Autumn diary, but I'm running short of space and time.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Plas Heli over the summer. Pop in for a cuppa, to say hello and remember that the restaurant will not be running at full capacity until the autumn.

Associates and Affiliates

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Contact Information

Plas Heli Cyf Glany Don, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5YT

Bar:        01758 614 442
Office:   01758 613 343 - Please note: the telephone is not manned and your enquiries would be attended to more efficiently if you send an e-mail to the appropriate department see contact us here

Company Registration No. 08082514
VAT No. GB 164061430