Photo credit: Dave Parry

BSAC clubs came together on Sunday 24 March for the ever-popular Menai Boat Run, which this year featured boats from 17 different branches.

Menai Boat Run 2024The spectacular event is a social get-together for BSAC clubs and a chance to blow the cobwebs out ahead of the informal start of diving season. It also raises much needed funds for the RNLI with all clubs donating £50 per boat for Beaumaris RNLI. A total of £1,250 was raised before the start, while Buxton SAC raised £200 separately and donated that as well, making a total of £1,450.

The Menai Boat Run is a multi club event started by East Cheshire a long time ago, before Chester took over the running of it in 2019.

It was set to be a bumper year for the event with 24 boats originally booked onto the fundraiser. Regrettably, Golden Lion Sub-Aqua Club (SAC) dropped out because their boat wasn’t ready (they kindly decided to donate their £50 anyway.) Three had engine problems just before the start and one club had towing problems, leaving 20 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) to launch from Dinas Boatyard at Felinheli, while Rhosneigr SAC launched from Menai.

Dave ParryMenai Boat Run 2024

The 17 different sub-aqua clubs who took to the water were Chester (x3), Flint, Wirral, Hartford, Bradford, Southport, Shrewsbury, Sandwell, Vale Royal, Octopus 1900, Wapsac, Wrexham Seals, Potteries, Buxton, Trafford, East Cheshire and Rhosneigr. Approximately 130 members and guests attended for the spectacle.

After an early start this year, attendees enjoyed the hospitality of Port Dinorwig Sailing Club, where Sara who runs the kitchen there provided tea/ coffee and bacon/ sausage sandwiches for breakfast and the use of their car park for the boat trailers.

When all the boats were launched they were off on high water at 09.45 towards Caernarfon as the weather was favourable. Just before the Castle the flotilla turned around and headed back up the Menai straight past Felinheli again, past Plas Newydd great house, the home of the Marquis of Anglesey on through both bridges, the Britannia Bridge on which you can see the 80 ton big carved lions that are now hidden from view from the road and the spectacular Menai Bridge, passing the wreck of the Conway nearby on Platters reef. The armada then cruised past Bangor Pier up towards Beaumaris, on towards Puffin Island, and turned around just before Penmon lighthouse as the wind would have played a part then as the boats would lose the protection of the land. 

Rhys PlemingMenai Boat Run 2024

The boats arrived at Beaumaris at the planned time of 11.30 and after everyone got off on the pier, the boats were moored up near Mat’s Neptune fish and chip shop where over 100 portions of fish and chips were waiting ready for the hungry sailors. 

After lunch participants gathered by the RNLI boatshed where the lifeboat had been moved out ready for Dave Parry of Chester SAC to hand over a cheque to Tim Bailey, Beaumaris station manager and Steve Barnard, the Helm of the Lifeboat.

Rhys PlemingMenai Boat Run 2024

Dave Parry of Chester Sub-Aqua Club (L) presents a cheque to Tim Bailey and Steve Barnard of Beaumaris RNLI

The lifeboat crew then launched their boat for a regular exercise and joined BSAC’s boats for the trip back to Felinheli, where the vessels were recovered before the tide got too low.

Rhys PlemingMenai Boat Run 2024
Dave ParryMenai Boat Run 2024

Dave Parry said:

This year’s Menai Boat Run was a great day for everyone - and the boats had a good pre-season workout of at least 30 miles as well!
Boat Handling SDC course

Boat Handling Course

This practical boat-based course gives each student time at the helm of a small dive boat to practise their skills. Open to anyone over 14 years and non-divers too.

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