Sixty-six crews took the start of the fifteenth Three Castles in an increasingly sunny Llandudno on Wednesday June 6th. The first day paid homage to the Touring component of the very first Three Castles, but still packed in plenty of competition including a long regularity section on the Lleyn Peninsula.

Among the scenic highlights were Caernarfon and Criccieth Castles, the high passes of Snowdonia and the Menai Straits.

After early tests at Penrhyn Park and Vaynol and a first regularity Graham Walker and Sean Toohey (Elan Sprint) led narrowly from Dermot Carnegie and Paul Bosdet (Ford Escort). Coffee at the stunning Nant Gwyrtheyrn Welsh Language Centre followed, with crews enjoying the first of a series of great sea views.

Over three more tests and two regularities the two traded places, with Carnegie and Bosdet establishing a slender lead by the end of the day. Best of the rest were Phil Garratt and Dr Kieron Brown in their Triumph Stag, ahead of Walker and Toohey at least while a query was resolved,  followed closely by a gaggle of Cooper S led by Duncan Wild and Steve Skepper, with Hubert and Diane Lynch and Gerry Simpson/Joy Hewson in close attendance, split by Steve Farmer & John Gearing in Steve’s newly acquired and rapid MGB GT V8.

Everyone enjoyed a spectacular lunch beside the sea in Criccieth, at Dylan’s fine café pavilion, and one competitor commented that he would have liked three hours to explore the National Slate Museum rather than the thirty minutes allowed for the day’s tea halt there!

Among less fortunate crews Richard and Sue Boughton spent the morning debugging their BMW after brake and throttle pedal issues, rising up the results thereafter, while several had encountered farm traffic and found the joker system useful! Tony and Piers Covill managed to start one test in their Rolls Royce in reverse, to the brief consternation of marshals nearby!

Provisional results at the end of day one are here.