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K1 Inland Championship at Bala Sailing Club

by Dave Norris 22 Jul 2016 12:37 BST 9-10 July 2016

With black heavy cloud shrouding the mountains as the fleet approached Bala Sailing Club it did not bode well for the K1 Inland championship. But despite the intermittent rain throughout the weekend it also brought a lively south westerly wind that was to test the competitors throughout the two days.

With three races backed up on Saturday the OOD got the fleet away in lively, if at times variable conditions. The beats proved hard work through a heavy chop that had built up for the full length of the lake, with the downwind legs giving both planning and surfing roller coaster rides. Great fun for all that soon made you forget the rain, or was it just the spray from the surfing rides.

Undisturbed by his current eyesight problem Wiclif took an early lead on the beat in the first race and continued to show his dominance downwind. Close behind him Mike Dean and Mike Commander were having a real tussle and positions changed on a number of occasions during the race. With some spectacular planing reaches the two Mikes fought it out for second and third throughout the race, but with slightly superior downwind speed Mike Dean finished second behind Wiclif with Mike Commander on his transom. Little battles were going on throughout the rest of the fleet but there was never a big spread with all boats finishing very close behind the lead three.

This race set the pattern for the rest of the day with blustery conditions remaining dominant and the lead three boats repeating their performance of the first race. This left the situation at the end of the day with Wiclif McReady carrying three firsts, Mike Dean three seconds and Mike Commander three thirds.

The second day dawned with the same looming grey clouds and a rising wind that threatened to outdo the first day, however the OOD got the fleet away on time with the intention of backing up the last three races. Wiclif once again proved to be the master of the beat establishing an early lead in the first race that was never really threatened throughout the day. The Mike duo once more had a tremendous battle with positions changing a number of times before settling into the same positions as the previous day. Another day of hard demanding slogs up the beat and exhilarating planing reaches with little chance to get one's breath.

The second day proved a mirror image of the Saturday with Wiclif leading the fleet in all races followed home by Mike Dean and Mike Commander and with the wind rising to almost survival levels at the end of the second race, the OOD left the option of holding a third race to the fleet. First second and third positions already established a rather wet and exhausted fleet took the option of abandoning the last race and went ashore happy to reminisce about the high speed reaches and maybe the one that got away.

Final positions gave Wiclif McReady a well-deserved first place and also winner of the Masters trophy, Mike Dean second overall and Mike Commander third. It would not be fair to leave out Alfie Hawksworth who after a layoff of a year came back under very exacting conditions to take fourth place and also win the Grand masters trophy.

On the whole a great, if wet, weekend was had by all.

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