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40th Bala Catamaran Open at Bala Sailing Club sponsored by GJW Direct

by John Tuckwell on 7 May 29 April - 1 May 2017

The 40th Bala Catamaran open meeting took place over the May bank holiday weekend, 29th April - 1st May. A total of 17 boats entered, an increase of 6 boats, mainly due to the 4 boats which ventured across the welsh mountains from Tresaith Mariners Sailing Club. A very warm welcome was made to boats from Thorpe Bay, Minnis Bay, Datchet, Netley and Weston.

This year the event was being hosted by Bala Sailing Club who broke with tradition and agreed to run the event. This gave the competitors luxuries of changing rooms, catering and bar facilities - something which is not normally available.

The event started early on Friday with on the water training supplied by Paul Wakelin of Fluid Boat Service and organised by John Tuckwell. This was greatly appreciated with everyone involved coming away learning something new.

Saturday racing was dominated by local hero Simon Flack sailing with Ben Harris taking three 1st places in the 4 races. Behind him there was close racing between the two big Carbon 20s of John Tuckwell and Nick Elmore, Tuckwell posting a 2nd, 1st, 3rd and the lottery of the last race with an 11th. Racing was very close with race positions where separated by seconds. Further down the fleet it was good to see the two Unicorns of Steve Pooley and Richard Beke duking it out. Also the two Dart 18s of Barry Peters and Tom Parker broke with tradition and made the journey into the mountains to enjoy close racing.

On Saturday night the competitors enjoyed a hog roast courtesy of the event sponsor GJW Direct which was very well received after a long day on the water.

Sunday came and the forecast was true to its word with the wind swinging to the south and coming over the mountains along with gusts of 30+ knots. This was going to be a challenging day.

The big 20's decided to sit it out preferring watch from the shore. The rest of the fleet ventured into the maelstrom that the lake had become with violent gusts immediately next to patches of no wind. It was nearly un-sailable with only one race being held and won by the Weston boat of Chris King with Flack second and Pete Jones 3rd from Tresaith.

The third day arrived and the wind had moved more to the north and was now coming down the lake, although the strength had reduced meaning the 20's could get back on the water. The first race was won by Tuckwell from Flack in the F18 and Elmore in the other 20 coming in third. The final race was again won by Flack from Elmore and Chris King.

The final results saw Simon Flack and Ben Harris taking first from John Tuckwell and Olly Cornforth second and Nick Elmore and Andrew Wood third. The event was enjoyed by all those that attended with thanks to Bala Sailing Club who hosted a well-run event. GJW Direct were welcome sponsors of the event. Bala Sailing Club will be hosting a Grand Prix style event at the end of the May where dinghies and catamarans will race together.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClassHelmCrewClubSCHRSR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1825F18Simon FLACKJenny HARRISBala Cat Club11‑211‑4216
2nd54NACRA 20 CARBONJohn TUCKWELL Bala Cat Club0.879213‑11(DNC)1411
3rd35NACRA 20 CARBONNick ELMOREAndrew WOODThorpe Bay YC0.879334‑5(DNC)3215
4th316NACRA INTER 20Chris KINGAl RISKWeston SC0.976‑72‑714316
5th750F18Mike CLEAVERAlex CLEAVERBala Cat Club146‑103‑75624
6th1024F18Liz KEMPTONAliceTresaith1‑7554‑66525
7th1085UNICORNSteve POOLEY Bala Cat Club1.175546‑105‑8828
8th1495F18Pete JONESFraser McNeemanTresaith1‑11‑99637732
9th482HURRICANE 5.9SXKevin SKINNERMandy COXMinnis Bay SC118101072(DNC)(DNC)1039
10th7347DART 18Barry PETERSCadan PEARCEDatchet1.2171212‑138211‑1345
11th7644DART 18Tom PARKERTom PARKERNetley SC1.2178‑13‑1299101248
12th358HURRICANE 5.9SXOwen COXOwen COXBala Cat Club1181388‑158‑151552
13th5NACRA 15Paul WAKELIN Mumbles YC19191111‑1311‑121153
14th75SHADOW XJohn HICKMAN Bala Cat Club1.113(DNC)(DNC)1512DNC9963
15th1072UNICORNRichard BEKE Queensmead SC1.175‑141414141013‑1665
16th2132DART 16Tiegan PEARCEEmma PEARCETMSC1.2961515‑1616(DNC)141474
17th387HURRICANE 5.9Suzanne ZWAANSIVIJKGareth THOMASTresaith119161617(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC85

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