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Plas Menai 2015

Solution Inland Championship at Bala Sailing Club

by Martin Tubb 1 Jun 2017 07:11 BST 28-29 May 2017

As a warm up several of the Solution fleet entered the inaugural Bala Grand Prix on the Bank Holiday Saturday, and by late afternoon were treated to a full on F5/6 windward leeward course the full length of the lake. Several of the other classes turned back, but Kevin and Martin completed two laps at what was a great fun event. Within the Solution fleet, the finishing order was Kevin, Martin and Ross.

Nine Solutions entered the two day Inlands which started on Sunday. The race officer wisely postponed the start on a sunny but still morning, allowing time for boat bimbling, hangover cures to kick in, and a chat with those who wished they still had a Solution. However, as is often the case at Bala, an hour or two later the conditions had changed significantly and following an early lunch an easterly force 3 blew in for 3 back to back races.

The long first beat back towards the clubhouse proved to be key in all the races, setting the pecking order with fewer changes on the off-wind legs. In race 1 after the usual clean start, Christian was first to the windward mark, followed by Ross, who's sense of direction up the beat was far better than his ability to get back from the pub to the camp-site after a few beers. Paul, Martin and Sam rounded in quick succession followed by the remaining pack. Paul had just flown back from a week's yachting in the Canaries and without a crew to assist, mistakes were made allowing Sam to slip past both Martin and Paul, and Paul fell back behind Martin and Kathryn. Peter got the better of Kevin to come home just behind Paul.

Race 2 and the majority of the fleet went right up the first beat but Martin, with Kevin in tow, went left and this proved to be the better option. Martin rounded first, with Christian coming in from the right. Martin held the lead for the remainder of the first lap, before Christian gained the lead on the second beat, and the leading positions remained unchanged, with the ever consistent Sam in third and Kevin fourth.

The wind had swung further left and by Race 3 the start line had a slight port bias. Kathryn and Christian took advantage of this and were both "on" the line as the gun went, with Christian looping back just to be safe. The wind held out and by the end of the one lap race it was the usual suspects at the front, led by Christian and Ross. Paul "Basher" lived up to his reputation and anchored himself and Kevin to the leeward mark, allowing some last minute place changes in the tricky beat up to the finish gate. Newcomer Jonathan "Swifty" lived up to his name and improved throughout the day to finish 6th in the final race.

Bank Holiday Monday dawned after an evening of curry and beer in the clubhouse and heavy rain for those camping. Unfortunately the wind never filled in and by early afternoon it was mutually agreed to abandon sailing with just Sunday's 3 races to count. The Pembrokeshire duo took first and second, with Martin nipping third after a discard from the ever consistent Sam.

Thanks to Bala SC for being great hosts as ever. The next event in the Solution Travellers' series is at Hykeham on 22nd/23rd July.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st459Christian SmartPembrokeshire Yacht Club‑1112
2nd438Ross PrytherchPembrokeshire Yacht Club2‑524
3rd456Martin TubbLeigh & Lowton‑4246
4th450Sam DavyHykeham‑3336
5th455Kathryn ClarkDelph5‑9510
6th458Kevin ClarkDelph‑84711
7th440Paul NixGlossop66‑812
8th415Jonathan SwiftPembrokeshire Yacht Club‑97613
9th436Peter FiskLlandudno SC78‑915