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GJW Direct 2020

Catapult Travellers' Series at Bala Sailing Club

by Alastair Forrest 19 Jul 2017 12:12 BST 1-2 July 2017

Catapult sailing returned to Bala on 1st-2nd July. This year Bala Sailing Club stepped in to host the TT racing, at the top of the lake, with wide sailing water, and breeze from the SW and NE unobstructed.

The club set figure-of-eight courses on Saturday and Sunday to give an excellent mixture of upwind, downwind and reaching legs, all of which could be used tactically.

Saturday's racing started in light or moderate breeze from the WSW, building steadily through the day.

In Race one, tight manoeuvring in the last minute close inshore to gain the port-end advantage saw Stuart Ede away first, until over-standing and a tight pack led by Gareth Ede turned for the series of reaches and runs. The fluctuating breeze down the long cross-lake reach gave big speed differences, and place changes. Gareth Ede stretched out over the second lap to come home a minute and a half ahead of Paul Ellis who in turn had a comfortable lead over George Evans and Stuart Ede,

In Race 2 in building SW wind Forrest and Stuart Ede led away at the starboard end with Gareth pulling out from further down the line. Evans pulled up to battle with Alastair up-wind, and Mike Gough came up in conditions that were becoming tough. Gareth Ede stretched out for a good win over Evans in third, and behind 20 seconds covered Forrest, Stuart Ede and Gough's finishes.

By Race three run back-to-back, the south-westerly was building strongly with steep whitecaps over the lake. Stuart picked the favoured port end start, chased by Gareth and Alastair, these three moving out as the fleet spread out concentrating on surviving.

By the end of first lap, a pitch-pole capsize, and elective retirements cut the fleet, and a final shroud failure left three boats standing, with Stuart Ede ahead of Gough, and Evans surviving for third. The Race Officer reported gusts on-shore over 30 knots, so 35 would be at least the strength out on the lake.

Sunday brought sunshine and a light WSW ample for racing but with big gains or losses in the downwind legs when the breeze arrived or died.

In Race 4, from the port-end start Stuart Ede stretched out with impressive upwind boat-speed, with a front group of Stuart Ede Gareth Ede and Ellis building a good lead. Stuart held on over the two laps for the win by 30 seconds over Gareth. Behind, Ellis was trapped as good breeze died on the run, and a final short beat tight against the shore saw the next five places covered by thirty seconds, Syd Gage taking third ahead of Evans. One minute covered the first seven.

From the Race 5 start, Ellis pointed high to gain and the boats behind then got a big lift, carrying them almost to the top mark. The fleet bunched further in the downwind lulls and gusts, packing around the two downwind marks. Gareth Ede moved out ahead for another win, 30 secs ahead of Ellis and then Evans

Race six started quickly back to back, with a straggling start. On the second upwind leg Ellis and Gareth Ede tacked early to the right out into the lake, with a big gain, fighting their own duel, with Ellis holding on to the win by 10 seconds. Behind, Forrest held on to third, 10 seconds ahead of Stuart Ede.

Gareth Ede again dominated the six TT races, but three helms shared the first places. Gareth keeps a tight hold on the Travelling Trophy overall lead. Mike Gough was an emphatic winner on handicap, able to score 5 first places, displacing Chris Phillips (just, on countback) from the top spot in the Handicap series.

Overall Results:

1stGareth Ede11(DNF)2127
2ndStuart Ede4‑5114414
3rdGeorge Evans32342‑515
4thPaul Ellis210‑1052120
5thMike Gough5426‑7623
6thAlastair Forrest63(DNF)75324
7thSyd Gage76(DNF)36729
8thJohn Peperell810(DNF)88842
9thChris Upton‑10101010101050

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