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MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90

Light and bright for this weekend's Bala Long Distance Race

by Andy Rice 20 Jun 07:50 BST 22-23 June 2019
Bala Lake - Llyn Tegid © Tanya Dedyukhina

It's not exactly been 'Flaming June' this year, but finally the weather is warming up in time

It's a light and sunny forecast for this weekend's Bala Long Distance. Online entry closes on Thursday night, although you can still enter on the day for a higher fee. Better to enter now though at www.sailingchallenge.org

Taking place on 22 & 23 June, there's an eclectic mix of dinghies, multihulls and sportsboats gathering for the event, which comprises the long distance race up and down the 3.5 miles of Bala Lake on Saturday, and Sunday's three back-to-back handicap races.

Among the more unusual entries are Dan Partington's Weta and Colin and Oly Murray's Norfolk Punt, although the Punt became well known during last season's Selden SailJuice Winter Series when the Murrays showed the fleet around the course on a couple of occasions. The light air forecast should suit them this weekend as they look to take on the other fast boats fleet such as Chris King's Nacra Carbon 20 catamaran.

As well as the lesser-seen classes, there are good entries lining up in the ever-popular RS200 and RS400 fleets which favour Bala as one of their annual 'must do' regattas during the summer season.

Its setting in Snowdonia National Park makes for some of the most spectacular sailing in the country. For the non-sailors in the family there is plenty to do around the lake, including mountain bike hire, stand-up paddleboarding and other watersports. There is also an old steam train that runs alongside the lakeshore and makes for a great way of following the progress of the long distance race. Just 10 minutes away is the town of Bala with a swimming baths to take the kids, and plenty of other activities in this area which is very much geared up to tourism and enjoying the great outdoors.

For Saturday evening, a BBQ is planned for all the competitors and their families, and at 8pm a local live band, Face Value, will entertain everyone as they watch the sun set over the Welsh mountains.

If you fancy a great weekend at the Bala Long Distance, get your entry in ASAP at www.sailingchallenge.org.

Current list of entries here: events.sailracer.org/eventsites/entries-multix.asp?eventid=213465&eid=213687&event=Bala

Events remaining in the series:

Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth - 8 to 10 August 2019
Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club - 17 & 18 August 2019
Grand Finals, Rutland Water Sailing Club - 28 & 29 September 2019

Hang on, but what even IS the Great British Sailing Challenge?

It's a series of handicap racing events that take place throughout the year, and it's open to pretty much any sail-powered craft. The Challenge involve events throughout the whole year, running large regattas at a variety of inland and open water venues. Competing sailors will earn ranking points from each event they compete in, with the top 100 sailors invited to a winner-takes-all-final at Rutland Water in September, a celebration to bring together the best British sailors of the year.

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