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Rope4Boats RS400 Northern Tour at the Bala Sailing Club Long Distance Race

by Caroline Exley 26 Jun 21:45 BST 22-23 June 2019
Caroline Exley and Andy Dawson downwind in the Bala Long Distance Race 2019 © Tim Olin /

"Catch us if you can!"

The RS400 Northern Tour ventured to Bala SC in North Wales for the first time as entrants in the Long Distance Race, part of the Great British Sailng Challenge. This was a combination of a mammoth long distance race on the Saturday and three races on the Sunday - it made for a great event.

Saturday came and brought light, fickle and challenging conditions for the Long Distance Race. Richard Catchpole & Gary Coop (Leigh and Lowton SC) set established a good early lead up the first leg but as the race went into the second lap there were several changes of lead - Caroline Exley & Andy Dawson (Leigh and Lowton SC) and John Heissig & Nickky Griffin (Llangorse SC), followed by Dave Exley & Nigel Hall (Leigh and Lowton SC) who snook down the windward bank in the light airs and held off the Heissigs to the end to take the eventual first place honours.

There were lots of place changes with close racing and a few impressive 360 degree turns in the changing winds - tacking and gybing with the kite up by a few of the boats on several occasions! After 3 half hours of racing, the top 6 places were separated by no more than about 5 minutes.

Saturday evening's entertainment was a great BBQ hosted by Bala SC followed by a band 'FaceValue' who got the dance floor moving with most of the 400 fleet dusting off their dancing shoes for some fun.

Sunday racing again saw a good, and more consistent, force 2 gusting 3. Catchpole & Coop combo winning races 2 and 3 with Pickles & Lunn second in race 2, Exley & Dawson second in race 3. Before the final race anyone of four boats could have come out as the overall winner; however Catchpole and Coop had made it too difficult to be caught, with an impressive net point score of 5 points across the four races.

Overall results were first Catchpole & Coop (5pts), second Pickles & Lunn (8pts), third Heissig & Griffin (9pts) The Rope4Boats £20 voucher was won by Chris Pickles and the £10 voucher was won by Graham Tullett.

The next event on the Rope4Boats Northern Tour is the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater YC on 6/7th July, which already has 34 RS400s entered!

Great British Sailing Challenge:

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1396Richard CATCHPOLEGary COOPLLSC311‑75
2nd1283Chris PICKLESMark LUNNBassenthwaite SC42‑628
3rd1454Jon HEISSIGNicky GRIFFINLlangorse SC23‑749
4th1460Dave EXLEYNige HALLLeigh and Lowton SC145‑610
5th1461Caroline EXLEYAndy DAWSONLeigh and Lowton SC653.5‑814.5
7th1191Louise MCKEANDMartin SPENCERLeigh and Lowton sailing club5138‑1426
11th1277Graham TULLETTNatasha LISTERRoyal Windermere YC21‑1210940
15th505Richard BRAMELDTodd BRAMELDWelton2215‑161552
16th1306Julian MECKLENBURGHClaudio MECKLENBURGHLeigh and Lowton Sailing Club201421‑2555
53rd1467Paul RIDGWAYBronwyn RIDGWAYLeigh and LowtonDNC(DNC)DNCDNC186

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