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Barton Marine 2019 728x90
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RS100 Inland Championships at Bala Sailing Club

by David Smart 22 Jul 17:27 BST 13-14 July 2019

The forecast for the weekend wasn't promising, leading to a number of potential protagonists deciding to stay home to tend the garden.

Nine sailors decided to make the trip to the beautiful Bala lake. The River Dee runs through the lake's deep and clear waters and the narrow gauge Bala Lake Railway runs along its Southern shore to complete the picture perfect setting. However with the Saturday forecast being much better than Sunday, the RO took the clever decision to run four races on Saturday.

The first two races proved to be very light, with Robert Richardson showing a decisive turn of speed to leave the rest of the fleet wanting a hidden propeller to keep up. Mark Harrison was showing consistency behind with a second and third, with Greg Booth showing well in the second race to take second while David Smart took the third in race one. Father Richardson (aka John) was consistent with two fourth places.

After a break for lunch in the club house - Oh how lovely it is to be inland where it is a short hop back ashore - the wind decided to show up for the afternoon. Would the extra wind sort the men out from the boys?

No! Richardson Junior continued to leave the fleet in his wake. (Actually that's optimistic. His wake was long gone by the time the rest of the fleet reached it.) In the last race he even gave the fleet a head start by being OCS, but after the extended four laps, he had made his way through to the front yet again. The rest of the fleet scraped over the minor placings, with Harrison and Smart sharing the second and third places while Booth took two fourth places.

Overnight, that left Richardson Jnr sitting pretty with Harrison ahead of Smart by one measly point with Booth and Richardson Snr also in the running. A tasty barbecue washed down with a few pints helped the evening fly by.

Sunday dawned with a perfect reflection of the far shore across the lake. With 30 minutes to the start, a few zephyrs made their presence felt and the optimistic race officer took the fleet on the water for an 11:00 start.

Unsurprisingly Richardson Jnr took yet another bullet and sped back for an early shower. Booth showed some ability to sniff out the breeze to take second from Harrison, with Andrew Todd showing local knowledge helps by taking fourth.

The final race was all about the rest of the podium. Richardson Snr showed that the winning way runs in the family. While Harrison led at the first mark, Richardson Snr passed him on the first run by NOT flying his kite on the run. Harrison had hoisted, but proceeded to reverse back past the slow approaching Harrison, much to everyone (bar Harrison's) amusement.

It really was a case of sniffing out the breeze, with all the fleet making a showing at some point. Richardson was delighted with his win, followed by Harrison then Booth making a late play of flying past Smart who was marooned at the finish line, also passed by the fats improving Aidan Skinner, with Todd missing out on also overtaking Smart on the line by a hair's breadth.

The Bala team did a fabulous job of entertaining the fleet and the Race Officer worked wonders to squeeze in the full 6 races in some dodgy breeze. Thank you for a fantastic weekend.

Results:

1. Robert Richardson
2. Mark Harrison
3. Greg Booth
4. John Richardson
5. David Smart
6. Andrew Charles Todd
7. John Charles
8. Aiden Skinner
9. Darrell Sleep

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