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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Robline Craftinsure GP14 Inlands and Masters Championship at Bala Sailing Club

by F Barnham, S Freeland, H & V De 30 May 2022 06:29 BST 21-22 May 2022

Eighteen boats gathered for the Robline Craftinsure GP14 2022 Inlands and Master's Championship, held at Bala SC, the late start Saturday made it much easier for the travellers to get there (which was much appreciated!). The fleet consisted of 15 Masters helms and 3 who were yet to reach 40 years old and qualify.

The Inlands were preceded by a fantastic day's training with Mike Senior, 16 sailors picked his brain ready for the next two days. It was an excellent preparation for the strong winds on Saturday. This training led to a larger bronze fleet than usual. 2 boats had rigging issues and decided not to race but both did go out during the event and practice.

The fleet was met with a good breeze coming directly down the lake, we all knew our legs would be hurting at the end of the weekend.

The weekend was somewhat like Groundhog Day with each race producing pretty much the same result for the gold fleet! It was a great weekend of close racing and testing conditions. The top few boats got away, then six or so of us had some very tight racing, one mistake lost you a handful of places. Some boats chose to goosewing down the long run, this for Sharon and Paul Freeland seemed to be as quick as flying the spinnaker!

In race 1, Nick Craig/Arthur Henderson won the starboard end of the line and made a great start with Ian Dobson/Andy Tunnicliffe close on their tail up the first beat. Dobbo/Tunni showed the fleet how to sail downwind with some very slick boat handling to take the lead and win the race. Hugh Devereux/James Hughes were chasing the leaders in 4th round windward, unfortunately the strong conditions on the 2nd gybe meant a capsize and a long swim to recover. Steve Cooper/ Adeel Khan came through to take the 4th and keep this position to the end.

Race 2 saw Fergus Barnham/ Jasper Barnham get to the front of the fleet (for a brief moment) until a slight boat handling mishap which saw them capsize. The race finished the same way as race 1. After their race 1 dipping Devereux/Hughes erred on the cautious side and the spinnaker stayed in the bag. Not so for Zena Martin and Leanne Pilkington, who flew down the racecourse to claim the silver fleet win in this race. Zena commented at the end of the day, "If I wanted to sail a 2 sail boat then I would have bought an Enterprise!" Meanwhile it was Cooper/Khan who slipped between Devereux and Martin with a wild look in his eye, shortly before being gusted into a huge capsize; admitting later in the bar, there was little control in that moment!

In race 3 the fleet was depleted by a ripped sail, a broken crew or two and everyone's legs were definitely feeling the long beats set out by the race officer... And yes, again the race finished with Dobbo/Tunni in first and Nick/Arthur second. The Barnham duo in third left Cooper/Khan and Martin/Pilkington battled on to take 4th and 5th.

On Saturday evening most of the fleet socialized at the club with another fantastic BBQ and cake, provided by club members. The weather was warm, and we ate out on the patio.

We were all relieved to see that day two brought slightly less breeze but there was rain!

The race officer set a long first beat up the lake. Dobbo/Tunni rounded first with Barnham/Barnham in second. Nick/Arthur seemed to have a challenge at the first windward and Hugh/Dave found themselves rounding in 3rd. Having broken both their crews in the first 2 races, Hugh Devereux and Dave Morris teamed up for day 2. Dobbo/Tunni showed their downwind speed and slipped away to take the win with the Barnham pair in second. Nick/Arthur made short work of passing the Silver fleet boats. The battle for places in the Silver and Bronze fleets was brutal, with each leg seeing multiple place changes, a real game of snakes and ladders. Cooper/Khan took 4th again with Devereux / Morris Sunday was still challenging, and again, some very close racing..

In races 5 & 6 normality resumed with Dobbo/Tunni winning and Nick/Arthur in second. Tomasz Szakola / Chris Lomas started to find their pace, improving their positions to a 5th and a 4th, they got away from the rest of the battling silver fleet and managed to use the clean air to good effect.

Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe took the Inland Championship but unfortunately having to wait a few years to qualify for the Masters this went to Nick Craig giving him his second Championship win of the Season.

It was good to welcome Sharon and Paul Freeland to the championships, they sailed a consistence set of races battling throughout with silver fleet boats (it was noted!) and winning the Grand Master trophy and Bronze fleet.

Steve Cooper (aka the silver fox) and Adeel Khan maintained consistent racing, taking the silver fleet and Great-grand master trophy. Zena Martin & Leanne Pilkington, in their inaugural outing of their new Winder boat, had some teething issues on the Sunday which affected their results.

A big thanks to the race team for an excellently run event, great courses and a prompt turnaround of races.

For the first time in a while, Welsh harp's turn out was beaten by Budworth Sailing club with 4 boats, with Finley Waterhouse as the youngest helm at 15 sailing with his dad, Nigel. So pleased with their sailing this weekend, Nigel has now upgraded his boat!

Thank you to Bala Sailing Club for hosting and putting on an excellent weekend!

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