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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Border Counties Midweek Sailing at Bala Sailing Club

by Mike Allen 19 Jul 2023 06:55 BST 11 July 2023

If you have not heard of this series, it is described on the website as follows: "Inspired by the North West senior travellers series,which we have attended and enjoyed (except for the travelling part) for many years,we have set up a series of races at various clubs throughout North Wales and the Border Counties."

This probably does not do it justice, because what you actually get is a fantastic bunch of people, spanning a huge age range in one of the most diverse cross section of boats we have seen at Bala SC for quite a while!

With 26 boats in 2021 and 2022, it was great to see a small increase this year with 33 boats taking to the start line. Once again, the mix was fantastic with a strong showing of Supernovas, Blazes, Comets, Solos and Lasers. These were complimented by a diverse ticklist of most dinghies you could find on Apollo Duck as well as a couple of multihulls. It was great to see five double handed teams out on the water as well.

Eleven Bala SC members appeared on the signing on sheets with ten also from Shotwick. Winsford pulled in eleven members and representation was also present from Bassenthwaite, Leigh and Lowton and finally Nantwich and Border Counties. A huge thank you to everyone who travelled!

The weather was very changeable but at the start, a SW breeze allowed a perfect set of starting conditions from the clubhouse with about 1/3 of the lenght of the lake being used in the first beat. 3 different courses were used with 2 races taking place before lunch then a final race after. Each race consisted of 2 laps with an average time on water of around 45 to 50 minutes per race so plenty of sailing time for everyone. Fortunately the conditions were not overly challenging and the 3 safety boats had a quiet day with only a couple of people taking a light bath but recovering with no problems to resume their racing. The competitors were also treated to regular fly overs from various aircraft (I assume) from RAF Valley, honestly we did not arrange this in advance but they were great to see!

Previous winners (Dan Partington - 2021 and Peter Coop - 2022) were part of the starting line up with Peter still sailing a Supernova which he had contested the previous 2 years in but Dan moving from from the D Zero he used in 2022 across to a RS Vareo (previously winning in a Laser radial in 2021).

The front of the pack was very tight, mainly consisting of the RS100's, D-Zeros, Aeros and a few Supernovas. With 3 races and 1 discard forming the final positions, Dan Partington (Bala SC) having spending plenty of time getting use to the Vareo this year on Balas waters took a clean sweep of first places to reclaim top spot for 2023. Second place was taken by Paul Allen (Bassenthwaite SC) in his D-Zero with a (14)-3-2 and Peter Coop (Winsford Flash SC) taking 3rd in a Supernova with a 3-2-(5). The final 2 spots in the top 5 were picked up by Andy Todd (Bala SC) in an RS100 and Gareth Williams (Leigh and Lowton) in an Aero 7.

Highest placed junior went to Nayth Kukla (Windsford Flash SC) in his Topper, just pipping local lad Finley Partington (Bala SC) in his Laser radial by half a point! Highest place female went to Dawn Frost who took 14th place overal crewing with Peter Thoms at the helm (Nantwich and Border Counties) in their GP14 also taking first double handed.

As usual, events like this do not arrange themselves and a huge thank-you needs to go out to all of the volunteers at Bala SC for supporting on this event. As well as the Race Control and administration team, it was great to have 3 fully manned safety boats out on the water as well as a busy galley providing hot drinks and breakfast baps at the start of the day.

We hope every attendee enjoyed their day at Bala SC but I think the sound-bite from the series social media page sums it up perfectly...

"Thank you to all the team at Bala for putting on a great day of sailing at Llyn Tegid, great to see so many home boats out hopefully you all enjoyed yourselves. Lots of messages off people saying how much they enjoy your club, lake and hospitality. Thanks again we couldn't put these events on if it wasn't for all the volunteers. Best turnout ever 34 entries (33 sailed) but if you factor in double handers then that goes up to 38 people sailing, not bad for a Tuesday. Thank you all."

Next Event in the series (Number 5) is at Llyn Brenig, Wales highest sailing club let's see if we can beat 34 boats.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stRS VAREO527Daniel Partington Bala SC‑1112
2ndDEVOTI D ONE405Paul Allen Bassenthwaite‑14325
3rdSUPERNOVA1281Pete Coop Winsford Flash SC32‑55
4thRS 100 8.4360Andy Todd Bala SC2‑546
5thRS AERO 71118Gareth Williams Leigh & Lowton SC‑4437
6thRS 100 8.4488Andrew Hodgeson Bala5‑7.5611
7thLIGHTNING 368410Jeremy Cooper Shotwick66‑1112
8thSUPERNOVA1296Eric Haselden Winsford Flash SC8‑11715
9thILCA 7189181Mark Neild Shotwick7‑181017
10thILCA 7198302George Coop Winsford9‑29817
11thSTREAKER1621Paul Newman Shotwick13‑22922
12thSOLO5016Ted Garner Budworth‑177.51522.5
13thCOMET311Stephen Bellamy Winsford Flash SC10.512‑1422.5
14thGP1413813Peter ThomsDawn FrostNantwich & Border Counties10.513‑1923.5
15thSOLO4636Miles Thomas Bala SC1510‑2225
16thSUPERNOVA1241Frank Lafferty Winsford Flash SC‑2091726
17thBLAZE684Martin Clift Bala SC‑19141226
18thMIRACLE3794Simon DolmanJulie DolmanShotwick1215‑2027
19thSTREAKER2165Sandy Mill Winsford Flash SC‑23191332
20thSUPERNOVA1320Philip Watson Winsford Flash16‑171632
21stBLAZE837Ian Ramsey Bala‑26231841
22ndCOMET690Carl Ellis Winsford Flash SC18‑252442
23rdENTERPRISE22688Dave ThomasShan StapleyShotwick SC2121‑2342
24thTOPPER48258Nayth Kukla Winsford Flash SC(DNF)162743
25thLASER RADIAL219391Finley Partington Bala SC24‑312145
26thCOMET705Martin Loud Winsford Flash SC(OCS)202848
27thCOMET900Neil Wallace Shotwick2226‑3048
28thMIRACLE4108Geofrey WeirSarah BellShotwick25‑27.52550
29thBLAZE732John Tuckwell Bala2724(DNC)51
30thALBACORE6673Andy BurfieldJacop BurfieldBala SC‑2927.52653.5
31stSUPERNOVA406James Startk Winsford Flash SC28‑302957
32ndDART 16 CATAMARAN2123David Ansell Bala30‑323161
33rdF101 FOILING TRIMARAN137Steve Pooley Bala SC31‑33DNF64
34thCOMET877Charlotte Coop Winsford Flash SC(DNS)DNSDNC70

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