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Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

Formula 20 Catamaran Inlands at Bala Sailing Club

by Dave Walker 24 Sep 2001 22:54 BST

22nd/23rd September 2001

Dave Walker & Mike Pearson

Celebrating it's 25th Anniversary, Bala Catamaran Club held its annual Open event over the weekend of Sept 22\23rd. 32 Cats entered the event, which was held over from May due to the Foot & Mouth situation in Snowdonia.

The event was generously supported by Weltec Support Services, Purple Marine and Crew Saver. The event also provided a location for the Inland Nationals for the if 20 Class and Catapults ( separate report)

Racing took a backseat early on Saturday when Ian Kirk ( Bala Cat Club) attempted to "eat his Nacra 6.0" this proved unsuccessful and following a 200 mile round trip to an emergency dentist, Ian re-joined the party later on Saturday evening.

Race Officer Roger Walton was faced with difficult conditions as the forecast promised no wind at all. Despite this gloomy start a light wind from the NW did settle in around lunch time and Race 1 commenced.

The fleet were led upwind by the Inter 20's of Dave Walker, Paul Butler and Ron Bentham, taking advantage of the light conditions, they managed to fly kites on two of the three legs. This proved to dis-advantage the non-kite boats who struggled to generate much downwind speed in the light winds.

Race 1 went to Paul Butler and Simon Lack from Highcliffe SC, Ron Bentham and Martin Stevens Bala CC were 2nd with Alan Hughes and Linda Walker 3rd. First four boats were all Inter 20's with Phil Neal in his new Spitfire claiming 5th.

Race 2 benefited from a steadier wind and again the Inters of Walker, Butler, Findley and Bentham led the charge to the windward mark. Following a close battle, Butler took the race from Dave Walker and Mike Pearson (Bala Cat Club) followed by Bentham and Peter Findlay, crewed by Dave Watkins (Bala Cat Club).

Saturday night saw everyone gathered in the huge Marquee by the lake. Over 80 competitors and friends sat down to a BBQ of industrial proportions, prepared by an army of hard working volunteers.

As this marked the Clubs 25th all previous Commodores were gathered together to enjoy the celebration. John Weir, Colin King, Ian Smith, Dave Park and our current "Boss" Phil Maxted all paid tribute to those who had made the effort to come along. John Weir ( our first member and Commodore) paid tribute to the club, it's friendly atmosphere and obvious success. In a strange world Bala Cat Club manages to field more regular club sailors on an average weekend than many of the South Coast "Cat Hot Spots" despite very modest facilities.

The evening really got under-way when Ron Betham, fired up his Sound System and invited people to join him in a rendition of "the full Monty". All agreed that he looked better with the psychedelic Tights on rather than off!

Back to the racing and Race 3 on Sunday took place in light North Easterly winds. Same names arrived first at the windward mark this time with Peter Findlay heading the pack. Once again the Inter 20 racing was very close with places changing both up and down wind. Chris and Mark Field (Inter18) managed to split the 20's on handicap finishing 3rd behind Findlay and Butler.

Race 4 Saw the first Starboard favored start of the weekend. This led to some serious traffic jams at the inner mark as everyone wanted the same piece of water. Walker and Betham emerged from the pack to take an early lead with Bentham eventually taking the race from Walker by a few yards. On handicap the Field Brothers sailed a great race to spit the two Inter 20's for second place

Race 5 Sailed in dying wind, race 5 was the hardest of the weekend. Huge amounts of concentration and will power were required just to keep the boats moving along. Paul Butler found his own personal wind along the east shore and sailed off into a commanding lead. Behind, Bentham, Huges and Walker chased the Inter 18 of Chris and Mark Field . Following a long downwind duel, Hughes and Field gained the advantage over Walker and Bentham, giving a final finish position of Butler, Field, Hughes and Walker.

So after two hard days the final Award went to Paul Butler and Simon Lack ( Highcliffe SC) Inter 20 with only 4 points on his score card.

2nd Place with 11 points went to Ron Bentham and Martin Stevens ( Bala Cat Club) Inter 20 with Third place going to Chris & Mark Field ( Minnis Bay SC) 12 points and Dave Walker and Mike Pearson (Bala Cat Club) 4th with 13 points. 5th went to Alan Hughes and Linda Walker ( Bala CC) with 18 points. The points situation between 2nd and 5th indicates just how close the racing was.

Overall Results:

1stPaul ButlerSimon LackHighcliffe SC
2ndRon BenthamMartin StevensBala Cat Club
3rdDave WalkerMike PearsonBala Cat Club
4thAlan HughesLinda WalkerBala Cat Club
5thPeter FindlayDave WatkinsBala Cat Club
6thPhil MaxtedCharlie JonesBala Cat Club

Many thanks to all the competitors who joined us, we look forward to seeing you all again at our Open next May Bank Holiday.

More Information:

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