GJW Direct Bala Catamaran Open & Windward Leeward Challenge

A sunny Bala SC welcomed visitors over the Bank Holiday Weekend for the Catamaran and Windward Leeward Opens. With a decent F3 settling in on Saturday morning the weekend’s Race Officers, Don Findlay and John Tuckwell got the racing underway on time. The breeze stuck around and slowly built as the day went on and by race 3 it was pushing into a good steady breeze, giving the Catamarans and Dinghies some Champagne Sailing.

In the Catamaran Fleet, no one could touch the power and speed of the Nacra F20 Carbon, sailed by Peter and James Findlay who went on to win all three races on Saturday. With Simon Flack and Neil Green the closest behind over night with a 4,2,2 on the day chased by the Inter 20 Crew of Dave Walker and Christopher Cooke. Rounding out the Top Four was the very consistent Bala SC Commodore Steve Pooley sailing his Unicorn.

In the Dinghy Fleet, it was Dan Partington sailing his Weta Trimaran who led over night with a 2,1,1, closely chased by the noisy SB20 trio of Ken Hull and the ‘Two Steve’s’. Rounding out the Top Three on Saturday was Oliver Di Bartolo racing his RS300.

Saturday Evening came and with Competitors well ready for the free Hog Roast courtesy of GJW Direct along with some beers and music in the club made for a very nice evening on the decking in the Sun.

Early Sunday Morning Thunder storms and heavy rain meant for a busy galley. After a Bacon Butty and a Strong Coffee, both fleets launched into a nice NE Force 2-3.

GJW Direct Bala Catamaran Open - photo © John Hunter

GJW Direct Bala Catamaran Open – photo © John Hunter

The Race started with Catamarans flat trapezing up to the windward mark, with the A Class Cats of Owen Cox, Mike Allen and Gordon Upton chasing the F20 Carbon round the end of the first beat. With the wind rapidly dropping and shifting 180 degrees it was the Inter 20s turn to chase the F20 Carbon under Spinnaker. With some huge wind shifts the fleet came back together before the finish with the F20 Carbon taking the win in race 4, with Flack/Green (F18) taking 2nd and Walker/Cooke (Inter 20) rounding out the Top 3.

GJW Direct Bala Windward Leeward Challenge - photo © John Hunter

GJW Direct Bala Windward Leeward Challenge – photo © John Hunter

With the Dinghy Fleet also only sailing one race on Sunday it was the SB20 of Ken and the Steve’s that took their 2nd win of the series with Oliver Di Bartolo and his best result of the weekend a 2nd place. Finishing 3rd was another SB20, sailed by Mike Kneale, Cath and Simon.

With the wind not looking like improving the Race Office decided to call it a day.

Overall Results:

Catamaran Fleet
1st. Peter/James Findlay, Nacra F20 Carbon (Bala SC)
2nd. Simon Flack/Neil Green, Nacra F18 Infusion (Bala SC)
3rd. Dave Walker/Christopher Cooke, Nacra Inter 20 One Design (Bala SC)

Peter & James Findlay win the GJW Direct Bala Catamaran Open - photo © John Hunter

Peter & James Findlay win the GJW Direct Bala Catamaran Open – photo © John Hunter

Windward/Leeward Fleet
1st. Ken Hull, Steve Chandler and Steve Williams, SB20 (Bala SC)
2nd. Dan Partington, Weta Trimaran (Bala SC)
3rd. Oliver Di Bartolo, RS300 (Queensmead SC)

Bala SC would like to thank the Race Team, Don Findlay and John Tuckwell, all their Helpers, the Rescue team and the people who ran the Galley for the weekend making it a nice, well run event for all competitors.

Next Bala SC Event: Long Distance/Grand Prix Weekend (16/17th June)