RS400 Rope4Boats Northern Tour at the Bala SC Long Distance Race and Great British Sailing Challenge – 22/23 June 2019
“Catch us if you can!”
The RS400 Northern Tour ventured to Bala SC in North Wales for the first time as entrants in the Long Distance Race Great British Sailng Challenge weekend. This was a combination of a mammoth long distance race on the Saturday and 3 races on the Sunday - it made for a great event.
Saturday came and brought light, fickle and challenging conditions for the Long Distance Race. Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop (Leigh and Lowton SC) set established a good early lead up the first leg but as the race went into the second lap there were several changes of lead – Caroline Exley and Andy Dawson (Leigh and Lowton SC) and John Heissig and Nickky Griffin (Llangorse SC), followed by Dave Exley and Nigel Hall (Leigh and Lowton SC) who snook down the windward bank in the light airs and held off the Heissig’s to the end to take the eventual first place honours. There were lots of place changes with close racing and a few impressive 360 degree turns in the changing winds - tacking and gybing with the kite up by a few of the boats on several occasions! After 3 ½ hours of racing, the top 6 places were separated by no more than about 5 minutes.
Saturday evening’s entertainment was a great BBQ hosted by Bala SC followed by a band ‘FaceValue’ who got the dance floor moving with most of the 400 fleet dusting off their dancing shoes for some fun.
Sunday racing again saw a good, and more consistent, force 2 gusting 3. Catchpole/Coop combo winning races 2 & 3 with Pickles/Lunn second in race 2, Exley/Dawson second in race 3. Before the final race anyone of 4 boats could have come out as the overall winner; however Catchpole and Coop had made it too difficult to be caught, with an impressive net point score of 5 points across the 4 races.
Overall results were 1st Catchpole/Coop (5pts), 2nd Pickles/Lunn (8pts), 3rd Heissig/Griffin (9pts)
The Rope4Boats £20 voucher was won by Chris Pickles and the £10 voucher was won by Graham Tullett.
The next event on the Rope4Boats Northern Tour is the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater YC on 6/7th July, which already has 34 RS400s entered!
Report by Caroline Exley
Photos by Tim Olin. (www.olinphoto.co.uk)
Great British Sailing Challenge: http://www.sailingchallenge.org/eventsites/new.asp?eventid=213465
Bala SC report