Paul and Mike Allen win RS400 Northern Open

RS400 Northern Circuit event
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Paul Allen and Mike Allen were the winners when Bala Sailing Club welcomed RS400s over the Easter weekend for round two of the Northern Circuit, sponsored by Purple Marine.

As forecast Saturday was a wash out with gales and snow giving the race officer no choice but to abandon for the day. However undeterred by the freezing water and white topped waves, Dave Jones and Roger O’Gorman went out for a blast.

The results of this can be found on Youtube –

Saturday evening was spent in The Goat on Bala High Street. With most of the 400 fleet taking over the dance floor (and the DJ box!) for some wild dancing the locals could only sit and watch in amazement as some of the team danced round semi naked.

Sunday dawned cold and windless but the race officer was determined to go at 10:30am, and what a good call it was with a force 3-4 arriving just in time. After a general recall race one began with Dave Jones and Roger O’Gorman being called over allowing Paul and Mike Allen to lead around the windward mark with Richard Marsh in close pursuit. The Allen’s slowly pulled away as Dave Jones battled with Richard Marsh and Sam Parker/Elaine Marsh for second place. Sam eventually finished second followed by Richard in third and DJ fourth.

Race two began is similar breeze with Dave Jones leading around the windward mark with the Allen’s just behind. The Allen’s got tangled with a back marker allowing Jones some space to breathe, which he made the most of winning the race by a big margin. Allen’s finished second with Howard Farbrother and Jude Pryde a close third.

After a short break for lunch, and an opportunity to warm up race three began in slightly less breeze. The Allen’s lead from the windward mark and won the race giving them the event. Behind, a four boat battle began with Howard Farbrother making the most of a big right shift to round the first leeward mark second with Dave Jones and Richard Marsh nipping at his heels. The battle continued throughout the race with Richard Marsh eventually claiming second followed by Dave Jones.

Race four began in less breeze with big shifts and a course change adding tot he mix. After a complicated start Sam Parker and Elaine Marsh managed to squeeze through on port and lead out to the right hand side of the course. The windward mark was set under a mountain (or hill depending on where you are from), giving patchy breeze on the lay line.

Sam Parker rounded first with the Allen’s, Richard Marsh and Dave Jones rounding together just behind. Dave Jones gybed first and led out to the left followed by the rest. As in the last race Howard Farbrother gained significantly downwind as the leading five boats rounded the leeward mark in one pack.

Richard Marsh headed out right, loosing massively when the breeze shifted allowing the Allen’s to lead round the windward mark with Dave Jones a boat length behind. The Allen’s out slightly on the down wind leg to take first place followed by Richard Marsh in second and Dave Jones third.

Overall an excellent weekend in Bala with thanks to Dave Eccles and team for great race management. The RS400 Northern Tour continues at Pwllheli SC on 24/25 May.

RS400 - Final results
1. Paul Allen & Mike Allen
2. David Jones & Roger O'Gorman
3. R. Marsh & J. Martigan
4. Sam Parker & Elaine Marsh
5. Howard Farbrother & J. Pride
6. A. Rose & Y. Rose
7. D. Muir & L. Muir
8. S. Woodcock & T. Cliff
9. B. Kenyon & B. Ditchburn

Thanks to Andy Homer for pictures and video footage.