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RS100 Open meeting at Bala SC

by Mark Harrison on 28 Aug 2014
RS100 Open meeting 2014, Bala Bala SC
Ten RS100s gathered at Bala, from as far as Port Dinorwic, Windermere and the Isle of Wight to be confused and baffled as the wind blew or rather wafted from the NW, the sort of direction that gives a Race Officer nightmares.

The first race started with the beat turning swiftly turning to a reach, then most of the remaining legs also having a reach in at some point. Al Hall apparently won the pin but then suffered badly from the same wind shifts and gusts that everyone else had to deal with and tumbled down the results. Huw Powell found his way up the first leg closely followed by Al Dickson in a mildly simmering pursuit. Despite the wacky winds' efforts, these two positions stayed the same to the finish. Behind them Mike Adams, Greg Booth and Mark Harrison continued to swap places around a now fetching course as the wind moved through 60 degrees finally finishing the order above.

Race 2 started with Mark over the line and returning, while Al Hall shot off in to the lead never to relinquish despite the 70 degree wind shifts and strength varying between F1 and 3. Al D followed Aled Goddard around snapping at this heels right until 200m from the finish when he capsized to windward so not to embarrass his coach and mentor Al D who was allowed to sail into second place, followed by Huw. The now upright Aled followed with Mark and James Neild in sixth.


For the third race the Race Officer moved the wind ward mark 40 degrees to port only for the wind to move back to the right again (ah bless the poor Race Officer), and in the end he just had a stab at the mean wind direction, which had been moving through 152 degrees (Kate’s observation) in a seemingly random fashion.

The start took place in the middle of a big right shift with Al Hall just nailing a port tack start, while Huw sailed into oblivion trying the same but failing.

Mark hit the front after a lucky first run, where he sailed from fifth to first to leeward of the fleet with the gods on his side. However, the gods returned in the shape of an angry Merlin Rocket which ignored Marks' hails and attempted to sail Mark off to the wrong side of the course much to the relief of Al D who had managed to stretch out a healthy lead.

Al then extended his lead with a lucky break up the second beat with the pack following.

Al finished first, followed by Mark and Aled and James, leaving Al D in a clear lead overnight on 5pts followed by Huw and Mark on 10pts.

Sunday dawned sunny and calm, with a postponement, which ended with a WSW breeze filling in and the racing starting at 1pm.


Al H and Mike stayed out on the left of the first beat, and took a large left shift to tack on to the port lay line and round the first mark clear head of the chasing pack of Mark, Al D, James and Greg. Mark then sailed himself towards the back down the run then compounded things by brushing his spinnaker across Al H’s back as he was beating upwind and taking a penalty, then missing out the finish gate, and finally retiring after finishing when he realised that the one turn penalty was not enough. Back to the race, Al D slowly caught up the leading pair, and wrestled second off Mike just before the finish, leaving Al H to take the gun and James in fourth.

Race 5 started in about six knots which dropped to about two for 30mins and then a line of breeze (the Bala 'Bora'?) of eight knots spread across the lake from the SW, all of which led to James having a nerve racking race as he tried to protect his lead from the ever consistent Al D, who again took the lead on the last run, with David Jarrat taking third after a close race with Al H, Greg and Mark.

The final race started without Gavin or Huw who took the opportunity to score family points with Lucy, Thomas and Fletcher. Al H and Mike again went hard left, ignoring the small shifts, but the big shift never came leaving them too far behind to recover. James again led round the windward mark, followed downwind in about 12knots of wind by the rest. Mark took the lead on the last beat from Greg and held on to the lead, with a lot of place changing and shouting round the last buoy and the 100m to the finish as a result David took second followed closely by Greg. Aled retired after the finish after some very questionable tactics with Al D on the last mark rounding, as well as getting tangled up in a starboard Supernova who also joined in the fun in the 50 meters to the finish. All this left Al D a convincing event winner followed by Al Hall, Mark and James within three points of each other, then another very close group of five all within five points of each other.


Rank HelmName Club SailNo R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
8/23/2014 ####### ####### 8/24/2014 ####### 8/24/2014
1st Alistair Dickson PDSC 410 2 2 1 1 1 -4 11 7
2nd Al Hall Longshot 480 -8 1 5 2 4 6 26 18
3rd Mark Harrison Gurnard 379 5 5 2 (11.0 DNF) 6 1 30 19
4th James Neild RWYC 231 -6 6 4 3 2 5 26 20
5th Greg Booth Port Dinorwic 428 4 -9 7 6 5 3 34 25
6th Huw Powell Plas Newydd 240 1 3 6 5 (11.0 DNF) 11.0 DNC 37 26
7th Aled Goddard Bala 395 7 4 3 7 7 (11.0 DNF) 39 28
8th David Jarrat Llandegfell 369 -9 7 9 8 3 2 38 29
9th Mike Adams Bexhill 159 3 -8 8 4 8 7 38 30
10th Gavin Benbow Leigh & Lowton 454 10 10 (11.0 DNF) 9 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 62 51
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