Bala Gala Fun Races
July 12th

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he Bala SC club again gave great support to Catapult's escaping into lightheartedness, as Ken Hull and his wife managed the starts and records of the traditional Bala Fun Races on Friday. They went off very smoothly (and for fun races, pretty intensely) completing the Pairs, Pursuit, and Relay races.

On Friday, the wind the NNE breeze was light but sufficiently consistent for comfortable racing, except for dead areas up wind where are boats could become briefly motionless.

Three pairs contested the Pairs Race (with pairs balanced by personal handicap, the higher handicap required to finish first) .

 John Terry (with his son aboard as crew and tactician!) with a top handicap encouraged Chris Upton into a good start. However Syd Gage in the next pair came through, with his teammate Alastair Forrest able to drop down and blanket Mike Gough upwind, and then luff him up on the next reach across, letting Syd get away, never challenged round the second of two laps. Alastair could hang back, and use the startboard challenge on the final beat the end as a measure of the rivalry emerging in the fun races.


1st   Syd Gage  and Alastair Forrest )
2nd   Mike Gough and George Evans
3rd    Chris Upton  and John Terry)

In the  Relay, two teams raced a lap of a triangular course, with a wind-shadow at the upwind mark. The light steady breeze in the transfer area meant the baton exchange (footballs in bags) did not produce the usual chaotic mistakes, so that the outcome depended on steady boat speed and a clear approach to the handover.

The average team with a good handover to Syd who built a substantial lead before handing smoothly to Alastair. His final lap looked easy until Mike Gough came steadily up to hailing and threatening distant, only to hit the dead area and leave Alastair to creep back into the breeze and easy run back to the finish to give the team victory.

 John Terry was away first chased closely by George Evans. George's good changeover to Syd Gage let him away well, and Chris Upton, urged on by team-mate John  was caught in dead-wind areathe app wind in the app wind did area coached by John to the mark I said smooth transfer to Alastair (photo) gave him a good lead until he hit the dead area and Mike Gough came up quickly to shout jovial threat, until he too hit the dead spot and Alastair was well away

1st   George Evans, Syd Gage,  and Alastair Forrest )
2nd  John Terry, Chris Upton and  Mike Gough

For the Pursuit Race (with staggered starts from personal handicaps) three groups were away, with a three-minute and then a two-minute gap.

The first pair of Chris and Syd hit light breeze and were only 100 yards away when Alastair Mike and George began pursuit. John Terry two minutes later chased hard but went well left and lost time. George hit a hole in the breeze by foot in length to Alastair closed on Syd and they in turn took Chris down the final reach.  John Terry came up, so that a boat from each group approached the final mark almost side by side, until Syd could eke ahead for the win just ahead of John


1st Syd Gage
2nd Alastair Forrest
3rd John Terry
4th Chris Upton
5th George Evans
6th Mike Gough       

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