Catapult TT at Bala
July 15th-16th

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2023 Catapult TT at Bala SC


Despite the dire forecast seven Catapults attended the Travellers Trophy event at Bala Sailing Club over the weekend of 15-16 July. However, as rain squalls barrelled down the lake, two decided the conditions did not suit them, so five boats launched for the first race. Unfortunately two did not make it to the start because of technical issues with their boats. That left Gareth and Stuart Ede (who opted to fly his 8m2 sail) and Mike Gough to contest the first race. The conditions were brisk but manageable. Gareth pulled away into an early lead, and Mike stretched away from Stuart downwind. As Stuart rounded the windward mark on lap 2, the cover on his mainsheet shredded and jammed the block, so he couldn't bear away thus ending his race. Mike chased after Gareth, but Gareth built a 40 second lead over the next two laps to take first place.





All the while the wind had been building, and by the time Gareth and Mike started the second race it had reached Force 7. The lake resembled a stormy sea with waves, and the surface was a mass of white horses. Mike was first off the line, however he had brushed the start mark and had to take a penalty turn. Because of moored boats and the proximity of Gareth, Mike delayed this to the downwind leg. Unfortunately the strength of the wind meant tacking was difficult, and Mike ended up in irons mid turn. At this point Gareth took the lead. Over the second lap Mike used his height and weight to power up while Gareth, by far the lighter of the two, went into survival mode, luffing up and spilling wind from the sail. This enabled Mike to close the gap and start snapping at Gareth's heels, leading to a close finish just 5 seconds behind Gareth.

By this time both Gareth and Mike had decided the conditions were too dangerous, and the third race was cancelled.


Alas, racing had to be completely cancelled for the second day, because the large quantity of rain that had fallen during the previous day and overnight had raised the level of the lake, flooding the dinghy park and submerging the pontoons used to launch and recover the rescue RIBs. So those first two races had to constitute the event. Gareth Ede was clear winner of the Travellers Trophy event, while Mike had finished close enough behind him to easily win on personal handicap.


Place Helm Race 1 Race 2 Total points
1 Gareth Ede 1 1 2
2 Mike Gough 2 2 4
3 Stuart Ede DNF 8 DNS 8 16


Place Helm Rating Race 1 Race 2 Total points
1 Mike Gough 880 1 1 2
2 Gareth Ede 790 2 2 4
3 Stuart Ede 890 DNF 8 DNS 8 16

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