Catapult racing at Lake Bala
The Bala Gala July 23rd-25th 2011

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The unofficial report from the 2011 Grand Bala meeting   Nigel Harrison

  Too much sun, too many competitors, a bit too much whirling around on the dance floor, too many stars under the night sky. How tiresome the Bala meet is becoming!

   The official report will tell you that Paul came first at the Bala TT races closely followed by Alex and Gareth. But I am here to let you in on the unofficial awards:

  The coach and novice race is awarded to Alex for manfully coaching Steve Fenner though his maiden voyage on his Catapult plus first ever sailing race plus first capsize and recovery!

  The new Catapulter award goes to Steve for renovating his old Cat with help from Dave, Paul, John and Jonno and four hulls and getting on the water. I think his coaching trip with Alex saved him about four years of normal learning. He is due to compete at Bridlington so we may have a new racer amongst us.

 The enthusiastic Catapulter award goes to all of us who were there; John, Heather, Paul, Elaine, Dave, Gareth, George and Margaret, Nigel, Stuart, Alex, Alastair, Steve, Steph, Jonno, Brodie, Jed and Tomasina, Justin and Sarah

  John Terry, Chris and Barbara, and Neal your missed a great long weekend!

    (Below: George holds on to his lead, Race 4, with Gareth, Paul and Justin chasing)

   A few facts

    Most of us arrived on Friday and assembled a fleet on 12 Catapults plus various tents and campervans. Fish and chips, beer and camp fire by the lakeside got us in the mood. The Catapult throng converged on Bala for the first Pairs race on Saturday morning.

  Lovely 10 - 12mph winds and sunshine made the following three TT events superb fun and I managed to get some trapezing in. Saturday night was the Ceilidh in the marquee followed by beer by the camp fire.

   Sunday saw another fun relay race followed by serious racing in fresh winds and glorious sunshine. Thank you to George and Margaret for booking the pub.

   Monday winds were disappointing and we drifted and abandoned one race, then managed one slow TT, then packing up, awards and home. A wonderful weekend, I am exhausted, sunburnt and hung-over.

Nigel Harrison

      Below: Race Officer Don Findlay calls the fleet home on Monday as Race 5 dies on the glassy lake

Below: John Pep eases away from Alastair