Catapult Nationals and Bala Gala
Bala Catamaran Club: Saturday to Monday: 1st-3rd July 2017


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 We'll head again for the Wild West (of Wales) for our annual Bala Gala with excellent sailing in the beautiful surroundings at Bala, but with Bala Sailing Club as a new host for the TT racing.

 The traditional Catapult campsite be at the Pant-yr-Onnen site alongside the Bala Catamaran Club (photo below) and fun races will go from the beach there on Monday. The Association AGM will be held after sailing on Saturday July 1st.


There will be 6 races for the TT (with one discard coming into operation when 4 or more races have been sailed).

 On the fun side we will plan the Pairs Race, when improvers are paired up with an expert for some on-the-water tips, a Relay Race (always good for a laugh) and a Pursuit Race based on personal handicaps.

 The first start will be at 12.00 on Saturday (briefing at 11.00). Racing is not obligatory, and you can be as laid back or as competitive as you want.

 The entry fee for the weekend is expected to be £55 (including the CCA levy).



SAILING PROGRAMME:

    Friday 30 June:  BSC open from 12.00 for assembly of boats

     Saturday 1 July Bala Sailing Club

          10.00 Ė 11.00 Registration
                         11.00 Briefing
                         12.00 TT Race 1
                         tba TT Race 2
                         tba TT Race 3

                        17.30 (approx) Pant-yr-Onnen campsite Annual General Meeting

                        19.30 (approx) Social gathering: bring-your-own food and drink OR please yourself

   Sunday 2 July Bala Sailing Club

                       11.00 TT Race 4
                           tba TT Race 5
                           tba TT Race 6

                           tba TT Prizegiving 17.30 (approx)      Sail in company to Pant-yr-Onnen campsite

                          19.30 for 20.00 Evening meal at the Bryntirion Inn, Pale, Llandderfel

   Monday 3 July Pant-yr-Onnen campsite

                           10.30 Relay race
                           11.30 Team Race
                           12.30 Pursuit Race (based on personal handicaps)

                           13.30 Prizegiving (TT and Handicap Series leaders plus fun races)

 

SAILING AT BALA   

   Bala is a wonderful place for sailing Catapults. Our host club this year, Bala Sailing Club, is at the NE end of the lake, just outside Bala town, where the lake widens. There are steep hills to the south but breezes from other directions should be unobstructed.

   At the campsite where we have usually sailed, there  is wide grassy area to rig Catapults and leave them overnight (photos below) The grass area is beside shingle  beaches (above) with ample room to launch and to pull the boats up between races.


 This year we will share the event with the Tinker Tramps, another long-established inflatable sailing class, but at the other end of the speed range! (A Tramp holds the Round-Sheppey Race record of over 10 hours.)
  

catapult catamaran fleet at Bala

Above: looking NE to the top of the lake

           
 
Right: The Bala Cat Club start and finish is from the spit and beach where the lake narrows halfway up----a good position for watching and relaxing

        (Click for Reports 2008 and Bala Gala 2009 and 2010 and 2012 and here for 2013, and Bala Gala 2014)

 

THE SOCIAL SCENE

On the Saturday evening we will congregate back at the campsite, where Rob Baker will get out his tent, awnings and gazebo, so we can socialise around a b.y.o. meal.

 For Sunday, the Catapult contingent will head off again for the evening meal
at Bryntirion Inn at Llandderfel, known to be good from past Bala Galas.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


For those of you that want to have your say at the AGM or just listen to whatís happening in the Association, this will be held at 1730 on Saturday evening in the BSC clubhouse.

 The AGM agenda and call for nominations and proposals have been issued. All members are welcome to attend

 

 
Accommodation

 
 If you haven't fixed up your camping yet with a pitch in the "Catapult Village" at the Bala lakeside campsite (or other accommodation)  you would be well advised to book early, as even though the Gala falls outside school holidays this year, Bala is a popular holiday venue.

  The Campsite next to the Cat Club is called Pant-yr-Onnen and has a website at www.balacamping.co.uk (01743 718283). Ask for a pitch near the Cat Club.


  
If camping is not your thing, then there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs in Bala and surrounding villages, because this is a major centre for touring Snowdonia and the rest of North Wales.Tourist information is on 01678 521021, or there are lots of websites offering accommodation in the area (eg www.stayinwales.co.uk or www.gonorthwales.co.uk). Again get yourself booked in early to avoid disappointment.


  Directions
 
  The campsite is situated on the south side of Lake Tegid (Bala Lake) near the hamlet of Llangower, and Bala Sailing Club is close to Bala town at the NE end of the lake.

 From the main crossroads at the eastern end of Bala's main street take the B4391 heading south. After crossing the north eastern end of the lake turn right on to the B4403. Bala Sailing Club is immediately on the right.

Follow the B4403 further for about 2.5 miles, look out for the club sign on the right that takes you down a track over a humpback bridge into the camp site. Turn right through the campsite and the Club is at the far end.

The drive to Bala from Llangollen is very attractive, high in the Dee valley. An alternative coming from the south or east (taking no longer) for a "Wales experience" is turning off the A5 a bit after Shrewsbury onto the B4396 signposted through Knockin (and yes, the General Store there is called the Knockin Shop, boom-boom) to go  through Llangynog on the B4391, into soft Welsh countryside until climbing from Llangynog high in a steep valley, out onto moorland, before descending quickly to Bala.



Make a holiday of it

Many members turn this event in to a great holiday by extending their stays before and after the weekend and taking the opportunity to tour the magnificent
Snowdonia National Park. If youíre particularly energetic, in addition to the great walking there is excellent mountain biking in the Coed-y-Brenin Forest or white water kayaking at the National Whitewater Centre above Bala Town.

Into steam trains? For the kids there is the narrow gauge steam railway that runs along the lake right past the Cat Club, and slightly further afield there are the Ffestiniog and Talyllyn narrow gauge railways and the recently opened Welsh Highland line from Portmadog to Caernarvon.

These lines form part of North Wales's industrial heritage. If you want to learn more about one of the area's most famous exports, then you can go down a slate mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog. What's more the Guardian recently featured how Blaenau Ffestiniog has developed a number of other tourist attractions including a hair-raising zip slide!

How about castles? There are more than you can shake a stick at: Conwy, Penrhyn, Caernarvon, Beaumaris, Cricceith, Harlech and many more.

If you are a garden fanatic, then the world famous Bodnant Gardens near Conwy are within easy reach. hen there are the fabulous beaches generously spread around Cardigan Bay, the Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesey. Or how about a stroll through the italianate streets of Portmeirion famous for its pottery and being the scenic backdrop to the 60s hit series the Prisoner?

This is the venue that has everything: fabulous surroundings and great sailing. It is the high spot in the Catapult calendar, so don't miss it!