The 18/19th June saw the 9th round of the Lark Belle Isle Traveller series being held at Felixstowe Ferry. The PRO, with a heat-wave and light winds forecast, knew it was going to be tough to get the 5 race event completed.
A delayed start only increased the time pressures but the 22 larks obliged and got away cleanly. A strong tide and holes in the wind meant the competitors had to keep vigil on the whole course area.
Steve Cumley/Katie Reiss led at the first mark chased hard by Alan Krailing/Rachel Rhodes. After the two reaches the pack rounded the leeward mark, the top 3 tacked off to use the weaker tide inshore, while Lewis/Parsons held on looking for the shifts and slightly stronger wind off-shore. This paid dividends with Lewis/Parsons taking the lead by the windward mark and holding down the run for the win. Cumley/Reiss got second and Krailing/Rhodes held off Nigel Scott/Gill Young for third.
Race Two and Lewis/Parsons won the port biased start allowing them to tack and have the majority of the fleet under control. Dan Watson/ Sarah Ollis and Cumley/Reiss noted the stronger tide and kept hard left giving them 1st and 2nd at the windward mark with Lewis/Parsons 3rd. The places remained static until the leeward mark with Watson/Ollis rounding and holding Port tack. Cumley/Reiss got caught out by the stronger current around the marks causing them to hit it, letting Lewis/Parsons through to second and dropping them to sixth.
Using the 10-15 degree windshift Watson/Ollis stayed on port tack with Lewis/Parsons out-pointing them to creep inside but failing to close the 7 boat length gap. Playing the left Lewis/Parsons got through to lead Watson/Ollis with Cumley/Reiss again heading hard left to regain third.
With sunburn and a severe thirst the fleet were sent home to take advantage of Felixstowe’s excellent hospitality.
Sunday dawned even hotter but with less wind. The fleet launched, slightly sceptical that a race could be completed.
With great determination the PRO got race 3 underway with Lewis/Parsons winning the pin from Steve Dunn/Tegwyn Roberts and tacking first to use the port bias and head offshore to find the even stronger tide!
As Lewis/Parsons were about to tack for the mark, with Emma Harris & Ed McCardle in close company, a rescue rib announced that the race had been abandoned and for the fleet to sail back to the start area.
Easier said than done! One hour later and the fleet were deciding “enough was enough,” the race officer agreed and racing was cancelled for the day.
This left Lewis/Parsons with the win, Cumley/Reiss 2nd and White/Enkel sailing consistently to get a deserved 3rd.