An enthusiastic fleet of Larks headed for Plymouth over 8/9 October. Held by Mayflower SC as part of their Final Fling event, the fleet were given ample practice as they reached around The Sound in a torrential rain squall, the committee having delayed the start to avoid a frigate and ferry which finally appeared out of the murk.
The first beat of race one coincided with the rain easing and the wind veering 60 degrees, resulting in a drag race fetch to the windward mark.
Caught on the outside of the shift, Hufton and Whitehouse were lucky to be close enough to the leading bunch to spring a couple of attacks and get into the lead by wing mark. However, early leaders Michael-John Gifford/Katharine Sampson regained the lead on the long one-sided beat to win from Steve Cumley/Rob Marlow.
With the wind shifting more regularly, Hufton/Whitehouse then got the best of the shifts to take races 2 & 3, followed in both races by an in-form Howard Enkel/Micky Wright, but with Dan Smith/Nikki Attwood and the 'Bigun'
Biglins taking third places, respectively.
Sunday dawned with a fresher feel and the fleet headed outside the breakwater. The fleet were reminded why Plymouth is such a great venue, with a Force 4 blowing over a large swell, giving a roller-coaster ride.
Cumley/Marlow took the first bullet of the day, but Hufton/Whitehouse took second, with Steve Chatten/Jane Alexander getting third. Hufton/Whitehouse then got a third win to take the event with a race to spare. Gifford/Sampson took the last race to earn a well-deserved second overall, with Dave Young/Liese Scott-Young in second. Cumley/Marlow finished up third overall, to seal Cumley's win of the 2005 Belle Isle (Travellers) Trophy.
Thanks go to MSC for putting on a terrific event (as ever).
1 2470, Nigel Hufton & Chris Whitehouse, 5
2 2493, Michael-John Gifford & Katharine Sampson, 11
3 2496, Steve Cumley & Rob Marlow, 12
4 2330, Steve Chatten & Jane Alexander, 15
5 2488, Chris & Ann Biglin, 17
6 2497, Dave Young & Liese Scott-Ward