Pagham Open Meeting Report

Steve Hall - 22nd April 2008

24 competitors made the trip to the annual Pagham Lark Open Meeting, only to be greeted by surf and bad visibility making launching and sailing almost impossible on Saturday.

Thankfully, Sunday dawned with blue skies and 12-15 knots of breeze to go with the slightly sore heads from the extended evening in the bar the previous night.

Race 1 was started on a pin biased line, with the fleet splitting up the first beat. Steve Hall & Simon Haighton, Simon Cox & Joe Hunt and Nigel Hufton & Ruth Johnson all met at the windward mark at the same time, with Hall & Haighton managing to get above both Cox & Hunt and Hufton & Johnson to lead at the gybe mark. The top two positions remained unchanged through the remainder of the race, with Chris Whitehouse & Jane Alexander coming through to third, and Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones coming through from a bad first beat to finish fourth.

Hufton & Johnson led around the first windward mark in race 2 followed by Cumley & Jones and Hall & Haighton. These positions remained unchanged until Hall & Haighton managed to work through into first place, overtaking Hufton/Johnson on the penultimate reach.

Race 3, Cox & Hunt led round the windward mark followed by Cumley & Jones. Both boats had an impressive lead over the fleet after working the left hand side of the beat. These two boats sailed away from the fleet to leave everyone else fighting for the smaller places, after a long battle Hufton & Johnson took third from Nigel Scott & Rachel Rhodes in fourth.

With three boats still in contention to win the event there was a very tightly bunched fleet at the windward mark; with Hufton & Johnson just taking the lead it was all change on lap two as Hufton & Johnson got the side of a very big left shift allowing Paul Gardner & Alison Dart into the lead from Dave Young & Nicola Attwood. With the shifts getting larger Hall & Haighton managed to work their way back through the fleet to take the lead on the penultimate lap with Cumley & Jones pulling through into second. Hall & Haighton took their third bullet to win the event with minimum points from Cumley & Jones.

The Larks would like to thank Pagham YC for hosting a great weekend both on and off the water. We look forward to returning next year!

Overall Results
1st 2502 Steve Hall & Simon Haighton, Northampton 3pts
2nd 2496 Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones, Barnt Green 7pts
3rd 2500 Simon Cox & Joe Hunt, Waldringfield 9pts
4th 2470 Nigel Hufton & Ruth Johnson, Frensham Pond 11pts
5th 2472 Nigel Scott & Rachel Rhodes, RYA 12pts
6th 2411 Chris Whitehouse & Jane Alexander, Ranelagh 16pts