Short Course Championships Report

Steve Cumley - 26th August 2004

On Aug 21 and 22 the Lark fleet convened at Stewartby Sailing Club for their inaugural short course championship. The event was sponsored by Berkeley & Co Ltd, promoting their new range of finished products for the Outdoor and Leisure Markets.

During the first day boats were divided into one of 6 pots with each pot racing once against the other pots. Two windward, leeward courses were run simultaneously to allow 15 races to be completed so that at the end of the day the boats could be divided into gold, silver and bronze leagues. The prize for the best boat after day one went to Mark Ampleford/Lee Nankervis with four firsts and one third from Jon Lewis/Milly Parsons who had four firsts and one third.

Day 2 started with some sore heads and the silver fleet racing with the aim of being promoted to the gold fleet by winning the race. Dan Smith and Amy Richardson led early on but Smashie and Jennie Bennett crept through on the last beat to take the victory. The gold fleet then raced with the bottom two being relegated into the silver fleet. Two further rounds of the same snakes and ladders format saw Paul Gardner/Katharine Sampson promoted with a very narrow victory over Geoff Mayhew/Kim Lamb, And Bob Suggitt/Hannah Mayhew demoted, but then immediately promoted in the next race by sneaking past Ampleford on the last run.

The event was decided with single race finals for the silver fleet first, and then the gold fleet second. Ruth Johnson/James Stewart held the early lead in the silver final but let through Ampleford, Chris Fish/Helena Fitch and the Biglins who went on to finish in that order.

In the gold final Jon Fish/Nat Bannister led around the windward mark with Lewis attacking hard; and further back Simon Cox/Anna Hotchkiss defending Suggitt and Bennett. In the end the pressure was too much and Lewis/Parsons slipped through after Fish touched the windward mark and went on take the victory from Fish in second and the Bennetts third.

Special mention should go to Nigel and Anatonia Steer and Pat Jones and Sandy Lavelle who brought there vintage Larks and demonstrated that despite their age they are still incredibly competitive. The LCOA would like to thank Stewartby SC for hosting the event and all of the LCOA members that assisted in putting the event together on and off the water.

Gold Fleet

1 Jonathan Lewis and Milly Parsons
2 Jon Fish and Natalie Bannister
3 Smashie Bennett and Jennie Bennett

Silver Fleet

1 Mark Ampleford and Lee Nankervis
2 Chris Fish and Helena Fitch
3 Ben and Anne Biglin

Bronze fleet

1 Ben and Anne Biglin
2 John Crooks and Toby Tracey.

Vintage boat

1 Nigel and Anatonia Steer