© Nigel Scott

Orton and Brooks win Lark Hayling Open meeting

Nigel Hufton - 12th October 2009

Lark Open at Hayling Island SC

A Force 4 Westerly wind greeted the 19 Larks who attended the Lark Open Meeting on 11 October at Hayling Island SC.

The event was the day after the successful Lark Masters and while most of the Lark 'Gods' who had sailed in that event preferred to nurse their hangovers, two successful faces from the 80s/90s - Martin Orton and Ian Brooks – were persuaded to join the regular Larkies.

Amazingly, they carried on where they left off, winning the first race in superb conditions from Sarah Richards & Chris Jenkins and Nigel Hufton & Andy Douglas.

In the second race, after showing awesome speed up the first beat of the second race, Orton & Brooks were looking like winning with a race to spare - thereby having a rest from the leg-breaking beats against the tide and awesome 3-sail reaches. However Hufton & Douglas had other ideas and showed great speed down the final reaches to overhaul Orton & Brooks at the leeward mark before the downwind finish. Holly Hewat & Ruth Johnson came in third.

This set up a last race showdown between Orton & Brooks, Hufton & Douglas and Richards & Jenkins. The latter were able to get over to the favoured right side of the beat and led around the first mark with their main rivals chasing through the next bunch. However, in the freshening breeze, the leading boat capsized, with Chris Ellis & Ed Smith now taking their chance from Paul Gardner & Alison Dart. Ellis & Smith dropped back after some unlucky trawler fishing, leaving Gardner & Dart to win the race. While Hufton & Douglas were steadily chasing through the fleet, they were unable to catch the leaders.

So, despite some years out of the boat since their successful campaigns of the 80s and 90s, Orton/Brooks went on to win the event.

Thanks go to HISC for a superb day’s sailing.

1st Martin Orton & Ian Brooks
2nd Nigel Hufton & Andy Douglas
3rd Sarah Richards & Chris Jenkins
4th Chris Ellis & Ed Smith
5th Holly Hewat & Ruth Johnson
6th Hannah Yuill & Jane Alexander