Consistency was a rare commodity at Northampton Sailing Club for the annual Lark Winter Championship, both in terms of the gusty breeze and the results, with 5 different race winners across the weekend. There were a fantastic 40 entries in total.
Justin Jones & Lucy Evans made the best start from the heavily port biased line. Chasing hard behind were Chris Whitehouse & Chris Robinson, James Stewart & Alex Jackson and Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle. Alan & Edd managed to sneak in to the lead on the second beat to win narrowly from Justin & Lucy with Chris & Chris 3rd.
Chris Fish & Beth Condie sailed into the distance in race 2, Justin & Lucy were at the front again and finished a comfortable 2nd. Emma Harris & Becky Priest worked their way through the fleet to finish 3rd. Meanwhile floundering hopelessly with their spinnaker entwined with the spreaders after messy capsize, Alan & Edd provided amusement for the passing fleet and spectators alike.
Chris White & Ed Bradburn made an awesome start to race 3 and sailed impeccably to take an extremely comfortable and thoroughly deserved win. Steve Hall & Simon Haighton and Smashie Bennett & Nicola Booth battled tooth and nail all the way for 2nd but with them focusing on each other Alan & Edd pinched a fortunate 3rd on the final reach pushing Smashie and Nicola down to 4th.
Saturday night saw the end of year prize giving, dinner and dancing to Superfly. Team Waldringfield might have won the club trophy but Team South Staffs won the dance off! Geoff Mayhew won the Duckhams for arriving at the sailing club without the keys to the boot of his new truck and having to hacksaw his way in to rescue his sailing kit and new puppy.
Smashie had tried to convince everyone there wouldn't be any sailing on Sunday and to make the most of Saturday night. The wind was actually lighter than forecast and more sailors made it to the water than normally turn out for the Sunday - maybe because it wasn’t snowing this year. The wind got up and the racing was exciting. Smashie had obviously not been following his own advice as he stormed into the lead in race 4 and held the lead until the finish. Alan and Edd were 2nd having managed to get past Chris and Beth late on.
By the final race the breeze had built significantly. Harry Pynn and Tim Linsell took the lead on the second reach and held it till the end. There was a lot of capsizing behind them but Steve and Simon recovered the quickest to take 2nd and Alan and Edd 3rd, and with it the overall title.
Thanks to Northampton Sailing Club for yet another excellent weekend and to the Lark Committee for all their work throughout the year.
Overall 1st Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle 9pts
2nd Justin Jones and Lucy Evans 15pts
3rd Harry Pynn and Tim Linsell 17pts
4th Chris Fish and Beth Condie 20pts
5th Steve Hall and Simon Haighton 20pts
6th Richard Bennett and Nicola Booth 21pts
Silver fleet 1st Will Croxford and Chris Warbaton
2nd Chris White and Ed Bradburn
3rd Alistair and Bernadette McMillan
Bronze fleet 1st John White and Rob Woodward
2nd Spanni Archer and Karen Jewkes
3rd Eluned Jones and Millie Parsons
Full results can be found at on the Northampton website and pictures from Saturday can be found at Chunkypics.