Glorious sunshine greeted the 21 Lark sailors that had made the trip to Thorpe Bay. After a short postponement for the wind to arrive, the first start got away after the customary general recall.
First out of the blocks were Ross Kearney and Alison Dart making the most of the shifts up the beat, closely followed by the Steve and Nicola Cumley and Dan Watson with new crew Sara Cox-Olliff. The adrenaline must have got to the leader Ross Kearney as he was seen taking a pee over the side down the 2nd reach! He was later overtaken up the following beat by Dan Watson who went on to take a well deserved race win.
Race 2 saw the breeze begin to build, Harry Pynn and crew Michael-John Gifford sailed well to take the win, closely followed by defending Lark National Champion Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle. New pairing James Stewart and Katrina Gilbert took 3rd place.
By the third race of the day the tide had turned and the sea state began to get a little choppy, with the changing conditions keeping the sailors on their toes. Steve Hall and Simon Haighton found their form rounding the windward mark first and extending their lead to take the final bullet of the day. This season sees Simon Cox team up with old crew Adam Owens for another shot at the Nationals, the pairing sailed well to take 2nd in the race, with Harry and Michael-John taking 3rd place.
Saturday evening saw the Lark sailors take on the Cadet sailors, with whom they were sharing the event, in what can only be described as an epic match of rounders! The competition was close fought but the Larks pulled out all the stops to clinch the series 2-1.
Sunday morning dawned a little breezier than the previous day and once again the sun was shining. The first race of the day saw Simon Cox first round the windward mark but a collision with the leeward mark saw him spinning and allowed Steve and Simon through to take the win. Simon and Adam finished 2nd and Emma Harris and Becky Priest seized 3rd.
The wind built for the start of the second race which saw Alan and Edd capitalise on a right-hand shift up the first beat to take the lead which they held until the finish. There was much changing of places down the final run of a shortened course but Harry and Michael-John came through to take 2nd place with Steve and Simon in 3rd.
There was all to play for going into the final race of the weekend with only 3 points separating the top 3 boats. The breeze built again for the 3rd race ensuring the sailors were tested in all conditions before heading off to the Nationals in 2 weeks time. Harry and Michael-John lead for the majority of the race but were eventually passed to leeward down the final reach by Steve and Simon to take the race win and the open meeting. Harry held onto 2nd and Alan and Edd took 3rd.
The final race results reflected the top 3 finishers overall with Steve and Simon 1st, Harry and Michael-John 2nd and Alan and Edd 3rd. Dan and Sara beat James Ward and Katie Haighton on count back to be the first Silver fleet boat overall and newcomers to the fleet Will Kennedy and Tim Linsell sailed an impressive series to take the bronze fleet win.
A big thank you must go to the organisers and race committee at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club for a great weekend’s sailing, we look forward to returning in future years!
1st 2523 Steve Hall & Si Haighton, Northampton 11pts
2nd 2452 Harry Pynn & Michael John Gifford, Waldringfield 14pts
3rd 2521 Alan Krailing & Edd Mcardle, Waldringfield 14pts
4th 2311 Emma Harris & Becky Priest, Waldringfield/Cotswold 25pts
5th 2443 Simon Cox & Adam Owens, Waldringfield 30pts
6th 2496 Steve Cumley & Nicola Cumley, Barnt Green 31pts