Banbury S C Lark Open 2010

John Billington - 18th October 2010

A small but competitive group made their way to the last of the 2010 Midland & North Region Circuit to be greeted by fair winds and a warm welcome.

With a northerly wind it looked as though it was going to be perfect for a beat up the length of the reservoir. After a clean start John & Sue Billington soon made their way into the lead, which they extended for half the race. Steve & Nic Cumley gradually reeled them in until a luffing manoeuvre resulted in a Billington capsize! Both teams took time to sort themselves out but still ended with the Cumleys in front and the Billingtons second.

After a great lunch the wind had shifted towards the east so a new course was set. The Cumleys were slightly premature off the line and Stuart & Julia Allen and Tony Hotchkiss & Katie Pyle picked the right direction to pull away from the rest. However, eventually the Billingtons caught & passed Tony & Katie but the Allens finished convincing winners.

So any one of 5 teams could win the event depending upon the results in the last race. Black threatening clouds made the start unpredictable and the even line suddenly changed to a huge starboard bias. Graham & Sarah Castle, from the home club, picked the shifts and took an early lead but the other contenders were not far behind. The wind however, became very unpredictable and eventually the Billingtons found the speed and shifts to catch and pass the Castles. Although not far behind the Allens could not catch the two leading teams but Tony & Katie did pip the Cumleys on the line.

A great day of very close racing with 3 different race winners made for an excellent event. The five local Larks seemed to enjoy the visit by other local Larks and it would be nice to think that this could be a regular fixture to maintain the enthusiasm from the Banbury Lark fleet.

Overall: Is this a record! The top four were all married couples and never a cross word….

1st John & Sue Billington.
2nd Stuart & Julia Allen.
3rd Steve & Nic Cumley.
4th Graham & Sarah Castle.
5th Tony Hotchkiss & Katie Pyle.