Breezy and shifty conditions met competitors for the Barnt Green Lark Open. The race officer promptly started the racing which caught a number of the local competitors out, namely Bob Suggitt!
Race 1 saw places changing up the first beat with Smashie Bennett / Nicola Booth taking the lead from Ade Padro / Hannah Hydon. Third to round was Stuart and Julia Allen followed by Stuart and Nick Hydon. By the end of the second beat the Hydons pulled up to second behind Padro. A slightly wide gybe and tight spinnaker conditions gave Hydon the advantage with Bennett squeezing through Padro as well. The positions held.
Race 2 began in breezier conditions. It was Bennett rounding first who hoisted early in very windy conditions. Padro sailed up and then went for the hoist which was to prove the better tactical decision although he could not overlap Bennett. Hydon also did an early hoist losing position to Stuart and Charlotte Norris after being blown low off course. The next beat saw Smashie hold onto the left side of the course which proved to be wrong when there was a big shift at the mark. This enabled Hydon to pull through. The positions were Hydon, Bennett and Padro.
The third race was the Trophy Race which saw Padro lead with Bennett and Sam Blocksidge battling for second and third. Hydon again pulled through with Bennett second and Padro third.
If three races were not enough there was that singled-handed race, which despite the conditions saw Suggitt and Hydon duel it out. Both opted for the mainsail only route with spinnakers safely tucked away. At the start both boats started on port with Suggitt trying to head Hydon over the line. With a few seconds to go Suggitt pushed this too far driving himself head to wind and hitting reverse gear! Hydon managed to clear the line maintaining forward motion. Hydon led the race start to finish although Bob made up significant ground at the end.
Open Meeting Results
1st Stuart and Nick Hydon, Shustoke SC
2nd Richard Bennett and Nicola Booth, Staunton Harold SC/South Staffs SC
3rd Adrian Padro and Hannah Hydon, Shustoke SC