The Lark open meeting at Waldringfield over the weekend of 29th/30th October attracted a total of 27 boats, with visitors coming from as far as Cotswold and Barnt Green. Racing was scheduled to start at midday on the Saturday although the race officer had to wait a few minutes for the wind direction to settle down before the event could proceed.
Race 1 got underway with a shifty force 2-3 beating against the tide with a tight triangle and sausage course. The race was won by Chris Fish and Beth Condie who pulled their way through from fourth at the first mark to the lead by midway through the race. Second were Emma Harris and Becky Priest with Chris Whitehouse and Ellie Bremer finishing third.
Race 2 followed with slightly more wind. Harry Pynn and Adam Owens took advantage of a shift on the right side of the course to lead from the first mark to the finish building up a commanding lead. Chris and Ellie continued their good form to finish second with Matt and Emma White finishing third.
Race 3 followed immediately with the same course. Steve Hall and Simon Haighton and Matt and Emma broke away from the rest of the fleet with Steve and Simon leading the way. Stephen Videlo and Maddie Harris were able to hold off Alan Krailing and Emma Knott to take third.
Matt and Emma narrowly led overnight with Stephen and Maddie second tied on points and Chris and Beth a point behind in third.
The first race on Sunday was set in a tricky part of the river with strong tide and trees coming into play. The fleet split at the start with Jon Ibbotson and Ally Dart leading the right hand group with Stephen and Maddie coming from the left to slot into second place. Jon and Ally extended their lead throughout the race to win comfortably. Emma and Becky together with Henry Mills and Olli Jones closed down Stephen and Maddie by choosing the correct bank on the second beat then Henry and Olli got ahead by being the first to swap banks after the bend in the river. A close scrap between Emma and Becky and Stephen and Maddie was only resolved within yards of the finishing line.
With plenty of water in the river the final race could be set in more open waters. Harry and Adam lead at the first mark closely followed by Chris and Beth, Jon and Ally and Matt and Emma. On the second reach both Alan and Edd McArdle and Stephen and Maddie gained ground to round the leeward mark in second and third respectively. Although Alan and Edd briefly overtook Harry and Adam they could not maintain the lead and finished second.
Overall it turned out Stephen and Maddie’s consistency was just enough to beat Harry and Adam by one point, with Jon and Ally doing well to beat many locals to finish third.
A big thank you is due to everyone involved with the organising and running of the event.
1st - 2491 Stephen Videlo and Maddie Harris (13 points)
2nd - 2452 Harry Pynn and Adam Owens (14 points)
3rd - 2442 Jon Ibbotson and Ally Dart (16 points)
The full results can be viewed via this link.