From the front of the fleet...
Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club, located in the beautiful cheddar valley, hosted the Allen Lark Inland Championships for 2013 over the weekend of 8th/9th June. The club had clearly pulled out all the stops with the weather gods, as the fleet were greeted with warm sunshine, and a moderate 10-18knt North Easterly.
Legendary race officer, Arky Wainwright, laid out his plans for the day; four intense back to back races starting at noon, sharp. “But what about lunch?!” was the shrill cry from Nigel Hufton.
As the enthusiastic fleet headed out onto the reservoir it was clear that, with the wind blowing straight down Cheddar Gorge, there were some lively gusts and windshifts to keep the sailors on their toes.
The racing at the sharp end ran something like this:
Race 1: Emma Harris and Nigel Scott sailed away from the fleet for a convincing win.
Race 2: Mike and Liz Senior used all their South Staffs experience to sniggle away in the variable conditions. With a notable performance from Nick and Ruth Marlow to claim third.
Race 3: Chris Whitehouse and Elena Bremer placed all their chips on red, and came away grinning as they picked up a big lefty up the first beat and never looked back.
Race 4: In contrast, Mike and Liz took a solid second victory for the day through good positioning and measured risk taking - just as the text books say you should do it.
The fleet returned to shore after a great days racing, with time to unwind with a pint of cider in the sunshine – “ah, life is indeed sweet”.
Evening entertainment was provided by Mike Williams’ judicious umpiring of the inaugural ‘Lark Pub Skittles Championship 2013’ – duly won by a team representing the host club.
After several more ciders and a couple of versus of Happy Birthday Mr Race Officer, it was off to bed in anticipation of Sundays racing.
As another beautiful day dawned in the Cheddar Valley, the fleet headed out in near identically idyllic conditions, for some more competitive racing.
Which went something as follows:
Race 5: Ed Bradburn and Lucy Evans, after previously showing promise, put it all together, to take a fine victory.
Race 6: The deciding race. And the championship could go one of three ways; Emma and Nigel, Mike and Liz or Chris and Ellie. With a heavily starboard biased start line, it was a bun fight for the committee boat end. Chris and Ellie positioned most aggressively and popped out up the first beat. Rounding the windward mark, the wind gods smiled once again, and offered up a ideally timed gust, to allow the lucky pair to skitter away from the fleet downwind, establish a commanding lead, and ultimately take the bullet and with it the title of Lark Inland Champions 2013.
What a fantastic weekend of racing.
Thanks must go out to BCYC for hosting, Arky Wainwright and his team for running the racing. And Allen for sponsoring the event and providing a generous array of prizeware. Top Draw
1st Chris Whitehouse and Elena Bremer
2nd Mike and Liz Senior
3rd Emma Harris and Nigel Scott
1st Tim Vick and Rebecca Marks
2nd Chris Holliman and Kate Hutchins
3rd Andrew Cooney and Thomas Cooney
1st Ryan Crawford and Kian Andrews
2nd James and Laura
3rd Garry and Richard Packer