Big winds and bigger gusts welcomed the growing Lark Fleet at Northampton Sailing Club. The first race of the day counts towards the clubs Winter Handicap series whilst the second race is the “feature” race.
For the first race of the day it was very close at the windward mark with Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones, Simon Cox & Anna Hotchkiss, Dave & Georgina Hand and David & Nick Marlow who rounded inches in front of Mich & Marie Haberfield. The front four then powered away from the rest of the pack on the reaches only for Steve & Eluned, Simon & Anna and Ruth & James to all capsize. Steve & Eluned got tangled allowing Rob & Ruth Marlow in the second Marlow boat to fly through on the reach. Dave & Georgina held a very comfortable lead for 2 laps only to capsize on the notorious 3rd gybe mark. This let David & Nick through, who went on to lead the race to the end.
The all-important Northampton Mini Series race 3 was sailed in similar conditions to the first race. Fortunately the reaches were too tight to use the spinnakers! Very close racing up to the windward mark saw Ruth & James on top but very closely followed by Dave & Georgina, Steve & Eluned and Simon & Anna. Ruth & James lost their lead, due to spinnaker difficulties. Simon & Anna and Steve & Eluned capitalised on Ruth’s misfortune to pull well clear on the close reaches.
Simon & Anna always had the upper hand in the race until the last reach and run when Steve & Eluned went “ballistic” and closed the gap and briefly overtook Simon & Anna but sailed a bit too high of the mark. Some quick thinking and a safe spinnaker drop was enough for Simon & Anna to immediately regain the lead and cover Steve & Eluned to the finish. Dave & Georgina maintained their very strong local challenge with 3rd place. David & Nick who had pulled up to 4th lost it to Ruth & James and the Haberfield’s after breaking a mainsheet strop.
Northampton Sailing Club offers a superb winter sailing venue and a very attractive Winter Membership package for the helm, crew and boat. If you’re in the area and looking for some quality winter practice then come along and take part.
The next races are will be on 30th January, 20th February and 12th March. The Handicap race start is at 12pm and the “feature” race is at 2pm. Plus, don't miss the Steve Nicholson Pursuit Race on Saturday, 29th January. A Northampton Lark Fleet social is being planned for the Saturday 29th evening. Watch this space for more details.
Race 3 Results 1st 2489 Simon Cox & Anna Hotchkiss
2nd 2496 Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones
3rd 2129 Dave & Georgina Hand
4th 2347 Ruth Johnson & James Stewart
5th 2482 Mich & Marie Haberfield
6th 2462 David & Nick Marlow