GJW Direct Belle Isle Event at Hayling - Report

Karen Falcon - 10th October 2013

The Lark Class awoke to amazing sunshine, a good breakfast and a sore head on Sunday 6th October at Hayling Island. The weather looked like it wouldn’t provide much in the form of sailing weather but Nigel ‘The Huff’ Hufton was adamant that if there was wind we would go sailing. After a couple of postponements the RO declared the racing was on and we sprang into action!

Launching off a white beach into warm, azure water was a pleasure and the racing in the harbour got under way promptly. Katie Archer and Karen Falcon whooshed off the line and lead all the way around the triangle sausage course. Nigel Hufton and Adam Owens had a good battle for second place with Stuart Hydon and Rachel Rhodes but Hufton/Owens managed to sneak onto a little conveyor belt up a beat which gave them an advantage. In the end it was Hufton/Owens in second and Hydon/Rhodes in third.

The efficient race officer started race two with little pause and a good battle ensued up the first beat between Hydon/Rhodes, Harry Pynn and Gemma Howard, Emma Harris and Ruth Johnson, Hufton/Owens and Mike and Imy Williams. There was some good place changing throughout the race with Hydon/Rhodes crowning themselves victors. Pynn/Cook held onto second and Harris/Johnson maintained third.

I believe there were some rogue waves out in the harbour as things turned slightly dark in a few boats. Some crews went very quiet and began concentrating on the horizon in order to achieve a feeling of normality before having to coil into light wind action for race 3. The points at the top were tight with Hufton/Owens on four points and Archer/Falcon and Hydon/Rhodes tied on six points. The race was on!

On the all important horn of race three, James and Katie Ward shot off the line. The new North laminate sails led the way for the majority of the race. At the top of second beat Archer/Falcon took the lead but a poor mark rounding saw the Wards snatch it off them again. Hufton/Owens slowly closed the gap down the run and up the beat. The Wards flew up the final beat and Hufton/Owens managed to secure second place with Archer/Falcon in third. Harris/Johnson clinched fourth place which put Hydon/Rhodes in fifth.

The brilliant open meeting a three-way tie on four points and the overall winner was Archer/Falcon with Hydon/Rhodes in second and Hufton/Owens in third. In her acceptance speech, Karen Falcon thanked HISC for hosting a great event as well as the competitors for travelling from far and wide locations such as Penzance, Shustoke and Frensham. She also made a special tribute to the great man, Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, who had such a big influence on their Laser sailing days and ultimately their passion for sailing. Sail on Bart.

Results at http://www.hisc.co.uk/media/58764/lark_om.htm