Northampton welcomed the lark fleet to its annual pilgrimage to the Winter Championship and famous Lark party.
Tom Stewart race officer for the weekend started the racing with an unconventional “sausage triangle” format which he explained would help to mix it up a bit!
With the first race underway it was the Stephen and Chris Videlo who led with Ryan Crawford and Simon Gadd second. Down the second leg was to prove tricky with those tempted by the left hand side or layline losing out heavily to those going right. Chris Holliman and Kate Hutchins managed to squeeze around the second mark in the lead with Videlo’s close behind. Stuart and Nick Hydon who rounded third, then managed to sneak past up the next beat. As positions consolidated Matt Stern and Adam Owens were coming up the field and managed to slip past the Videlo’s to take second.
Race two began with Tom Stewart’s son getting his own way by hoisting the black. With the course the same it was the Hydons who slipped down the run first to take the lead. Chris and Katharine Martin looked like they would hold second ahead of Stern/Owens however a slip on the last rounding let Stern take second and Nick Marlow/Chloe Broad take third.
The third and final race of the day started with Holly Hewat/Simon Haighton leading up the first beat. Learning from the lessons of the previous race they sailed right down the run, however fortunes were soon lost as those going left managed to find the wind first. The Hydon’s capitalised the most and pulled up several places to round first with a margin. Tim Vick and Rebecca Marks managed to pull through to second ahead of Crawford/Gadd.
Overnight leaders were the Hydon’s as the party got into full swing. This later continued back at the hotel with a few still in the Jacuzzi at 5am!
Part two took place with a little more breeze than forecast. With the fourth race underway it was the Videlos that led with Stern/Owen coming up through the fleet ahead of Hewat/Falcon and Harry Pynn/Gemma Cook. The Hydon’s were still pulling back after a poor first beat, but managed to slip past into third place behind the Videlos and Stern/Owens who had managed to steal first place.
The last race began on a slightly smaller course which lead to carnage at the first mark with John Crooks/Laura Lilly and others trying to approach the windward mark on port! No change there, many would say. Those avoiding the carnage were Chris Fish/Beth Condie who made a break for it along with the Videlos and Stern/Owens. Remarkably Stern and Owens managed to win the race however lost the event on countback.
Overall Results were:
1st Stuart and Nick Hydon Shustoke SC
2nd Matt Stern and Adam Owens Waldingfield SC
3rd Stephen and Chris Videlo Waldringfield SC
4th Holly Hewat and Si Haighton/Karen Falcon