A most competitive fleet of Larks enjoyed 6 tactically challenging races on the River Deben over the weekend 11/12 October. Figure of 8 courses were set for all 6 races but due to shifting winds none were identical.
Saturday's racing was held upriver of the island in a variable F1-2 and sunshine. Chris & Cathy Fish took and held an early lead to the finish of race 1 but were lucky that Andrew James & Gemma Thompson sailing 2341 Mr Rhubarb's Lunchbox missed a gate. Stephen Videlo racing with Ed Harris took a close second from Matt White & Jackie McKellar.
Harry Pynn & Gemma Cook are probably the fastest local team in light winds and didn't need any help to take the second gun of the day. Andrew & Gemma had the regular front runners worried as they eased to 2nd with Matt & Jackie a safe third.
Lark 'Gods' aren't often slow out of the blocks but it took two races before Alan Krailing & Tim Linsell hit the front, making it look easy when they eventually got to grips with starting and the oscillations. Ian & Alyson Videlo have recently upgraded to 2483 and were the form team having won the Cartoon Open two weeks previously without dropping a point. It was no surprise then that they fought off the pack of 5 (all of whom have Nationals titles too) for 2nd with Stephen & Ed third.
Racing was postponed the following day to early afternoon due to a lack of wind. The course was set downriver of the island with the wind having veered 100+ degrees east from the morning and building to F2. Alan & Tim won the pin end to go left. Arriving late, the Fishes did well simply by following. WSC Lark Class Captain Geoff Sinton sailing with George Barton were "avin a lark" (2131) as they kept pace along with Fiona Gray & Steve Dunn (2500). The rest went right and regretted it. A big leftie on the final beat turned it into a fetch letting the Fishes steal their second win with the Pynns catching fast for third.
Geoff & George lead around the first mark of Race 5 from Fiona & Steve but this time the pack were close behind and went over the top after the first gybe. The Fishes got through into clear air and, benefiting from the close racing behind, managed to hold on for a third win and win overall. The Videlos held Alan & Tim in third. This put them equal second on 12 points going into the last race and with Harry & Gemma with 15 points all their positions could change.
The wind didn't shift as much during the last race, having backed to NE and more across the tide. Harry & Gemma did all they could, outpacing the fleet with slick gybing and extra upwind speed to take a second victory. The scrap for second eventually went to Alan & Tim from the Videlos and Matt & Jackie 4th.
1st Christopher Fish & Cathy Fish, 12pts
2nd Alan Krailing & Tim Linsell, 14pts
3rd Ian Videlo & Alyson Videlo, 15pts
4th Harry Pynn & Gemma, 16ts
5th Matthew White & Jackie McKellar, 19pts