Sunday 20 Feb 2005
A reduced Lark fleet gathered at Northampton SC for the 5th of a 6 Sunday winter series. Holidays in New Zealand and France combined with a steady 20 - 25 knots meant that only 3 Larks ventured out for the first of two races. Steve Cumley and Eluned Jones led round the windward mark, closely followed by David and Georgina Hand. A navigational error from Cumley and Jones let the Hands through downwind, who then sailed off to claim the victory with Cumley and Jones limping home with a snapped Gooseneck and Nankervis and Hotchkiss following suit after taking one swim too many.
The second race, counting towards the series had more emphasis on it. If Cumley and Jones won the race they won the series, however second or worse meant that they would have to return on the 13 March. Like the first race of the day Cumley and Jones led at the first mark from the Hands in second and Nankervis, Hotchkiss in third. With no sacrifice to the conditions spinnakers were up and the boats charged off downwind, negotiating a couple of hairy gybes en-route. The Hands kept up the pressure on Cumley and Jones with both boats leading several times during the race. It was the Hands though that made the last long beat count, and with some excellent navigation through the wind shifts gained a 5 boat length lead as the boats rounded the final windward mark. One more drenching downwind in the icy spray and the Hands crossed the finish line to take a very well deserved win, and by doing so kept the series alive to the final Sunday.
With everybody back from their winter holidays March 13 should be an excellent climax to a thoroughly enjoyable winter series. If you would like to join the fun all Larks are welcome and day sailing rates apply.