18 Larks graced the South Staffs SC water amidst sunny conditions albeit with the absence of much wind. Not only was it the first competition of the Helly Hansen Great 8, but it was also the inaugural launch of the much awaited first winder Lark owned by Steve and Ally Hall.
The first race began with the OOD sending the fleet under the far bank lined by tall trees, so rounding and escaping from the first mark was going to be critical. Leading up to the first mark the starboard approach looked favoured however a last minute change in wind left the brother and sister teams of Stuart Hydon and Vicky Brickwood followed by Stuart Norris and Jane Olive to clear with an enormous lead from the rest of the fleet. Hydon / Brickwood capitalised on their lead however Mike and Liz Senior managed to reel in Norris/Olive and take second and Chris White and Nic Booth also displaced Norris/Olive to take third.
With a change of course for the second race Hydon/ Brickwood rounded first narrowly ahead of White/Booth. A battle ensued with White/Booth showing superior downwind speed whereas Hydon/Brickwood gained upwind. During this tight racing Ed and Lucy Bradburn caught the two boats and slipped through to take line honours. White/Booth took second.
Going into the final race there were four boats that could take the title. The Bradburns pulled out of the racing favouring the England Wales Rugby game. Up the first beat Sam Watson and Andy Hunter were looking favourites to round first however a wind change at the end of the beat saw Hydon/Brickwood and Dave Young and Meg Hicklin slide in. Mike and Liz Senior managed to pull through from a poor start fighting off White and Booth which eventually ended with the latter taking turns. The Seniorís speed was not sufficient to catch Hydon and Brickwood, but they closed the gap. Norris and Olive pulled through to third ahead of Young and Hicklin.
The Lark fleet would like to thank South Staffs for hosting the event and providing the night entertainment.
1st Stuart Hydon and Vicky Brickwood Shustoke SC/HISC
2nd Mike and Liz Senior South Staffs SC
3rd Chris White and Nic Booth South Staffs SC
4th Ed and Lucy Bradburn South Staffs SC
5th Stuart Norris and Jane Olive Shropshire SC