The weekend of 6-7 August saw the Larks visit Lyme Regis for the last Great8 event before the Nationals, in effect a test event for the Nationals. Sponsored by Helly Hansen and GJW Direct, it was run as part of the Lyme Regatta and provided a nail-biting close finish.
Saturday provided champagne sailing with a 10-12 knot breeze. Race 1 saw Nigel Hufton and Matt Wood pick their way through the shifts and lulls to win from Steve Cumley and Eluned Stewart, with Charlie Roome finishing third, crewed by Eddie Lister. The first two places were reversed in race 2, with Roome/Lister again finishing third.
Sunday dawned very dreary, with a weather system dragging the wind NW, making it difficult to set a course. The fleet eventually got away in a Force 3, which then gradually backed. Roome/Lister built a good lead, only to be reeled in by the chasing boats and be overhauled by Hufton/Wood, with Dougal & Helen Scott picking their way into third place.
Counting a 1-2-1, normally this would have sealed it for Hufton/Wood. However, regatta rules stated that the fourth race to be counted and that it had to be sailed as part of a mass start. Adam Parry and Ruth Johnson nailed the pin end to lead initially, followed by Chatten/Evans, the Scotts and Chris Holliman/Kate Hutchins.
Meanwhile, Hufton/Wood and Cumley/Stewart got mixed up with the assortment of dinghies and cruisers and were well down the fleet. With Roome/Lister pulling through to lead, this put them in the overall lead. However, then Cumley/Stewart got into third, which put them as leading on the water. Finally, Hufton/Wood then got into fourth. With Parry/Johnson hanging onto second, three boats were on the same points - but Hufton/Wood edged it on countback.
Thanks go to Lyme Regis for a great test event and we look forward to more of the same at the Lark Nationals in two weeks time!
Results (4 races, 1 discard from Races 1-3 only)
1st 2538 Nigel Hufton and Matt Wood 6 points
2nd 2519 Charlie Roome and Eddie Lister 6 points
3rd 2496 Steve Cumley and Eluned Stewart 6 points
4th 2482 Dougal Scott and Helen Scott 12 points
5th 2527 Adam Parry and Ruth Johnson 15 points
6th 2475 Chris Holiman and Kate Hutchins 15 points