Epic conditions, spot on racing at GJW Inlands

Stuart Hydon - 01st August 2017

The Larks visited Rutland on 24/25 June for 2017 GJW Inland Championship which was a shared event with the OK Inland Championship.
The Larks had introduced a new 8 race series which consisted of 4 races per day. Two of the races were standard 50/60 minute typical Olympic course races with the final two races of the day being 20/30 minute trapezoid course with an inner and out loop depending whether you were sailing a Lark or OK. This did cause some confusion for the OK sailors on Saturday as it was clear a number of them had not read the sailing instructions!
Race 1 saw a tight battle for the top slot. Stuart Hydon/ Zara Turtle established a good lead up the final beat, but lost vital ground on the first part of the triangle as the leg broadened into a run. It was Chris White/ Nic Booth who overhauled Hydon/Turtle on the final leg. Nigel Hufton/Will Kennedy were a comfortable third.
Race 2 saw Hydon/Turtle lead the race ahead of Adam Parry/Ruth Johnston. White/Booth took third ahead of Dan Watson/Helen Winward.
Race 3 was the first of the short races, it was an incredibly fast moving race with very close racing. Just managing to cross the line first was Hydon/Turtle followed by White/Booth and Hufton Kennedy.
Race 4 was the final race for Saturday and was a short course. Off the line Hydon/Turtle decided to go off to the right, but a spinnaker pole along the boom caught Stuart’s life jacket causing a capsize. With them out of the way, it was Hufton and Kennedy who capitalised ahead of Steve Chatten/Matt Thomas who sailed a blistering first beat.
Into Sunday and forecast was much windier than forecast which led to a great 3 sail broad reach to the starting area.
Race 5 – Saw Hydon with new crew Ann Biglin win the race ahead of Hufton/Kennedy. White/Booth managed to hold off Harry Pynn/Gemma Cook who had only managed to race day 2.
Race 6 – There was a real tussle for the lead. Pynn/Cook were leading ahead of White/Booth. As they made the starboard approach to the last windward mark. Hydon and Biglin managed cross both on port with a considerable lift. Having already written off Hufton/Kennedy as it was thought they had gone too far out left, they managed to fetch into the mark ahead of Hydon/Biglin and take the lead. Hufton/Kennedy held the lead with White/Booth claiming second followed by Hydon/Biglin.
Race 7 and back to the short course race. Chatten/Thomas sailed an incredible race establishing a big lead. Behind them was the pack. Around the last mark and to the finish it was a tight kite leg. Chatten/Thomas confident of the weight advantage went for it only to come to grief half way down the leg when they filled their boat up and had to recover the kite. This allowed five boats to pass Chatten/Thomas, a great shame as they were deserved winners. Hydon Biglin came into snatch the win ahead of White/Booth
Race 8 and still all to play for. Hufton/ Kennedy ducked all the starboard boats on the line and headed off to the right. Following him was Nigel/Fiona Denchfield together with Nick/Ruth Marlow. By the time they rounded the windward mark they had a massive lead. Hufton/Kennedy retained the lead to the finish with Hydon/Biglin managing second ahead of Pynn and Cook.
Overall Hydon/Turtle/Biglin took the title ahead of Hufton/Kennedy followed by White/Booth.
Congratulation to Ed Bradburn who won the OK Inlands and also a Lark sailor.
Thanks go to Rutland SC for their hospitality and superb race management in getting the programme of races turned around really quickly.

1st Stuart Hydon /Zara Turtle / Ann Biglin Shustoke SC 11 points
2nd Nigel Hufton / Will Kennedy Frensham Pond SC 15 Points
3rd Chris White / Nic Booth South Staffs SC 16 points
4th Adam Parry / Ruth Johnston Netley SC 28 points