© Lee Whitehead

2006 Lark National Championship - Final Report

Nigel Scott - 25th August 2006

The 2006 Pedrollo Lark National Championships were hosted by Penzance SC from Aug 12 to Aug 18. Sixty Larks made the long journey to the South West, and they were rewarded with a great week on and off the water. Pedrollo, Gill, Holt, North Sails and Speed Sails all sponsored the event which meant half price entry for students and first timers, some superb prizes and a resident coach to provide tips to all.

The first day kicked off with big winds and a nasty short chop. Spectacular nose dives were seen throughout the fleet as the roller coaster ride down wind kept the adrenaline flowing. Race 1 was led from start to finish by pathfinders Dougal Scott & Dave Marlow. Race 2 was led by Chris Fish & Beth Condie. Chris & Beth extended their lead throughout but were left disappointed as their rig disappeared over the bow on the last run. This left Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle to take the spoils having recovered from a broken boom in the first race.

Sunday evening saw the first big social with everybody dressed in bad taste. The students raised the level this year with our resident social secretaries Andy Cox and John Crooks complaining of feeling outdone. Needless to say the odd tipple was consumed and despite the hard day on the water the Penzance nightclub was full of lark sailors till the very early hours.

Monday brought a welcome reduction in breeze. 2 races were sailed in a shifty NW wind. Chris Fish made up for his disaster of the day before and won race 3 using his brand new mast kindly put together by Speed Sails. After a general recall and a race abandonment race 4 was won by Alan & Edd, with Chris & Beth rounding off a great day with a second place. Monday night was a quiet night on the social front – games night. For those there the night will be remembered for Weetabix and low flying welly’s!

Tuesday provided a single race in a force 2/3 with a slight chop. Chris Fish & Beth Condie continued their challenge to become national champions by winning race 5 from Sarah Richards & Nigel Wakefield and Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle. A short day on the water gave everybody plenty of time to prepare themselves for the crews union and board of directors meeting. The usual fun and frolics led to hours of crazy dancing in the club house.

Wednesday definitely dawned with some thick heads. Unfortunately the SW storm that blew through during the night kicked up a big swell and with very little wind left, the up and down motion did nothing for the tender stomachs. Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones started race 6 at the pin, tacked and were never caught. Importantly for the event though Sarah and Nigel were DSQ for being over the line which cost them a second place and left them with it all to do to retain their title.

Race 7 was sailed in similar conditions but this time Jon Fish & Toby Lewis secured the win from Sarah & Nigel in second and Howie Enkel & Mickie Wright in third.

Race 8 was sailed on Thursday, the penultimate day. Light winds and a small swell proved ideal for the lightweights in the fleet. A large right shift on the first beat caught many of the fleet out as they headed left towards the clouds. Fran Gifford & Sophie Mackley read the situation perfectly to win the race from Sarah & Nigel and Matt White & Clare Styles. The Thursday evening social was fancy dress, the theme this year being “Pirates of Penzance”, Parrots, police men, police women, treasure maps, treasure, complete pirate ships and somewhat bizarrely pigs were all seen bobbing up and down on the dance floor.

Going into the last day Alan Krailing led Sarah Richards by 1.5 points and Nigel Hufton by 7.5 points. Neither Alan nor Sarah could afford another discard so the situation was tense as the fleet waited for the wind to settle down. At 12:30 with only an hour and a half left for the last race to be started the PRO sent the fleet out. Unfortunately a large black cloud then rolled in over Mounts Bay and sucked away any chance of getting the last race in.

This left Alan and Edd very worthy winners. In the Silver fleet Glenn & Marion Enkel sneaked a very close win by finishing just 1 point ahead of Helen Scott & Chris Robinson. Katharine Sampson & Alison Dart ran away with the bronze fleet title finishing 8 places ahead of the second place boat Laura Mitchell & Sophie Richards.

The Lark Class Association would like to thank the members of Penzance SC for being so welcoming and for running such a fantastic event. The next Championships will be at Looe SC between July 21 and July 27 2007.

Overall results
1st 2464 Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle
2nd 2288 Sarah Richards & Nigel Wakefield
3rd 2470 Nigel Hufton & Chris Whitehouse
4th 2494 Chris Fish & Beth Condie
5th 2496 Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones
6th 2452 Harry Pynn & Milly Parsons

Silver Fleet
1st 2087 Glenn & Marion Enkel
2nd 2484 Helen Scott & Chris Robinson
3rd 2462 Nick & Joanna Marlow

Bronze Fleet
1st 2442 Katharine Sampson & Alison Dart
2nd 2208 Laura Mitchell & Sophie Richards
3rd 246 Jon White & Alex Crottenden

Other Trophies
1st Club - Waldringfield SC
1st Heavy weights – Steve Dunn & Spanny Archer
Fidelis Trophy – Fran Gifford & Sophie Mackley
1st under 21 helm Stephen Videlo
1st under 21 crew David Marlow
Haigh Masters Trophy – Nigel Hufton
1st Female helm – Sarah Richards

For full results see the results section of this site