© Bob Suggitt

2008 Lark Youth Championships Report

Tony Hotchkiss - 26th May 2008

Whether it was the fact it was Bank Holiday weekend or that the forecast was for strong easterly winds, only 6 boats arrived for the event. With white horses only 5 made the starting area for the 1st race and only 4 actually started!

In the first race, Stephen & Chris Videlo from Waldringfield were closely followed by Adam Parry & Lucy Evans from South Staffs and Kelsey Suggitt & Josh Stuart from Barnt Green. Stephen & Chris pulled away on the beats but Adam and Lucy pulled back off wind by their more adventurous kite flying. Eventually the kite flying was the downfall of Kelsey & Josh who had a lengthy capsize and Stephen & Chris also had a brief swim to give Adam and Lucy a fairly comfortable win.

Dutch courage must have been administered over lunch as the whole fleet made the start line for the second race. After the Videlos’ squeezed Adam & Lucy at the start, it was Kelsey & Josh who took the early lead. After just a lap the Videlo boom broke so ending their challenge for the race. Adam & Lucy then tried hard to catch Kelsey & Josh and in the process gave the spectators a great display of kite attempts; capsize and recovery! Through it all Kelsey & Josh majestically showed how to do it without the spinnaker to win the race (the first race Josh had ever won) and Sam Blocksidge & Mark Fleming from South Staffs, kept passing their club mates, who kept fighting back to just pass before the finish to deprive them of the 2nd slot. Despite an early capsize Eleanor Davies & birthday girl Connie Hicklin (13), also from South Staffs and the only all girl team, came home a creditable 4th and still beat the 2nd & 3rd boats home who both had a capsize after the finish! The final entrant Adrian Walker (the youngest helm) and Alison Norbury from South Staffs, survived a lap before giving it best.

The final race was subject to a short postponement to allow a squall to come through. (Was there really any difference)! Stephen & Chris Videlo were up and running with a replacement boom and were determined to get one race win. Inevitably it was Kelsey & Josh, Stephen & Chris & Adam & Lucy that rounded the first mark in that order, in close proximity. After a lap Adam & Lucy had powered through to the front but all were taking the cautious option when it came to kite flying! Finally the Videlos’ took a dip whilst trying to catch up, so it was that Adam & Lucy won the race and the event from Kelsey & Josh and Stephen & Chris in 3rd. Once again Sam & Mark kept pushing only for a capsize to ruin their chance of catching the leading three. Eleanor & Connie also had a couple of capsizes but both teams persevered to finish the race and so gain two race finishes. A noteable achievement in itself, in very difficult sailing conditions.

Overall Results
1st Adam Parry & Lucy Evans, South Staffs SC 2pts
2nd Kelsey Suggitt & Josh Stuart, Barnt Green SC 3pts
3rd Stephen & Chris Videlo, Waldringfield SC 5pts
4th Sam Blocksidge & Mark Fleming, South Staffs SC 7pts
5th Eleanor Davies & Connie Hicklin, South Staffs SC 9 pts
6th Adrian Walker & Alison Norbury, South Staffs SC