Larks at Mayflower

Emma Harris - 14th October 2008

The forecast for the weekend looked a little on the light side. When the Larks arrived at Plymouth to see a glassy looking Sound, they wondered if they would get any racing in at all. The PRO, Dave Curno, was confident though, so the fleet was sent out to sea in a fickle breeze.

It was fortunate that a light breeze filled in when it did as the Port was closed to traffic at 2.30pm to allow a ballistic missile submarine to enter (top secret, obviously so, Iím sorry, but Iím now going to have to kill you).

Two races were sailed on the Saturday before it started to get a little late in the day for racing. Each race was hotly contested, with Dave Young and Sionaid Fleming and Emma Harris and guest crew, Steve Videlo, posting a 1st and 3rd each. The courses had been kept very small, so racing was exceptionally close and the leader never really had time to take a breath. Interestingly, two other boats scored identical results; Dougal and Helen Scott and Nick and Joanna Marlow each posted a 2nd and a 4th.

So, going into the Sunday, there were no clear favourites. To begin with, it looked like racing was going to be impossible, but a totally glorious 12-15knt breeze kicked in late in the morning to give the most wonderful sailing conditions.

Four races were scheduled and the PRO was determined to get them all in, starting each race almost as soon as the last boat finished the previous race. Courses were, again, kept small and, with races of 40 minutes maximum, each was incredibly closely fought. Harris and Videlo scored a 1, 3, 2 in the first three races and Young and Fleming a 2, 5, 1. With two discards and, therefore, identical results, it was all down to who beat who in the final race. Harris and Videlo tried to waylay Young & Fleming before the start, but Young & Fleming managed to sneak another boat between them. The result, however, was that Harris and Videlo had a much cleaner start and were able to tack away into clear air. By the time the fleet reach the first mark, Harris & Videlo were in 3rd, but clear ahead of Young & Fleming. It stayed this way to the finish, so Harris & Videlo took the meeting.

The other notible performance of the day was from Nigel Hufton and Ruth Johnson, who scored a 4, 1, 3, 1, and, had it not been for a bit of a raft up with a B14 in Race 5, might well have been in with a chance of competing for the meeting in the final race.

It was an awesome event, and thanks must go to the truly fantastic race management of Dave Curno and his team.


1st Emma Harris & Steve Videlo, 7pts
2nd Dave Young & Sionaid Fleming, 7pts
3rd Nigel Hufton & Ruth Johnson, 9pts
4th Nick Marlow & Joanna Marlow, 14pts
5th Dougal & Helen Scott, 14pts