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GJW Direct Belle Isle - Exe Open Meeting Report

Daniel Watson - 03rd October 2012

A small but select group of Lark sailors, including two former National Champions, arrived at Exe on 13th and 14th July 2012 for the latest round of the GJW Direct Belle Isle Travellers Circuit, with visitors from as far afield as Waldringfield and Penzance.

Early rain cleared to leave a largely dry weekend which was significantly better than the forecast, and the fleet headed in a shifty force 2 to 3.

Race 1 saw Charlie Roome and David Marlow round first after they had played the middle, with Emma Harris and Millie Parsons coming in a close second, and Steve Cumley and Lucy Evans leading from the right. This was the order at the finish.

The second race saw Roome and Marlow get the best of the start and again take the win, but this time with some shuffling around of the order behind. Cumley and Evans followed, with John Crooks and Laura Mitchell rounding out the top 3.

The final race of the day saw Cumley and Evans victorious after a light and shifty opening beat, with Roome and Marlow recovering to second on the final run, just squeezing out Chris Holliman and Kate Hutchins.

The fleet then retired for drinks in the sun on the balcony, dinner and a heavy night which left a few sore heads the following morning.

Conditions were similar to the previous day, and Roome and Marlow took advantage to lead at the first mark, a result which would give them the event. They were however rolled on the reach by Cumley and Evans, with Harris and Parsons in close pursuit. Cumley looked to have the race tied up until a big shift on the final beat let Roome and Marlow slip back through, a lead they held to the finish.

The final race saw Cumley and Evans make no mistake, with Holliman doing his best Olympic swimmer impression in order to catch Hutchins and his boat after he’d decided to take a dip on the reach.

In the final reckoning (accompanied by the obligatory awesome Exe tea), Roome and Marlow pipped Cumley and Evans by a point, with the next three boats separated by a single point – Harris and Parsons just filling the final podium position.

Final Results – Top 6
Charlie Roome & David Marlow (5 points) – Ranelagh/Itchenor
Steve Cumley & Lucy Evans (6 points) – Bartley
Emma Harris & Millie Parson (14 points) – Cotswold
John Crooks & Laura Mitchell (15 points) – Waldringfield
Chris Holliman & Kate Hutchins (15 points) – Timsbury
Mike Williams & Mark Chadwick (24 points) - Penzance