GJW Direct Belle Isle Event at Rock - Report

Nigel Hufton - 11th May 2013

The Larks returned to Rock over the May bank holiday for their 26th annual visit.

On day one, race officer Martin Hough took a look at the waves on the famous Doom Bar and decided to hold both races inside the harbour on the high tide. Those banging right managed to cheat the last of the flood and it was class chairman James Ward and wife Katie who spotted the advantage and held off the fleet to the end, followed by Emma Harris/Nigel Scott and Steve Hall/Oli Wells. In race 2, Nigel Hufton & Adam Owens spotted that the tide had turned and played the shifts, leading the fleet around the windward mark and building a comfortable lead. Harris/Scott held off the chasing pack, with Chris Whitehouse & Ellie Bremer third.

Day 2 dawned bright and cold, a lighter westerly allowing a course to be set in the bay. Whitehouse & Hufton split tacks before the start and deduced that banging left towards the bar at the start of the flood would pay. They both started early on the traditional Rock gate start and rounded one-two. However, Pynn/Cook gate-crashed the party up the beats to take first ahead of Hufton/Owens. In race 4, the party resumed, Pynn again taking the bullet, this time ahead of Whitehouse/Bremer and Hufton/Owens.

This left 4 boats in the race for the title. Race 5 started in a warm Force 3 in the bay. With the tide still on the ebb and backed to SSE, it paid to start late and bang right. A large shift to the right then compounded the pain for those going left. Whitehouse/Bremer got away to build a commanding lead, with Hufton getting the better of Pynn in their on-going rivalry. At the start of the last race, the three remaining contenders all started very late, again banging right. Pynn/Cook sprinted out of the blocks, with Tim Vick and Rebecca Marks enjoying early success. Hufton/Owens climbed to second and not realising there were 2 discards - thought they were in a winning position. Fortunately for them, in a building breeze they set their sights on overhauling the lighter crew ahead, finally taking them Pynn/Cook on a two-sail reach, thereby winning by one point!

Results (6 races, 2 discards)

1st Nigel Hufton & Adam Owens, 6 pts
2nd Harry Pynn & Gemma Cook, 7 pts
3rd Chris Whitehouse & Ellie Bremer, 9 pts
4th Emma Harris & Nigel Scott , 12 pts
5th Pete Mitchell & Karen Falcon, 21 pts
6th Steve Hall & Oli Wells, 23 pts

Pictures available on the Rock Sailing and Waterski Club facebook page.

Full results http://www.rswsc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/larks2013nh.html