© Lee Whitehead

Larks at Frensham 2015

Nigel Hufton - 14th April 2015

The Larks returned to Frensham Pond on 12 April to compete in the oldest event in Lark history, the trophy having been first presented in 1967 - the year the Lark was born.

The predicted strong winds put many visitors off, so a small but perfectly formed fleet ventured out into the spring sunshine and were rewarded with some challenging racing in 20-30 knot winds.

In Race 1, Andy Shorrock and Ross Thompson got the better of the first beat and led for a couple of laps, only to retire when their bottom gudgeon ripped out of the rudder on a gybe. This let through the chasing Nigel Hufton/Will Kennedy, followed by Chris Ellis and Judith Young. In Race 2, it was Hufton/Kennedy who surged to the front. In a particularly big gust they wore around on a gybe mark. The chasing boat of Shorrocks/Thompson saw their chance and went for the gybe only to spin around and head up when their borrowed rudder broke! Phil Whitney and Lynda Williams were the only other boat to finish in the howling conditions, sailing Lark 12 a boat which is as old as the event itself.

Having gone home to get yet another rudder, Shorrocks re-appeared for Race 3. A close race ensued with the lead changing hands a number of times. At the last leeward mark Hufton/Kennedy trawled the spinnaker sheet and slowed, letting Shorrocks through to win, with Ellis/Young in third.

In Race 4, after an early exchange of places with Hufton/Kennedy, Shorrock managed to build a gap and when Hufton managed to hit the windward mark during a whirlwind, held an unassailable lead to the end.

With 3 races to count, Hufton/Kennedy emerged as victors, with Hufton recording his first win of this prestigious trophy after many years of trying and Shorrock being left to rue his misfortune in breaking two rudders (albeit in pretty testing conditions). Congratulations to Mike king who finished only his second race in a Lark.

Results (4 races, 1 discard)

1 Nigel Hufton and Will Kennedy 4 points
2 Chris Ellis and Judith Young 8 points
3 Andy Shorrock and Ross Thompson 9 points
4 Philip Whitney and Lynda Williams 9 points
5 Oli Brown and Vanessa Brown 14 points
6 Mike King and Kirsten Sfaxi 19 points