A perfect blue sky and Force 4 SW forecast greeted the Larks as they arrived at Lyme Regis on 6/7 June. With the place packed with holidaymakers in shorts and tee shirts, it was easy to imagine summer had arrived.
Race 1 started in a building breeze. By the first reach it was clear that the weather Gods hadn’t been told it was summer, as the building waves gave a roller-coaster ride and cold conditions. Staying on the roller coaster was not easy in the confused sea and nearly everyone took a tumble or two.
Stuart Hydon and sister Vicky initially led, but capsized at the gybe mark. Pete Gray and Rachel Rhodes got into the lead, only to fall over when Rachel seized up due to being cold. Nigel Hufton & Will Kennedy went on to win, followed closely by Chris Holliman and Kate Hutchins who capsized spectacularly straight after finishing. James Ward and Eluned Stewart started a very solid campaign in third.
With a number of boats going home due to cold crews, damage or ‘discretion’ (being the better part of valour) the Force 5 breeze gave some awesome sailing. The steep waves gave a feeling of looking over a balcony into the toughs below. Ward/Stewart won the second race and James Goss & Nicci Booth won the third to leave Ward/Stewart as overnight leaders, but with Hufton/Kennedy on equal points.
Sunday again dawned bright and sunny, but with a more benign Force 3 Northerly. Hufton/Kennedy picked their way up the increasingly large shifts to gain a good lead around the first mark and just held it to end, despite Gray/Rhodes hunting them down with some excellent speed. Ward’s third place kept them in the frame, but meant they had to win the last race. In the last race, Hufton/Kennedy correctly predicted a shift to the left up the first beat to lead, only to be overtaken up the next beat by Hydon/Brickwood who banged right. The latter took the win with Hufton/Kennedy second, thus leaving them as overall winners.
At the prize-giving, Nigel expressed his delight in being able to sail at Lyme for the first time in 30 years of Lark sailing – and what a great place for sailing it is!
Bring on the Lark Nationals at Lyme in 2016!
Further details and pictures of this joint event can be found on Yachts and Yachting.
Results (5 races, 1 discard)
Place Helm Crew Club Points
1 2470 Nigel Hufton Will Kennedy Frensham Pond 6
2 2507 James Ward Eluned Stewart Netley 9
3 2026 James Goss Nic Booth South Staffs 16
4 2475 Chris Holiman Kate Hutchins Tewkesbury 24
5 2502 Steve Chatten Lucy Evans Netley 26
6 2495 Stuart Hydon Victoria Brickwood Shustoke 27