The Red Square-sponsored Lark National Championships hosted by Looe Sailing Club threw up seven different race winners, tight overall results and some benign but unhelpful weather.
The Red Square-sponsored Lark National Championships hosted by Looe Sailing Club threw up seven different race winners, tight overall results and some benign but unhelpful weather before the final positions were finalised. Here is a report of the final day’s activities:
After a enforced rest from sailing due to fog and no wind on the Thursday, the fleet set sail bright and early for a 1100 start. The PRO Barry Darlington set a 0lympic course with a gate start with Richard and Jenny Bennett as pathfinder, and the fleet got away promptly in a F2 SW breeze. Harry Pynn and Olly Woolgar sailed an excellent first beat on the right of the course to round ahead of a whole pack of boats. The chasing boats then proceeded to sail high on the first reach but Pynn/Woolgar consolidated a comfortable lead by holding their nerve and staying low. The chasing pack was headed by Alan Krailing and Pauline Baker and Steve Cumley and Rachel Jones and when the race was shortened it finished in that order.
Shortly afterwards a slightly shortened course was laid and the fleet set sail from another gate start with Glen and Marion Enkel performing the honours this time. Pynn/Woolgar again played the favoured right-hand side to round ahead at the windward mark and used the first reach to put distance between them and the fleet. This time Steve Dunn and Kim Lamb and Bob and Kelsey Suggitt were the chasing boats. However the tight reaches and relatively short beats meant that it was almost impossible for the chasing boats to catch Pynn/Woolgar and equally difficult for many of the Championship leaders to recover from their positions. So the race finished with Pynn/Woolgar in first to dramatically improve their position overall, then Dunn/Lamb, followed by the Suggitts in third. Importantly Emma Harris and Becky Priest secured fourth place which put them half a point ahead in the Championship with one race to go.
The final race of the Championship got underway in the same F2 that the fleet had been sailing in all day. PRO Barry Darlington used a line start, with the fleet getting away first time. This time it was the left-hand side of the beat that paid and Richard Adams and Tash Styles rounded first, in their new Rondar Lark, followed by Chris and Rachael Jenkins. Adams/Styles defended their lead brilliantly, first from challenges from Bob and Kelsey Suggitt and then from Matt White and Clare La Forge. After the full Olympic course had been sailed to give the fleet a long race as scheduled on Friday, Adams/Styles finished to win their first Championship race, from White/La Forge in second. Harris/Priest sailed a fantastic race to pull up to third from their initial position, giving them the 2002 Lark National Championship, after sailing a very consistent series in challenging conditions, where lots of boat were carrying much higher results.
Harris and Priest won from last year’s National Champions, Dougal and Nigel Scott, in second and Harry Pynn and Olly Woolgar in third. Of the seven different race winners during the week, three were from new Rondar Larks.
1 Emma Harris (Waldringfield SC) and Becky Priest (Staunton Harold SC), 21pts
2 Dougal and Nigel Scott (Ranelagh SC), 27.5pts
3 Harry Pynn and Olly Woolgar (Waldringfield SC), 41.5pts
4 Chris Fish (Waldringfield SC) and Gillian Young (South Staffs SC), 49.75pts
5 Simon Cox (Frensham Pond SC) and Anna Hotchkiss (South Staffs SC), 50pts
6 Nigel Hufton (Frensham Pond SC) and Edd McArdle (Waldringfield SC), 50.75pts
7 Richard Dowsett (Bristol Corinthian SC) and Ruth Johnson (South Staffs SC), 56.75pts
8 Steve Dunn and Kim Lamb (Waldringfield SC) 58pts
9 Alan Krailing and Kerry Ryan (Waldringfield SC), 60pts
10 Bob and Kelsey Suggitt (Barnt Green SC), 61pts