The prospect of cold blustery northerlies didn’t deter 28 Larks from 17 clubs travelling to Rutland Sailing Club to enjoy six races over the weekend of 2-3 June
The prospect of cold blustery northerlies didn’t deter 28 Larks from 17 clubs travelling to Rutland Sailing Club to enjoy six races over the weekend of 2-3 June. The buzz in the class this season generated some extremely close racing in the generally moderate but shifty breezes, helped by some good courses, and produced four different race winners.
The first day was breezier than the second, and after an abortive attempt at the first race in the strongest breeze, Neil and Fiona Ravenscroft took the re-run race harried by Dougal and Nigel Scott throughout and Richard and Jenny Bennett in third. Martin Gillam and Ruth Johnson stormed away up the first beat of the second race as much of the fleet went left up the favoured side, but overstood as the wind backed. The Ravenscrofts closed them down but couldn’t get past as the fleet caught up and Matthew White and Clare La Forge took third. The last race of the Saturday saw John and Vicky Brickwood start getting speed from the new Rondar Lark and they won a close race from national champions Steve and Karen Bolland, leaving the rest of the fleet to battle over third, which was eventually claimed by Alan Krailing and Steve Dunn.
On the Sunday, the wind was still from the north but swinging and gusting under the clouds, making for some awkward starts and complicated beats. The first race of Sunday was eventually won comfortably by the Bollands after overhauling early leaders Gillam and Johnson, with Krailing and Dunn maintaining their good speed in second and Emma Harris and Helen Woodward finding theirs to take third from the Brickwoods. With one discard, the Bollands took the overall lead by a point. But after a succession of general recalls on a biased line held up the fifth race, the Ravenscrofts came in first, once again harried by the Scotts, with the Brickwoods in third and Tim Wilkins and Dave Millage from Leeds University having a good race in fourth. With the Bollands fifth, this left the Ravenscrofts three points clear with a race to go. The tension was increased by another succession of general recalls which produced a black flag, and in the ensuing start the Bollands and several other boats found themselves in the unusual position of being black-flagged and disqualified despite a general recall for the remaining fleet. This left the Ravenscrofts unassailable and when the race eventually started they eased away from White and La Forge with the Brickwoods in third, not quite enough to take second overall from the Bollands.
1st 2302 Neil and Fiona Ravenscroft (Waldringfield SC) 10pts
2nd 2379 Steve and Karen Bolland (Bristol Corinthian YC) 17pts
3rd 2470 John and Vicky Brickwood (Frensham Pond SC) 17pts
4th 2347 Dougal and Nigel Scott (Ranelagh SC) 24pts
5th 2304 Alan Krailing and Steve Dunn (Waldringfield SC) 26pts
6th 2265 Martin Gillam and Ruth Johnson (Barnt Green SC) 29pts