Harry Pynn and Oliver Woolgar were the overall winners of last weekend's Lark inland championship at Northampton SC
The Lark Inland Championship was held at Northampton Sailing Club over the weekend of 25-26 May. A wind that varied from Force 7 to Force 1 presented challenging conditions for the 31 Lark teams, and made life very difficult for race officer Bruce Merry.
In race one Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson got away well and built a commanding lead. The blustery and shifty conditions made for many place changes and, with two gybe marks, there were lots of capsizes. As the fleet spread out, only the top nine boats sailed the correct course. On the final round Harry Pynn and Oliver Woolgar came through to second ahead of Pete Vincent and Tegwyn Roberts. Race two started in a vicious rainstorm, which brought with it more breeze. The boats that went right up the beat came out on top, with Alan Krailing and Pauline Baker leading the fleet to the windward mark. Dougal and Nigel Scott showed how fast they are in these sorts of conditions and won from Dowsett and Johnson. The Scotts went on to win race three which was sailed over a square course. Having already used up a discard with a DNF in the first race, they could not afford to put a foot wrong in the following races.
The wind eased slightly overnight, but remained shifty. Race four was sailed over a triangular course. After two rounds Richard Bennett and Nicola Attwood led but a 90 degree windshift caused the race to be abandoned. The Scott’s OCS at the restart meant that they were out of contention for the overall prize. Nigel Hufton and Edd McArdle led the fleet until the final beat, when Jonathan Fish and Natalie Bannister overtook them. Fish and Bannister rounded the wrong windward mark which allowed Hufton and McArdle back into first. As Hufton came down the reach he had an incident with Fish who was still coming up the beat. In such little wind it was difficult for Hufton to do his penalty turns. When he rejoined he had little speed, and was overtaken by Pynn as the wind filled in from the left. The committee boat laid a finish line 100 yards from the gybe mark. A number of boats took each other out at the gybe mark, allowing Emma Harris and Becky Priest to sneak inside. With more breeze than Hufton and Pynn she blanketed them and came through to win at the post. Hufton overtook Pynn to claim second. The final two races were sailed back to back in a Force 3. Fish and Bannister made up for their disappointment in the previous race by winning race five. In race six, Bennett and Attwood led around the windward mark from Chris Ellis and Alex Adams. Ellis got through Bennett on the second beat, and with clear breeze, was able to extend his lead and take the race. Pynn and Woolgar finished fourth, which was enough to take the championship. Dowsett and Johnson were second overall, with Vincent and Roberts third.
1st Harry Pynn and Oliver Woolgar, 19 points
2nd Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson, 21
3rd Pete Vincent and Tegwyn Roberts, 25
4th Chris Jenkins and Rachel Jenkins, 30
5th Emma Harris and Becky Priest, 32
6th Chris Ellis and Alex Adams, 35