Racing is so close at the Lark nationals at Looe that just a quarter of a point separates the top two boats

The Lark National Championship started yesterday (Sunday) in a beautiful offshore Force 3-4 in Looe. Following a short one-lap practice race, won by Nigel Hufton / Edd McArdle, Chris Fish crewed by Gillian Young were pathfinder for the first points race. The fleet split up the first beat, but Fish / Young held on a port lift before tacking on the next header and rounded the first mark by a couple of boat lengths from Alan Krailing / Kerry Ryan and Andy Paley / Kirsty Phipps. While Krailing / Ryan went hard right before bearing away down the run, Paley / Phipps turned faster to overtake. Fish / Young held their nerve to lead at the leeward mark, and stretched their lead to the finish. Emma Harris / Becky Priest went right up the second beat to pull through to second. Chris / Rachael Jenkins came through to third in front of the pack at the finish.

In the second race, the wind increased at the start of the second race to a Force 4. Harry Pynn / Oliver Woolgar were pathfinder and like Fish / Young in the first race continued someway on port after the start before tacking. Starting late on the gate, Richard and sister Jenny Bennett rolled Fish / Young early, forcing them to tack and follow the pathfinder. Current champions, Dougal Scott and brother Nigel, started early and worked the left of the beat to round first. They were far enough ahead to not be troubled for the rest of the race. Behind them, Fish / Young took advantage of a final port lift to round second hotly pursued by Simon Cox / Anna Hotchkiss. The Bennetts and Cox / Hotchkiss gained second and third places down the run, and it remained close. Harris / Priest closed and overtook Fish / Young up the final beat to take fourth.

Results (after two races)

1st Fish / Young 5.75pts

2nd Harris / Priest 6

3rd Scott / Scott 6.75

4th Bennett / Bennett 12

5th Dowsett / Johnson 13