A total of 25 Larks travelled to Barnt Green for the class annual open meeting on 9-10 April

A total of 25 Larks travelled to Barnt Green for the class annual open meeting on 9-10 April. The weather for the weekend was a less than steady, westerly Force 1-4. In line with custom, proceedings were kicked off with a practice race, which David and Nick Marlow won, and a single-handed race won by Stewart Hydon.

The first race of the series was the 90-minute Challenge Trophy race. Steve Cumley and Eluned Jones were first round the windward mark and sailed off to a comfortable victory. Sarah Richards/Nigel Wakefield and Stewart Hydon/Hannah Showell overtook Emma Harris/Becky Priest on the last lap to take second and third.

The wind was expected to decrease the next day, but Race 2 on Sunday morning saw more wind and much stronger gusts than on Saturday, making for some tricky manoeuvring near the leeward shore.

Richards/Wakefield correctly read the shifts on the opening beat to take the lead. The gusts always meant there was plenty of opportunity to be caught and after three rounds Harris/Priest closed the gap on the leaders and worked their magic to sneak into the lead. Worse was to come for Richards/Wakefield when a nasty shift on the penultimate beat sent them swimming, letting Cumley/Jones take second place.

In the third race Cumley/Jones and Dan Smith/Nikki Attwood started at the port end of the start line and crossed the fleet by some distance. One lap later and Chris Ellis/Kathryn Young had overtaken Smith/Attwood and then Cumley/Jones to take the lead. Ellis/Young won the race from Cumley/Jones who covered Harris/Priest to the finish line in third.

Harris/Priest had to win the final race to stop Cumley/Jones winning overall. In a gradually decreasing wind, a pre-start tactical battle ended with Cumley/Jones starting at the favoured port end having sent Harris/Priest tacking back to the starboard end. Cumley/Jones led the fleet around the first mark. Richards/Wakefield caught and overtook Cumley/Jones on the second beat, but then lost the lead back to Cumley/Jones down the run, who took the win from Richards and Bennet in third.

Overall Results

1st Steve Cumley and Eluned Jones, Northampton SC, 4 points

2nd Sarah Richards and Nigel Wakefield, Spinnaker SC, 8 points

3rd Emma Harris and Becky Priest, Waldringfield SC, 9 points

4th Stewart Hydon and Hannah Showell, Shustoke SC, 14 points

5th Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young, Frensham Pond SC, 16 points