A total of 23 Larks turned at Barnt Green SC out for the fourth round of the Lark open series on 13-14 April

Round four of the Lark open circuit was held over the weekend of April 13-14 at Barnt Green SC in Worcestershire. Seventeen visitors joined six club boats, and the event was won in a nail-biting finish by Bob Suggitt and Chris McIntosh. The practice race was won by Martin Gillam and Matt Griffiths, which proved to be unlucky when a damaging collision on the start line of the first race meant they had to retire from the meeting. Emma Harris and Becky Priest, who had won the first three meetings of the series, continued their impressive form by storming away into an early lead, which they held to the end and were worthy winners of the Barnt Green Challenge Trophy.

Saturday’s programme was concluded with the single-handed race for the Bittel Bottle. The contrast in styles was interesting with Bob Suggitt, who won and Richard Dowsett, who was third, using spinnakers on the downwind legs, while Rob Lennox kept it simple and came second with just main and jib. Sunday’s first race again saw Harris/Priest leading from start to finish, hotly pursued by Suggitt and McIntosh, who subsequently went on to win race three of the series from Simon Cox and Anna Hotchkiss.

Going into race four, Harris/Priest, Suggitt/McIntosh and Cox/Hotchkiss were separated by two points and after two general recalls, Cox/Hotchkiss went off into a big lead at the first mark, with Suggitt/McIntosh fifth and Harris/Priest in the pack. In the dying breeze there was an intense tactical battle between Rob and Ruth Lennox who took first place, Suggitt/McIntosh, finishing in second and Cox/Hotchkiss who came in third. Suggitt/McIntosh had done enough to take the meeting by the narrowest of margins.

Overall Results

1st 2467 Bob Suggitt and Chris McIntosh (Barnt Green SC)

2nd 2311 Emma Harris and Becky Priest (Waldringfield SC)

3rd 2462 Simon Cox and Anna Hotchkiss (Frensham Pond SC)

4th 2375 Rob and Ruth Lennox (Barnt Green SC)

5th 2263 Peter Cook and J Exelby (Bristol Corinthian YC)

6th 2468 Tony and Brenda Hotchkiss (South Staffs SC)

7th 2331 Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson (Bristol Corinthian YC)