The Lark open meeting on 16-17 June provided the class with some of the closest and most exciting sailing of the year so far

The annual Pevensey Bay Lark open meeting was sailed over the weekend of 16/-17 June. It provided the class with some of the closest and most exciting sailing of the year so far, in an event that was ultimately decided on the final race.

A 19-strong fleet was greeted on Saturday with a stiff Force 5 westerly breeze, making for some eventful launching. With most of the fleet still intact, race one got underway. Martin Gillam and Jane Alexander showed that the breeze was to their liking as they built up a commanding lead on the first beat. Simon Cox and Dave Herbert led the chasing pack in their new Rondar boat in second, with Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle third. As Gillam and Alexander stretched away, a close battle developed for second and third, until an untimely capsize by Cox and Herbert on the final reach let in Krailing and McArdle for second, with Dougal and Nigel Scott third.

Race two was sailed back-to-back, and like the first was started from a club line. Cox and Herbert continued their good form to lead around the windward mark, with the Scotts second and Neil and Fiona Ravenscroft third. The Scotts showed great speed to overhaul Cox and Herbert and hold off a strong challenge from the Ravenscrofts in second, with Emma Harris and Helen Woodward piping Cox and Herbert for third.

Alcohol fuelled cross-dressing was the story of Saturday nights disco, with most of the competitors arriving for Sunday’s 1030 start, feeling a little delicate.

The wind was again strong and race three was sailed over a huge triangle/sausage course. Krailing and McArdle got away leading around the first mark, followed by the Scotts with Matt White and Clare La Forge third. The lead changed hands several times as the front two battled it out, Krailing and McArdle taking first by the narrowest of margins from the Scotts, with Cox and Herbert claiming third.

The final two races were held back-to-back on Sunday afternoon. The Scotts showed the rest of the fleet round in race four after an impressive first beat with Harris and Woodward second and Cox and Herbert third.

In the final race, Krailing and McArdle got away to lead from the Ravenscrofts. A strong second beat took Krailing and McArdle clear with the Ravenscrofts finishing second, closely followed by Peter Cook and Janet Exelby.

The luxury of two discards created a tie for first place between the Scotts and Krailing and McArdle, which was split on the final race result in favour of Krailing and McArdle.

Overall Results

1st Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle, 2304 – 4 points

2nd Dougal and Nigel Scott, 2347 – 4 points

3rd Neil and Fiona Ravenscroft, 2302 – 8 points

4th Emma Harris and Helen Woodward, 2311 – 10 points

5th Simon Cox and Dave Herbert, 2462 – 10 points