A perfect sunny day greeted a small, but perfectly formed, fleet of 10 Larks for their last sea open of 2002

A perfect sunny day greeted a small, but perfectly formed, fleet of 10 Larks for their last sea open of 2002. Three races were held on the Saturday outside the breakwater in a shifty F2-4 and a short chop. The first two races were set as long Olympic courses and an extremely long line, which was difficult to see in the bright sunshine. Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson dominated Race 1, leading from start to finish and never being challenged. Behind them, having quashed an early challenge from Mark Ampleford/Lee Nankervis and Chris/Rachael Jenkins, Emma Harris/Becky Priest, and Dougal Scott/Helen Woodward battled for second, eventually finishing in that order.

Race 2 saw the same three boats in the top 3 positions. Dowsett/Johnson led, again, but were overtaken on the penultimate beat by Harris/Priest who took advantage of a favourable shift of the right side of the course. They finished in that order, with Scott/Woodward, again in third. The final race was sailed over a shorter course as the sun threatened to hit the horizon and the autumn chill started to bite. The fleet split left and right, with Harris/Priest popping out ahead at the windward mark, again followed by Scott/Woodward and Dowsett/Johnson. Positions remained unchanged, although close, giving Harris/Priest the overnight lead on 4 points, Dowsett/Johnson in 2nd on 6 points and Scott/Woodward 3rd on 8 points.

Following 20 steaks cooked in variety of ways and a few beers on Saturday night, the Larks woke up to an incredibly foul morning which had worsened by the advertised start time. PRO Dave Curno, took the wise decision to cancel racing due to the F6-7, gusting 9 that was, by this time, hitting the harbour wall. The Larks did don their drysuits, however, but this time to stay dry whilst packing up their boats!

Final positions, therefore, remained as Saturday, with Harris/Priest winning their seventh open meeting of the year, and with it, the 2002 Belle Isle Traveller’s Trophy. Emma Harris