Shropshire SC hosted its first ever Lark open meeting on 16 March

A beautiful spring day at Whitemere and a very warm welcome from Shropshire SC met 19 Larks for the club’s first ever Lark open meeting on 16 March.

Race one got under way in a Force 1-3, with Shropshire’s race officer, Dave Turtle, testing the travellers’ powers of observation and memory by using just about every mark on the water! Chris and Rachael Jenkins led to the first windward mark, followed closely by Peter Cook and Janet Exelby, with their new Speed sails, and Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson hot on their heels. Dowsett/Johnson, however, pulled through the Jenkins and Cook/Exelby and steamed away. By the finish, they had pulled out a considerable lead, with Cook/Exelby in second and John Billington and Sue Mellor pushing up to third.

Sunshine and a light breeze remained for the second race after lunch, which saw Richard and Jenny Bennett lead to the first mark, with Dowsett/Johnson and Emma Harris and Becky Priest following closely behind. The Bennetts led for the first two laps, hotly pursued by Dowsett/Johnson and Harris/Priest. Harris/Priest, sailing low on the run, caught them both and overtook Dowsett/Johnson on the following beat. They then chipped away at the Bennetts’ lead, overtook them and led to a comfortable finish. The Bennett duo, losing some of their earlier speed, were overhauled by both the Billingtons, who had climbed through the fleet, and Dowsett/Johnson who finished in second and third respectively.

Race three saw Harris/Priest lead from the start to the finish, but not without a close battle with Cook/Exelby. Dowsett/Johnson fought for third with Simon Cox and Anna Hotchkiss, who had sailed an impressive race to come up from the back of the fleet. The finish became tight as the breeze eased away and Cook/Exelby closed in on Harris/Priest, but Harris/Priest held on to take the meeting, with Cook/Exelby and Dowsett/Johnson finishing in second and third in the last race. Having tied on points, Dowsett/Johnson took second overall due to their win in race one, with Cook/Exelby in third.

Overall Results

1st 2311 Emma Harris and Becky Priest, 2pts

2nd 2331 Richard Dowsett and Ruth Johnson, 4pts

3rd 2263 Peter Cook and Janet Exelby, 4pts

4th 2405 John Billington and Sue Mellor, 5pts

5th 2462 Simon Cox and Anna Hotchkiss, 8pts