Dougall and Nigel Scott, fresh from their recent championship win, dominated this weekend's Lark open meeting at West Kirby

A good gathering of visitor boats joined the growing West Kirby fleet on 1-2 September, 2001 for an excellent weekend of racing and socialising, after a gap of a few years.

Things all kicked off early on Saturday morning, due to the tides, which meant a few bleary eyes especially from the visitors that had travelled some distance. In the first race the fleet got away cleanly, and quickly worked out that right was favoured up the beat due to the flooding tide. First to the windward mark were Dougal and Nigel Scott, closely followed by Tim Wilkins and Dave Milledge in their Leeds University boat, and Steve Cumley and Nikki Attwood, with all of these boats holding their positions to the finish after two laps of the triangle/sausage course.

The second race was sailed in less wind and less tide. The Scotts again rounded first followed by Cumley and Attwood, who maintained their positions until the wind dropped very light on the final run against the tide. Both boats went inshore to cheat the tide while Richard and Jenny Bennett, and Wilkins and Milledge went further out into the tide and found more pressure. This made for a very tight last beat with the Bennetts securing victory followed by the Scotts and Wilkins and Milledge.

After lunch and a break the fleet re launched onto the Marine Lake and sailed an extremely exciting race with a lot of ‘turning corners’! The very short first beat was virtually a drag race to the first mark, with Cumley and Attwood rounding first followed by the Scotts and Wilkins and Milledge. Down the first reach the Scotts sailed high and got through Cumley and Attwood, and held that position to the finish, with Cumley and Attwood second and Wilkins and Milledge third. The evening’s entertainment after the football was an excellent meal and dancing and drinking till late in West Kirby’s legendary boat shed.

Sunday dawned with more wind and rain than the previous day, and the fleet once again bleary eyed for a different reason, launched for two short races. With the tide once again flooding, the Scotts reached the windward mark first and build up a sizable lead despite the pursuing pack. However, they almost failed to notice that the race officer had shifted the gybe mark on the second lap, allowing Cumley and Attwood up to their transom. This culminated in an exciting screaming reach to the finish, which would have gone to Cumley had he not dropped his kite assuming that there was another lap, instead of the Scotts taking it on the line. Julia Neal and Trevor Jenkins from West Kirby came in third sailing an excellent race. The final race was held in the building breeze, with the Scotts rounding ahead of Andy Paley and Rachel Jones, and Cumley and Attwood. The Scotts built themselves a commanding lead, but battle for second was a tough fight between Cumley and Attwood and Paley and Jones, with Cumley finally coming out on top.

Overall Results

1st 2347, Dougal and Nigel Scott (Ranelagh SC) 4 points

2nd 2413, Steve Cumley and Nikki Attwood (Barnt Green SC) 9 points

3rd 2457, Tim Wilkins and Dave Milledge (Leeds University SC) 12 points