John Brickwood and Andy Hicks won the inaugural Lark Masters Championship at Stewartby last weekend

The inaugural Lark Masters Championship was held over the weekend of 18-19 October at Stewartby Water SC. The fleet of 44 boats included winners of 13 Lark National Championships spanning four decades, with everyone enjoying the Larks’unique blend of competitive racing and partying.

In a glorious autumn sunshine, Tim Fells and crew Richard Dowsett opened their campaign impressively with a score of 1 and 3, with John Brickwood and Andy Hicks recording 2,3 and Jon and Davey Ellis also recording a win.

Sunday dawned colder, with the building wind providing a stern test of boat handling and shift spotting. With the fleet ever-keen at the start, race officer Dougal Scott eventually resorted to the black flag, sending overnight leaders Fells and Dowsett and others home. When the fleet finally got away, it was Richard Stanley and Katie Shorrock who led the fleet home, chased by Brickwood/Hicks and Mark and Liz Rushall.

A large shift on the first beat of race four left many of the front-runners chasing through the fleet. Newcomer to the class Richard Estaugh, crewed by current national champion crew Ruth Johnson, seized the opportunity, leading home Chris Ellis/Ed Smith, with Jon and Davey Ellis keeping their challenge alive in third.

By the last race, only Brickwood/Hicks and Ellis/Ellis could win overall. The fast and furious conditions suited the ever-improving Estaugh/Johnson who led home Fells/Dowsett and Rushall/Rushall. However, a fifth for Brickwood/Hicks was sufficient for them to take the championship by an impressive 10-point margin.

Overall Results

1st John Brickwood and Andy Hicks – 12 pts

2nd Jon and Davey Ellis – 22 pts

3rd Richard Estaugh and Ruth Johnson – 23 pts

4th Nigel Hufton and Chris Whitehouse – 23 pts

5th Richard Stanley and Katie Shorrock – 25 pts

6th Steve Lovegrove and Paul Gardner – 26 pts

GrandmasterChris Ellis and Ed Smith (7th overall)