A total of 17 Larks made up the largest single class attendance in the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy event held at Northampton SC last weekend

A total of 17 Larks made up the largest single class attendance in the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy event held at Northampton SC last weekend.

The event is divided up into separate competitions for single-handed boats, two man symmetrical boats and asymmetric boats with all proceeds going to the National Asthma Campaign. The two man symmetrical fleet, totalling 54 boats, included Fireballs, Flying Fifteens, GP14s, National 12s, Larks, Enterprises, Merlin Rockets, 420s and a Laser 2.

In the first race the breeze was around 10 knots allowing the Fireballs to fully trapeze. Harry Pynn/Tom Alexander and Steve Cumley/Eluned Jones opted for clear air and started next to the committee boat. They worked the shifts on the right of the course and rounded well placed just behind the first group of Fireballs. Cumley overtook Pynn down the next reaches and slowly pulled away. As the race progressed the wind swung right and the reaches became tighter benefiting, in particular the Fireballs. Cumley/Jones and Pynn/Alexander defended stoically and finished in 6th and 12th places overall after adjustment for handicap.

In the second race Cumley/Jones were joined by Ruth Johnson/Sophie Mackley and Stuart Hydon/Hannah Showell at the non-favoured committee boat end of the line. Cumley Jones was the first boat to tack off into an incoming right shift. Johnson/ Mackley and Hydon/Showell followed suit and with clear air the three Larks were able to tack on the shifts all the way to the windward mark.

Cumley/Jones rounded the windward mark second just behind a Flying Fifteen and ahead of all the Fireballs, only to sail into a big hole and watch the faster boats sail over the top. By the first gybe mark David and Georgina Hand were the leading Lark followed by Stewart Hydon and Hannah Showell (back to Larks after a 10 year sabbatical). Three reaches later the Hands were still first Lark but Cumley/Jones were up to second and David and Nick Marlow were catching fast. Plagued by faster boats overtaking, the Larks battled for clear air and held onto their relative positions until the last leeward mark.

The Hands led by half a boat length from Cumley and Jones, with the Marlows a boat length further back and Pynn/Alexander now in contention after some quick downwind sailing. The Hands went right up the final beat and Pynn tacked early out into the middle of the lake. Cumley and the Marlows made for the middle. Approaching the finish line the race was anybody’s. Cumley/Jones, tacked in front of the Marlows and then breathed in to cross just in front of the Hands approaching fast on starboard. Cumley and Jones came first Lark with the Hands second, the Marlows third and Pynn fourth, with only fifth seconds separating all four boats. On handicap the first four Larks were placed 10th to 14th overall.

Combining the results from both races the overall results were calculated. Fireballs featured strongly with four boats in the top six, split only by a National 12 in third and the Lark of Cumley and Jones in fifth.

Lark Results

5th Steve Cumley and Eluned Jones

11th Harry Pynn and Tom Alexander

17th David and Nick Marlow

20th David and Georgina Hand

23rd Stuart Hydon and Hannah Showell

28th Ruth Johnson and Sophie Mackley