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Lark Class at Carnac 2014 sponsored by GJW Direct

by Charles Roome 30 May 2014 08:01 BST 24-27 May 2014
National 12's, Scorpions, Larks, Enterprises and Merlins waiting for the first signal at Carnac 2014 © Paula Southworth

2006 – Remember that? Quite a while ago! Italy won the Football World Cup, Roger Federer won Wimbledon. Will history repeat itself?

This was the year of the last Lark Class European Championships, and this May bank holiday the Larks returned to Carnac as part of the affectionately named "Carnac 2014". However this belies the fact we were made hugely welcome, as ever. Some new faces, some not so new who graced the results 8 years ago, including both of the reigning champions from that last staging of the event (who, sailing separately, somehow both managed to both crew and helm during this year's event!).

The event opened up with a handicap race on the Saturday in the best breeze of the week. This was to cater for late arrivals who wouldn't make racing that day, luckily enough for the Pynn/Cook partnership, who reportedly were heard to say that Sat Nav is something for the 21st century and hasn't yet made it to Suffolk and thus they took the scenic route through Northern France.

In a blustery 20 knots Roome/Stewart took the Lark honours, followed closely by event organiser extraordinaire Jeffcoate/Johnson, with Cumley/Evans in third. After a brief shakedown extra lap courtesy of the Merlin fleet being unable to read the sailing instructions (this became a recurrent theme!), the fleet retired for daily prizegiving, dinner to celebrate the now arrived Pynn's birthday, and the first of several drinks in Rhumerie/Flamingo's row!

Day 2 saw the start of handicap racing, with an opening pair of bullets for Pynn/Cook, chased by the trio of Cumley/Evans, White/White and Stewart/Roome-Roome/Stewart. By way of explanation, the real battle of the week in the last boat had begun – who would win the in-boat challenge, one race each – day 1 to Stewart! The Lark fleet then lead the first multi fleet Crews Union whilst the helms settled into a gentle Steering Committee which wasn't quite so gentle for some! The outcome of this particular evening fits the "what goes on tour stays on tour" description.

Day 3 and Cumley/Evans broke the Pynn/Cook march in race 1, with the usual pretenders chasing hard. Race 2 it was Roome/Stewart's turn to chase Pynn/Cook home and thus the score was 1-1! Emma and Matt White bagged a pair of thirds, and class chairman Ward/Ward showed their new found pace to bag a pair of 4ths. The club laid on a super buffet that night with copious amounts of free French wine in the sunshine (yep edge to edge blue!).

The final day and Stewart/Roome came out of the blocks fastest and were never caught, with Pynn/Cook wrapping up the event with a race to spare. A repeat occurrence in the final race with the opposite result (and the Roome/Stewart team picked up an OCS to hand victory to Stewart!). The Wards netted two thirds, with Harris/Harris grabbing a 4th in the final race.

Overall Pynn/Cook took the win, followed by White/White, with Stewart/Roome-Roome/Stewart in third.

What a great event – thanks must go to Tom Jeffcoate's vision to bring together 5 classes in Carnac for 4 days of sun, sailing and socialising. Also thanks to GJW Direct for sponsoring the event.

Conversation at the prizegiving turned to two things:

  1. Where should we go next? Back to Carnac, to Barbados or somewhere else?!
  2. Netley open – 14/15th June – shared with the Scorpions – who will have more boats?

Loads more photos on the Lark Class Facebook page here.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1 2520PYNN Harry COOK Gemma WALDRINGFIELD SC1121216
3 2356JAMES Stewart ROOME Charlie NETLEY SC2DPI521OCS16
4 2496CUMLEY Steve EVANS Lucy BARTLEY SC32165516
5 2507WARD James WARD Katie EXE SC66443320
6 2475HOLLIMAN Chris HUTCHINS Kate RYA5DPI684628
7 2502CHATTEN Steve GRAY Fiona NSC910858838
9 1615HARRIS Keri HARRIS Theo RNSA1289OCS10443
10 2487ANDREWS Kian PASTOR Becki PENZANCE SC89119121148
11 2515ROSE Kevin BAWDEN Neil UPPER THAMES SC101212711949

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