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Lark Inland Championship at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Nigel Hufton 30 Jul 07:20 BST 14-15 July 2018

Over 14/15 July Blithfield Sailing Club hosted an excellent 2018 Inland Championship. The Larks were initially greeted by a sunny, but still Blithfield Reservoir, but the wind filled in just in time for Race 1, sailed in a light breeze.

Hydon/Biglin jumped the start and had to go back through the line. Chris & Nic White established a good lead from the chasing pack, leaving a battle between Ed Bradburn & Holly Evans, Stuart Hydon & Anne Biglin and Steve Cumley & Eluned Stewart. The Whites extended their lead to take the race, followed by Bradburn/Evans.

In race 2, Hydon/Biglin took the lead early on and went on to win the race from a chasing Bradburn/Evans.

In race 3, the Whites were over the line, leaving Bradburn/Evans to sail into the lead from a chasing Hydon/Biglin, while Cumley/Stewart and the Whites battled it out for third.

In the last race the Whites took the lead, with a close battle behind for second between Cumley/Stewart, Hydon/Biglin and Bradburn/Evans. Hydon/Biglin managed to break clear to take second.

Overnight, there were 3 boats on equal points, with fourth close behind, so the championship was wide open. On day two, there was slightly more wind than Saturday and a fresher bunch of sailors than at previous inlands.

Race 5 again saw a tight battle between Bradburn/Evans, Hydon/Biglin and the Whites – this time the Whites managed to take the win.

In race 6, the points were so close that the fleet pushed a port bias line, leading to a general recall. The top 5 boat all changed positions down the final run to the finish, where the Whites sailed down the middle from fourth to steal the lead with Hydon/Biglin securing 2nd and Bailey/Johnson in third.

Race 7 started with testing light and shifty conditions. Bradburn/Evans rounded the first mark ahead of a tight packed fleet. At this moment the wind span 180 and increased dramatically – best described as like being in a washing machine! This caused carnage in the fleet, with positions changing every second and boats capsizing. In the mayhem Hydon/Biglin managed to sail under Bradburn/Evans on the reach, with the Whites left trailing in the pack. Bradburn/Evans managed took the win. The up and coming youth Sam Bailey and his Crew Daniel Johnson sailed a great race to secure third.

Going into Race 8 in was all to play for with two points separating the top three. Bradburn/Evans and the Whites broke away from the chasing fleet. Bradburn/Evans sailed a faultless race keeping in front of the Whites to take the win.

This meant the top two boats ended on the same points and it was number of wins that determined the winner.

Overall Results:

1st Chris White & Nic White, 9pts
2nd Ed Bradburn & Holly Evans, 9pts
3rd Stuart Hydon & Ann Biglin, 12pts
4th Steve Cumley & Eluned Stewart, 23pts
5th Samuel Bailey & Daniel Johnson, 25pts

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