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Larks at the Salcombe Regatta

by Tim Fells 11 Aug 2018 08:55 BST 5-10 August 2018

After many years since the Lark class was a force at Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta and following a successful Masters event last October, a select but highly garlanded group of Larks enjoyed a great week of racing and socialising. With ten Lark National Championship wins in the fleet, competition was sure to be tough and bragging rights closely fought for.

The Lark confirmed itself as a great estuary boat; nimble, responsive and quick tacking with the great ability to dead run against the tide. Racing was extremely close with leading places changing all the way to the line, with all members of the fleet having their moments in the lead.

The week started light and built to a big Friday, giving the old boys time to find their old skills and familiarise themselves with the vagaries of the estuary. With sunshine in abundance, the estuary was at its most beautiful though there were times when the wind went onto rinse cycle leading to some cursing about the craziness of the venue.

Hot out the blocks was reigning National Champion Stuart Hydon sailing with Anne Biglin who produced a dominant performance in Race One. In Race Two, three time Champ Tim Fells sailing with daughter Becca held the lead until the very last leg when first the two time Champ Chris Allen sailing with Anne Ashworth, then Stu and Anne slipped through. in Race Three, the leading four boats arrived at the finish overlapped with three time Champs John and Vicky Brickwood snatching the win from Stu and Anne. Race Four and JB and Vicky had found the groove to take the win from Stu and Anne. By Race Five, Arthur Henderson and Meia Harnett had joined the leading pack and showed their local knowledge to knick a win from JB and Vicky.

So to the last race and with Prawle Point registering gusts of 35 knots it was not going to be for the faint hearted. The overall title was between JB/Vicky and Stu/Anne. Arthur and Meia again nailed the first beat to lead but then broke their kicker making for a very challenging sail, doing remarkably well to get the boat round and finish a third.

At the front JB/Vicky had the upper hand with Stu/Anne biting at their heals. On the last run, Stu/Anne just got their noses in front to round Crossways ahead and cover to the line. The win left them tied on points with JB/Vicky, taking the title on count back.

An excellent week, enjoyed by all, the Lark class put on a great display and we hope will return in greater numbers in 2019.

Overall Results:

1st 2528, Stuart Hydon and Anne Biglin
2nd 2495, John and Vicky Brickwood
3rd 2492, Chris Allen and Anne Ashworth
4th 2539, Tim and Becca Fells
5th 2157, Arthur Henderson and Meia Harnett
6th 2531, Dan Watson and Debbie Walker

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