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Lark National Championship at Sidmouth Sailing Club - Day 3

by Simon Cox 21 Aug 2018 10:23 BST 18-21 August 2018

This Lark Nationals has been a reunion for many returning Larkies. As I write this report on Tuesday morning with a very foggy head, I am reminded of why Lark socials have become the thing of legend and why the class is still held in such high esteem by so many sailors over the years.

Monday dawned with blue in the sky and a light breeze. At midday the fleet left the beach for a long drift out to the start line. After a couple of hours postponement a line of clouds appeared over the cliffs and with it a relatively steady 10-12 knots.

On the first attempt at a start, the excellent PRO John Keast found a 'U' flag to an insufficient deterrent to avoid a general recall and went next into a blag flag start. Dave Young & Mya Petersen were going for one their customary pin end starts but this time making a proper horses derriere of it. Chris & Nic White had a peachy start to lead off the line with Simon Cox & Anna Nankervis not far behind.

At the first windward mark, Chris & Nic had a small lead from Simon/Anna and Dougal & Helen Scott. Nigel Scott & Jo Brun were having their best race so far in 4th place. By the gybe mark Dougal & Helen were past Simon & Anna. The leading three boats took advantage of the fight behind to extend at the front. Behind them championship contenders, Nigel Hufton & Matt Wood were slowly extracting themselves from the melee and putting the pedal to the metal.

By the end of the final lap it was looking increasingly likely that top three places would remain unchanged albeit very close. That was until championship leaders, Chris & Nic, decided to drop their spinnaker at the leeward mark and not so much start an extra lap as forget to cross the finish line. Dougal & Helen took full advantage to take the win by a second from Chris & Nic. Simon & Anna crossed in third for their best result of the week.

The then shut off and the decision was made to abandon further championship racing for the day and hold the crews race as a race back to shore. Matt Wood showed his helm, Nigel Hufton, how it should be done by retaining the title.

The day ended with fancy dress night and a round of pub golf through the pretty town of Sidmouth. With many promising themselves "not too big a night" the stage was set for "big night" and the was somewhat jaded one the morning of Day 4.

The fleet is looking somewhat jaded this morning.

Results after Day 3: (top five)

1st 2533 Chris & Nicola White (South Staffs SC)
2nd 2538 Nigel Hufton & Matt Wood (Frensham Pond SC)
3rd 2484 Dougal & Helen Scott (Rock SC)
4th 2529 James Goss & Kamila Czartolomna (South Staffs SC)
5th 2521 Simon Cox & Anna Nankervis (Waldringfield/Felixstowe Ferry SC)

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