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Larkoni Open at Marconi Sailing Club

by Nigel Denchfield 8 May 2019 15:04 BST 5-6 May 2019
Marconi Lark Open © Jemma Clarke

A small flock of larks descended on Marconi SC for the annual Larkoni weekend, and as usual received a terrific welcome and magnificent hospitality from the Club. The catering was first class, especially the chocolate cake; it was worth the trip just for that.

The early arrivals on Saturday were able to examine the effects of several force 9 squalls on the River Blackwater and were grateful not to be racing until Sunday.

The fleet launched on Sunday into the forecast 10-12kt wind and prepared to do battle with wind and tide running perpendicularly to each other. Glenn Enkel and Julie Bachelor shot off into the lead chased by the Denchfield pairing. The Enkel boat pulled away for a comfortable win, which was to be the pattern for most races. Worthy of note was the performance of a very old Baker built Lark in the hands of club sailors Andy Perks and Sara Townsend.

Race 2 wasn't quite a repeat run. The wind decided to do its own thing and rose to 18-22kt, creating some interesting water conditions for the run, especially where it crossed the main channel. Simon Cox crewed by 9 year old son George got into his stride, and took second place behind the flying Enkel boat.

Race 3 began in similar wind, and whilst Enkel sailed away to secure 1st, Dave Russell and Clare Clarke found the go button and for most of the race were ahead of the Denchfields. The final run proved to be Dave's undoing and some good use of the tide allowed the Denchfields by. Race 4 was sailed in fewer breezes, but that didn't matter to the Enkel/Bachelor pairing, they picked up their 4th win of the day.

Ashore, after a splendid roast dinner, the Larkies took part in a club social featuring a 80s quiz. We were hampered though by the lack of questions about Lark sailors in the 1980s.

The final two races took place on Monday. Race 5 saw Enkel/Batchelor take a 5th win, chased home by the Coxes.

The final race saw great excitement at the start with 4 Larks all aiming at the same patch of water at the tide biased starboard end of the line much to the amusement of the Cox boat that was clear of the ensuing carnage. The Denchfields were the recipients of two Larks barging in from windward whilst the third baled out. We won't say whose fault it was, but the Enkel boat was the first of the two to begin penalty turns. This allowed the Cox boat to take an early lead which much to young George's delight they held to the finish.

Many thanks to Marconi for hosting a fun weekend that provided very different sailing conditions to the usual.

Overall Results: (top five)

1st 2477, Glenn Enkel & Julie Batchelor (Maylandsea Bay) 5pts
2nd 2459, Nigel & Fiona Denchfield (Grafham Water) 11pts
3rd 2534, Dave Russell & (Marconi) 16pts
4th 2443, Simon & George Cox (Waldringfield) 17pts
5th 1461, Andy Perks & Sara Townsend (Marconi) 24pts

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