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Lark National Championship 2019 at Rock - Days 1 & 2

by Harry Pynn 26 May 2019 21:51 BST 25-28 May 2019
Lark Nationals at Rock © Chris Holliman

As venues go, Rock has everything. Wonderful sailing in beautiful surroundings with plenty of things to do for family and friends, and racing managed by Martin Hough who always ensures a quick turnaround of races.

No surprise that the Larks are 50% up in National championship entrants from last year. The class has been reborn and what a way to do it.

Competition is always tight in the Larks and with six former champions in the fleet, 2019 is no exception.

Day 1: Races 1 and 2

Race 1 was sailed in a light breeze at the mouth of the Camel estuary beyond the infamous Doom bar. Light patches and choppy Polzeath surf made for challenging spinnaker flying conditions. On a line start, John and Megan Brickwood started near the pin end and rounded the windward mark in first place, ahead of Harry Pynn and Gemma Cook with Ed Bradburn and Holly Scott in third. Brickwood, sailing his first nationals since winning in Felixstowe in 1999, showed he's still got that amazing ability to point higher than everyone else. The Brickwoods pulled out a commanding lead. Confusion about the race signals at the second leeward mark saw the Brickwoods head for the finish only to find that there was one more lap. Bradburn and Scott overtook Pynn and Cook on the final beat and led to the finish, only for the Brickwoods to be reinstated to 1st after the race.

Race 2 was shorter. Emma Harris and Becky Priest were pathfinder. At the windward mark Pynn and Cook had a narrow lead from Harris and Priest. By the finish Stuart and Nick Hydon had pulled through to 2nd ahead of James Goss and Chris White, leaving Pynn and Cook to win.

Day 2: Races 3, 4 and 5

What a difference a day makes. The breeze increased to a force 4 with enormous rolling waves and it was time for a change of scene at the front of the fleet. James Goss and Chris White had a sensational day winning all three races. Nigel Hufton and Matt Wood also had a good day, challenging Goss and White for the lead and scoring 2, 3, 2. James Stewart and Ruth Johnson scored a 3rd in race 3. Rachael Rhodes and Jane Kearney found the conditions to their liking and overtook Hufton and Wood for 2nd in race 4. The Hydons made a brilliant recovery from a poor start to finish 3rd in race 5.

There were a number of swimmers as a result of the tricky waves. A broken rudder pintle resulting in a spectacular capsize for Paul and Vicky Gardiner just as they were crossing the finish line of race 3.

After five races and one discard Goss and White have a commanding lead with 6 points. Pynn and Cook and the Hydons are tied on 13 points for second place.

The Lark nationals continue until Tuesday 28th May, four championship races and a crew's race remain to be sailed.

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