Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Larks at the 2019 Lymington Dinghy Regatta

by Eluned Stewart 18 Jul 2019 07:37 BST 13-14 July 2019
Larks at the 2019 Lymington Dinghy Regatta © RLymYC

Beautiful sunshine, friendly faces and a shifty and gusty F2-3 greeted the travelling Larks who entered the Lymington Dinghy Regatta hosted jointly by Lymington Town Sailing Club and the Royal Lymington Yacht Club for this 120-boat sold-out event.

The racing was held on two separate courses out on The Solent, with the Larks joining the medium handicap fleet at the second of four starts on the trapezoid West Course. There were 34 boats in the medium fleet, including Merlin Rockets, Lasers, Solos, Phantoms, Fireflys and RS200's, but this did not stop the Larks having exceptionally close racing all weekend.

The race officer and the shore-based team were incredibly efficient and organised which confused many crews as we were all out on the race course with a good half an hour to spare so the racing got off promptly on time and each start rapidly followed the previous race.

Three races were scheduled for each of the two days. The tide was still coming in but relatively slack for the start of race one. Neil and Sue Firth had a good start and showed their Friday training was not wasted, by leading the Larks round the windward mark. However, Chris and Kate Holliman showed their usual speed and love of a corner to reel them in and take the spoils, finishing this race in 7th overall. Nigel Hufton sailing with Julia Batchelor for the first time, missed the start while removing the notorious Lymington weed from the foils, but showed electric pace up the second beat, overtaking Steve Chatten and Kirsty Phipps, and almost catching Steve Cumley and Eluned Stewart.

The tide had turned in the second race. Cumley/Stewart were OCS so had to fight their way back to the start line to start behind the fleet. The Hollimans lead the Larks round the first lap with the other four Larks doing battle quite a long way behind. Cumley/Stewart went hard right down the first run, overtaking Chatten/Phipps, Hufton/Batchelor, the Firths and hot on the heels of the Hollimans by the start of the second beat. Sadly, a broken tiller extension made the second lap too difficult for the Hollimans and although they did battle on, they were overtaken by the other Larks. Cumley/Stewart continued their electric pace for the rest of the race finishing in 3rd overall, while the other Larks had a real battle, finishing in 17th, 18th, 19th and 21st overall!

The Hollimans returned to shore for the third race, while the other four Larks struggled against a dropping breeze and increasing tide. The tide made a general recall almost inevitable and the race finished sensibly after just one lap. Cumley/Stewart again finished first Lark, in 10th overall.

The fleet returned to shore for their complementary tea and donut. The Royal put on a fun social in the evening including a free raffle (the Firths won a signed Nick Craig book), a magician, dinner and an Oppy full of beer.

Sunday was expected to be very light but again a F2 greeted the fleet. The tide started ebbing just as the racing started so the majority of the fleet headed inshore up the beats for each of the three races. However, the Firths showed that it wasn't all about the tide and there were shifts to be had, by heading out into the tide and overtaking Cumley/Stewart on the second beat to take the spoils.

The tide was getting stronger by the second race and judging the lay line for the windward mark was extremely tricky with some boats taking several attempts at rounding. With odd shifts and pressure differences, it really was a "snakes and ladders" type race with positions changing frequently. One major factor was the weed and mastering the weed removal was essential to a good result. Cumley/Stewart again took the spoils on this one with the Firths and Hufton/Batchelor having a very close race, finishing just one place apart.

The sun reappeared and the race officer threw in an extra lap for the final race. The Larks had a fantastic battle with places changing hands every beat. Cumley/Stewart had a good start and were not ever really in danger but the other three boats continued battling right to the finish, all crossing in quick succession.

Overall, this was a fabulous event and the Larks are keen to return with a larger fleet next year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
12496Steve CumleyEluned Stewart(3)112116
22537Neil FirthSue Firth2(4)213412
32538Nigel HuftonJulia Batchelor(4)3442215
42475Chris HollimanKate Holliman15(DNC)34316
52502Steve ChattenKirsty Phipps523(DNC)DNCDNC24

Related Articles

2020 Lark Travellers' Series overall
Harry Pynn & Gemma Cook win In a year of cancelled events, they managed to hunt down those allowed to happen, showing their versatility by winning a pre-Covid Northampton, and post-lockdown Salcombe and Frensham Opens. Posted on 1 Dec
Larks at South Staffs
Final Round of the Travellers Trophy South Staffs SC ran a rearranged Lark Open on 24 October, just in the nick of time before the latest lockdown. This was the fourth and final Lark Open to be sailed for the 2020 Belle Isle Travellers' Trophy, so places were up for grabs. Posted on 5 Nov
Larks at Frensham Pond
Kicking off their season unusually late this year The Larks reached their Covid-19 entry quota of 14 boats in record time and those lucky enough to get a place were rewarded with a fantastic day of racing in beautiful surroundings. Posted on 13 Oct
Lark Nationals to be in October - and free!
The class will 'give something back' by covering the cost of members' entries The Larks are planning a free "RYA Covid-compliant Nationals" in Plymouth on 17/18 October. Posted on 25 Sep
West Lancashire YC 24 Hour eRace
No competitor felt cold or wet when capsizing in a brief squall at 2am Having considered all the options in early May West Lancashire Yacht Club made the difficult but, as it turned out, correct decision to cancel this year's WLYC 24 Hour Race on the Marine Lake, Southport. Posted on 24 Sep
Entries now open for Virtual 24 Hour eRace
West Lancashire Yacht Club's eSailing alternative to be held on 19-20 September Today West Lancashire Yacht Club opened entries to their unique eSailing endurance event, WLYC 24 Hour eRace. This virtual event temporarily takes the place of the on-the-water WLYC 24hr Hour Race which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on 10 Jul
Lark eOpen at Banbury
Six local boats joined by 12 visitors Six local Banbury boats were joined by twelve visitors, including a bus-load from Waldringfield, for a virtual open meeting to replace the cancelled Banbury Lark Open on 28 June. Posted on 30 Jun
Lark eNational Championships
Restrictions haven't dampened the spirits or competitiveness of the fleet Following the success of the Lark e-Inlands earlier in May, the Larks descended onto their sofas, home offices and dining tables to take part in the 2020 Lark eNationals over the Bank Holiday weekend. Posted on 27 May
West Lancs 24 Hour Race goes online for 2020
The 54th edition was scheduled to take place on 19th & 20th September Hosts of the UK's No. 1 Endurance Dinghy event, West Lancashire Yacht Club, set to launch an eSailing alternative for the 24 Hour Race. Posted on 22 May
The Lark e-Inland Championships
41 past, present and future Lark sailors take part 41 past, present and future Lark sailors descended to their lounges, home offices and dining tables to participate in the latest event on the Lark circuit. Posted on 4 May