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Lark eNational Championships

by Dan Watson 27 May 2020 17:08 BST 25 May 2020
Lark eNationals © Dan Watson

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, when their actual National Championships was due to take place in Rock, Cornwall.

The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions had not dampened the spirits or competitiveness of the fleet as they fought to select their representative for the RYA Class Champs. With 38 entrants, the event took place over two evenings with two simultaneous heats of 19 racers being held on Mon 25th May, with the top 9 places from each heat, fighting it out in the final showdown on the following evening.

The results for Heat 1 were a close affair with Ned Winter managing to sneak ahead of a tightly congested pack, with only 3 points dividing the top 5 places. The remaining competitors were helped as the fleet somewhat reduced when the entire Jenkins family decided against virtual racing in favour of the real thing, by trying out their newly purchased Lark for the first time. We'll definitely let them have that excuse for non-participation!

The Junior competition, within the heat, was won by Robbie Stewart, who gained an early advantage by claiming two 2nd places in the initial races, which left Ben Meek chasing him, but both qualified for the finals.

Where Heat 1 was close, Heat 2 was not. Counting two 2nds & a 3rd at any other 19-boat regatta, would allow you to be top of the standings, but not when Jon Fish (the current Lark e-Inlands Champion) is on form. He managed to discard a 1st place and overcome all on his way to tying up the heat with a race (or maybe two) to spare. He was chased valiantly by the first of the Master competitors, in the shape of Ian Videlo and Neil Firth, split by Ed Harris who was putting his skills learnt in the Waldringfield spring series to good use. One Master, who was not so lucky- after requesting a mobile hotspot from his son's device for better network connectivity, found his offspring's bowel emptying and mobile phone usage were not mutually exclusive activities. So when nature called, and with facilities being further afield than the location of the family's wifi router, the shall-remain-nameless Master promptly had to "drop out" of race 3!

Anyway - As they say 'the cream always rises to the top' and so it seems as the final showdown approached on Tuesday evening as the creme de la creme of the Lark Virtual Racers descended onto their fruity-named devices and PCs to fight it out to see who would be Lark eNational Champion and representative at the RYA's virtual Endeavour trophy, in June.

The racing was close throughout with Ned Winter, winner of 1st Heat taking the first race win and looking good for the title, however Stephen Videlo was just limbering up, as he then took the following two races and counted a 2nd in the final race to tie up the event with 4 points to spare from a determined Chris Holiman who displayed envyable consistency (a 2nd & 2x 3rds). 3rd place went to Jon Fish, the e-Inlands Champion, who did have some frustrating network issues calling for a zoom administrator's muting action!

The fiercest competition, however, was taking place in the middle of the fleet where the Junior title was at stake, as both Ben Meek and Robbie Stewart tussled to see who would take the title. They both finished on 27 points each, with Robbie taking the honours when counting back to his 4th place in race 2.

Heat 1, Race 1

Heat 1, Race 2

Heat 1, Race 3

Heat 1, Race 4

Well done to all who took part; commiserations to Nigel Hufton for unexpectedly retiring from Race 3 of Heat 2. Thank you to Dan Watson for coordinating the event; Thanks also to Neil and Sue Firth who ran heat 2 and completed all the scoring.

Finally Good Luck to Stephen Videlo who will represent the Lark Class at the RYA Class Championship in June.

Overall Results:

Heat 1
1NED1665Ned Winter161164
2SWV1447Stephen Videlo63‑12228
3Jon WhiteJonathan White3‑741710
4whitebait13Robert Stewart2‑972013
5TEAM CHRISChris Holliman‑5431614
6LarksDaniel Watson71‑82115
7Dick DastardlyBen Meek‑8262317
8CV10ELOChristopher Videlo‑11823022
9EddMcEdd McArdle‑121253522
10Wet RatsEluned Stewart105103626
11Al KAlan Krailing4(DNF)DNF4627
12B39Bex Ewart9DNF95027
13BeckyPBecky Priest1311114831
14DiscodangerSteve DunnDNF10DNF5833
15DomMcSorcererDominik McArdle(DNC)DNCDNC6035
16Calypso2Ed Harris(DNC)11DNF939
17ajv1155Alyson Videlo15‑16141544
18RollergirlHarry Pynn(DNC)1715DNF51
Heat 2
1Fish faceJon Fish‑11113
2vid‑1155Ian Videlo2‑3237
3Calypso2Ed Harris(DNC)45211
4Black Velvet/BSCNeil Firth3‑54411
5Chris WhitehouseChris Whitehouse626‑714
6RollergirlHarry Pynn567‑1318
7PeakyBJason Cahill7(DNC)31020
8ajv1155Alyson Videlo47‑131122
91948ReasonsToBeCheerfulBob Whitehouse1088‑1826
10MJGM.J. Gifford13‑179527
11Lark2470Garry Packer99(DNF)927
12DSRDave Russell‑121211629
13SkylarkingSue Firth811‑141231
14FloraWFlora Winter111012‑1533
15NigelHNigel Hufton1413(DNF)835
16Florence2492James Stewart(DNF)14101640
17PhoebeHebeBrenda Hewison15‑16161445
18buffyNigel Denchfield(DNF)15151747
1SWV1447Stephen Videlo‑51124
2TEAM CHRISChris Holliman233‑118
3Fish faceJon Fish3‑96110
4CV10ELOChristopher Videlo‑1124713
5EddMcEdd McArdle45‑11514
6NED1665Ned Winter1‑1221215
71948ReasonsToBeCheerfulBob Whitehouse6‑145617
8LarksDaniel Watson10‑159322
9Chris WhitehouseChris Whitehouse‑16612422
10PeakyBJason Cahill88(DNF)1026
11whitebait13Robert Stewart13410(DNF)27
12Dick DastardlyBen Meek77(DNF)1327
13vid‑1155Ian Videlo‑141013831
14Black Velvet/BSCNeil Firth12138‑1433
15Jon WhiteJonathan White9(DNC)7DNF35
16Calypso2Ed Harris(DNC)11DNF939
17ajv1155Alyson Videlo15‑16141544
18RollergirlHarry Pynn(DNC)1715DNF51

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