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Lark eOpen at Banbury Sailing Club

by Neil Firth 30 Jun 2020 06:22 BST 28 June 2020
Stephen Videlo, winner of the Banbury Lark eOpen, at his Virtual Regatta rig © Stephen Videlo

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. Six races were set to challenge the competitors in a variety of boats at some of sailing's most iconic global venues.

The first two races were held at Portsmouth in the tactically challenging Star Class. Race 1 saw local youth sailor Matt Best with the best start, closely followed by Neil Firth, also of Banbury. Unusually for a Star race, these two broke away from the fleet for a Banbury one-two, leaving half a dozen Waldringfield boats battling for third which was eventually taken by Alan Krailing. Banbury's dominance of race 1 was not to last, with Waldringfield taking the top three places in race 2. Harry Pynn led at the windward mark but ultimately slipped back to third behind Edd McArdle who took the win from Stephen Videlo in second.

We then boarded the virtual flight to San Francisco where our J/70s were rigged and ready for the next leg of our Grand Tour. Banbury's Commodore, Duncan Syme, was keen to keep his Club's hopes alive and looked like leading race 3 from start to finish. However, reigning Lark eNational Champion, Stephen Videlo, had other ideas and stole the win by less than a bowsprit on the line! Harry Pynn took third. Stephen was starting to show his true class (7th overall in the RYA Spring Class Championship), leading race 4 from start to finish. Bob Whitehouse took second, showing the strength in depth of Waldringfield's travellers, with Edd in third.

The Tour concluded with two 49er races in Sydney Harbour. Waldringfield's Dan Watson was the early leader in race 5 and was never really challenged. Matt held second for most of the race but was overhauled on the final run by both Jon White, second, and Edd in third. Going into race 6, Stephen was looking like the one to beat but, with two discards already 'in the bag', any slip ups would let Edd or Matt take overall honours. However, in eSailing as in real sailing, the Champion prevailed under pressure, showing the fleet a clean transom throughout the race (Editor: in a 49er, what transom?). Matt took second and Edd third - just enough for Edd to finish ahead of Matt overall.

So, at the end of a very entertaining evening, including the usual race banter on Zoom, we retired to the virtual bar. Stephen Videlo took overall honours with Edd McArdle completing a Waldringfield one-two. Matt Best was best of the Banbury boats, taking third overall as well as first Youth.

Our thanks go to everyone who took part - we'll be aiming for 18 real boats at the Banbury Lark Open next year!

Overall Results:

PosBoatHelmSail NoClubR1 (Star)R2 (Star)R3 (J70)R4 (J70)R5 (49er)R6 (49er)Pts
1SWV1447Stephen Videlo Waldringfield SC(7)211(7)15
2EddMcEdd McArdle2464Waldringfield SC(5)1(13)33310
3mattbestVEVOMatt Best Banbury SC1(4)(8)44211
4Dan WatsonDaniel Watson2531Waldringfield SC(6)(6)461415
5Black VelvetNeil Firth2537Banbury SC25(7)(8)5719
6Al KAlan Krailing2521Waldringfield SC3(12)65(10)519
7BoudiccaBob Whitehouse2290Waldringfield SC4(9)(10)26820
8Jon WhiteJon White2306RYA(8)(DNF)572620
9RollergirlHarry Pynn2520Waldringfield SC(13)3398(11)23
10DeejayessDuncan Syme Banbury SC972(11)(12)1028
11buffyNigel Denchfield2459Grafham12812(13)(14)941
12ajv1155Alyson Videlo2483Waldringfield SC(14)1391011(14)43
13WhalesharkAndy Darby Banbury SC101111(18)(16)1244
14SkylarkingSue Firth2537Banbury SC1110(16)1213(17)46
15MogwaiBrenda Hewison2215Banbury SC15(17)15149(16)53
16FloraWFlora Winter Waldringfield SC(16)14141615(18)59
17NigelHNigel Hufton2538Frensham Pond(DNF)15(18)15171562
18TomatronTom Krailing Waldringfield SC(17)161717(DNF)1363

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