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Lark class at the Waldringfield Centenary Cartoon Trophy

by Chris Fish & Daniel Watson 16 Sep 2021 09:56 BST 11-12 September 2021
Larks at the Waldringfield Centenary Cartoon Trophy © Alexis Smith

The Lark class continues to flourish at Waldringfield, following on from the Centenary Regatta held earlier in the year, a fleet of sixteen Larks enjoyed a mixed bag of sailing conditions at Waldringfield Centenary Cartoon Trophy regatta over 11th & 12th Sept.

A local fleet of experienced competitors and newcomers were joined by visitors from as far afield as Devon & Gloucester to enjoy the delights of the Suffolk venue, some of them experiencing estuary sailing for the first time!

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a barbeque hosted for all competitors and club members, making good use of the recently purpose-built BBQ and refurbished club bar.

Unbowed by the flickering southwest F2 and low water that appeared on Saturday, the RO sent the fleet downriver for a large boomerang-shape course with a beat through 'the Rocks'. Chris and mum Cathy Fish managed to put it together to lead race 1 from the start to the finish (with only 4 minutes left on the time limit). Matthew White and Marion Enkel pulled a small lead late on from Stuart and Julia Allen to take second in the otherwise amiable conditions.

The Fishes pulled the same trick in race 2, albeit helped by a significant wind veer that made the main beats into fetches. Stuart/Julia having sussed the tide improved a place with fellow visitors Nigel Hufton/Pete Nicholson in close 3rd.

After a glorious spread of sandwiches, teas and cakes were served from the galley and consumed by competitors, all returned to the water with a more familiar triangle sausage course for race 3, which was sailed upriver of the island at high water. A large veer during the first beat made it another fetch with subsequent legs taking in unusual points of sail. The Fishes took full advantage and, despite taking penalty turns for almost spoiling Simon Cox's new Synergy Marine Lark's maiden voyage, won from Matthew Stearn/Jackie McKeller with Matthew/Marion 3rd.

Saturday evening's bar crawl around the local hostelries, took in two public houses, the club house bar and Michael-John Gifford's drinks cabinet & garden. The social occasion gave visitors a good taste of Suffolk hospitality and some sensational local beers.

With barely a F1 northerly, on Sunday morning, there were bound to be plenty of challenges for getting around the course on a strengthening tide. The winners prize for the event is a classic framed cartoon of a racing dinghy calling "Starboard" on a sailing barge and a few boats tried this trying to make the spreader mark. The barge won. Then there was the long run against the tide to test wits and patience too. The Fishes recovered from a navigation error to catch up by radical angles and shore hugging to cheat the tide and eventually overhaul Samuel Bailey/Finlay Morgan and Harry Pynn/Gemma Cook to take the fourth race.

"The first sea breeze of the year" surprisingly filled to provide the best conditions of the whole weekend, as most participants were finishing off their lunchtime delights on offer on the shoreside. With much more water and solid F2, the RO set a starboard triangle around the island for the final race, with the beat being behind the island against the mid-late flood. This presented yet another interesting tactical conundrum of risking wind shadow near the Sutton shore or more adverse tide near the island. Nigel/Pete popped out in front with a small lead that they kept for over a lap from Matt/Marion and Chris/ Cathy. The last action came on the final leg, which was a broad reach to the club line. The Fishes capitalised by luffing to cover and used good speed to take second from Matt/Marion but not managing to steal the win from Nigel/Pete.

The overall result was a convincing win by Team Fish taking 4 races out of 5, but 2nd & 3rd places could not have been closer with inches on the final finish line deciding that Nigel Hufton & Pete Nicholson pipped Matt White & Marion Enkel. There were battles across the rest of the fleet, with newcomers Simon Hance & Philippe Kerampran both improving their results as the weekend's races progressed.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend was had by all, which could not have happened without the hard work of the volunteers at Waldringfield Sailing Club, most notably Derek Jacobs, who opened and manned the club bar, Anne Spalding who co-ordinated most of the organising activities and the Race team led by Roger Challis who set varied and challenging courses.

For further information about the Lark class, join the Lark Facebook group.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st2494Chris FishCathy Fish1111‑24
2nd2538Nigel HuftonPete Nicholson‑4344112
3rd2471Matt WhiteMarion Enkel243‑6312
4th2509Stuart AllenJulia Allen32‑98417
5th2468Samuel BaileyFinlay Morgan7‑952519
6th2520Matthew StearnJackie McKeller5627‑820
7th2477Glenn EnkelSara Cox‑Olliff6‑875725
8th2537Neil FirthSue Firth858(RET)930
9th2539Nigel ScottDougal Scott10‑111091140
10th2520Harry PynnGemma Cook(DNC)DNCDNC3643
11th2500Simon HanceFlora Winter11‑1212101043
12th2531Daniel WatsonPoppy Waskett9711(DNC)DNC44
13th2474Philippe KerampranGery Ducatel12‑1313111248
14th2540Simon CoxGeorge Cox‑Olliff(DNC)106DNCDNC50
15th1845Kevin WardAndre Edwards(DNC)DNCDNC121359
16th2504Andrew JamesAbigail Matthews(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC68

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