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Lark Winter Championship at Northampton Sailing Club

by Stuart Hydon & Dan Watson 9 Nov 2021 15:42 GMT 6-7 November 2021

The 2021 Lark Winters at Northampton followed hot on the heels of the previous weekend's Inland Championship at Frensham, the fixtures congestion being a symptom of Covid postponements earlier in the year.

Blustery conditions greeted those Larks travelling to the joint Lark and National 12 event as the fleet headed to the water.

Race 1 saw Matt White and Marion Enkel establish a small lead over Stuart and Nick Hydon to the windward mark. Down the reaches, on the "P" course, Stuart and Nick powered across Matt and Marion, before starting the run. A bout of dizziness ensued with Stuart rounding the mark incorrectly to starboard leading Matt and Nigel Hufton & Pete Nicholson to do the same.

Ed Bradburn & Nic White realised the error and took the lead leaving the original first three to unwind and re-round. Ed & Nic held on to the lead ahead of Stuart & Nick followed by Nigel & Pete in third.

Race 2 began with a change of course. Dan Watson and Hannah Burt sailed a very fast first beat leading Stuart & Nick around the windward mark. Hesitation in hoisting the kite allowed Stuart and Nick to power through. By the end of the first lap the wind had notched up again with several capsize casualties. From the second lap on, most opted for no kite with the exception of Sam Bailey & Finn Morgan.

For the rest of the fleet the aim was to stay upright and avoid the carnage of the capsized N12s who were having particular difficulty on the run.

Race 3 was a windward-leeward course. Stuart and Nick led from start to finish followed by Nigel & Pete and then Ed & Nic.

The club organised an evening of seasonal festivities with a massive bonfire and the world's longest firework display as all competitors were asked to donate a firework. Bar was open, dinner was served and the disco kicked into action. It was great to get back to the normality of a sailing event!

The following day the wind had abated a little for Race 4. Simon and George started at the committee boat end and hit the far right corner. They were looking to round first, but some tricky shifts allowed Stuart & Nick in near the mark. Stuart & Nick held the position to win and Ed & Nic capitalised on Nigel & Pete's penultimate windward capsize. Sam & Finn pulled into third.

With Stuart and Nick tying up the event with a race to spare, the final race was set to determine second and third places. It was Ed & Nic who managed to keep ahead of Nigel & Pete.

Thanks to Northampton for hosting the event, always a popular venue with the Larks with all the necessary ingredients to keep the class coming back for more.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1  R2  R3  R4  R5  Pts
1st2495Stuart HydonNick Hydon2111(DNC)5
2nd2523Ed BradburnNick12‑3216
3rd2538Nigel HuftonPete Nicholson342(RET)312
4th2468Samuel BaileyFinlay Morgan‑5543214
5th2471Matt WhiteMarion Erikel46‑76420
6th2541Simon CoxGeorge Cox‑Olliff(RET)3RET5622
7th2464Jonny CoateKate Phillips7‑864522
8th2531Daniel WatsonHannah Burt675(RET)RET25
9th2509Stuart AllenJulia Allen8(DNC)DNCRETDNC35

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