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Lark Short Course Championship and Open at Itchenor Sailing Club

by John Brickwood 5 Jul 06:47 BST 1-2 July 2023

Following the tranquillity of the Banbury Open meeting in June, the Larks (shared with the Fireflys) held their next event at Itchenor Sailing Club on the 1st and 2nd July. On the Saturday the Lark fleet had a short course championships with six short races scheduled and on the Sunday an open meeting with three standard-saized races.

Strong gusty westerly winds prevailed over the weekend providing exciting racing. The short course races were run in a narrow stretch of Itchenor channel west of the sailing club. With gusts over 25mph, and the tide running against the wind, conditions were both exciting and challenging with plenty of capsizes and unfortunately one broken mast. The narrow channel also provided a natural barrier forcing boats to gybe, often in a strong gust with nowhere else to go.

The first three races were won by John and Vicky Brickwood from Frensham Pond Sailing Club who demonstrated many years of experience in the Lark to stay upright and finish ahead of daughter Megan Brickwood and Connor Dickson from Netley Sailing Club in second overall. Steve Chatten and Tom Evans Alder from Netley started well with a second in the first race but a broken mast in the second race put an end to their weekend. Third overall was Jonny Coate and Kate Phillips who made the long trip from South Staffs Sailing Club.

With the wind increasing and the tide running faster leaving less room to manoeuvre the racing was sensibly ended for the day leaving the fleet a long afternoon to enjoy the hospitality of Itchenor Sailing Club.

Short Course Championship Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stMowgli2528John BrickwoodVictoria BrickwoodFrensham Pond Sailing Club1113
2ndFree Willy252Megan BrickwoodConnor DicksonNetley Sailing Club3227
3rdRocket Ronnie2464Jonny CoateKate PhillipsSouth Staffs SC4DNS314
4thTwocan2540George GrahamMax Evans‑AllderBurwain Sailing Club53RET15
5thTiger Too2538Nigel HuftonOscar RadfordFrensham Pond SCDNC4415
6thThis boat is for sale!2491Steve ChattenTom Evans‑AllderNetley SC2RETDNC16

On Sunday the fleet enjoyed similar conditions. The racing was run slightly further down the channel towards Chichester harbour. The more open race area allowed a triangle course to be set with some exhilarating three sail reaching. John and Vicky Brickwood continued their good form to win the first two races and claim first overall. Samuel Baily and Finn Morgan from South Staffs Sailing Club joined the fleet on Sunday with a second in the first race and a good win in the third race to finish second overall. Megan Brickwood and Connor were consistent and finished a close third. Jonny Coate and Kate Phillips led race two most of the way round and were unlucky to slip to a fourth place overall.

Sunday Racing Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrew NameClubR1R2R3Pts
1stMowgli2528John BrickwoodVictoria BrickwoodFrensham Pond Sailing Club1124
2ndAllergic to Water2536Samuel BaileyFinn MorganSouth Staffordshire Sailing Club2518
3rdFree Willy252Megan BrickwoodConnor DicksonNetley Sailing Club4239
4thRocket Ronnie2464Jonny CoateKate PhillipsSouth Staffs SC33DNF13
5thTiger Too2538Nigel HuftonOscar RadfordFrensham Pond SC54514
6thTwocan2540George GrahamMax Evans‑ AllderBurwain Sailing Club66416

Thanks to Itchenor sailing club for a well run event and hospitality.

The Larks move onto the Salcombe Regatta between 6th-11th August, and with still the Inland and Winter Championships in the 2023 calendar, plus opens at Weymouth and Waldringfield, there is plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

Check out the Lark Class website, facebook page and Insta feed for the latest news, views and pics.

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