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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Lark Winter Championships 2023 - Runners and Riders

by Nigel Hufton 13 Nov 2023 15:34 GMT 18-19 November 2023
Anyone wanting to join in the legendary Lark fun is welcome © Matthew Brown Photography

The Lark Winter Championships will be held over 18-19 November and it is shaping up to be a competitive event both on and off the water, with great prizes for the sailing and for the 'Peaky Blinders' fancy dress competition!

Anyone wanting to join in the legendary Lark fun can find out more at www.sailingbarntgreen.com/event/lark-class-winter-championships-2023

Sponsored by Craftinsure, the Larks return to a long-standing Lark club, Barnt Green. Set in rolling countryside in Worcestershire, it is one of the premier sailing clubs in the West Midlands.

There will be trophies and prizes galore, especially for the all-important Silver and Bronze fleets, so everyone can have competitive fun wherever they are in the fleet.

At the top of the fleet, the outcome will no doubt depend on the ability to handle the expected windy conditions and local knowledge in the likely shifty conditions. The winners are likely to come from one of the five ex-National Champion helms in the fleet:

Stuart Hydon and Anne Biglin - Not a local, but Stuart won the 2023 Inlands in windy/shifty conditions and won the overall Travellers Trophy again in 2023. Brilliant tactics and boat speed and an uncanny ability to thread his way through the fleet. While he has lent his championship-winning crew to Megan (see below), he and Anne won Dartmouth Dinghy Regatta this year.

John Brickwood and Andy Hicks - The partnership of John and Andy goes back to winning the Nationals in 1986 - and they came back together to come third this year. Again not local, but they have sailed at the famously shifty Frensham Pond for years and will revel in the expected strong winds.

Steve Cumley and James Dyer - Steve is another previous National Champion and has the advantage of being a local sailor. Loves it shifty and windy.

Bob Suggitt and Jai Sanehi - It's been a while since Bob won the Nationals and Inlands but he is still difficult to beat on home water and with the benefit of the more youthful Jai, could well be at the front.

Emma Harris and Rachael Jenkins - Returning to the fleet after a break, Emma has upgraded her boat and formed a ferociously competitive partnership with Rachael. They could throw some surprises.

Other strong challengers are:

Megan Brickwood & Nick Hydon - Back from an Olympic 49FX campaign but relatively new to Larks, Megan's campaign will be bolstered by the experience (and brilliance) of Lark championship winning super-crew Nick.

Guy & Sam Brearey - New to Larks and sailing their first event - but that shouldn't hold them back as Guy was in the 2022 National Match Racing Champion-winning team and his crew is current Merlin National Champion Crew! Look out for them in the Synergy demo boat!

Jonny Coate & Kate Phillips - One of two strong contenders from South Staffs this year and improving all the time.

Samuel Bailey and Laura Burch - Challenging at the younger end of the fleet, Sam won the Travellers' Trophy in 2022 and is an Inland specialist.

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