Please select your home edition
Edition
Musto 2023 HPX LEADERBOARD

Musto Lark National Championships 2024 - Runners & Riders - Part 2

by Nigel Hufton 21 May 14:04 BST 26-29 May 2024
Day 2 of the Musto Lark Nationals at Pentewan © Robert Deaves / www.robertdeaves.uk

The upcoming Lark National Championships (26-29 May), sponsored by Musto, will see a return of many past champions - but they will be challenged by some 'new kids on the block'!

Below we look at the contenders for the overall winners' trophy. You can read a separate preview of the challengers for trophies in the all-important Silver fleet, Bronze fleet and other categories in Lark Nationals 2024 Runners & Riders (Part 1).

The Larks return to Weymouth for the first time since 2000. One of the UK's premier sailing venues - and scene of the Olympic 2012 regatta - the event promises great sailing and family-friendly fun. Entries are already over 50% up on last year and there are still boats available to borrow. Anyone wanting to join in can find out more at the event webpage, Lark Nationals 2024.

The Top 10 will be fiercely contested, as ever, with seven previous Championship-winning helms (and 8 crews) in the mix, all keen to get their names on the Silver Lark trophy, plus a sprinkling of recent British sailing team members.

All eyes will be on Tom Gillard and James Hobson. Tom has won more championships than even he can remember - across Scorpions, Fireballs, Solos, Merlins and Streakers - but has never competed in a Lark championship event. Can he be the first non-Lark sailor to lift the trophy since Ian Southworth in 1984?

In attempting this feat, Tom & James will be up against a wealth of talent:

Ed Bradburn & Holly Evans - Ed & Holly won the championship in 2023, having stepped up a gear from a usual solid Top-10 position to take the crown. Looking strong after a 1st and 2nd in early Open meetings.

Stuart & Nick Hydon - Twice winners (2016-17) and looking for that elusive third win to become Lark 'Gods'. Came 2nd last year. Brilliant tactics and boat speed and an uncanny ability to thread their way through the fleet. The shiftier the better.

John Brickwood and Andy Hicks - John became a Lark 'God' in the 80s and 90s and returned to Lark sailing in 2022 with Andy, reuniting their winning partnership from 1986! They came 3rd last year and looked very good over the winter at Frensham. Heaps of experience and talent and will do well in all conditions.

Chris & Nic White - Chris is one of only two people to have won the Larks as both helm (2018/2021) and crew (2019). As a 3-time winner, he is now officially a Lark 'God'. He was 6th last year but is now back sailing with his wife, who won with him in 2021. Hot favourite for the Married Couples prize.

Tim Fells & Fran Gifford - Three-time winner (and 5th last year) Tim has nothing to prove but he retains his competitive instinct and skill, as shown by successes in the Merlin fleet with Fran. Should be Top 5.

Emma Harris & Rachael Jenkins - Past champion Emma is now sailing with Rachael and they are looking very strong, with wins at Weymouth, Waldringfield and Rock in the last year. Emma is always able to thread her way through the fleet if necessary and with Rachael is back to her best. Could be Top 5.

Harry Pynn & Gemma Cook - A past champion and 7th last year. Particularly strong in light to medium wind. Strong competitor for the Married couple's prize. Could be Top 5.

Nigel Hufton & Matt Wood - Nigel has attended every Lark Nationals since 1983 and won the Champs as crew in 1994. Still trying to complete the double, with many Top 5 finishes. 10th last year but is now re-united with Matt Wood - together they came 3rd in 2019. Should be Top 10.

Jonny Coate & Kate Phillips - 9th last year, but with some Top 3 wins in Opens, they could go even better this year. Should be Top 10.

Megan Brickwood & Connor Dickson - Recent members of the British Olympic team, Megan is gradually learning the differences of a Lark from a 49FXand will be up there in a blow with fiancé Connor. Should be Top 10.

Steph Orton & Alex Hughes - New to the fleet but Steph is from a Lark sailing family and is a recent member of the 49FX British Sailing Team.

Jeremy & Becca Stephens - Past Lark champion crew and Enterprise champion helm (with daughter Becca), Jeremy has great tactics, speed and fitness - but injury and a lack of time in the boat might hamper their chances.

Chris & Kate Holliman - Great sea sailor, should do well if it's windy, but lack of time in the boat might count against.

Samuel Bailey & Kamila Czartolomna - Samuel showed excellent promise in winning the Travellers' Trophy in 2021 but has yet to excel on the sea. 2024 could be the year to do it.

Related Articles

Lark Youth Championships at Barnt Green
Samuel Bailey and Mia Hateley manage to defend their title Ten boats arrived for the 2024 Lark Class Youth Championships at Barnt Green Sailing Club in the Midlands. Competitors travelled far and wide to attend this years event with entries from as far as Waldringfield and Weymouth. Posted on 26 Jun
Craftinsure Lark Open at Barnt Green
Two local boats joined by 10 travellers from as far as Ipswich 12 boats contested the Lark open at Barnt Green SC on Saturday, with two local boats being joined by 10 travellers from as far as Ipswich. This would be the 8th event of the year to count towards the Craftinsure Lark Travellers Series. Posted on 25 Jun
Musto Lark Nationals overall
Photos, video and results from Weymouth Day 4 of the Musto Lark National Championships saw much to play for despite Tom & James having a healthy lead in first place. Stuart & Nick, Ed & Holly and Chris & Nick all entered the day on equal points for second place. Posted on 30 May
Musto Lark Nationals day 2
Glorious sunshine with a brisk breeze, plus a bit more! Race 3 started with a gate start, Nigel Hufton & Matt Wood followed by Stuart & Nick Hydon went early hitting the left-hand side. When it was time to tack, they picked up a great shift, easily clearing the rest of the fleet. Posted on 27 May
Musto Lark Nationals day 1
Weymouth provides 20+ knots of wind The Musto Lark National Championships kicked off today at Weymouth Sailing Club with two races held in a solid south-westerly breeze that built throughout the day. Crews were warmly welcomed by the club by a superb reception with great food. Posted on 26 May
Musto Lark Nationals 2024 Runners & Riders pt.1
Shaping up to be a hugely competitive event in Weymouth The Musto Lark Nationals 2024 (26th-29th May) is only days away and is shaping up to be a hugely competitive event, with 7 championship-winning helms and 8 championship-winning crews already entered and hoping to lift the top prize again. Posted on 20 May
Lark Midlands open at Banbury
Always someone ready to pounce if you slip up A posse of Midlands-based Larks gathered at Banbury Sailing Club for the first day of a double-header weekend in the Craftinsure Lark Class Travellers Series. The hottest day of the year (so far) provided four very enjoyable and competitive races. Posted on 16 May
Lark Midlands open at Shustoke
Sunglasses needed to protect the eyes from the glare of any white legs Proper shorts and T-shirt weather, and not forgetting the sunglasses - to protect the eyes from the glare of any white legs getting an airing for the first time this year! Posted on 14 May
Craftinsure Lark Open Meeting at Rock
Sun, glistening blue seas, breeze and a perfect race track out in Daymar Bay Rock WSC delivered big time, once again, on the Bank Holiday weekend of 4-6 May for the Craftinsure-sponsored Lark Open. Sun, glistening blue seas, breeze and a perfect race track out in Daymar Bay made for three days of champagne sailing. Posted on 13 May
Rock Lark, Phantom, Europe and Tasar Open Preview
Combined open meeting taking place over the early May Bank Holiday weekend Rock Sailing and Waterski Club is delighted to welcome the Lark, Phantom, Europe and Tasar fleets to the annual May Day Bank Holiday Open Meeting to be held from 4th to 6th May. Posted on 18 Apr