9 Larks arrived at NSC on Sun 29 Jan for the 3rd winter series event. The Northerly force 3 offered an excellent long beat up the lake and exciting (if not a little cold) set of reaches back down.
Coming off the middle of the start line David Marlow and Ben Biglin led round the first mark with John Wayling and Steve Cumley/ Eluned Jones in close contention. The crucial decision was whether to carry the spinnaker along the second reach. David Marlow and Chris and Anne Biglin decided to carry it and lost out with John and Steve both gaining by dropping the kite before the gybe. By the end Steve/Eluned had sneaked into the lead to take the gun with the very fast David/Ben combo in second and John Wayling holding on for 3rd.
In the second race David and Ben decided to start the race half way up the first beat, so it was no surprise that the recall flag was quickly hoisted. Unfortunately for them they were so far over that turning back put them firmly at the back of the pack. David Hand sailing with a guest crew made the best of the port biased line and quickly tacked off to head up the middle of the beat and take a commanding lead round the first mark. A very quick set of reaches took the Larks to the bottom of the beat again, where both Steve/Eluned (2nd) and Chris/Anne (3rd) were able to hook into a port shift to close right up on David Hand. Unfortunately for Chris & Anne, problems with the spinnaker meant they dropped back as the 3 boats turned down hill, leaving David Hand and Steve/Eluned to battle for the lead. By the finish Steve & Eluned had established a safe lead to take the gun with David Hand second and David & Ben recovering from their start line escapade to claim a brilliant 3rd.
Overall the series is very close between Tom Jeffcoate/Ruth Johnson, David Marlow/Ben Biglin and Steve Cumley/Eluned Jones. The next round is on Sun 12 Feb.