Harry Pynn and Michael John Gifford have won the 2010 Lark National Championship by the narrowest of margins from Stephen and Chris Videlo.
Pynn and Gifford had seized the advantage early in the week by winning races 1 and 2. The Videlos fought back to take the lead equal on points after 5 races setting up a two-horse race. Pynn and Gifford beat the Videlos in both of Wednesday’s races, demonstrating their ability to make their way through the fleet after some poor starts. This provided the opportunity for Pynn/Gifford to wrap up the Championship by beating the Videlos in Thursday’s 8th race. They looked on target for this having covered the Videlos throughout the race only to drop back following a 720 on the penultimate reach. It later transpired that the 720 was unnecessary and Pynn was duly awarded the Duckhams dress for gross underacheivement.
In Friday’s showdown the Videlos were lucky to escape without punishment after finding themselves to windward of the pathfinder on the gate start. The race was restarted and a previously steady breeze weakened. Half way up the beat it looked as though the boats on the left were winning. Suddenly the breeze filled in on the right giving the Videlos their chance. The Videlos fought there way up to 1st after Matt and Emma White found themselves too low on the second reach and then Chris Fish and Beth Condie went for the wrong windward mark following a change of course. Pynn and Gifford managed to make their way up to 4th which was just enough to take the championship.
Behind the 2 leaders, places 3 to 10 were hotly contested. Nigel Hufton and Andy Douglas sailed consistently at the end of the week to take 3rd place ahead of Chris Fish and Beth Condie in 4th.
Matt White and daughter Emma took race 4 in emphatic style a long way ahead of silver fleet winners Chris White and Lucy Evans. James Stewart and Katrina Gilbert won race 6, but their joy was short lived as a big header capsized them to windward while well placed in race 7.
Fish and Condie won race 7, holding off 2009 winners Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle on the finish line. Race 8 was won by Emma Harris and Becky Priest who led all the way having been pathfinder.
In the silver fleet, Jane Alexander and Rachel Rhodes were 2nd behind Chris White and Lucy Evans. Fiona Gray and Aaron Woolf coming 3rd.
Newcomers to the class, Will Kennedy and Rhos Hawes were bronze fleet winners ahead of Eluned Jones and Millie Parsons. Nigel Denchfield and Kathy Bartlett were 3rd.
The crew’s race was as competitive as ever with 23 boats on the start line. Becky Priest and Emma Harris took the race from Michael John Gifford and Harry Pynn. 14 year old Emma White crewed by father Matt came 3rd to the biggest cheer from spectators. 17 year olds, Tim Linsell and Aaron Woolf came 4th, having led for the first trapezoid lap.
The Lark Nationals lived up to its reputation off the water as well. In addition to the legendary crew’s union, an innovation for 2010 was the infamous ‘Larks got Talent’ evening. Master of ceremonies James Ward was clearly astounded by the talent on display. Winners ‘Armless Fun’ were serenaded by guitar duo Henri and Lloyd.
The class would like to thank Teign Corinthian Yacht Club for hosting a memorable championship, and our sponsors Brookbank sailing, Mr. Organic, Henri Lloyd and FotoBoat.
Order photos of the Nationals from Fotoboat here
If you have won a prize from Fotoboat, some information on how to claim this can be found here
Overall results can be found here