With an Icy Northerly blasting the Suffolk Coast, conditions were more Siberian than Spring like. Still a 15 strong fleet braved the finger numbing weather and were rewarded with some very close racing.
Sailing at the ‘Tips’ End of the river, race 1 showed just how competitive a fleet had assembled, with 5 different crews leading the way before Stephen Videlo and Maddie Harris finally made the decisive break to win from Alan Krailing and Tim Linsell with Matt and Emma White 3rd.
Using the same courses and sailed on the top of the tide, race 2 saw Chris Fish and Beth Condie and Alan & Tim battling it out early on. As the Beat became skewed by the Ebb tide Alan & Tim took advantage to sail into an unassailable lead. Chris and Beth looked comfortable in 2nd until Matt and Emma shot through in a massive gust on the final reach to snatch it.
After a well deserved break for lunch and with the Ebb now running hard, the final race of the day saw Ian & Alyson Videlo leading over the first lap. Alan & Tim and Matt and Emma were eventually able to sneak past downwind, with Stephen and Maddie flying through the fleet to take 3rd.
The Larks joined the other fleets in Woodbridge to re-thaw at the lively Angel Inn for the now traditional curry night. With 100 different varieties of gin on offer it could perhaps have been a dangerous choice for these highly tuned athletes. With Saturday morning providing no respite from the weather, the Larks could have been forgiven for choosing their duvets over their dry suits, however the fleet was actually increased by the addition of a couple of late comers. Two of these Matt Stearn & Kerry Ryan proved they were right on the pace, initially opening up a significant lead before Stephen & Maddie came from nowhere and then sailed off into a distance for a comfortable win. Matt & Kerry held 2nd with Matt and Emma 3rd.
After a brief break for lunch, race 5 of the scheduled 6 got underway in continuing snow flurries. Alan and Tim lead early on but were chased hard by first Matt and Emma then Stephen & Maddie. Following a long reach against the tide, the leading 3 were joined by Harry Pynn and Gemma Cook with all 4 arriving at the last leeward mark together. Matt and Emma snatched the lead but were overhauled up the next beat as the wind gusted over 20 knots. The leaders approached the final windward mark and reached off towards the finish in blizzard conditions. With visibility hampered, navigation past the end of the famous Waldringfield Island proved challenging. Alan & Tim had a close shave but came through unscathed to take the win. Matt & Emma were not so lucky, snapping their rudder within sight of the finish allowing Stephen & Maddie through in 2nd with Chris & Beth taking 3rd after Harry and Gemma also grounded.
This win proved decisive for Alan & Tim as, with the wintery conditions continuing, enthusiasm for a 6th race quickly waned and the race committee took the universally popular decision to abandon.
Rank SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st 2521 WSC Alan Krailing Tim Linsell 2.0 1.0 1.0 (4.0) 1.0 9.0 5.0
2nd 2491 WSC Stephen Videlo Maddie Harris 1.0 (4.0) 3.0 1.0 2.0 11.0 7.0
3rd 2471 WSC Matt White Emma White 3.0 2.0 2.0 3.0 (16.0 DNF) 26.0 10.0
4th 2520 Harry Pynn Gemma Cook 4.0 5.0 6.0 (7.0) 4.0 26.0 19.0
5th 2494 WSC Christopher Fish Beth Condie (8.0) 3.0 8.0 8.0 3.0 30.0 22.0
6th 2534 Emma Harris Clare Gosling 5.0 (16.0 DNF) 5.0 6.0 6.0 38.0 22.0
7th 2257 WSC Ian Videlo Alyson Videlo 7.0 7.0 4.0 (16.0 DNF) 16.0 DNC 50.0 34.0
8th 2452 Aldeburgh YC Anthony Gifford Jo Gifford 11.0 9.0 (16.0 DNS) 9.0 7.0 52.0 36.0
9th 2272 Andrew Cooney Steve Cooney 9.0 6.0 10.0 12.0 (16.0 DNC) 53.0 37.0
10th 2298 WSC Tom Branton Faye Gosling 10.0 8.0 (11.0) 10.0 10.0 49.0 38.0
11th 2444 Matt Stearn Kerry Ryan (16.0 DNS) 16.0 DNS 16.0 DNS 2.0 5.0 55.0 39.0
12th 2341 WSC Tony Fraser Alice Dearlove 12.0 (16.0 DNF) 7.0 11.0 9.0 55.0 39.0
13th 2474 WSC Henry Mills Ollie Jones (16.0 DNF) 11.0 16.0 DNS 5.0 8.0 56.0 40.0
14th 2500 WSC Fiona Gray Aaron Woolf 6.0 10.0 9.0 (16.0 DNS) 16.0 DNS 57.0 41.0
15th 2313 Bob Whitehouse Gemma Thompson (16.0 DNS) 16.0 DNS 16.0 DNS 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNF 80.0 64.0