The Larks descended once again on the recently renovated Royal Harwich Yacht Club for the annual Lark, Firefly and National 12 open. Undaunted by a somewhat intimidating forecast 12 boats came to sample some of the legendary courses we have grown accustomed to at Harwich.
On Saturday we were met with 15-20 knots blowing over the club, offering a challenge for all concerned with three races scheduled, with two more to be sailed on Sunday. In Race 1 Alan Krailing and Tim Linsell, and Matt Stearn and Adam Owens managed to break away early on sailing to first and second respectively with Toby Wincer and Ally Dart coming in third. Race two started in similar conditions though the breeze soon picked up to that forecast, with gusts of around 30 knots making the breeze, already flicking through many points of the compass, all the more interesting. With much of the fleet testing the emerald green waters of the Orwell this soon emerged as a race of attrition, with leaders Stearn/Owens capsizing on the penultimate mark, having been unable to drop their kite, allowing Krailing/Linsell through to win, to be followed by Steve Cumley and Lucy Evans with Dougal Scott and Laura Lilly coming in third, at which point the popular decision to delay race three until Sunday was made by Race Officer Graham Ireland.
Though far from sedate, Sunday looked more reasonable, with the wind swinging towards the West helping to alleviate the confused breeze of Saturday. Starting slightly earlier than planned to make up for the missed race of Saturday, Race 3 started in 15-18 knots with Krailing/Linsell taking first, Stearn/Owens second and Cumley/Evans third. The rest of the day was punctuated by a series of squalls just to keep everyone on their toes. In Race 4 Krailing/Linsell managed to break away early and take the win, with Chris Holliman and Kate Hutchins second and Tim Vick and Rebecca Marks third. Race 5 starting in relatively lighter breeze though with big gusts dropping in saw Stearn/Owens take the win with Vick/Marks second and Krailing/Linsell in third.
Thanks have to go to Royal Harwich Yacht Club and Graham Ireland and his team for running a fantastic event in tricky conditions.
1st Alan Krailing and Tim Linsell
2nd Matt Stearn and Adam Owens
3rd Steve Cumley and Lucy Evans
Next up: GJW Direct Belle Isle at Exe Sailing Club on 6th and 7th July – last open before the big one – the GJW Direct Lark Class National Championships at Felixstowe Ferry at the end of July – www.larkclass.org for more details and entry.