The 2005 Lark Masters Championship was held over the weekend of 23/24 October at Northampton S.C. The quality fleet of 43 boats included Lark sailors past and present, including 7 ex-National champion helms and 7 championship-winning crews spanning 4 decades.
With the light wind swinging slowly back and forth, large gains and losses could be made up each beat. Chris Allen/Eluned Jones started well and picked the right way up the beats to win. John & Vicky Brickwood took second, followed by Nigel Hufton/Chris Whitehouse.
In race 2, new faces came to the fore, with Matt White/Claire LaForge making the most of a band of wind on the right of the beat to lead from the first mark onwards. John Billington/Sue Mellor took second, with Mark & Liz Rushall finding form to take third.
A one-off 'champions' race then took place, comprising only previous Lark National champions. However, it was current Lark champions Sarah and Nigel Wakefield - being too young to qualify for the main event - who were to triumph over the rest of the Lark 'Gods'.
Race 3 of the main event was similar to race 1, with an identical finishing order of the top 3 - this being reflected in the positions of the top 3 sailors overnight.
Day 2 dawned with a patchy and fickle wind. Allen/Jones again picked their way around the holes to lead but retired for a pre-start incident, leaving Emma Harris/Becky Priest to win from the Brickwoods and Andy & Katie Shorrock. The Brickwoods then sealed an impressive win overall by winning the last race from Howie Enkel/Alan Krailing. Allen/Jones pipped Tim Fells/Harry Pynn on the line to take third and with it second place overall from his ex-crew Hufton.
The Larks now hope even more ageing Lark sailors past, present and future will join them in 2 years time for this splendid event which will be held in the Larks 40th Anniversary year combined with a big anniversary celebration.
Results - overall
1. John & Vicky Brickwood, 7 pts (1st Apprentice Master)
2. Chris Allen & Eluned Jones, 16 pts
3. Nigel Hufton & Chris Whitehouse, 17 pts
4. Mark & Liz Rushall, 24 pts
5. James Stewart & Ruth Johnson, 26 pts
1st Master, John Billington & Sue Mellor (6th overall)
1st Grand Master, Bob & Mandy Suggitt (14th overall)