LRSC staged The GJW Direct Larks National Championships over four scheduled days.
With 32 entries, this competitive double-hander class arrived to find the famous SW waves rolling in at 30+kts with Race Office Tim Parsons having to abandon racing on Saturday due to strong winds leaving the competitors sheltering on shore.
Sunday winds started over the upper limit of 25kts, but a postponement of an hour saw a slight moderation which enabled three races to be sailed.
Conditions were challenging, the waves still building and a strong tide running, but with several course changes a successful day’s racing was completed.
Of seven scheduled races, with a series minimum of two, the leading boats finished within two points of each other.
After two days of good winds, the final day dawned with bright sunshine and a moderate easterly which fell away to nothing just as Tim Parsons was setting the course. Unlike the previous blustery days, the fleet crept out of harbour to the start for 10.30am, but after half an hour’s postponement, the breeze picked up again and gave an excellent final race of the seven series championships which included several course changes.
The team put on both line and gate starts over the three days and conditions provided challenging sailing for predominantly pond sailors. But with 15 past national champions competing, there was some top-class close racing. Right up to the last day, the top 3 had a chance of taking the championship, the winner being Lark 2495 – congratulations to Stu Hydon & Rachael Rhodes from Staunton Harold S C.
Lyme had two youth entries sailing in borrowed boats, both suffered much gear failure, but finished 26th & 28th (Max Helston /Jake Stow & Max Helston & Max Smith) and gained valuable championship racing experience.
Lark sailors also enjoyed a lively social programme, local pub crawl and visited restaurants in town, many bringing families for a week’s holiday, staying until Friday. The chairman thanked the club for an excellent championship, and no surprise that the class are keen to return to Lyme.
Commodore Jerry Rook thanked the Harbour Master and staff for their help and co-operation which made the event possible, Race Officer Tim Parsons for excellent race management , chairman Dave Beer and the team of 68 club members who had volunteered to help.
Dave will also chair the next major sailing event here, the Fireball Europeans in August 2017.
Larks Class National Champions Stu Hydon and Rachael Rhodes from Shustoke/Staunton Harold.
Lyme sailors Jake Stow and Max Helston who won first Youth and first newcomers to the class.
2495, Stu Hydon and Rachael Rhodes, (Shustoke/Staunton Harold) , 17pts
2521, Alan Krailing and Ed Harris, (Waldringfield SC), 22 pts
2523, Chris Whitehouse and Simon Haighton, ( Range laugh SC), 29pts
2492, James Stewart and Jane Kerney, ( Netley SC), 29pts
2537, Steve Hall and Holly Hewet, ( Burnham SC), 30 pts
6. 2538, Nigel Hufton and Matt Wood, ( Frensham Pond SC), 33pts