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LARK NEWS The Lark Class Owners’ Association Magazine

• Ovington on the Water • Updates & Interviews • Clubs, Championships Revisited • and lots, lots more... 2009 REVIEW

newcomers to the Larks wishing to buy a boat and will also promote a great second hand market Try a Lark – we have the LCOA Ovington Lark available over the forthcoming months for sailors and clubs to trial, so have a look at the website to book it.

Chairman’s Chatter by John Crooks

Well this is my first Chairman’s bit having taken over from Simon as chairman in the summer. Where do I start - 2009 has been a great season for the Larks! Firstly I would like to thank Simon for the huge amount of work he has done over the years he’s worked in many committee positions over a 10+ year period to put the Lark Class at forefront of dinghy sailing. As chairman he has steered the class through some big changes, notably the move from Rondar to Ovington, the purchase of the moulds, and of course our push north to Bridlington for our Nationals and the introduction of the Midlands and Northern circuit. He leaves a strong legacy including the continued development of our website that many other classes are now following. The other member of the committee who has stepped down is our social secretary, Andy Cox. Andy has for many years been responsible for ensuring that the Class has continued doing something it is very good at, and that is partying, together with the development and refinement of the Nationals Games night. On this note, we are looking for someone to step in and fill this very critical role of social secretary so please give it some thought. 2010 in my eyes looks like it could be a springboard year for the larks for the following reasons: The Boat – after much development and successful trials over the course of the year we now have the new Ovington Lark ready for production. The class has worked very closely with Ovington to ensure that we now have a top quality, accessible boat whilst stilling remaining very much in the affordable end of dinghy sailing. This is great news for any

The Sailing – We’ve had a great season’s sailing this year with much better attendance at open events than last year, together with an awesome Nationals at Brixham. On the quality of the sailing, this year Mark Ampleford has taken over the training mantle and will be organising a few training events during 2010 including one on the second May Bank Holiday, so be sure to get involved in some of those. Some might say that there is a pairing that don’t need a lot of training, namely Alan and Edd who are still consistently putting in winning performances. One of their notable achievements is coming second at the Endeavour trophy this year. I think this result together with some of the other large event results the Larks have put in over the year, shows the sailing fraternity that the Lark is still a very competitive class and will hopefully encourage sailors looking for some good racing to head in the direction of the Larks. Club sailing - Over the last couple of months the class has been working very closely with a number of sailing clubs who have been looking for a boat to match their needs. Whether it be a progression boat from Cadets, a good all-round club double-hander or a good parent/child dinghy, the Lark does fit all these. However, the Lark also offers further support as it is a friendly class with a healthy open circuit, training events and great socials (and now a new boat). We are in a great position to see a few more Lark fleets grow in the next couple of years and that is what we will be striving to do. Off the Water - Well, we have a reputation for being able to party, and for those of you who have been to a few events you’ll have firsthand experience. We had a very memorable nationals, where the fancy dress standard goes from strength to strength (and what should next years theme be?). This year we also had the Masters Champs which saw some brilliant racing, but also showed that whatever your age, the members of the Lark class certainly know how to have a good time, and that is a aspect of the class we will certainly be upholding in 2010. Next Years Line Up - We are nearly there with the line up for next year’s events, Icicle series and the expanding Northern and Midland circuit. There are some great sailing venues notably Grafham Water for our inlands and Teignmouth for next years Nationals. I hope you all have an entertaining read, and are looking forward to 2010 with the Larks... John


OVINGTON update ...

Lark Midlands & North Region Circuit 2010 If you thought that the arrangements for a separate Midlands & North circuit for the Lark Class was a “one off ” for 2009, then think again! With NEW venues and proposed changes to the scoring, there will be something for everyone in 2010. From a Midlands bonanza at the end of March to a regatta in West Riding, Yorkshire and a weekend on the beach at Filey in early June, there is something for everyone. Then at the back end of the season a fabulous weekend at Grafham for the Inlands followed by a welcome return visit to Banbury, what more could those North of Watford want? Seriously though, if you are sailing a Lark North of the Midlands, then please make a special note of the Northern Dates. Firstly they are much easier to get to and secondly they need to see how active and lively the Lark fleet is nationally. Finally, of course, it supports YOU in attracting competition to your area! Hope to see you there. Tony Hotchkiss, Organiser M&NRC.

Contributions Thank you to all the Larkies who’ve contributed to this edition. We are always grateful for articles so please talk to or email one of the committee members if you’d be interested in writing something next year. Articles in this edition include contributions from Phillipa Horne, Michael-John Gifford, Nigel Hufton, Tim Fells, Ian Brooks, Bob Suggitt, Emma Harris, Chris Ellis, Fiona Gray, Chris Fish, Alan Krailing, Tony Hotchkiss, Simon Cox, Dan Watson, Chris Biglin, Steve Chatten, Chief Chairman John Crooks and Edd McArdle. Pictures were provided by (Nationals), (Nationals/Rock), (Winters), (Endeavour) and the various Lark sailors and/ or their family members throughout the year we are indebted to your photographic talents! We look forward to another great Lark season in 2010! Copyright: Lark Class Association Design & Print by Strawberry Marketing

We’re very pleased to report that orders are being taken by Ovington for new Larks, with the first full batch due for production in January. Details of how to order can be found on the Lark website, as well as the full specification of the boat. You can try out the existing Ovi Lark - please email the committee to arrange this (a calender showing its availability is on the website).

The prototype has proved itself in competition yet hasn’t wiped the floor with existing boats, and the message from all that have tried it is simply that it feels like a Lark. As observed on the forum recently, it also looks like a Rondar Lark to the casual observer although there are actually many differences that are not seen.

Existing Lark owners will notice that the aluminium bar is missing from behind the spinnaker chute opening, replaced by a new foredeck with moulded edge which has no corner for the spinnaker to catch in. We have retro-fitted this foredeck to the Rondar built “Dark Knight” and can vouch for the strength of the epoxy sandwich construction as it withstands the loads from a mast strut without additional reinforcement. The thwart also has additional mounting positions for cleats and a raised centre jammer mounting while the centreboard capping has had all the cleat positions removed to allow greater flexibility of layout. It is also slightly longer at the front to allow easier mounting of a case mounted plate uphaul system. The other changes are either internal, like the new bulkhead structure, or invisible to the eye like the straightened centreboard case.

Two significant features which are not present on the prototype are a new design to the rear of the centreboard capping and a revised mast step area. The capping has been further re-designed to be strong enough to accept rig tensioning loads and shaped to allow cleats to be mounted on the back face if desired. A new ‘kick plate’ has also been added to the spine behind the plate case. The mast step has always been a problem to mount fittings on and, although the prototype had wood pads incorporated into the construction, it was decided that it was too easy to drill a hole right through the boat. The new design makes the areas to the side of the mast foot much more substantial and incorporates large parts of a tree so finding something to screw fittings to should never be a problem again. It is common knowledge that the prototype has “quite alot” of lead fitted to it and this has allowed the weight distribution to be studied – the purpose of a prototype after all. Production boats have been designed to carry 10kgs of correctors (rather than the current maximum of 6kg) with the balance of the weight now being incorporated into the moulding. The class rules have not yet been amended to accommodate the Ovington boats and there will need to be a further rules ballot in the very near future, to ensure that everything is accounted for in a single ballot. We have deliberately held back any proposal until the construction has been finalised. The aspects of the rules which are likely to be affected include the corrector allowance as mentioned previously, the mast step measurement and the hull numbering regime. And I would also like to make it clear that I had no part in the selection of pink as a standard hull colour although I will be happy to buy a beer (or should it be a Pims?) for anyone that buys one! Discussions on replacing it with a less ‘individual’ colour option are continuing. Chris Biglin 2515


REVISITED 2009 The 2009/10 season kicked off with last years Winter Championships at Northampton which was dominated by Mr & Mrs Krailing.

Lark Midlands & Northern Region Circuit 2009 South Staffs Perhaps the most anticapted event of the season was the Masters Championship at Hayling Island. This very successful event was followed by an open meeting on the Sunday. The last time the Larks attended Hayling for an open meeting was 1985. Conditions were great and produced surprised winners, Martin Orton & Ian Brooks, Larking legends from the ‘80’s whose last Lark open was in the mid 80’s - it’s just like riding a bike! Nigel Hufton & Andy Douglas and Sarah Richards & Chris Jenkins took second and third. The yoof contingent have a bit of catching up to do!

Sailing resumed in March at South Staffs for a training and open meeting weekend. Harry Pynn, this season sailing with Helen Krailing was on a mission to get back to open meeting winning ways. However, it was local hot shots and Lark newcomers, Mike Senior & Liz Pugh, sailing a borrowed boat that proved the class act winning the event.

The final event was the later than normal Frensham open. Later in the year ensures fewer leaves on the trees and more wind. There was definitely wind – a bit too much and very shifty. Racing was exciting to say the least and often very wet. Stuart & Hannah continued their end of season form to take the open meeting from Harry sailing with Adam Owens and Chris & Beth were in 3rd. The circuit rolled on to Waldringfield for the Easter Egg which with it’s great mix of competitive racing and superb socials seems to grow every year. The fleet enjoyed superb weather and very close racing. The series went to the wire with Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle winning by a single point from Harry & Helen. The Larks love Rock and it’s easy to see why. Once again the fleet experienced superb Bank

Holiday weather, awesome socials and excellent racing. With their normal sailing partners away, Mr & Mrs Krailing teamed up to sail to another open meeting win. Emma Harris sailing with Joe Hunt took a deserved second from Dougal Scott and soon to be N12 champion, Sophie Mackley. Royal Harwich was, well, interesting! Quirky courses set by the race officer caused significant confusion and frustration. However, it was Alan & Edd who seemed to dominate the event by the scruff of the neck to win from

Smashie Bennett sailing with stand-in crew Karen Jewkes. With four wins under his belt Alan could pretty much tie up the Belle Isle at Medway in June. However, the event went with form. Alan & Edd won from guest N12 sailor, Jon Ibbottson sailing with Ally Dart. Plymouth is one of the best dinghy sailing venues in the country and after many years of low turnouts in October it was decided to visit in the summer. Those that attended reported sharks, big waves and awesome racing. Strong winds guru’s Steve Hall & Simon Haighton took the event comfortably from Stuart Hydon & Hannah Showell who had finally found the ‘GO’ button on their boat. After the Nationals the Belle Isle Circuit resumed at Carsington for the 2009 Inland Championships. A lower than expected turnout due to some weddings and clashes with other events didn’t deter from a great event. Chris Fish & Beth Condie won the event from Steve Hall & Si Haighton on the final beat of the final race. Stuart & Hannah had been improving throughout the season and with home advantage won the very windy Shustoke Open Meeting from Smashie & Nicola Booth and Steve & Nicola Cumley.

The Saturday had been designated a training day and those that attended perhaps got more than they bargained for. Spinnaker handling gave way to survival conditions and this should have given a clue to the latter results during the season as Stuart Hydon and Hannah Showell got in some great practise in the very strong winds.

A day later and it was all change when the ood struggled to find any wind and then confused many by changing the course after the general recall! The event was won convincingly by Mike Senior & Liz Pugh from South Staffs with Harry Pynn & Helen Krailing in 2nd place. Of the 30 boats there were a number of reasonable placings from several locals that may have been looking to challenge the Circuit. So the next stop was:

All in all it was an excellent season and despite Alan & Edd/Helen winning with a minimum score they didn’t have it all their own way and racing was exceptionally close throughout. Congratulations to Holly Hewat & Ruth Johnson for taking the Silver Fleet title and Bronze fleet champions, Eluned Jones & Milly Parsons, for a very impressive debut season. It has been really good to see some new and old faces appearing on the circuit again this year and can only bode well for the future of the class. Here’s looking forward to an even better 2010 with a few new Ovington boats on the water!!! Simon Cox 2443

West Kirby The Open formed part of the Dee Regatta and the Lark fleet joined the Handicap class start. A huge wind shift at the first start looked to favour those tacking early. However, the Cumleys read the tide and won the first race easily. The wind increased for the start of the 2nd race and a general recall allowed a course change. Two of those in contention capsized at the gybe mark to allow the Cumleys a clean break. Not for long as gear failure forced them for the shore and so Stuart and daughter Charlotte Norris went on for a comfortable win and the meeting. The 2nd overall allowed Tony & Pippa to stay top of the Circuit leader board, just! With a break for the summer the Inlands were next at:


A(1) great location and a very convenient venue for all those from the Midlands. However, despite this a number of the front runners were unable to attend so it gave others the chance to catch up. Or did it? With a 3rd place overall to Stuart & Hannah and 4th to “Smashie” & this time Peter Gray, it looked like “Smashie” had wrapped it up. The Biglins’ did keep in contention with a 12th, which was a great result in(2) this competitive field of 29 boats. So it all came down to the final event of the year which was at:


Barnt Green Only a few made the trip but what a great days sailing all the others missed. Near perfect winds and really close competition in all 3 races. “Smashie” Bennett & Nic Booth had the perfect day to win all races but they had to fight hard to hold off Steve & Nic Cumley. Jane Alexander & Rachel Rhodes also had a great day as did Stuart & Charlotte Norris who by then were posting the leading position overall. Would that remain after:

Shropshire Another day of fickle winds but this time Tony Hotchkiss & Pippa Vick looked like setting the pace. However, after holding the lead for most of the first race they succumbed to the pressure put on by “Smashie” & Nic and the Allens. With a win in race 2 “Smashie” & Nic took the meeting but with no mistakes in the last race Tony and Pippa managed the runner up spot. So to the seaside and a visit to:

So the first year of the Midland & North Region Circuit finished as it began. With a gale! Some had heard the forecast and stayed away but a small but determined group attempted to reach the start line. “Smashie” with Nic made their intentions clear by winning the first race. However, despite this they failed to stay upright and Stuart Hydon & Hannah mastered the massive squalls that came through before the start to win and then stamped their superiority on the last race to win the event from “Smashie”

& Nic with the Cumleys coming in 3rd. In the end there was a clear winner of the MNRC, which was “Smashie” Bennett & Nic Booth. However, the qualification requirement did favour those attending small events and could have penalised those doing quite well in the large events. It also raises the question of a sailing “team”? With both South Staffs & the Inlands having about 30 boats and all others no more than 10, there is clearly a disparity. Does this need looking at for 2010? How about halving the final position when there are over 20 entries? Then the “Team” of Stuart Hydon & Hannah did not qualify with Stuart helming. However, they did sail at South Staffs with Hannah helming and this would have given them qualification and a total of 9 points. Should they be included? Whatever the final decision it was a really enjoyable circuit and one that I believe will be better supported in 2010. Book the dates in the diary now ! Tony Hotchkiss 2468

Lark Inland Championship Carslington Sailing Club

YOUTH Championships

This year the Youth Championships were held at Frensham Pond in October. One of the hot favourites Chris and Steven Videlo lead from the start in the first race and looked to be the dominating team until the light winds and shifty conditions saw a change of leaders.

Carsington Sailing Club hosted the Larks Inland Championship over 5/6 September. 29 Larks enjoyed two days of shifty, F2-4 winds at a new venue. Chris Fish/Beth Condie led race 1 early on but brothers Stephen & Chris Videlo caught up and the second half was a close tussle, with Steve Hall/Simon Haighton adding spicy competition between the three boats.

Bennett/Gray, who had stayed with them in 2nd. Bennett/Gray duly found breeze and a lift to take the race on the line. This meant Fish/ Condie won the championship by one point.

Chris Fish 2494

The Videlos gained satisfaction in race 2, this time dominating, whilst Fish/Condie were worried by Hall/Haighton and Matt Mee/Chris Robinson catching all the time.

1. Christopher Fish/ Beth Condie 2494 Waldringfield. S.C.

Race 3 was Hall/ Haighton’s from the start. Stuart Hydon/ Hannah Showell found their form for 2nd with Mee/Robinson taking 3rd. As championship racing goes this was good stuff.

3. Stuart Hydon/ Hannah Showell 2503 Shustoke S.C.

After a relaxed evening (by the Larks standards) at the club, the sailors launched with slightly less wind than Saturday but from a similar direction. Fish/Condie banged left again up the first beat of race 4 and extended to almost a reach in front at one point. Hall/ Haighton pinched second on the line from Hydon/ Showell after a long dual. Going into the last race, only Fish/Condie and Hall/ Haighton could win. Everything looked good for Hall/ Haighton as they had a solid pin end start and Fish/Condie were buried directly behind. Early leaders included Jon Ibbotson/ Alison Dart, Holly Hewat/ Ruth Johnson and Richard Bennett/ Peter Gray. Hall/ Haighton took 5 laps to take the lead. Fish/ Condie recovered well to 3rd but that meant Hall/ Haighton would take the title on the last race result. However, in a dramatic twist up the last beat, Hall/ Haighton failed to cover

2. Steve Hall/ Simon Haighton 2519 Northampton S.C.

4. Richard Bennett/ Peter Gray 2487 Staunton Harold S.C. 5. Stephen Videlo/ Christopher Videlo 2491 Waldringfield S.C. 6. Matt Mee/ Chris Robinson 2507 Hollingworth S.C. 7. Holly Hewat/ Ruth Johnson 2442 Medway S.C. (and 1st Silver Fleet) 1st Bronze Fleet: Eluned Jones/ Millie Parsons 2466 Frensham Pond S.C.

Nick and Stuart Hydon slipped past and held onto the lead until the last lap. It seemed that from nowhere, up and coming youth David Lynch (Shustoke) with an older lady crew (Hannah) managed a phenomenal come back from behind the fleet to surprise the Hydons and battle them on the last beat, taking a crafty shift and covering the Hydons to be the first boat to the finish line. Taking third place was Chris and Steven. The second race got underway after a recall, when local sailors and all-girl team Bryonie and Mary were pushed over the line. Winds had gently increased and Holly and Ruth were first round the windward mark closely followed by Dave and Hannah. Nick and Stu were penalised by Holly at the mark so slipped behind into 3rd. The Hydons moved into second to pressurise Holly and Ruth, but they kept their nerve to take the win with the Videlos in third. Going into the last race, four boats could win the event. With a black-flag on the final race, Dave and Hannah saw their day finish early. Chris and Steve managed to work themselves into a long lead but were unfortunately swallowed after the wind filled in from behind, letting the Hydons through themselves to take a lead of nearly a leg that they held onto the finish. Nick deservedly won the Championships with a fantastic record of two seconds and a 1st. 1st - Nick and Stuart Hydon 2nd - Holly Hewat and Ruth Johnson 3rd - Dave Lynch and Hannah Showell 4th - Chris and Stephen Videlo Hannah Showell 2495

CLUB Scene

South Staffs Sailing Club

During the year the Lark Fleet gained a few new members but above all built on the enthusiasm from previous years. For the first time ever, I believe, the Lark fleet were regularly the largest class on the start line for the main Sunday afternoon races. As we all know Class racing is what really makes for great competition and enjoyable sailing and this is exactly what we have been having at the club. The Lark Training and Open meeting on 28/29th March was a weekend of huge contrasts. The Saturday Training overseen by John Bilington was in strong winds whilst Sunday was a drifter. Mike Senior, a notable GP sailor, took it all on board and used this session to set himself up for the Open Meeting the following day. Of the 30 boats at the open meeting there were 13 from the club and there were some notable absentees as well! Tuesday evening racing starts at the end of April and one of the regular battles for this PY trophy has been between John Billington in his Lark and Mike Senior in his GP. With conditions sometimes favouring one boat more than another, it could almost have been seen as a pre curser to the Southport 24 Hour Race! Of course you all know what happened in that? This year the South Staffs GP just beat the South Staffs Lark over the full 24 hours. A great race and an indication of the flexibility within the club as Mike Senior with Chris White & Dave Young sailed in the GP (and others) and John; Will Croxford; Adam Parry and Neil Goodhead sailed in the Lark. Back at the Club, Mark Nicolls has persisted and been determined to learn and improve. One of the Lark training sessions focussed on starts and he has really taken that on board and the difference in his results following a good start should

Frensham Pond

really be a lesson to all those struggling to find consistency. Likewise Lynn Jones was struggling around at the back of the fleet but a little guidance on boat set up has helped her to be mixing it within the fleet. A new member to the fleet this year has been Jon Meeks and he has shown determination above and beyond expectation. This really came to the fore during the last few weeks when a gale came through. Instead of sitting it out on the bank as nearly everyone else did, he was out there fighting the elements and persisted to the finish despite several capsizes. There is no doubt that the members of South Staffs enjoy their sailing. There is a strong club focus and a huge desire to be part of the club success. Will and Adam supported by other club youngsters competed in the Junior Southport 12 hour race and won in a GP. They both also sailed in the GP youths at Chase (which unfortunately was the same weekend as the Lark Youths at Frensham) along with Chris and several others who are beginning to make a name for themselves. Adam won this event for the third year running. Eleanor Davies was the first Lady helm and Sam Blocksidge was first under 16, all from South Staffs and all who often sail a Lark at the club! The fact is that there are lots of sailing events both at our club and around the country that our members like to attend and support. With such a great club focus it is often the event that is more important than the class, which builds experience, ability and enjoyment. Don’t for a minute think any of us lack determination though!

If you haven’t already heard, FPSC was awarded RYA Club of the Year for 2009, which is a great honour and certainly well deserved given the vibrancy of the Club, particularly on the Cadet side. It has not been a great racing year for Larks at Frensham and Phil Whitney and daughter Lynda have been the most regular sailors. Others that venture out are Nigel Hufton (often in a Laser!), Steve Chatten, the Lake brothers when not at University, Graham and Anne Howlett, and Andy and Katie Shorrock who are about to go to Argentina for the Cadet Worlds in support of their son. We were particularly happy with our Open Meeting turnout and even more pleased that we could show everyone that if there is wind around - we get it just like everyone else! Well done to Stuart and Hannah for mastering the conditions. We would have liked a bigger turnout at the Youth Championships, but unfortunately all of our ex-Cadets seemed to have had a good reason for not turning out. If you have seen a Lark sailing on Lake Windermere during the summer, it is probably the Lake brothers as they take it there for a few weeks in July and August. I venture down to Salcombe, usually to sail against the South Staffs contingent which is always great fun and Graham Howlett takes his Lark to Federation week. This year we have a number of Larks new to the Club and a number have changed hands; these however are mostly sailed by families, that need a lot more help and encouragement to start racing, which is planned for the Spring. The good news is that the RS200 hasn’t taken off as everyone expected, as it isn’t considered the ideal boat for our lake. Don’t forget to book in for the Frensham Five starting on 24th January 2010! It’s a series of 10 races, with 5 to qualify, spread over five weekends, all Sundays. Entry fee for the series is £25 for non-members. However, if you’d like to book your boat and crew in from Christmas to the end of March it is £70 including the Frensham Five entry. Chris Ellis 2469

Tony Hotchkiss LN

more CLUB Scene slouches even after several years away. Matt Stearn has finished his 2 year stint as Class Captain and the new Class Captain is Fiona Gray.

GOLD SILVER BRONZE 2009 2009 2009

The Boxing day race is usually well attended by Larks at Royal Harwich YC, probably because Geoff Mayhew always provides ample mulled wine and sloe gin to warm our cockles before the start (often the Larks are late for the start – can’t think why?). This year Ian Videlo has decided that instead of our December social being in a nice warm pub with a roaring fire, we will walk along the river wall from Waldringfield to Felixstowe Ferry for lunch and back, a round trip of 14 miles. If anyone wants to join us the date is December 27th. Fiona Gray 2500

Barnt Green Waldringfield Having decamped from their winter stomping ground of Alton Water, back to the River Deben, the Waldringfield Lark Fleet took to the water again in March 2009 for another action and incident packed season. The Easter Egg Open meeting saw a good number of visitors to both the Training Day and the Open meeting. The training was very well run by Dave Chisholm, but there was a little bit of bumperboats occurring, culminating in John Crooks being T-boned and the Club Lark nearly being put out of action for good in a collision with a barge travelling down river. The open meeting was well attended with 26 entries. Poor John Crooks did not have much luck at Waldringfield – having had Mlevi repaired after a coming together at the training he decided to venture out again in the seemingly safer Wednesday evening handicap series. Unfor-

tunately he was again T-boned at speed by a novice Wayfarer, which sent him hurtling backwards into a moored yacht. Yet again his boat had to go off to boat-hospital for repairs. Adam Owens has started helming consistently in his boat 2455, and has improved rapidly through the season. After a successful Nationals he decided some serious boat bimbling was in order, especially with his spinnaker halyard

system. Trying to show his prowess to a novice sailor friend who offered to crew, saidcrew was asked to put the centreboard down, but try as he might found it impossible, Adam found himself and crew drifting gently across the river, landing in the mud on the Island where they had to be towed-off. Removal of the new halyard cleat in the dinghy park found 2 neat screw holes through his centreboard casing and into his centreboard. A Duckhams nomination if ever there was one. The Waldringfield youths have made their presence felt this year with 3 of them winning the Duckhams at the Nationals for the consequences of over-enthusiastic indulgence of alcohol. On the water it’s been great to see new young helms in Larks. Word is that Tim and brother Charlie Linsell will be given a newer better ship to sail next year, having shown Mum and Dad the way round the course a few times. Ian Davidson and Aaron Woolf sailed together in the Wednesday evening races and took part in the Youth Champs at Frensham. Chris Videlo has been helming whilst Steve was finishing his degree and now that Chris is at university, Steve has some youngsters lined up to crew. If anyone would like to crew at Waldringfield, Geoff Sinton is looking for a replacement for Kathy, who also has gone to university. The ability to play I-Spy is definitely not a requirement. Harry Pynn has been trying out new crews and at the Waldringfield Challenge Open in November Kathy Neuteboom was seen grinning at the front of Kiss My Face, and showing the fleet the way round. At the Winters Harry also made heavy weather sailing look easy when he had Kathy’s son 16-year-old Tim Linsell showing us oldies how to straightleg it around the course and not get tired. Old faces have been seen in the fleet this year – Robert ‘The Admiral’ Bellfield, Spunge Nunn and Andrew James showing they are no

Above: Alan Krailing & John Crooks Above: Eluned Jones & Millie Parsons

2009 has seen a revival in the fortunes of the Barnt Green Lark fleet.

Above: Holly Hewat & Ruth Johnson

We have had more Lark entries in the club races and several club members have purchased larks this year. Two reasons for the increased activity are the Tuesday evening training sessions held by Bob Suggitt during the summer, and the availability of club Larks for members and prospective members to borrow. Our summer series was won by Rob and Charlie Lennox who borrowed the Cumleys boat to practice for the Masters. The Cumleys were second and Kelsey Suggitt and Josh Stuart were third. New members David and Dan Plumptre won the handicap trophy. Our open meeting this year was won by Smashie Bennett and Karen Jewkes from Steve and Nicola Cumley of the home club. The single handed trophy was won by Steve Cumley. The 2010 meeting will be held on Saturday 22nd May, and for travellers wishing to attend the linked midland meeting on the Sunday, camping and a barbecue with bar will be available at the club on the Saturday night. In the meantime, the Cumleys are in the lead in our Frostbite pursuit series which finishes at Christmas. There is then a Snowflake series until mid March which is handicapped by the average lap system. The Lark handicap is ideally suited to the conditions found at Barnt Green and winter membership is available to local sailors. Bob Suggitt 2467

Silver 2009

Above: Helen Kraling won the Crews Series

Gold/Silver/Bronze Review of the Belle Isle 2009 series Gold 2009 The 2009 Belle Isle series was effectively won before the start of the National Championships. A perfect clean sweep of victories for the five open meeting entered by Alan Krailing meant the trophy returned to the 2007 Belle Isle champion. Along the way crewing responsibilities were shared between Edd McArdle and Alan’s wife, Helen. With Helen culminating an impressive set of results after crewing for both Alan and Harry Pynn, this saw both the Helm and Crew Trophies sitting proudly on the same mantle piece in Suffolk. And what a large mantle piece it must be with Alan also claiming the National Championships! 2nd and 3rd place in the series was closely fought between Chris Fish and ‘Smashie’ Bennett, and with Chris taking a hard fought 3rd position in the last event at Frensham leaving him with the runners-up prize on count back. In fact positions 2nd through to 5th were only separated by 6 points.

In the Silver fleet the results were dominated by one pairing, the reigning silver fleet Belle Isle winner – Holly Hewat, crewed this year by Ruth Johnson. They took both the 2009 Belle Isle series and were also 1st in the Silver fleet at the Nationals. This is massive rise to fame with impressive set of consistent results, showing a few Gold fleeters how it’s done! This success has promoted Holly to taking on the big boys in the Gold fleet for the 2010 season - we watch her continued progress with interest. 2nd place in the silver was Steve Chatten and a highly improved James ‘Wardy’ Ward coming third. Notable improvers in the Silver fleet in 2009 were Will Croxford (2nd Silver fleet at the Nationals) and Jane Alexander (5th Silver fleet in the Belle Isle and 4th Silver fleet at the Nationals including a top 5 finish in Race 7!)

Bronze 2009 Newly positioned in the back of a boat, Eluned Jones stormed the Bronze fleet Belle Isle, taking the title by a massive 28 points from Neil Barrett, and finishing 16th overall. However, Neil found the windy and wavy conditions at Brixham to his favour by taking the Bronze fleet Nationals prize with an impressive 24th place overall. This year the bronze fleet was treated to some new faces joining the class or crews promoting themselves to skipper. Notable additions in 2009 include: Adam Owens – Took on Brixham and local events around Waldringfield, but still finding time for crewing duties when required. Mark Sansom – Based in Plymouth. Attended Rock, and completed at Mayflower without the need to call an ambulance! Gus Condie – Can be seen around North West. Gus resurrected his old Lark during 2009 and completed a couple of good events towards the end of the season. David Lynch – Took part and achieved good results in three Belle Isle events in 2009, third in the Youth Championships and finished 5 races in the very windy Nationals with probably the lightest weight in the whole fleet. A fantastic achievement for a 13 year old with a combined crew weight of 14 stone!

Gus Condie

Other noteworthy guest appearances throughout the year include Ross Kearney, Jon Ibbotson, Fran Gifford, Andrew James, Matt Mee, Martin Orton, Jack Banks, Sarah Richards, Rob Woodward to name but a few. Lets hope we see a lot more of you next year! Dan Watson 2268 LN

Party scene The Lark Class are very good at partying and generally enjoying themselves off the water as well as on the water. We’re very lucky that this trait of the Class has never diminished and is one of the things that makes us stand out from many others. As you will all know, Andy Cox has stepped down from the committee this year having held the Social Secretary role for many years and so we’re looking for someone to step up and ensure we all have a good time. Generally this requires touching base with sailing clubs where an open meeting is taking place, to ensure that there is some form of entertainment happening, or at least some structure for eating drinking and being merry over the course of the weekend! At the big events there is a little more organising needed but most of this can be sorted out far in advance. In the past it has not just been a single role; Andy and I ran the job together, and that worked very well, being able to bounce ideas of each other and spreading the load a bit. It’s certainly a very enjoyable role and an important one for the class, so if you’re interested or want to know more please give me a shout. In the meantime, please enjoy a few pictures of us enjoying ourselves this year! John Crooks 2504

A Blowy


A report of the Brixham 2009 National Championship

brixham 2009 in pictures

It was widely predicted that, with a windy week, the Battle Royale would be between the two big wind specialists, Alan Krailing/ Edd McArdle and Steve Hall/Simon Haighton of P&B in the brand new Ovington Lark. The first day was bang on prediction. The “P&B” boys took a monster lead in the first race, with Krailing/McArdle recovering from a second rate start and first beat to pull through into second. Steve Cumley sailing with his new wife, Nicky, had a fantastic race, stretching their height over the side to full advantage. By the second race, the wind was starting to go left and a massive left shift helped Krailing/ McArdle to the windward mark in first. Team Videlo (Stephen and Chris), Chris Fish/Beth Condie and Hall/Haighton raced hot on their heels, with a gaggle of boats behind. By the last reach, these four boats had pulled away from the fleet, but Hall/Haighton kept their kite flying to charge underneath the others, snatching 2nd on the line from Fish/Condie.

Day 2

Day 2 of the Lark Nationals proved a interesting day. A good variety of weather (sun, hail, squalls and light breeze) taxed the fleet to the point of sore heads. The PRO had a job keeping the course straight as the wind performed massive somersaults and each windward mark had to be moved to a new position. The battle for the top spot overall between Krailing/ Edd McArdle and Steve Hall/Simon Haighton continued in Race 3. They didn’t have it all their own way, however. Smashie Bennett/Nicola Booth led the race for some considerable time until Krailing/McArdle, were the beneficiaries of a lucky right shift which put them back into contention, eventually taking the race win. Hall/ Haighton tried hard, but could get no higher than 4th. Race 4 was a complete reversal. Stuart Hydon, ably assisted by the 1979 National Champion, Ian Videlo, took a vast lead from the start and never relinquished, despite the difficult conditions. Holly Hewat and Ruth Johnson sailed a blinder, but sadly lost 2nd on the line to Justin Jones/Lucy Evans and Pynn/Krailing due to a rather unfortunate shift on the last beat. The day’s winner overall was Harry Pynn, crewed by Helen Krailing who slotted in two 3rds; no mean feat in the changeable conditions.

Day 3

Day 3 and the sun was (mostly) shining. Out in the bay, the wind was blowing a shifty F4 gusting 5 from the west. After late night antics at the crew’s union, at least half the fleet were pleased to only have to do one Championship race in the day, although the Crew’s Race was

scheduled to run back to back with it. It always looked as though the left would pay and the top runners hit hard left to take full advantage. Amongst those were Hall/Haighton and Krailing/McArdle who eventually pulled out a long lead on the rest of the fleet. Behind, an almighty battle for the next 8 spots was taking place, the shifty conditions allowing places to change frequently. In the group were Bennett/Booth, Dave Young/Holly Scott, Will Croxford/Chris Warbarton, Hydon/Showell, the Videlos, the Cumleys and Emma Harris/ Becky Priest who were climbing through from having being sent right as pathfinders. Going into the last lap, Hall/Haighton and Krailing/McArdle had pulled out such a lead that their amazing synchronised capsize (triple back flip, double salco, 9/10; must have taken hours of practice) in what was probably the biggest gust of the day, hardly made an impact on the rest of the fleet. Hall/Haighton were up first and powered on to take the gun. Behind, Harris/Priest who had overtaken Croxford/ Warbarton on the top reach, then opted to keep their kite up on the second reach and overtook Bennett/Booth to finish third.

Day 4

Day 4 was one to forget. After a 2-3 hour postponement due to a predicted squall coming through the bay the fleet launched with a view to complete races 6 and 7. After a number of false starts all racing was abandoned for the day with the leaders at the first windward mark due to major shift in wind direction.

Day 5

The sun came out for Day 5 after a very gloomy Wednesday sitting around waiting to race. This time, though, the PRO managed to get the races back on schedule. The wind, however, wasn’t really willing to play ball. The force 3-4 that the fleet launched in swung all over the place in the first race (Race 8), dropped, went right with the rain, then filled back in from the left. The PRO had a job keeping the course straight. The testing conditions didn’t fox Hall/Haighton, who managed to clock up their third race win of the week, closely followed by Harris/Priest then Fish/Condie. In Race 6, with the wind up again, Fish/Condie flew into a lengthy lead to hold it to the finish. Behind, the struggle was on for 2nd, with Krailing/McArdle clawing back the boats they had lost on the first leg to take the position. Matt White and Harriet Steer, more comfortable in the slightly reduced breeze, came in a good 3rd.

The third race of the day (Race 7) saw the young Videlos be the real beneficiaries of a huge right shift, coming out at the first windward mark with such an enormous lead that nobody could touch them. Following them, there were several teams that hadn’t found themselves in such a good position all week, and they all made the most of it. Simon & Sara Cox, showing increasing promise, finished in 2nd , Smashie Bennett/Nicola Booth in 3rd and all-girl pairing of Jane Alexander and Rachael Rhodes just losing third on the line to take 4th. This race saw a substantial amount of crucial jostling in and around 10th place, where Krailing/McArdle and Hall/Haighton found themselves after a huge right shift had turned the fleet inside out on the first leg. Krailing/ McArdle managed to crawl up to 5th, leaving Hall/Haighton sailing their discard, racking up a 9th. This has left the two top spots separated by just 1.75pts. With only one race race to go, the battle for the title couldn’t be closer.

Day 6 The final day (Day 6) was always going to be a closely fought battle for the crown of 2009, but going into the final race, the small lead that Alan and Edd had on Steve and Simon probably felt a little too tight for comfort. However, all Alan and Edd needed to do was stay between the finish and the P&B boys. The P&B boys, however, needed to get into the top 5, beat Alan/Edd and put a boat between them. The race was on. Sailing in a new direction for the fleet this week, the pathfinder got cleanly away and the fleet marched off towards Brixham in a lovely F3. Chris Fish/Beth Condie chose the shifts well and rounded first, with Emma Harris/ Becky Priest picking up on the better breeze on the right to round in 2nd. Interesting though this was, the real battle was happening behind. Both the top dogs had reasonable beats and were only separated by a few boats (Alan and Edd having the advantage). During the race, they both managed to pick their way through the surrounding boats, with a few port/starboard meetings up wind to really get the adrenalin flowing. Alan and Edd managed to sneak up into second and pip Emma/Becky on the line, Chris and Beth having already taken the gun. Try as they might, Steve and Si just hadn’t been able to break through far enough and finished in 4th, taking the runner’s up position for the week and leaving Alan and Edd to regain the title, last won by them in 2006. Chris and Beth actually had no need to go sailing today as nothing could shift them from

No.1 - Alan & Edd

Silver 1 - Holly & Ruth

Bronze 1 - Neil & Sophie

More Brixham! their 3rd overall. The race for 4th was interesting. Emma and Becky, going into the day in 6th overall had to beat Harry Pynn/Helen Krailing over the line and beat the Videlos by 7 places. Both of these, they managed, leapfrogging over both to take 4th. It was a great week for the Silver and Bronze fleets. Holly Hewat, just 19 years old, crewed by Ruth Johnson, finished 10th overall and first Silver fleet boat - an awesome performance and definitely one to watch for the future. Second Silver fleet boat, again with a great week of sailing - often seen in the top 10 on the race track - was Will Croxford and Chris Warburton, finishing a very creditable 15th.

No.2 - Steve & Simon

National Championships: Teign Corinthinan Yacht Club

No.3 - Chris & Beth Silver 2 - Will & Chris

No.4 - Emma & Becky

No.5 - Stephen & Chris

Five married couples also took part - Steve and Nicky Cumley won this new cup finishing 8th overall, followed by Simon and Sara Cox in 14th and Chris and Ann Biglin in 16th.

Silver 3 - Chris & Ann

Top 10 overall No.7 - Richard & Nicola

Bronze 2 - Spanni & Hannah

Bronze 3 - Adam & Gus

No.6 - Harry & Helen

Silver 4 - Jane & Rachel

Bronze 4 - Robert & Ruth

No.8 - Steve & Nicola

A fantastic week’s sailing was organised by Brixham Yacht Club, the PRO, Sean Semmens managing to get all 9 scheduled races in. The bar profits have been reported as ‘excellent’ and the socials were suitably lively. A massive thank you to BYC for their hospitality, their ‘nothing’s too much trouble’ attitude and their friendly welcome. A top venue. We look forward to returning soon.

The bar will be open at the club until midnight every night and the local night club is open until 3 AM on certain evenings for those looking to extend the entertainment into the small hours! Anyone looking to bring their family to Teignmouth can also rest assured that the town has a plethora of tea shops, pubs and a sandy beach to keep them entertained. Also, partners/friends/family that are not able to sail during the week may take a local boat trip which can give them a front row view of the racing. The social line up for the week will include the Commodores Reception, a BBQ, Games night, disco’s Crews Union/Board of directors meeting and of course the famed fancy dress evening with a live band. The week is, as always competitively priced offering more days of racing than most other classes and a celebrated friendly social scene. Discounts will be available for Students, Helms under 21 and first timer Helms, and entry will be available on the website in the new year.

Matt Stern sailing with Antonia Steer was first newcomer in 34th, and youngsters with a total weight of 16 stone, Alex Young and Phillippa Horn from Frensham finishing in 51st. First Master’s prize went again to Emma Harris. The team prize was overwhelmingly won by Waldringfield Sailing Club, taking 5 of the top 6 places overall.

The 2010 Lark National Championships are to be held at Teign Corinthian Yacht Club from 24th – 30th July. The club has a lovely club house overlooking the bay where the racing will take place. Racing will consist of 9 championship points races, a crews race and a practice race. Courses to alternate between Olympic & Trapezoid, with Gate & Line starts to keep us all on our toes.

The bronze fleet was won by students Neil Barrett and Sophie Jones who finished 24th overall, their best result having been a 12th. Close behind and only 19 points adrift were Spanni Archer and Hannah Mayhew, taking 29th. It was encouraging that the 9 female helms took part (8 of whom also had female crews) and were spread throughout the fleet with Emma Harris/Becky Priest taking the Salva in 4th, Holly Hewat/Ruth Johnson in 10th, Fran Gifford/Ali Dart 18th, Jane Alexander/Rachael Rhodes 19th, Spanni Archer/Hannah Mayhew 29th, Eluned Jones/ Millie Parsons 42nd, Ellie Martin/Katharine Lovering 47th, Fiona Gray 49th and Laura Mitchell/Sophie 50th.


Steve Chatten 2330

No.9 - Stuart & Ian/Hannah

Silver 5 - Chris & Hannah

No.10 - Holly & Ruth


Bronze 5 - Seb & Chris


2009 National Championship Results Table

For the full results see:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55

Sail 2464 2519 2494 2311 2491 2452 2487 2496 2495 2347 2470 2507 2471 2443 2465 2515 2444 2442 2132 2356 2469 2472 2426 2479 2223 2422 2330 2370 2509 2455 490 2489 20 2462 2490 2365 413 2504 2268 2493 2510 2492 2488 2165 2252 2301 2441 2412 2500 2208 225 2220 2502 2459 2503

Helm Alan Krailing Steve Hall Chris Fish Emma Harris Stephen Videlo Harry Pynn Rich Bennett Steve Cumley Stuart Hydon Holly Hewat Nigel Hufton Dave Young Matthew White Simon Cox Will Croxford Chris Biglin Matt Stearn Frances Gifford Jane Alexander James Stewart Chris Ellis Nigel Scott Christ White Neil Barrett Andrew James James Ward Steve Chatten Tim Vick Spanni Archer Adam Owens David Marlow Justin Jones Alex Jackson Nick Malow Robert Marlow Seb Balch Hamish Stone John Crooks Daniel Watson Dan Smith Geoff Sinton Eluned Jones Cole Briscoe Chris Holliman Garry Packer Stuart Allen Ellie Martin Geoff Holden Fiona Gray Laura Mitchell Alex Young Andrew Cox Mark Ampleford Nigel Denchfield David Lynch

Crew Edd Mcardle Simon Haighton Beth Condie Becky Priest Chris Videlo Helen Krailing Nicola Booth Nicola Cumley Videlo/Showell Ruth Johnson Andy Douglas Holly Scott Harriet Steer Sara Cox Chris Warburton Ann Biglin Antonia Steer Alison Dart Rachel Rhodes Toby Lewis Hannah Hydon Paul Gardner Ed Bradburn Sophie Jones Kerry Ryan Katie Haighton Kirsty Phipps Ian Davidson Hannah Mayhew Gus Condie Felix Danczak Lucy Evans Nicola Brooke Joanna Marlow Ruth Marlow Chris Proffit Jamie Mayhew Helen Winward Karen Jewkes Emma Waterhouse Kathy Bartlett Millie Parsons Darren Briscoe Kate Hutchins Richard Packer Julia Allen Katharine Lovering Sophie Holden Aaron Woolf Sophie Richards Phillipa Horne Kate Merritt Jill Ampleford Martyn Denchfield Nick Hydon


Club Waldringfield Northampton Waldringfield Waldringfield Waldringfield Waldringfield SHSC Barnt Green Shustoke FPSC South Staffs Waldringfield Waldringfield South Staffs Shustoke Waldringfield Aldeburgh South Staffs RYA FPSC RYA South Staffs West Riding Waldringfield Exe SC FPSC Ulley SC Waldringfield Waldringfield CUCrC South Staffs Ranelagh RYA RYA Waldringfield Waldringfield Waldringfield Waldringfield RYA Waldringfield RYA Shustoke BCYC Northampton Burghfield Ogston Waldringfield Penzance FPSC RYA Penzance Stewartby Shustoke

Fleet Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Silver Gold Gold Gold Gold Silver Silver Gold Gold Silver Gold Silver Silver Silver Bronze Silver Silver Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Gold Gold Gold Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Silver Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Silver Bronze Silver Bronze Bronze Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Gold Bronze Gold

R1 2 0.75 4 8 6 (9) 12 3 16 7 15 (DNF) 5 11 10 13 14 18 20 (DNF) 28 (36) (DNF) (DNF) 25 34 21 17 30 31 (43) 19 27 22 23 (44) 38 29 26 32 24 (DNF) 33 (DNF) 37 35 39 45 (DNF) 41 40 42 (DNF) (DNF) (DNF)

R2 0.75 2 3 5 4 8 6 10 7 9 14 (DNC) (36) 12 11 18 17 (31) 16 (DNC) 24 34 13 (33) 29 22 15 25 19 27 39 (DNC) (DNC) 20 28 (DNF) 21 23 32 30 (DNC) 26 (42) (DNC) 37 (DNF) 35 38 (DNC) 41 40 (DNC) (DNC) 43 (DNC)

R3 0.75 4 (6) 7 (34) 3 2 8 12 13 5 11 (32) (36) (29) 9 (41) 16 (33) 21 17 19 10 27 18 (38) 26 (35) 20 23 15 14 22 28 24 30 (51) (44) 25 31 37 39 (43) 47 (53) 40 48 45 49 (55) 46 (52) 42 (54) 50


R4 (9) (8) 5 (10) 6 3 (22) 7 0.75 4 (26) 11 * 13 14 20 15 12 27 (36) 11 (30) 23 18 19 25 21 (42) 28 (37) 33 17 2 (44) 24 29 16 40 38 (DNF) 34 31 41 39 48 (52) 35 (50) (46) 32 49 45 51 43 47 DNC

R5 2 0.75 (11) 3 5 7 4 10 8 12 (23) 6 18 27 9 14 24 (32) 17 OCS (34) (36) 16 19 21 13 15 20 25 (40) 26 (DNF) 22 30 (48) 44 (OCS) 31 42 (38) 33 37 39 28 46 (DNF) 35 41 DNC 43 (DNF) 45 29 47 DNC

R6 2 6 0.75 7 (52) 5 (23) (13) (20) 9 11 14 3 26 15 (34) 29 4 31 8 27 10 22 12 (37) 24 (39) 21 (43) 19 28 18 17 33 30 16 38 40 25 (36) (42) 41 32 46 47 44 (51) (49) DNF 48 53 45 DNC 50 35

R7 5 (9) 6 (12) 0.75 (17) 3 (24) (20) (25) 16 7 14 2 (29) 26 10 19 4 11 8 21 36 32 13 33 22 34 30 27 (DSQ) 15 37 (DNF) 40 44 18 23 39 31 41 38 35 28 45 DNF 48 42 DNF 46 (DNF) 43 DNC 47 DNF

R8 (7) 0.75 3 2 6 5 13 8 11 (23) 4 9 16 12 27 (31) (RAF) 14 19 17 10 15 (DNF) 20 26 18 34 (36) 21 (DNF) 30 DSQ 29 28 25 22 24 37 32 35 40 (43) 38 33 42 50 44 46 41 49 47 48 DNF 45 39

R9 2 4 0.75 3 9 7 8 11 10 14 6 15 12 (DNF) 13 22 16 25 21 5 17 19 27 28 (30) (35) 33 23 31 18 24 DNC 29 (40) (43) 32 36 (44) (DNF) 34 38 26 39 DNF 41 37 48 45 20 (51) 47 46 42 49 50

Total 30.50 35.25 39.50 57 122.75 64 93 94 104.75 116 120 185 149 196 163 182 219 186 197 241 195 213 254 246 224 238 247 239 256 274 278 292 283 281 290 304 322 309 333 301 342 347 340 398 400 409 398 397 422 423 430 428 436 438 454


Nett 14.5 18.25 22.5 35 36.75 38 48 57 64.75 68 71 73 81 104 105 117 122 123 128 129 131 141 142 157 157 165 166 168 176 178 179 180 183 185 199 204 215 221 221 227 244 248 255 286 295 297 297 302 310 317 318 320 324 328 342

29 classes were represented by their National Champions at this years Endeavour Trophy. As ever the racing took place in the tidal estuary of the River Crouch and comprised 8 races in winds ranging from 6-16 knots. The event is raced in Topper Xenons, a one-design two-man hiking asymmetric dinghy, to provide a fair platform from which the best-of-the-best can be found. The event started with a training day on the Friday with coaching from Adam Bowers. I’m

sure this would have been really useful but after hurriedly rigging and then launching our Topper Xenon we quickly found all the things we hadn’t done and spent most of the session hove-to and re-rigging the boat. As would be expected, racing was incredibly tight with the smallest mistakes heavily punished. The best opportunity for passing came downwind and it was not uncommon to see boats rounding the windward in the bottom 5 to be in the top 5 by the leeward (and

WINTERS 2009 ... Consistency was a rare commodity at Northampton Sailing Club for the annual Lark Winter Championship, both in terms of the gusty breeze and the results, with 5 different race winners across the weekend. Justin Jones & Lucy Evans made the best start from the heavily port biased line. Chasing hard behind were Chris Whitehouse & Chris Robinson, James Stewart & Alex Jackson and Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle. Alan & Edd managed to sneak in to the lead on the second beat to win narrowly from Justin & Lucy with Chris & Chris 3rd. Chris Fish & Beth Condie sailed into the distance in race 2, Justin & Lucy were at the front again and finished a comfortable 2nd. Emma Harris & Becky Priest worked their way through the fleet to finish 3rd. Meanwhile floundering hopelessly with their spinnaker entwined with the spreaders after messy capsize, Alan & Edd provided amusement for the passing fleet and spectators alike. Chris White & Ed Bradburn made an awesome start to race 3 and sailed impeccably to take an extremely comfortable and thoroughly deserved win. Steve Hall & Simon Haighton and Smashie Bennett & Nicola Booth battled tooth and nail all the way for 2nd but with them focusing on each other Alan & Edd pinched a fortunate 3rd on the final reach pushing

vice versa!!), especially with a few asymmetric experts from other classes around! We made a really good start with a second in the 1st race behind defending champ (and 4 times winner) Nick Craig and Toby Lewis. We narrowly missed out on a win in race 2 finishing 6 seconds behind the RS 800 reps. Another 2nd place in the 5th and final race of the day was enough for the overnight lead on Saturday. Unfortunately Sunday didn’t go completely to plan, missing the upwind gate in race 6 proved to be a costly mistake and with only an 8th in the next race we went into the final race realistically sailing for 2nd place. 5th in the last race following a close battle with eventual winners and now 5 time Endeavour Champion Geoff Carveth and Emma Clarke proved to be enough for 2nd overall ahead of Fireball National Champions Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff in 3rd. There was plenty of other Lark representation in the event with Toby Lewis in 4th, James Stewart in 5th, Nigel Wakefield and Matt Findley in 6th and Si Haighton, Tom Jeffcoate, Matt Mee, Chris Robinson, Steve Bolland, Peter Cruikshank, Tim Harrison, and Ross Kearney all competing having won various National titles between them this year.

Smashie and Nicola down to 4th. Saturday night saw the end of year prize giving, dinner and dancing to Superfly. Team Waldringfield might have won the club trophy but Team South Staffs won the dance off! Geoff Mayhew won the Duckhams for arriving at the sailing club without the keys to the boot of his new truck and having to hacksaw his way in to rescue his sailing kit and new puppy. Smashie had tried to convince everyone there wouldn’t be any sailing on Sunday and to make the most of Saturday night. The wind was actually lighter than forecast and more sailors made it to the water than normally turn out for the Sunday - maybe because it wasn’t snowing this year. The wind got up and the racing was exciting. Smashie had obviously not been following his own advice as he stormed into the lead in race 4 and held the lead until the finish. Alan and Edd were 2nd having managed to get past Chris and Beth late on. By the final race the breeze had built significantly. Harry Pynn and Tim Linsell took the lead on the second reach and held it till the end. There was a lot of capsizing behind them but Steve and Simon recovered the quickest to take 2nd and Alan and Edd 3rd, and with it the overall title. Thanks to Northampton Sailing Club for yet another excellent weekend and to the Lark Committee for all their work throughout the year. Alan Krailing 2464


2009 National Champions An Interview with Alan Krailing The 2009 Lark National Champions are Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle – repeating their feat of 2006. Ageing hack Nigel Hufton caught up with Alan again across the interwidget......

Alan (AK) I wouldn’t say so, I don’t think I meet the established criteria! NH I know it hasn’t always gone to plan. After your last win in 2006, you came to earth in 2007 - I seem to recall you were lying 19th going into the last day. How did you cope with that? AK It is just one of those things, Steve and Eluned had an awesome

AK There’s clearly a correlation between time on the water and success, there is nothing like practice but what does this give you? Well to my mind the person who wins is the person who makes the least mistakes so I think you need to be able to identify where those mistakes are and then spend the time put them right. You need to be self critical and aiming for perfection. NH For those readers who may have missed it, your 2nd in the Endeavour, equalled Tim Fells’ achievement and only Ian Southworth has ever done better from the Lark fleet - and he had already won it representing other classes. How did you do so well?

Nigel (NH) So Alan, we’ve been here before, back in 2006. However, back then you’d won the Nationals for the first time. This year you and Edd have won the Nationals, the Belle Isle (with a minimum score) and come second in the Endeavour. Perhaps only age prevented you from winning the Masters, too! Do you see yourself as a Lark ‘God’ now? week, they sailed really well and fully deserved to win. We just had a bad week, I clipped the gate boat in race 2 to pick up a DSQ and the goose neck broke on Thursday so that was both discards gone and if you want to win you can’t make mistakes like that. Overall 2007 was a very good year, Edd and I won the Belle Isle and the 40th Anniversary Inlands which was the biggest fleet of larks I have

sailed in. We also both had a busy year with getting married! NH How have you managed to bounce back since then? AK I don’t really see it as bouncing back, we’ve been pretty consistent over the last few seasons, we just came up a bit short at the Nationals. NH Judging by your performance in the Endeavour, the standard at the top of the Lark fleet is getting even higher. Certainly I find it so! Would you agree? AK Hopefully it’s a good advert for the class. For me there’s a lot of talent in the fleet and I’m sure the quality is on a par with any other class in the country. It was interesting to see the number of people at the Endeavour with a Lark connection, there were loads, I’d say at least half the sailors had been seen in the lark fleet recently. NH Even so, you seem to be a cut

AK We just need to concentrate on getting new people to try it. I think that almost without exception anyone who’s tried it has enjoyed it. We have a reputation for being a fun and friendly class and that is really important. With the new Ovington Lark we now have a top quality boat which I think measures up well against the competition so I’m predicting an exciting few years for the class.

above the rest at the moment – what do you put that down to?

AK We’d been before which gave us a really good head start it’s much tougher first time around. It meant we had an idea about how to set up the boat and remembered some of the problems from the previous time. Sailing at Waldringfield probably helped too as it meant we were tuned in with tide right from the start. It also seemed to help coming from a hiking class and being used to working hard upwind. Sailing downwind was the biggest challenge coming from a symmetric class and it did cost us a few times. I think that is the biggest obstacle to overcome and is always going to tend to give the asymmetric classes the edge. Looking back the Endeavour was a great result but I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed. We got ourselves in a really good position and had a great opportunity to win but unfortunately we weren’t able to take it. NH Of all your achievements this year, which gives you the most pleasure? AK Obviously winning back the Lark Nationals is high on the list but I think winning at Rock gave me the most pleasure. Rock is such a great event and its an absolute Lark institution. I’ve been down there so many times and never managed to win, so I suppose it was the ‘missing’ event for me and it was great to do it sailing with Helen. In terms of experiences

I was lucky enough to be able to do the Dragon Worlds in Medemblik this year and that really stands out. The quality of the fleet was unbelievably good; stacked full of professionals and Olympians. It’s fair to say we didn’t set the world alight but we did have some memorable moments. NH It’s been said that you are not a true ‘Lark God’ until you’ve won the Nationals 3 times – is that an ambition of yours? AK I hope I can win another, sailing might take a bit of a back seat next year though, with a baby on the way! And a new boat on order too so we’ll wait and see how that pans out.

NH Is there anything else you wish to add? AK I think the future looks bright for the Lark Class. Thanks to the effort of among others Simon and Chris we’ve got a great looking new boat made by a top quality builder and it feels like things are on the up again. We’ve had a great year this year with a few new faces, a good turn out at the Nationals and a really successful Masters so I for one am looking forward to what I expect to be a really good season for the class next year. NH Thanks, Alan, all the best for 2010 – maybe you can do the Nationals/ Endeavour double!

NH Do you have anything to say about Edd? AK Edd’s a top crew - without a doubt - and we work well together and make a good team and he deserves the success he’s had for the hard work he’s put in. He probably deserves a medal as well, as I’m sure I’m not always the easiest person to sail with! NH What did you think of Brixham as a venue? AK I thought Brixham was brilliant. I’d heard all the stories and I have to admit I had my doubts before we went but they were fantastic. The race management was excellent and members and club staff were really friendly and welcoming. I’d be keen to go back. NH Is there anything the Lark fleet can be doing to improve what it offers current and potential sailors?


Girls at the Back ... .. of the boat, that is! I was really encouraged by the number of Lady helms at Rock this year – I think there were 11, which was a good proportion of the fleet (not quite half, but not far off). When I bought Bomber, back in early 1999, I was one of very few female helms, Sarah Richards (nee Wakefield) having dominated the Lady helm side of things for some years. When I started the circuit, Sarah had just gone off on ‘maternity leave’, and until her return in 2003 for the Exmouth Nationals, I took that fairly lonely mantel. Now the balance is shifting and it got me wondering; why are there, traditionally, so few lady helms in the Lark fleet? One lady helm I talked to said “I think its great that there are female helms in larks, mainly because there’s no reason, other than long outdated tradition (husband helms for wife, bloke teaches girlfriend to sail, stemming originally possibly from the fact that in the olden days boys did sport and girls did the cleaning) for them not to.” Given that we are now living in a more modern and, hopefully, equal world, what’s stopping more girls from getting to the back of the boat? The only way to find out is to ask why the girls that have, have. I asked a six regular female Lark helms to share with me their reasons for helming and what the pros and cons were of doing it as a girl. Firstly, I asked what made these ladies choose to helm. For a few of us, the reason was simply that we’d never really crewed, and helming was a natural choice. I first got into Larks way back in the mid 80’s when Waldringfield first adopted it as a class. From then on, and although I didn’t do a great deal of dinghy sailing at all throughout the 90’s, the Lark had been so much fun that it was always the natural choice. One lady helm told me “The Lark is a perfect boat for a female helm and I think it actually responds better with a ‘woman’s touch’ as it is quite a twitchy boat and requires smooth actions”. The other route to the back is simply moving from the front of the boat. A lot of very talented crews out there just got to the point where they’d achieved all they felt they could at the front and helming presented itself as the new challenge. One said “there comes a time when you want the final say in any decision, and there’s always a little bit of watching your helm and wondering if you could do some bits a bit better...”. I for one, never really took to crewing in the Lark – all that hiking was far too much like hard work! Give me a mainsheet to play any day!

So, what is the most enjoyable aspect of helming as a girl? Well, you’d have thought, beating boys would be high up there on the list. And, funnily enough, it was mentioned once or twice! Being in control was also a big factor (now where does that particular quality come from?). But I think this comment summed it up for me “I enjoy being able to compete equally with guys without thinking they’re stronger or fitter than I am. The Lark isn’t about either of these things (although it helps). Some boats are just suited better to men with the sheet loading and stuff, but the Lark is a lot more adaptable and can cope with having a (relative) weakling in the back.”

the whole) than their female counterparts. This is, without doubt, the biggest challenge of them all. Interestingly, one of our female helms went a little further with this theory “strength I have always felt is one of my weakness and weight, partly because women carry their weight on their hips and men on their shoulders so they can use their weight more efficiently when they are hiked out”. Now some may argue that there are plenty of other areas “up top” that women carry their weight, but our shoulders are infinitely weaker than mens, so that mainsheet really does need some good purchase on it to make it comfortable.

Enjoyable it may be, but not without its challenges, the most obvious of which still have to be weight and strength. It is a fact that boys are just heavier and stronger (on

In line with this, once the strength wanes during a race and so does the stamina, making it more difficult to keep a boat going in heavy winds in a long race. The obvious answer to

this is to go to the gym and do some weights but then putting someone in the front of the boat who has a bit more strength and stamina than you is key! Which brings us nicely to the crew. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky since I returned to Larks in the late 90’s. I’ve only had two main crews – first Helen, then Becky, both of whom are hugely experienced, calm and have lots of stamina. Obviously, none of our ladies know what it’s like to be a bloke, so a comparison here is difficult, but they all said that stamina was an issue and having a crew who could call the shots, hike harder than you and be quick and nimble around the boat was vital. If your crew is doing all this, it frees your mind to concentrate on the boat speed, rather than how hard it is to pull in the main, or how on earth you’re going to squeeze those last few mm of kicker on. I asked our ladies whether they felt there was any obvious discrimination (positive or negative) in the fleet. Most felt that they were treated no differently from the boys and that their abilities were respected within the fleet. One did point out, however that “race committees often like to see teams of girls doing well, probably because in the majority of fleets that they organise there possibly aren’t so many all girl teams.” This is so true! So many times I have been cheered by rescue or race crews when crossing the line somewhere near the top end of the fleet - it’s certainly nice, but does leave you feeling a little like an underdog who’s ‘done good’. But, like men opening doors for us, we can take a little chivalry now and again!

My final question to the girls was; “crew – boy or girl?”. The results are in - Girl (3), Either (2), Boy (1). I’ll leave you guessing who said this: “Boy – I always have a great chat with a girlie crew, but it doesn’t win races!” and this: “Girl, although I have had the odd trip out with a boy, and actually it was surprisingly OK!”. So, how do we encourage more girls into the back of the boat? In this world of equality there should be no reason why girls can’t own and maintain a boat, bimble and travel with it. There are ways we can overcome our slight disadvantages (ie, strength), and I know from experience and this research that the boys out there actively help the girls: “I do seem to get more help and encouragement I think girls get positive discrimination because people are so pleased to see a girly at the back of the boat”. We know that girls are perfectly capable of competing with the boys. So what’s stopping them? Maybe, when it

boils down to it, a lot of girls find it easier to let the men take the lead (hunter/gatherer) and it is so much easier to turn up, stick your kit on and climb into a boat, go sailing, then go straight to the bar for a natter without the hassle of running a boat. I’d like to be proved wrong on this and look forward to the day that female helms make up 50% of the fleet. One final thought from me and my happy female helms. A million ‘thank yous” to all you boys for the countless times you have erected our masts when it’s been too blowy for us poor girls to do it. Without you, we would be stuck on the shore sipping tea and gossiping... probably about you! Emma Harris 2311

Lark Sailirs Hijack Dragon Perhaps unaware of the Olympian nature of the endeavour, Alan Krailing, his wife Helen, Harry Pynn, and Michael John Gifford, the recent victor in Ranelagh SC’s summer series, decided to repeat their first Dragon effort at Plymouth in Basilisk by borrowing a Dragon to go to the Worlds at Medemblik. Start at the top.

Winning a major championships is all about preparation and time spent in the boat. We didn’t do this! However, Alan and Harry had crewed for Patrick Gifford in Aldeburgh Week in August with Alan helming in the afternoons. Time in the boat that we used: nil. Given that we hadn’t managed to perfect the preparation, the next item on the checklist is to make sure that your equipment is perfect. We didn‘t exactly ensure this either. In fact we weren’t all that clear what we had brought to Holland with us. A shrouded boat-like object under a cover and a middle-aged Audi seemed to cover it. We did appear to be missing a new Porsche Cayenne, a professional coach and a large speed boat like others in the fleet but we continued undaunted. The next item on the list was to make sure we were up to weight. This we achieved with ease as we had remembered to pack an extra crew member. Slightly harder was explaining to the organisers that we wanted extra dinner tickets, lunches, beers, T-shirts, etc... Total Crew Weight: 284 kilos.Yippee! The final item on the list was to approach the event in a serious and professional manner. Apparently this meant turning up in time for the practice race, showing some degree of commitment to the craning-in process. Sadly

we failed miserably on this as we got distracted by lunch at a critical moment. It did, however, help to conceal our lack of diligence that the practice race was called off due to the wind. Once the racing started it became clear that unlike the dinghy fleets we were used to, this one had no slow boats, or to be more accurate no slow boats unless we decided to take that role. One blink and twenty Olympic medallists sailed past. Harry had taken it upon himself to memorise the sailing CVs of all our competition and delighted in telling us how many and what type of medals each of our competitors had won at which Olympic Games. We weren’t sure that helped a lot but it did provide for conversation during the extremely long races. Apart from the question of the quality of the competition it also seemed that there was just a lot of it. Everywhere we tried to sail there were loads of other boats trying to sail in exactly the same direction. We were just glad that with a few minor exceptions nobody actually got into the same bit of water as us at the same time. We were next to Ron James when his regatta ended during a territorial dispute over occupation of a rather small area of the race-course. Two into one just doesn‚Äôt work with boats as the splintering noise testified. I won’t bother trying to describe the races themselves, except to say we rapidly found that we were quite happy with anything in the top half and reasonably relaxed as long as we had boats behind us. However, we did get a result in the top ten, which pleased MichaelJohn who was recognised by the hotshots who were surprised to see us there. We also

discovered that dinghy techniques did give us speed downwind. Did we learn anything? It is true to say we realised beforehand that turning up late and unprepared for a fully professional regatta is not ideal. Having said that, if you stick a bunch of talented dinghy sailors in a Dragon they won’t disgrace themselves and there is something nice about going to events where they give you beer before you have packed up the boat. Would we do it again?? Definitely, but you can do a lot of dinghy championships for the cost of a return trip to Melbourne...



After evaluating the various scoring systems used within sailing, the class is going to trial the CHIPS High-points scoring system in both the Icicle travellers circuit and the Midlands & North travellers circuit this season. So what is it? A High-points scoring system is essentially an inverse of the existing Low-Points scoring system, where in a fleet of 10 boats the 1st place gets 10 points, and the 2nd place gets 9pts and so on. In the early 1980’s, Jim Rinderle of Marblehead USA tried to solve the problem of a High-points scoring system where a series of races had a variety of entrants. Rinderle weighted the finishing position against the number of entrants. Whilst this method treated the sailors at the front of the fleet reasonably well, it penalised boats further down the fleet. The CHIPS system was devised to address this undesirable feature, while retaining the principle to create a fair scoring system. The CHIPS approach gives scores that are related to your performance against the whole fleet so it does matter who you beat! CHIPS give a score as a percentage figure, with a maximum score of 100 for a large turnout event. So if you do well when there’s a big turnout, then you will get a good score. But if you do well at an event that has a low turnout, you will still get a good score, but to a lesser extent. For example, 3rd place out of 10 boats will score 81.5 points, which is about the same as 6th place out of 25 boats. Exact details of the different scores will be available on the class website. Of course, the highest overall points score at the end of the series wins the series. If you want to understand what you need to achieve to overtake another boat in the series or avoid being overtaken, then Excel spreadsheets are available to calculate your various permutations. Most importantly, as this is a trial, please give your opinions on the Lark website forum as the series are underway!

ROCK in pictures

Waldring field Northam pton

1 5 (6) 4 2 17 DNC (13) 12 DNC (33) (34) 18 24 (29) DNC (37) 15 14 DNC 36 DNC 3 7 9


Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Silver Gold Gold Silver Silver Silver Silver Gold Bronze Gold Silver Silver Silver Bronze Gold Gold Gold Gold

South Staffs Helm

A.Krailing C.Fish R.Bennett H.Pynn E.Harris S.Hall N.Hufton H.Hewat J.Stewart C.Biglin S.Chatten J.Ward N.Scott J.Alexander S.Cox E.Jones M.Ampleford D.Watson N.Marlow C.Holliman N.Barrett S.Hydon S.Videlo S.Cumley M.Stern




2487 2468 2496 2517 2515 2472 2503 2301 2264 2488

R.Bennett T.Hotchkiss S.Cumley S.Norris C.Biglin N.Barrett S.Hydon S.Allen D.Padro C.Briscoe

N.Booth P.Vick N.Cumley C.Norris A.Biglin S.Jones various J.Allen Jnr Padro D.Briscoe

S.Harold South Staffs Barnt Green Shropshire Shustoke West Riding Shustoke Northampton Shustoke Shustoke

Gold Silver Gold Bronze Gold Bronze Gold Silver Bronze Bronze

South Staffs (DNC) (8) (11) (7) 10 18 (DNC) 4 (DNC) 9

Barnt Green 1 (5) 2 4 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)

Shrops hire 1 2 (DNC) 5 3 (DNC) (DNC) 4 8 (DNC)

West Kirby (DNC) 2 4 1 (DNC) 3 DNC (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)

Carsin gton (4) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (12) 28 3 (DNC) DNC DNC

Shusto ke 2 5 3 (DNC) 6 (DNC) 1 DNC 7 8

Total 128 82 140 137 151 229 244 248 255 257

Nett 4 9 9 10 19 49 64 68 75 77

South Staffs

Waldring field


Royal Harwich


Mayflow er

Carsing ton

Shustok e


Frensha m



Crews Series Northam pton

DNC DNC 4 DNC 5 1 DNC 7 3 10 8 14 DNC 9 DNC 13 DNC 12 DNC DNC DNC 2 DNC 6 DNC 1 3 2 DNC 4 DNC 5 7 9 DNC (13) (18) DNC 14 23 16 21 DNC DNC 22 15 DNC DNC DNC 8



Royal Harwich

1 DNC 4 DNC 2 DNC 10 (11) DNC DNC 9 14 6 7 17 (23) (25) 16 13 27 18 DNC DNC DNC DNC


1 4 DNC 2 (9) DNC DNC DNC 11 (25) DNC DNC 15 DNC 17 DNC DNC 23 DNC DNC DNC DNC 7 DNC 8

Mayflow er


Carsing ton Sail No

2464 2494 2487 2452 2311 2502 2470 2442 2347 2515 2330 2422 2472 2132 2443 2466 2502 2268 2462 2165 2472 2503 2491 2496 2444



Shustok e

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ

1 2 3 4 5 6 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ



DNC 3 DNC 2 DNC 4 11 9 6 DNC 12 (17) DNC DNC 13 20 15 DNC DNC 19 DNC 1 5 DNC 8


DNC 1 4 DNC 9 2 DNC 7 DNC 12 (19) (29) DNC 18 15 23 (25) 24 17 27 28 3 5 DNC DNC

Frensha m

DNC DNC DNC (17) DNC DNC 2 5 DNC (13) 7 12 16 DNC DNC 15 19 DNC 20.5 10 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC



587 598 507 520 431 612 613 276 623 469 399 356 649 654 599 595 467 672 676.5 687 697 686 699 706 712

Nett Rank

Belle Isle – Top 25

5 16 16 18 22 30 31 35 41 43 43 64 67 72 85 87 89 90 94.5 105 115 104 117 124 130

M&N Circuit – Top 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Helen Krailing Beth Condie Simon Haighton Alison Dart Ruth Johnson Ann Biglin Karen Jewkes Katie Haighton Kirsty Phipps Joanna Marlow Jill Ampleford Kate Hutchins Sophie Jones

1 5 17 (13) (12) (DNC) (38) (34) (DNC) 14 (37) (DNC) 36

2 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (13) 10 (DNC) 15 (DNC) 30 21 (DNC) 18

2 4 (DNC) 6 (15) (25) (16) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)

1 (DNC) (DNC) 8 (11) (DNC) 15 14 9 13 (25) 27 18

(12) 3 (DNC) 10 7 (DNC) 2 (18) 13 (DNC) 21 22 15

8 (DNC) 6 2 (10) 5 7 9 (DNC) (DNC) 13 (DNC) (DNC)

(DNC) (DNC) 1 (DNC) 7 10 12 (DNC) 8 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)

(DNC) 1 2 8 7 12 (21) (29) 19 17 25 27 28

(DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) 6 9 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)

(DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (11) 5 (13) (DNC) 12 (DNC) 20.5 19 10 (DNC)

(DNC) 3 4 (13) 9 (DNC) (DNC) 17 21 (DNC) (DNC) 19 (DNC)

616 724 738 425 214 553 474 502 778 802.5 633 813 823

14 16 30 34 35 43 45 67 70 94.5 99 105 115

Nationals Newbie Phillipa Horne

After speaking to a Lark sailor at Frensham Pond sailing club about the Lark fleet and what a great event their nationals are I expressed my interest in the event and said how much fun it sounded. Before I knew it I had been offered a spare boat, a set of decent sails and me and my helm (Alex Young) were off to Brixham to do the 2009 Lark Nationals. With neither of us having sailed a Lark before, coupled with strong winds all week and us having one of the lowest combined weight in the boat, it’s fair to say we were challenged. Our week started off well, with us staying upright in the windy conditions and lying 40th out of 55 on the first day. However, we slowly crept down the results as the wind dropped and staying upright wasn’t enough to guarantee a good finishing position. The fact that we still had no idea how to sail Larks well began to show in our results and at the end of the week we finished a respectable 51st overall with the prize of 2nd newcomers. Although we

didn’t finish top of the fleet, we couldn’t have been surrounded by a more friendly or helpful fleet of sailors: when we bent the spinny pole to nearly a right angle and we managed to break and damage various other parts of the boat a whole team of people were ready to offer us spares and help with repairs. The final mention has to go to the social of the Lark fleet which I’m sure is unrivalled, with a quiz night, crews union, a BBQ, a Noah’s ark themed fancy dress party and a disco (all with copious amounts of alcohol) there truly are no socials quite like Lark socials!

All my respect goes to the sailors who can drink long into the night and be up and launched at 9am the next morning and show no signs of the hangover that has me with my head in the bottom of the boat unresponsive to anything other than shouting from my helm (and bars of chocolate). It really was a great week and I look forward to seeing you all again next year in Teignmouth for the 2010 Lark Nationals!

Masters at Work ... First of all I would like to thank the Lark Class for arranging a Masters event and its members for supporting it by making so many boats available. Whilst many other classes have Masters events, almost all require the Masters to bring their own boats so getting 37 crews to the line was a brilliant effort.

the prospect of rain, on arrival I guided Martin into the Hayling club house to distract him from entering the Open Meeting. The plan was going extremely well, assisted by the apparent lack of interest from the Lark fleet, until Tim Fells and Bill Barker started to wind us up. Eventually we decided to find out whether we had already entered the meeting on the basis that if we had we would race and if we hadn’t we would pack up. At this point Nigel Hufton spotted us and added to the pressure by offering to lend us a spinnaker if we had entered.

Martin Orton and I had been looking for an opportunity to celebrate 25 years since launching The Average White Boat (TAWB) as we have only sailed together once since 1991 and that was 5 years ago to celebrate the boat’s 20th birthday. Hayling Island, with something masterminded by Tim Fells, was too good an opportunity to resist.

To my amazement we discovered that I had paid for both events and so we were going sailing. As we rounded the beacon we were greeted by and nice F3-4 and a Hayling chop which encouraged us that the extra weight could come in handy. Suffice it to say, the weight was useful and a win was bagged in race 1. However, as we were so surprised with the result we made no effort to note who was behind us not that we could recognise them - last time we sailed against Nigel he was crewing Paul Towers in ‘Cosmic Rocker’, No 1963 or thereabouts.

The dinghy park on Saturday morning did nothing to calm our nerves with rumours that Tim and Justin had been practising the day before, John Brickwood armed with an Ovington Lark and both Southy and Chris Allen sorted with up to date, borrowed boats. We would probably have been more concerned had our last Lark fleet race not been the Felixstowe Lark Nationals in 1986 and therefore we did not recognise half the Masters. Racing on Saturday was great, although two races outside and one inside might have made better use of the sail out and back. We quickly realised that our early 1990s main and jib were competitive but the state of our spinnaker together with 4-5 extra stone (we both lied about our weight!) was too much of a handicap in such a hot fleet. The third race was a real eye opener with 21 boats eventually disqualified for being OTL, but at least we got to the bar a little earlier! For me the bar was a real eye opener with an influx of new faces (Masters living in the area who were unable to borrow boats) demonstrating the attraction of the event and the affection held for the class. The dinner was where Hayling Island really comes up trumps because those attending enjoyed a very civilised meal and more excellent company without resorting to driving. The speeches were largely slanderous as everyone hoped and Tim’s recollection of the Lark’s last visit to Hayling in 1985(and the lack of sense of humour in the 420 fleet at the time - I wonder how many of them are still sailing?) brought back fond memories of our last Open Meeting win. Waking bleary eyed and hung over on Sunday morning and faced with overcast weather and

Race 2 saw an opportunity to get out of jail by winning again, but sadly the course was extended and having led round every mark our weight and lack of coordination saw Nigel pip us to the line by 1/2 boat length thereby prolonging our agony. Race 3 saw our luck running out with Sarah Richards rounding the first mark and clearly ready to do a horizon job we were with Nigel in the middle of the pack. However, with Sarah capsizing on the kite hoist and Nigel following us up through the fleet, it was with great relief that we squeezed home second to win the Open. For Martin and I the highlight of the day was the generous applause at prize giving as a couple of strangers stole first place. Thanks to Tim Fells, Nigel Hufton, the Lark Class and HISC for making two ‘old boys’ really happy and giving Martin bragging rights over his 29er sailing daughters for the next couple of weeks. On reflection I think we had the advantage this weekend in that we had won the last Open Meeting held at Hayling Island back in 1985. On that occasion we were also sailing 2029 with Batt sails albeit that we had ‘new’ sails last weekend - they were measured in 1994/95! As regards remembering how to sail a Lark, I think that it is just down to how good the boat is and ‘feels’. Martin and I hardly sailed 2029 in 1986 as we had moved on to an Int 14 aptly named Hesitation Roll. We did, however, do the Nationals which was the last occasion we gybed a Lark spinnaker together before the second mark of the first Masters race. Everything just seemed to click after that as we

A review of the 2009 MASTERS Weekend at Hayling Island

just sought to feel our way into the ‘groove’. However, as our downwind performance throughout the weekend demonstrated, weight is useful upwind but lack of talent, coordination and practice is a big handicap downwind.

Ian Brooks 2029

2009 LARK MASTERS ... Tim Fells Report

The 2009 Lark Masters Championships attracted a star-studded fleet to Hayling Island SC on 10th October. A total of 37 entries came to the line including 11 previous Lark championship winning helms and crews, countless winners of other national and world titles and, in the case of Ian Walker, a double Olympian and VOR star. The weather gods smiled benignly and the fleet enjoyed wall to wall sunshine and pleasant, moderate winds from a perfect westerly direction. Race one was sailed out in the bay and got away after the inevitable general recall with ‘84/’89 champions Ian Southworth & David Hayes leading the fleet round the first triangle. However, father and son team Stuart & Nick Hydon slipped past downwind to extend a large lead by the finish. Sarah Richards (Champion in ‘04 and ‘05) crewed by Chris Jenkins held a comfortable 3rd place while Tim Fells and Jerry Eplett (Champions in ‘88, ‘93 and ‘97) won a 3 way battle with Andy Shorrock (crewed by thrice-champion crew Liz Rushall) and Nigel Hufton & Andy Douglas to sneak 4th. The fleet then returned to the club for a relaxing lunch, a couple of pints in the sun and a good catch up with old friends while waiting for the tide to fill the harbour. Race 2 started in glorious conditions with Tim Fells& Jerry Eplett finding a nice shift and favourable tide on the left side of the beat to narrowly lead Sarah Richards & Chris Jenkins round the top mark. While Tim and Jerry extended their lead, ‘94 Champion Chris Allen - sailing with ‘09 runner-up helm Steve Hall - came through to challenge Sarah, but was unable to find a way past. Chris’s ‘94 champion crew Nigel Hufton took 4th to keep his series alive. Race 3 started with the tide starting to ebb and a series of four black flag general recalls

eventually saw over half the fleet sent home (in some cases intentionally) for an early beer, including series leaders Fells / Eplett. Out on the water Chris Allen / Steve Hall took their opportunity and nailed the bullet they needed to take the title while Southy and Dave took second to put them on the podium. Overall, in a very tight series there was only 1 point

separating the top 4 teams - all of whom were past Lark class champions (and had won 8 different championships between them). An excellent day was rounded out with the class doing what it has always done best, partying late into the night with a black tie dinner and dance. Great fun was certainly had by all!!

Overall: 1st Chris Allen & Steve Hall, HISC, 4 pts 2nd Tim Fells & Jerry Eplett, Salcombe S.C. 5 pts 3rd Ian Southworth & Dave Hayes, H.R.S.C, 5 pts 4th Sarah Richards & Chris Jenkins, P.S.C, 5 pts 5th Nigel Hufton & Andy Douglas, F.SC, 10 pts Tim Fells 2331

Short Course Championships 31 May - Northampton SC

Winter Championships 20/21 Nov - Northampton SC

Inland Championships 18/19 Sept - Grafham Water SC

National Championships 24 - 30 July - Teignmouth Teign Corinthian Yacht Club

Sail Lark 2010

Lark News Autumn 2009  

Lark News Autumn 2009

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