Lark Winter Champs in last race tie-breaker

Lark Fleet at Inlands photo Pete Vincent
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A strong and chilly SW force four awaited the 92 competitors at Northampton Sailing club for the 2007 Winter Championships, the final event of the Larks’ 40th anniversary year.

With everything down to the final race, Alan Krailing and Ed McArdle held onto first to win the event on last race result.


Racing began at the published time with several boats struggling to make the far side of the reservoir on time. Justin Jones crewed by Lucy Evans were first out of the blocks in race one, hotly pursued round the course by Alan Krailing & Edd McArdle. South Staffs sailors John & Sue Billington, and Dave Young & Sophie Mackley took third and fourth places respectively.

After a break for lunch, Chris Fish crewed by David Marlow lead the second race from the pin-end of the start line to the finish. Younger brother Jon Fish crewed by Toby Lewis had a tight battle with Lark chairman Simon Cox & Tessa Nicholls that was decided in a luffing duel on the final downwind run. Steve Hall & Simon Haighton judged the angle to the finish mark well to overtake two boats on the last leg and finish fourth.

The final race of the day was back-to-back and PRO ensured a quick turnaround, with a building breeze providing some long beats, fast planing reaches and a few hull inspections! Krailing & McArdle rounded first at the windward mark and stayed ahead to the finish to provide the third different winner of the day. Matt White crewed by James Hayward contested second place against C.Fish & Marlow for the entire course. On the final beat White & Hayward were ahead but were pinned to the layline by C.Fish & Marlow who narrowly took second.

After some great sailing, the fleet celebrated the traditional Laying Down supper in typical style, with Steve Cumley winning the end-of-year Duckhams for a spot of untimely forgetfulness.

Sunday saw a good turnout for back-to-back racing in a 2-3 SW that veered W as a front came through during the first race. After a black-flag start, James Stewart & Ruth Johnson lead round the windward mark followed by Chris Whitehouse & Jane Alexander. On the penultimate beat C.Fish & Marlow managed to come through to 2nd place, and then attacked Stewart & Johnson downwind to take first place.

Krailing & McArdle managed to get through to finish third, setting up a final race decider between the champions of the two past seasons. Krailing & McArdle got ahead in the final race from C. Fish & Marlow in 2nd, but on the last beat they still needed a boat between them.

After some match racing between the front pair, Whitehouse & Alexander took advantage to move into 2nd, and Krailing & McArdle held onto first to win the event on last race result. Emma Harris crewed by Becky Priest finished fourth, followed by Jamie and Geoff Mayhew in fifth to win the bronze fleet and Steve Chatten & Kirsty Phipps in sixth to win the silver fleet.

Lark - Leading Results (92 entries)

1st 2464 Alan Krailing & Ed McArdle, Waldringfield SC 7pts
2nd 2494 Christopher Fish & David Marlow, Waldringfield SC 7pts
3rd 2489 Justin Jones & Lucy Evans, South Staffs SC 22pts
4th 2311 Emma Harris & Becky Priest, Waldringfield SC 27pts
5th 2411 Chris Whitehouse & Jane Alexander, Ranelagh 28pts
6th 2507 Dave Young & Sophie Mackley, South Staffs SC 29pts
7th 2471 Matthew White & James Hayward, Waldringfield SC 30pts
8th 2500 Simon Cox & Tessa Nicholls, Waldringfield SC 32pts
9th 2502 Steve Hall & Simon Haighton, Northampton SC 34pts
10th 2264 Jon Fish & Toby Lewis, Waldringfield SC 40pts

1st Silver 2330 Steve Chatten & Kirsty Phipps, Frensham Pond SC
1st Bronze 2413 Jamie & Geoff Mayhew, Waldringfield SC

The class would like to thank Northampton sailing club for such a great weekend.