60-70 expected

A look ahead at the Lark Nationals to be held at the end of July from Brixham YC

Monday June 29th 2009, Author: Titch Blatchford, Location: United Kingdom
A talented line-up is already coming forward for the Lark National Championships to be held from Brixham Yacht Club over the week 25-31 July. This includes last year’s National Champions, Chris Fish and Beth Condie, along with two previous championship winning partnerships.

Total entry, currently already 53 boats, is expected to be between 60 and 70, split into three fleets - gold, silver and bronze. As one of the most competitive dinghy fleets in the country, this Lark National Championship has already attracted top sailors from other classes - Fireballs, Merlin Rockets, OKs and Cadets.

Entry fees are being held for the early entry deadline, which has been extended to Sunday 5th July - £150 or £100 for first time entrants in the Nationals, Under 21s or full time students.

The Racing

Racing will take place in Torbay, between Brixham and Torquay over the Championship series which is to be held over a full week and will be a mix of gate and line starts, over trapezoid and Olympic courses. The series for the National Championship title will comprise nine points races, with additional racing for the Crews’ Race and a pre-regatta practice race.

The New Ovington Built Lark

Racing is likely to be extremely close with the fleet now well matched in terms of performance and an extremely welcome new addition to the fleet will be the brand new Ovington prototype Lark. This has been long awaited by existing Lark sailors, as well as those new teams who have already expressed interest in joining the fleet with one of the new Ovi boats. This is likely to be the boat’s second outing, as she is expected to make her debut at the Mayflower Sailing Club Open at the beginning of July.

Runners and Riders Current Form and Past Performance

Newly-weds Steve and Nicola Cumley will be trying to better the third overall from 2008 and return to their Championship winning performance from 2007; although Steve Hall and Simon Haighton will be trying to improve their best result to date in a 4th overall from last year in the new Ovington built boat. Nigel Scott and Paul Gardner are hoping to be on form and retain their title in the Silver fleet, ahead of Dan Watson and Karen Jewkes who lost the Silver fleet overall in the very last race. Both teams however are likely to be looking over their shoulders at James Ward and Katie Haighton, currently leading the Silver Belle Isle travellers’ series, who are also strong contenders in their new boat. In the bronze fleet, there are some very competitive teams who are out to make an impression, maintaining their current winning form – Neil Barrett and Sophie Jones, current leaders in the Belle Isle trophy, the all-girl team of Eluned Jones and Millie Parsons or Seb Balch and Chris Proffit, former successful Cadet sailors.

Shore-based Evening Events

The Lark Class traditionally well known for its social side has matured and now attracts a much broader age range. There is an exciting week of events planned for all age groups on the shore side with bands and barbeques, including a Games Night, fancy dress and the nightly award “Duckham’s” for gross underachievement. With the Championships being held from such a fantastic location, non sailors and families will also have many attractions to visit and things to do while the boats are out racing.

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