Lark Nationals

Sunday 2nd August 2015

We often see skilful sailing out in this lovely bay of Saundersfoot but this week with the weather conditions on red alert at the start it has most definitely been a pleasure to watch the skill of the Lark sailors in manoeuvring their boats around some very tactical courses set by the clubs OOD John Griffiths with of course assisted by an array of various glamorous helpers out on Elgar. One of the many helpers was in the form of brother Paul who between them manage to control both the competitors and courses which were set in some very changeable winds on occasions.

The club is also proud to offer sailing in a safe environment with a lot of work going into the safety of not only all the visiting boats but also includes our own crews who were out in some very rough seas at times and this was all under watchful eye of our own event safety officer Keith Jones who by the way concocted an excellent quiz night during the week.

If by chance or maybe some good planning the Harbour team managed to have the new beach slipway finished and an area cleared for the visitors to park their boats and set sail from the confines of a nice cosy boat park out into some rough seas on the first two days. There was an ever watchful eye on proceedings over there as Tom the Beach Master managed to keep them all in control and also it seems managed to ensure all tallies returned on time with almost no problems and no fines paid to the RNLI fund for late return.

The week was a mixture of weather going from one extreme to the other on a day to day basis, but from listening to the crews it was enjoyed by all the sailors in what ever the wind could blow at them. I did hear 28+ knots of wind being reported on one occasion and could well believe it as 5 boats who consecutively turned on the gibe mark went over right in front of our rescue boat.

One of the nice things about the Lark fleet is that is seems to attract a real mix of people sailing which include a large number of ladies out their on both the helm and crew. The sailing club is very proud to have seen our very own Julia Griffiths who was on loan for the week to a Lark boat, for my regular readers you would understand that she would normally be seen fluttering her eyes at her skilful helm Paul as he guides them round the course in almost perfect precision and harmony in the National 12 know locally as the “Love Boat” to you and me. However with Paul on the OOD boat this week Julia was out there getting very bruised and battered along with a having to learn some new boat handling skills in a f5 wind by a new visitor she had only just met so well done Julia.

The clubhouse had an in control feel about it this week with Charlotte taking over the running of the bar with daily food being served up to hungry competitors and club members, well done Charlotte and come back soon. During the evening there were various events taking place from quiz night to fancy dress band night to the official prize giving and meal served up by a local caterer which was well received.

A special thanks to all who volunteered to help out on the club house, on occasions it was very busy with some late nights but this type of event could not take place without you and it benefits us all with keeping the costs of running the club down. Of course to make this all happen there was a dedicated team behind the scenes and without naming them all, but it was only a few which is surprising by how well it all turned out, the club commodore Martin Andrews did an excellent job in steering the ship and helping out at every corner so thank you Martin.

On the water there was a very dedicated team who managed to get extremely wet on many occasions but managed to turn out a very professional event for all our visitors and help keep everyone safe and returned to the beach safely. As a thank you the club is to hold a buffet and drinks to all club members who helped out at the Larks, the date is Friday 14th at 7pm in the club house.

It seems also that our Facebook pages have been popular and very well received with over 4,700 people looking in on one week alone at all the photos and videos from the day to day racing. Visit the club Facebook to see what’s been going on down there.

The photos included this week have been taken by our talented young sailing member Ben Roberts who has also managed to create a promotional video for Bart’s Bash due to be held on September 20th where we are currently the highest club entry in the world. The video will be available on the website and the FB pages this week.

Sunday 9th race report

With everything else going on I need to keep this brief but we do need to ensure a few facts of what happened today, as I know many people will be reading this with bated breath, maybe not just for the sailing but it appears to see if there are any new romances developing. I am of course talking between boat and helm so don’t be too quick to suggest anything else but with all this fantastic scenery, hot sunny weather and stunning beaches it could be the cause for love blossoming out on the waves, it does though have to be the best sailing venue in the world which can turn a crews thoughts on occasions.

Back to reality and race 1 had an excellent turn out of 15 boats from 9 different classes which is great for club racing and makes it more enjoyable for everyone. The competition between the front runners is getting to be very close and it seems to be anyone’s turn to win the race with the right conditions and skill, the final result from race one meant that the first 6 finishers were within 2 minutes of each other.

Both James and Maurice are pulling ahead at the moment but I am sure some of the fleet have them in their sights, well quite literally at the moment but I am sure that will change. With a good start and clear wind they managed to keep out in front of a well contested bunch of lasers and Solos with the odd Aero around to keep them on their toes. Race one results were 1st Maurice in the Contender, 2nd James in the Phantom, 3rd Paul in the Laser.

Race 2 seemed to go the way of the previous but it was noticeable that a few of the new club trainees and now out racing in the form of Rosie in her first race and Lloyd were learning the ropes very quickly and am sure they will be moving up the fleet very soon. Harry again keeps going round and puling out the results as he was 9th in both races and there were a couple of old salts chewing the cud in the Graduate and obviously chatting much about the success of the recent Larks visit but managed a good finish in 8th place, keep going Malcolm and Martin I am sure the championship is just round the corner. Race 2 results were 1st James in the Phantom, Maurice in the Contender, 3rd Keith in the Aero.

Full results can be found on the club Facebook and website pages. There is a plan for possible club sailing this coming Friday 14th but watch FB for details and Sunday 16th has a start time of 18.00 with one race planed.

Photos attached are from the Larks and courtesy of Ben Roberts

A Salty Sea Dog