by Stuart Hydon
The Lark 2011 Belle Isle series opening weekend continued at Shustoke SC with an entry of 18 boats. Stuart Hydon, crewed by son Nick, cleaned up both days sailing, so makes the early running for the series.
2011 Belle Isle Series opener
The wind conditions were better than on the Saturday however the wind veered before the start to give OD, Darren Padro, a few headaches with his pre-set course. This together with some flag problems led to three quarters of the fleet setting off with both Fiona Gray and John Billington in strong positions before the race was recalled by the second leg. When the race eventually re-started it was Stuart and Nick Hydon who managed to get around the windward mark just ahead of Smashie and Nicola Booth. Hydon went on to win the race as the battle for the next three places was hotly contested and allowed him to extend his lead. Smashie managed to hold second with John and Sue Billington third, followed by Dave Young in fourth.
Race two went off without a hitch, but the Hydons established an early lead that provided enough space for them to extend this during the race. There was one tricky moment when one of the windward marks broke free from it’s anchor, but this was quickly rectified with a temporary mark until it could be re-anchored. Again battles for the next few places were tight with Chris and Ann Biglin holding second position until just before the line. A tactical blunder by the Biglin’s let the Billington’s through to finish second. Dave Young came in fourth notching up a consistent performance.
Race three saw another Shustoke favourite leading the race, Adrian Padro and Hannah Hydon. Padro was pursued by Tim Vick and Rebecca Marks snapping at their heels for most of the race. Close behind the top two were the now familiar Smashie and Billingtons. With the tight racing that ensued it was eventually Smashie who took the honours with Billington’s second followed by Vick and then Padro.
The final positions were:
1st Stuart and Nick Hydon. Shustoke SC
2nd Smashie Bennett and Nicola Booth. South Staffs SC
3rd John and Sue Billington. South Staffs SC
4th Dave Young and Seonaid Fleming. South Staffs SC
5th Chris and Ann Biglin. Shustoke SC