Doyle One Design is thrilled to have teamed up with Salve Regina University in their maiden launch of new LARK dinghies in Newport, Rhode Island. The high-performance dinghy fleet was built by White Cap Composites in Peabody, Massachusetts and equipped with new square top mains and deck sweeper jibs by Doyle One Design in Salem, Massachusetts.
During a recent college sailing competition hosted by Salve Regina, collegiate sailors were excited with the new fleet. The Larks held impressive boat speed both during light air races and breezes building to 17 knots. Salve Regina’s sailing coach, John Ingalls said that the “boats were lively, yet manageable in the bigger breeze. The square top main was new, different, and outstanding. The team observed that it offered both stability and improved speed and performance.”
Tomas Hornos, sailmaker at Doyle One Design and Tufts Sailing Alumni, notes square top mains “make the boat faster off the breeze in all conditions. It is designed to blade out in breeze, making it easy to depower, while improving performance and power in light air.”
John Ingalls is in his 15th year as the head coach of Salve Regina intercollegiate sailing team, named New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association's Coach of the Year in 2010 for his instrumental part in his team being named ICSA All-Academic Team and All-NEISA Team. Ingalls has seen an increased need and a lot of interest in top-performing dinghies like the Lark at the college level.
“It is great to see some variation in the types of boats being used in college sailing,” Ingalls said. “The Larks feel more durable for the varying conditions and really provide the next level in performance and sailing.”
Ingalls notes that during last weekend’s regatta, the teams used both FJs and Larks. He noted how easily the Larks could get around the course in very light air, whereas the FJs faltered considerably. He added that the students were “all smiles and there was a lot of excitement about the Larks. In the heavy breeze, it was exciting to see the teams planning from the windward to the offset mark. They were full of praise for the boat and the sails.”
Paul Zimmerman, owner of White Cap Composites, says that the Larks are a popular high-performance dinghy in England and his company remains the only place in North American that builds Larks.
“We built the first fleet for Tufts University in 2015 and were pleased to build another fleet of boats for Salve Regina University. The boat originated in the UK and is a higher performing boat than, say, the 420. The square top main is not standard for the Lark but was requested by Tufts University initially and then again by Salve Regina. It was a great experience for us to work on this project with both Doyle Sailmakers and Salve Regina University.”
Ingalls hopes that other universities might consider a boat like the Lark. He noted that the “college kids sailing the boat this past weekend were ecstatic about the boat. We have other teams from the mid-Atlantic states that want to get them as well. We think they are an excellent addition to our sailing program.”