After being runner up on too many occasions, Terry Curtis from Upper Thames SC finally went one place better and won the OK nationals, sponsored by Rooster Sailing and hosted by Parkstone Yacht Club over the 23rd, 24th and 25th August.
Although pushed hard by both Jim Hunt and initially Jonathon Fish he always had enough to keep ahead and counting 5 first places, 2 second places and discarding a sixth gave a comfortable lead on the scoreboard if not always on the water.
The event was preceded by a training session led by Nick Craig. A dozen or so sailors had classroom lecture followed by a good session out on the water and then watched themselves on film afterwards. It must have been good as the top 3 in the nationals were all in attendance!
The eight race series was held out in Poole Bay in generally breezy conditions with enough waves to make going downwind fun.
Was a long day, the fleet leaving shore at 11am getting back at 7pm. Jon Fish had a good day, leading for much of first two races only to be taken by Curtis in the later stages, this combined with a 4th place in race three left him in second spot overnight. Jim Hunt having scored 3,2,4 in third. Andy Turner performed well with a 4 and 5 in the first two races only to be black flagged in race three. Tony Rich also started well with a 5,6 but followed that with a 12. Julian Burnham sailed well to land 5th in the last race. But it was Curtis who sailed home happiest having a perfect scoreline of 1,1,1.
Racing began in lighter winds with Curtis followed by Alex Scoles in the leading positions. They were both caught out by the shifty conditions and at the finish Keith Byers on his 52nd birthday took the gun followed by Hunt, the Fish, Ager and Scoles. Curtis back in 6th. This was Byers first nationals race win, after coming close a few times over the years and a popular win with the fleet.
A big shift in the next race could have shuffled up the places more than it did. Those on the left hand side of the beat watched those on the right benefiting. Curtis in the middle and far enough ahead managed to maintain his lead. Hunt who was in 2nd and Dan Ager in 3rd and on the left were also far enough ahead not to come out too badly. Ager also had the presence of mind to tack across on a big header to secure 2nd spot. Chris Arnell getting a comfortable 3rd proving not everyone needs a carbon mast to be at the front. Fish who was on the right being taken from mid fleet back to 4th. Hunt ended up 5th. So far Fish was having a consistent series with all top 4 finishes.
Fish used his discard in the third race of the day when he was black flagged. Curtis won with Scoles again near the front getting 2nd and Mike Edwards beginning a late charge for a good overall position with a 3rd. Hunt finished in 4th with Keith Dutton well up in 5th. With the discard now being used Curtis was counting five 1sts and a 10 point lead from Hunt and Fish in 2nd and 3rd.
The final day brought with it the most wind. Fish having until this point been unusually consistent managed to return to usual form by capsizing, losing his glasses and finishing 16th. Curtis was content to sail round in 2nd place behind Hunt to secure the championship and Edwards again in 3rd. Ager again sailing well into 4th and Rich 5th even after snapping his tiller extension in two. Ager now only counting one result out of the top 4 moved into 3rd place overall with a comfortable points cushion on Fish. The final race of the Championship had some real breeze making for excellent reaches and runs. Hunt again winning from Curtis, Fish and Ager with Andy Turner in 5th place.
All four juniors competing sailed well in the testing conditions during the Championship, with Ed Dutton from South Staffs SC taking the junior title from Richard Burton, West Oxford. Ben Steel and the very young and light Sam Woods from Etherow SC also deserve congratulating for sailing well. South Staffs SC won the Thorpe Trophy for the top team of the Championship. The Vintage boat title was won by Tim O’Leary and Jon Fish won the ‘Brixham Bonnet’ (a rather embarrassing hat) for his usual and entertaining antics on the water.
The racing was slick and well run by Brian Drake and his team and as always the facilities provided by Parkstone YC were excellent, so thanks to all concerned. Thanks must also go to Rooster sailing for generously providing the prizes to go with the many OK trophies that were up for grabs.
Next year the class heads back to Dabchicks SC for the National Championships, which will no doubt prove to be just as competitive as this year.
|1||2118||Vet.||Terry Curtis||Upper Thames SC||1||1||1||6||1||1||2||2||15||9|
|2||2116||Vet.||Jim Hunt||Sutton SC||3||2||4||2||5||4||1||1||22||17|
|3||2120||Dan Ager||Waldringfield SC||9||3||3||4||2||8||4||4||37||28|
|4||2122||Jon Fish||Waldringfield SC||2||4||2||3||4||BFD||16||3||68||34|
|5||2126||Mike Edwards||South Staffs SC||11||8||BFD||7||6||3||3||6||78||44|
|6||2117||Alex Scoles||Overy Staithe SC||16||10||8||5||7||2||7||8||63||47|
|7||2084||Mas.||Keith Byers||Morcombe & Heysham YC||8||9||6||1||10||7||8||10||59||49|
|8||2123||Mas.||Andy Turner||Overy Staithe SC||4||5||BFD||21||8||9||6||5||92||58|
|9||2124||Vet.||David Rose||Bawdsey Haven YC||7||7||7||14||11||6||9||11||72||58|
|10||1944||Julian Burnham||Upper Thames SC||12||20||5||8||13||11||10||9||88||68|
|11||2085||Vet.||Gaven Waldron||South Staffs SC||6||11||11||22||9||13||12||7||91||69|
|12||2121||Anthony Rich||Oxford SC||5||6||12||17||14||16||5||15||90||73|
|13||2127||Vet.||Keith Dutton||South Staffs SC||10||12||14||13||12||5||11||12||89||75|
|14||2064||Vet.||Chris Arnell||Christchurch SC||17||13||9||10||3||12||13||DNS||111||77|
|15||2112||Vet.||J.P. Williams||West Oxfordshire SC||14||17||13||9||17||14||17||18||119||101|
|16||2125||Neil Goodhead||South Staffs SC||15||14||10||18||18||20||15||13||123||103|
|17||2128||Jun.||Ed Dutton||South Staffs SC||13||22||15||11||15||23||14||14||127||104|
|18||1968||Jack Grogan||Ardleigh SC||20||18||18||12||16||10||DNS||DNS||162||128|
|19||2102||Vet.||Andrew Day||West Oxfordshire SC||23||21||20||19||19||21||18||16||157||134|
|20||2065||Mas.||Simon Shaw||Deben YC||22||19||16||23||26||18||20||DNS||178||144|
|21||2131||Nigel Grogan||Ardleigh SC||21||16||BFD||15||21||15||DNS||DNS||190||156|
|22||2059||Peter Turner||Overy Staithe SC||19||15||DNS||16||22||17||DNF||DNS||191||157|
|23||2092||Mas.||W. Bradburn||South Staffs SC||25||23||17||25||23||24||21||DNS||192||158|
|24||2031||Mas.||Dave Cooper||Overy Staithe SC||28||26||19||26||20||22||DSQ||DSQ||209||175|
|25||2104||Mas.||Paul Pike||Covenham SC||29||29||22||29||28||27||24||17||205||176|
|26||1966||Vet.||Tim O'Leary||Felixstowe Ferry SC||24||25||BFD||27||25||19||22||DNS||210||176|
|27||2129||Mas.||Alan Atkin||Burghfield SC||18||28||BFD||20||24||25||DNS||DNS||217||183|
|28||1774||Jun.||Richard Burton||West Oxfordshire SC||27||27||21||DNS||27||26||23||DNS||219||185|
|29||2068||Vet.||Tony Woods||Etherow Country Park SC||26||24||DNS||24||DNF||DNS||19||DNS||229||195|
|30||2058||F/Mas.||Mary Reddyhoff||Parkstone YC||31||30||DNS||28||29||DNS||25||DNS||245||211|
|31||2049||Jun.||Ben Steel||Etherow Country Park SC||32||31||23||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||256||222|
|32||2083||Vet.||Chris Biscomb||Fishers Green SC||30||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||268||234|
|33||1998||Jun.||Sam Woods||Etherow Country Park SC||33||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||271||237|