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© Neil Goodhead
© Neil Goodhead
© Neil Goodhead

2009 OK Open Report

OK Open Meeting 2009  - Sunday 18th October

Twenty boats gathered at South Staffs for the OK Open meeting, including two OK World Champions.. The weather was pleasant but light winds and big wind shifts made for a difficult and sometimes frustrating days racing.

Click here to see the full results

Click here for photos

Race 1

The fleet was a bit keen at the start and a General Recall ensued with the next start under the black flag. The fleet quickly split with four boats breaking away - a situation that remained for the whole race.

Nick Craig led the bunch with Mike Edwards ahead of Mike Senior (a South Staffs guest sailor more regularly seen at the front of the GP fleet and in other two man boats). Jim Hunt stayed with the bunch of four. Tony Woods and Alan Atkin led the next group. Mike Senior and Jim Hunt were both sailing borrowed boats from injured South Staffs members.

The leading four had tussled for the second, third and fourth places with Nick building a strong lead. A wind shift allowed Mike Senior to take second from Mike Edwards as the race progressed. As Mike Senior got more familiar with the boat he was able to close on Nick, the race ending with a close tacking duel to the finish line - Race one to Nick Craig.

Race 2

Mike Senior managed to break away early in the second race from Nick Craig and sailed a consistent race to never be threatened. Jim Hunt was third and Alan Atkin fourth. The fickle conditions were reflected in the variety of finishing results further down the fleet - Race Two to Mike Senior.

Race 3

The first beat was difficult to be consistent on, but found Neil Goodhead well placed with the leaders on the first run, with Jim Hunt in the mob. Neil managed to secure a clear route to leeward down the first run to start the second beat in the lead and the favourites left struggling for supremacy. This was the position until the next windward mark when Neil decided to head off the wrong way and took Nick with him, allowing Mike Senior to break away and Jim Hunt to get back into the action.

Nick was stuck in traffic for a couple of legs and the wind did not do him any favours. By the time he had got a clear look at the front, Mike Senior and Jim had established themselves at first and second which was to stay for the rest of the race.

The trophy and the OK rudder for first prize went to Mike Senior in his first foray into the world of singlehanded sailing. (he is now working out how to fit an OK rudder to a GP14) Nick Craig was second and Jim Hunt third.

The over 50 prize went to Alan Atkin, Jim was the over 40 leader, Ed Dutton was the junior and won the Dave Danbury Memorial Trophy. Adrian Walker won the best under 16 prize, the best placed Vintage boat and a prize for the best turned out Vintage boat (he and his dad having produced one of the best restorations of an old OK for a long time- a real work of art!).

Thanks go to all the helpers from South Staffs, especially Tony Hotchkiss as OOD and Carole Danbury for her supreme efforts in the galley.

Click here to see the full results

Bill Bradburn - 23rd October 2009

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