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© Neil Hawkins
© Neil Hawkins
© Neil Hawkins

SSSC win at the OK Nationals !

SSSC were out in force over the August Bank Holiday weekend with the OK travelling team turning up at the Nationals in Christchurch in strength and had a successful weekends racing.

Seven of the eight scheduled races took place in conditions ranging from less than 5 knots of wind at times to over 35 knots during a memorable sail round the bay on Sunday.

The team was: Ed Bradburn (5th), Gavin Waldron (6th), Mike Edwards (11th), Andy Holmes (17th), Bill Bradburn (18th), Adrian Walker (26th) and Matt Bates (30th). There were 32 in the fleet.

South Staffs came away with an array of Silverware. Ed, Gavin and Mike ensured that the Thorpe Trophy team prize came to South Staffs against a strong and experienced Christchurch team.

Gavin won Race 2 and received the Wilf Burnley Memorial Trophy. Mike took Race 6 for the Marlow Salver. Adrian Walker added the Cadet Trophy to the Junior Championship he had just won at West Oxford and Bill got the Mark Williams trophy for going slowly but finishing all the races.

It was a superbly run event and everyone had an enjoyable weekend and Matt had a great introduction to the challenges of full Championship racing - the sailing taking place on full Olympic "triangle-sausage" courses outside the harbour which entailed 45 minutes sailing to get to the course.

Amanda/Neil have got some photos which will be on the website soon.

There is also a full report on the OK website with the results - CLICK HERE

Bill Bradburn

National Championships, Christchurch SC
27 - 30th August

PlaceSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R7R8points
1 2118 Terry Curtis Weymouth/Upper Thames 1 3 1 1 1 4 -14 11
2 2105 Ian Harris Bristol Corinthian YC 6 5 3 2 8 -9 1 25
3 2134 Andrew Rushworth CSC 3 -16 6 3 2 13 3 30
4 2124 Tony Woods Etherow SC 8 6 4 -9 6 5 2 31
5 2116 Ed Bradburn South Staffs SC 4 -9 5 5 9 6 4 33
6 2085 Gavin Waldron South Stafffs 17 1 9 7 3 -21 10 47
7 2084 Keith Byers Morecombe & Heysham 12 7 8 10 4 11 -23 52
8 2101 Julian Burnham Upper Thames SC 13 4 -21 4 7 20 8 56
9 2121 Anthony Rich Oxford SC 2 18 7 8 -33 17 9 61
10 1774 Richard Burton West Oxford SC 7 13 10 14 5 12 -17 61
11 2126 Mike Edwards South Staffs SC 5 11 12 20 -33 1 13 62
12 2123 Andy Turner Overy Staithe SC 14 10 14 11 10 8 -33 67
13 2015 Chris Arnell CSC 10 2 13 12 18 16 -25 71
14 2119 Martin Bower Blithfield SC 11 -24 15 17 13 3 19 78
15 1900 Dave Evans CSC 15 12 11 16 12 14 -26 80
16 2130 Deryck Lovegrove Burghfield SC 16 15 18 15 11 10 -29 85
17 2127 Andy Holmes South Staff SC 9 14 25 22 -33 2 16 88
18 2135 Bill Bradburn South Staffs SC 19 19 -24 24 15 22 6 105
19 2107 Daz Prior Morecombe & Heysham 22 8 19 18 -33 18 22 107
20 2137 Simon Shaw CSC 24 21 16 13 -33 23 11 108
21 2139 Robert Campbell-Gray Overy Staithe SC 18 22 17 21 -33 27 12 117
22 2136 Jon Fish Waldringfield SC -33 33 2 6 33 19 29 122
23 2129 Alan Atkin Burghfield SC 23 20 23 23 -33 29 5 123
24 2031 Dave Cooper Overy Staithe SC -33 33 20 19 14 24 20 130
25 2058 Mary Reddyhoff Parkstone YC 21 25 22 25 -33 26 18 137
26 2125 Adrian Walker South Staffs SC 26 26 28 28 -33 15 15 138
27 2141 Simon Davis   -33 33 33 33 33 7 7 146
28 2104 Paul Pike Covenham SC 25 23 26 27 -33 25 21 147
29 2133 Simon Hoult RYA 20 17 -33 33 33 33 33 169
30 2092 Matt Bates South Staff SC -33 33 30 33 33 28 24 181
31 2088 Roland Gadsby Upper Thames SC -33 33 27 26 33 33 33 185
32 1748 Robert Austin Milton Keynes SC 27 28 -33 33 33 33 33 187

Daily Report - Day one

Race 1

At the second attempt race one got underway in a very shifty northerly brisk breeze of between 12 to 20 knots. The first beat proved testing as the windward mark was laid very close to the shore. Andy 'Rover' Rushworth making a welcome return to the OK's led off the start chased by Terry 'TopCat' Curtis. The right-hand side paid and Rushworth led round the windward mark, closely followed by Anthony 'Titch' Rich, Curtis and Richard Burton. The first reach was a question of who picked up the gusts and Curtis passed Rich with Mike Edwards pulling through to fourth passing Burton. Rushworth maintained his lead at the gybe mark and maintained it until half way down the second reach. Edwards came through to leeward and caught Curtis by the bottom mark. The next beat proved to be the final leg with some really big shifts, along with varying strength of wind, which kept everyone on their toes. Curtis pulled out a small lead from Rushworth and Rich. Curtis took the bullet due a shortened course and Rich just pipped Rushworth for second. Ed Bradburn picked up a big shift on the right to pull through to fourth with Edwards finishing fifth. Event organiser and local hotshot veteran Chris 'Dogsbody' Arnell was nowhere to be seen in tenth. Ian Harris recovered well to finish sixth after capsizing twice at the start which also won him the Brixham Bonnet for the most ridiculous act during the day. (Report by Andy 'Rover' Rushworth)

Race 2

The second race followed a similar theme with major shifts throughout the race. Gavin Waldron from South Staffs led round the windward mark, closely followed by local has-been, event organiser & general dogsbody Chris Arnell. Julian Burnham took a shift at the top of the beat to round third. Arnell was in front by the wing mark, but Burnham showing good off-wind speed was in front by the leeward mark. Once again the course was shortened after 2 rounds, a big shift from the left brought a raft of boats in from the left hand side, but a shift back shortly before the finish brought Waldron back out in front to take the gun from local hero, organiser & dogsbody Arnell. Curtis picked up some breeze to come in third from Burnham in 4th and Ian Harris in 5th. (Reported by 3rd place Terry 'TopCat' Curtis)

Day 2

Race 3 started in a 3 to 4 north westerly, with the course set further from the shore than yesterday. No one can remember anything about the start as it's been a long day, except that, apparently, the pin end allowed some brave hearts to cross the fleet on port! Mr Dave Evans, a true gent with a classic OK, complete with varnish and a metal mast showed the rest of the carbon and epoxy strewn fleet the way round the windward mark, followed by Tony Woods and the unflappable Curtis. Also showing great speed, Tony Rich and the John Fish (making an appearance after stopping at his new house to do some decorating rather than go sailing). Fish soon showed some class to get himself to 2nd, miles behind Curtis who yet again offered a masterclass in horizon jobs. A close battle between Ed Bradburn and Tony Woods was spoiled by the late starting Harris who nicked 3rd from the others, although being chased by Rushworth, who had looked good until nature called on the reach.

Race 4

After the tea-break, the race officer got the second race of the day away, at the 3rd attempt. The committee boat end was slightly favoured, in contrast to previous races. The race was largely uneventful - Curtis won again, but without the horizon job. The next 5 boats mixed it up, with Waldron and Tony Rich featuring strongly. However, by the finish, Rushworth, sailing a boat that he didn't build had stayed upright to take 3rd, just in front of Julian Burnham. Resident editor, Ian Harris motored through to take his second second of the event, and stay second overall. So much for needing a new mast and boat...

Special mention needs go to Sir Dave (Evans), who after having had his fantastic first race, decided to jettison himself out of his boat at the windward mark, slightly damaging his second race result, and most of the boats around him.

Day 3

Day 3 dawned with the forecasted 30 knots gradually building, resulting in some of the more inexperienced making what would finally turn out to be a wise decision. After a postponement the 5th race got underway in about 18 knots with a short chop on top of the swell that had built up overnight. John Meadowcroft crossed the fleet making a guest appearance in Jon Fish's boat as Fish was called away on business, but Curtis had recovered from being shut out at the start to have a short lead over Rushworth by the first mark. Ian Harris and Keith Byers were very close behind. Tony Woods, Burnham and Waldron passed Meadowcroft on the first reach and stayed in that order to the bottom of the triangle.

On the second beat Richard Burton picked all of the shifts and closed up on the leading pack and by the bottom of the run there was a close pack of 6 boats chasing Curtis, showing his superiority and pulling away. By the top of the second beat Curtis led, followed by Rushworth, Harris, Byers and Waldron, With Burton and Woods close behind. At this point the forecast wind kicked in to around 25 knots, with the fleet planing into the swell. Ian Harris had a wobbly moment into a big wave & took a swim which cost him dear, whilst Rushworth had a brief swim at the gybe mark, but had enough of a lead not to be caught by Byers. Curtis sailed away revelling in the conditions with Rushworth holding out to second. Waldron overhauled Byers with 2 tacks to the finish to snatch 3rd, with Richard Burton holding on to 5th & Tony Woods coming in 6th.

Race 6 was abandoned by the race officer due to the wind increasing to 32 knots. (Report by Gavin 'Two Tons' Waldron)

Day 4

Race 1

Lighter winds and sunshine were the order of the day. The fleet getting away on the first gun under black flag. Places changed constantly with shifty breeze finally filling in from the left side. Andy Holmes popped out which resulted in a healthy lead around the first mark followed by Martin Bower and Tony Woods. Setting off on the first reach Bower gybed first and headed towards the bottom mark taking Holmes to lead. With again lots of place changes on the second beat, sailing the shifts paid. Bower remained in front at the windward mark and headed down the run with Holmes still maintaining second place. Edwards had been picking up places and was up to third. On the run Edwards had more pace and rounded the bottom mark in the lead. The final still shifty beat was a test of nerves, with Edwards covering the fleet successfully to take the gun, with Holmes sailing very well to snatch second, Bower third, Curtis fourth and Tony Woods fifth. (Report by Martin Bower)

Race 2

The fleet approached the line on a black flag start with the fleet spread right across the line. Those that chose the pin looked good off the line, but those that hitched across to play the middle right looked favoured as the race progressed.

In the last third of the beat the pressure came from the right and newcomer to the fleet but a sailor with an International pedigree Robert 'Load & Lairy' Campbell-Gray steamed in on starboard to round first. Tony Woods played the middle and rounded second with Ian Harris 3rd. Those that had chosen the left were looking very sorry for themselves with Curtis rounding second last. Woods managed to gain an overlap on the wing mark to lead, with Campbell-Grey still second and Harris and Ed Bradburn catching in more breeze. On the second reach many recovered with the breeze filling in from behind. Woods maintained his lead but the distance had been reduced massively.

On the second beat, Harris nailed every shift to pass Woods and Rushworth worked his way to second. On the run, the calculators were out with 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions all up for grabs. On the last beat the pressure was telling with positions changing with every shift. Harris kept his cool to take the gun and second overall, with Woods passing Rushworth on the final shift to second, with Bradburn 4th and 71 year old Alan Atkin an excellent 5th. A truly testing day that stretched the nerves of the entire fleet. (Report by Tony Woods)

Bill Bradburn - 02nd September 2010

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