2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk
2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Jim Hunt has finally won the British OK Dinghy National Championship after several failed attempts over the past decade. He closed out the 2014 title after two more very close and breezy races sailed in very shifty winds in the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary on Tuesday morning.

Hunt, the 2004 World Champion, had sailed a very consistent series in the 41 boat fleet, never finishing below third in any race. The fleet was also perhaps, the most competitive fleet seen in the UK for over a decade with several new sailors trying their hand at an OK Dinghy along with virtually all the top sailors in the class. During the week there were six different race winners, ensuring that the points remained tight until the very last race.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


Hunt took a six point lead into the final day, which again produced more wind than was forecast. Sailed on an ebb tide for the first time, in 14-18 knots, a different set of tactics were required, which along with the big shifts, brought some different faces to the front.

In race seven Will Turner bounced off the left hand corner to hold a huge lead at the first mark. Unfortunately he was OCS and pulled out on the second lap. The chasing pack was very tight with Jim Hunt, Terry Curtis and Jonathan Fish emerging at the end of the run in the lead, while Richard Burton inspected the bottom of his boat again after a less than successful gybe. The wind played tricks on the final beat with numerous place changes, but eventually as the fleet approached the shortened finish, Fish led across, closely followed by Andy Couch, while Curtis and Hunt couldn't be separated for third. This left Hunt in an unassailable position going into the final race.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


Turner again emerged with a substantial lead from the left on the first upwind in race eight, and held it until the end of the second upwind when the left side didn't pay so well. Meanwhile Curtis had taken the lead on the right from Hunt. Hunt led round the final downwind mark and headed right. Turner, as expected, banged hard left again and this time it worked, moving him back to the front to win the final race. Hunt led a very close group on the right across the line as the wind started playing games again, almost dropping to nothing at one point before coming back in at 15 knots as dark clouds raced down the course.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


But it was all academic as Hunt was already assured the title. The only real interest was between Fish, Lee Child and Curtis over who would take the runner's up trophy. After race seven, Fish was up to second, but a bad first beat in the final race left him too much to do. Child was always in the leading group and fourth place was enough to comfortably take the trophy. Fish had to settle for third.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


Dabchicks Sailing Club had put on a superb event, which with the support of the sponsors Synergy Marine, Hiking Bench and English Braids, enabled it to provide a multitude of prizes and benefits. Vice Commodore Rachel Ramsey and her team left no stone unturned to ensure the sailors had a great time on and off the water. The racing was some of the best the class has had in the UK for a long time and bodes well for the future, and with leading sailors like Charlie Cumbley and Andy Couch joining the fleet, their attendance is sure to attract more top sailors to the OK Dinghy.

While the fleet was very pleased to welcome both Cumbley and Couch to the event in borrowed boats, they were arguably more pleased that they didn't dominate proceedings. But both so enjoyed racing the boat that they have promised to be back for more, with hopefully new boats being ordered soon.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


The class is going through a period of growth in many countries, and all the signs are that the UK fleet will soon follow suit. The UK Class Association is developing an action plan to maintain and encourage this growth, with various initiatives being discussed to ensure that OK Dinghy sailing in the UK continues to thrive and remain a serious choice for top sailors who enjoy local as well as international competition.

2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4
Simon Cox, www.synergymarine.co.uk


 2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship Complet Results:
Series PlaceSail NoOwnerClubSeries PointsRace 1Race 2Race 3Race 4Race 5Race 6Race 7Race 8
1GBR2162Jim HuntBlithfield SC142133213.52
2GBR2167Lee ChildDabchicks SC / WMYC2552641384
3GBR2151Jonathan FishWaldringfield SC29164541918
4GBR2118Terry CurtisWeymouth/Upper Thames29.54488343.53
5GBR211Charlie CumbleyTeign Corinthian YC3569175259
6GBR2150Andy CouchRudyard Lake SC387115162526
7GBR2156Robert DeavesWaldringfield SC41339676107
8GBR2157Dave BourneUpriver YC711512710261665
9GBR2145Tony WoodsGlossop SC7110713131111910
10GBR2147Tom LonsdaleWest Oxford SC741181217109721
11GBR2042Richard BurtonOxford SC79951829211542
12GBR2169Will TurnerDabchicks SC81810242810421
13GBR2154Simon Cowood 9214141591252823
14GBR2160Alex ScolesOvery Staithe1021217111821141911
15GBR2121Tony RichWest Oxford SC1021620161616121115
16GBR2059David RoseDeben YC1121819171219231314
17GBR2126Mike EdwardsLeigh and Lowton SC113361521191472017
18GBR2084Keith ByersMorecombe and eysham YC1161913144220151718
19GBR2100Toby RamsayDabchicks SC121241825211381819
20GBR2159Norman ByrdNorthampton SC1241726201518321612
21NZL553Finn GheuryDachet Water SC1341316192022312420
22GBR2139Ken CarrollAlton Water SC1432521262225132116
23GBR2112John Paul WilliamsWest Oxford SC1522725421424261422
24GBR2149Martin BowerBlithfield SC1672628421117202342
25GBR2123Andy TurnerOvery Staithe SC1692227422923222224
26GBR2125Neil GoodheadSouth Staffs1742929222615284225
27GBR2137Simon ShawDeben YC1813030422329182526
28GBR1957Drummond SydenhamWMYC1893132243128172929
29GBR2031Dave CooperOvery Staithe SC1982833232734422627
30GBR2093Ed CritchenUpper Thames SC2173835273335293028
31GBR2171Simon CoxWaldringfield SC2222123104242424242
32GBR2080Paul PikeCovenham SC2223534422830333131
33GBR2124Gareth CaldwellBlithfield SC2253342423027242742
34GBR2058Mary ReddyhoffParkstone YC2283742422532303230
35GBR2171XWill Branton 2354242424242421213
36GBR2065Paul AldridgeBrightlingsea SC2383431422431344242
37GBR2032Tim HurstDabchicks SC / WMYC2443236423233274242
38GBR2101Julian BurnhamRYA2542024424242424242
39GBR2158John BallBrightlingsea2552322424242424242
40GBR20Matthew CockDabchicks SC2663937423437354242
41GBR2062Simon GreeningWest Oxford SC2884242424236424242
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