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2014 International OK Dinghy British National Championship - Day 4

by Robert Deaves on 20 Aug 2014
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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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 Complet Results:

Series Place Sail No Owner Club Series Points Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8
1 GBR2162 Jim Hunt Blithfield SC 14 2 1 3 3 2 1 3.5 2
2 GBR2167 Lee Child Dabchicks SC / WMYC 25 5 2 6 4 1 3 8 4
3 GBR2151 Jonathan Fish Waldringfield SC 29 1 6 4 5 4 19 1 8
4 GBR2118 Terry Curtis Weymouth/Upper Thames 29.5 4 4 8 8 3 4 3.5 3
5 GBR211 Charlie Cumbley Teign Corinthian YC 35 6 9 1 7 5 2 5 9
6 GBR2150 Andy Couch Rudyard Lake SC 38 7 11 5 1 6 25 2 6
7 GBR2156 Robert Deaves Waldringfield SC 41 3 3 9 6 7 6 10 7
8 GBR2157 Dave Bourne Upriver YC 71 15 12 7 10 26 16 6 5
9 GBR2145 Tony Woods Glossop SC 71 10 7 13 13 11 11 9 10
10 GBR2147 Tom Lonsdale West Oxford SC 74 11 8 12 17 10 9 7 21
11 GBR2042 Richard Burton Oxford SC 79 9 5 18 2 9 21 15 42
12 GBR2169 Will Turner Dabchicks SC 81 8 10 2 42 8 10 42 1
13 GBR2154 Simon Cowood   92 14 14 15 9 12 5 28 23
14 GBR2160 Alex Scoles Overy Staithe 102 12 17 11 18 21 14 19 11
15 GBR2121 Tony Rich West Oxford SC 102 16 20 16 16 16 12 11 15
16 GBR2059 David Rose Deben YC 112 18 19 17 12 19 23 13 14
17 GBR2126 Mike Edwards Leigh and Lowton SC 113 36 15 21 19 14 7 20 17
18 GBR2084 Keith Byers Morecombe and eysham YC 116 19 13 14 42 20 15 17 18
19 GBR2100 Toby Ramsay Dabchicks SC 121 24 18 25 21 13 8 18 19
20 GBR2159 Norman Byrd Northampton SC 124 17 26 20 15 18 32 16 12
21 NZL553 Finn Gheury Dachet Water SC 134 13 16 19 20 22 31 24 20
22 GBR2139 Ken Carroll Alton Water SC 143 25 21 26 22 25 13 21 16
23 GBR2112 John Paul Williams West Oxford SC 152 27 25 42 14 24 26 14 22
24 GBR2149 Martin Bower Blithfield SC 167 26 28 42 11 17 20 23 42
25 GBR2123 Andy Turner Overy Staithe SC 169 22 27 42 29 23 22 22 24
26 GBR2125 Neil Goodhead South Staffs 174 29 29 22 26 15 28 42 25
27 GBR2137 Simon Shaw Deben YC 181 30 30 42 23 29 18 25 26
28 GBR1957 Drummond Sydenham WMYC 189 31 32 24 31 28 17 29 29
29 GBR2031 Dave Cooper Overy Staithe SC 198 28 33 23 27 34 42 26 27
30 GBR2093 Ed Critchen Upper Thames SC 217 38 35 27 33 35 29 30 28
31 GBR2171 Simon Cox Waldringfield SC 222 21 23 10 42 42 42 42 42
32 GBR2080 Paul Pike Covenham SC 222 35 34 42 28 30 33 31 31
33 GBR2124 Gareth Caldwell Blithfield SC 225 33 42 42 30 27 24 27 42
34 GBR2058 Mary Reddyhoff Parkstone YC 228 37 42 42 25 32 30 32 30
35 GBR2171X Will Branton   235 42 42 42 42 42 42 12 13
36 GBR2065 Paul Aldridge Brightlingsea SC 238 34 31 42 24 31 34 42 42
37 GBR2032 Tim Hurst Dabchicks SC / WMYC 244 32 36 42 32 33 27 42 42
38 GBR2101 Julian Burnham RYA 254 20 24 42 42 42 42 42 42
39 GBR2158 John Ball Brightlingsea 255 23 22 42 42 42 42 42 42
40 GBR20 Matthew Cock Dabchicks SC 266 39 37 42 34 37 35 42 42
41 GBR2062 Simon Greening West Oxford SC 288 42 42 42 42 36 42 42 42

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