Australian OK Dinghy Championships - Gentle wind, tight races on Day 2

OK Dinghies close racing at the top mark, Day 2 - Australian OK Dinghy Championships
Julie Brown
The Australian OK Dinghy Championships had consistent but gentle 8-10 knots winds throughout the day, leading to competitive and drama-filled races in all the heats.

PRO Tony Outteridge made a subtle change to the program for the Australian OK Dinghy Championships on day 2 by getting the Impulses away first and successfully keeping the two fleets well separated for each race. The wind was better for the first race of the day than for the first day with a consistent but gentle 8-10 knots but no less tricky to pick either shift or pressure.

The first start of the day also delivered the first general recall of the regatta and the restart also had one OCS giving an indication as to how keen the OKs were to get away.

Once again the fleet mostly separated to either side of the course with both experiencing gains and losses. This time the right paid with the group that separated to the favoured side beating the group from the left by 4-5 boat lengths. This was a consistent pattern for the day and made picking the works a defining part of each race.

Mark Jackson lead father and son, Eddie and Dave O’Donnell to the top mark and maintained their lead on the reaches, but a dig to the right again was less successful this time and the following bunch who took the option of the left coming through to close ground.

Peter Horne took his first win for the regatta with Andre Blasse and Mike Williams with Eddie O’Donnell fourth.

As with day 1, the second race was slightly windier and with a slight sea breeze effect giving a tricky left oscillation. Whether becoming more conservative or seeing a new trend the fleet took a more central course but a last minute charge saw Michael Williams, Tim Davies, Peter Robinson and Mark Jackson emerge from the left to surprise those of on the right who had looked great for much of the work.

The second beat delivered frequent changes to the order across the entire fleet. The lead quickly changed at the top mark when Mike Williams misread the course change signal and let Mark Jackson through to lead the final run for the day. The final beat saw Peter Robinson come through for second and a typically close finish with Mike Williams, Mark Skelton and the consistent Tim Davies crossing the line within a minute of Mark Jackson.

Four winners from four heats reflect the very close and competitive racing that is eventuating with this series. Mark Jackson leads from Mike Williams and Peter Horne, and first junior is Mitch Wilson just ahead of Jake O’Donnell.

There is a lay day on New Year’s eve with racing to resume on Monday.