by Mark Roberts
In a building 8-10 knot southerly, a fleet of 27 OKs ventured out onto St Vincents Gulf, South Australia for their traditional practice race for the International OK Dinghy Australian Championship.
Todd Hughes crossing tacks with Brent Williams
In near picture perfect conditions, the fleet was sent on a triangle windward return course by PRO Malcolm Hughes.
A bit of local knowledge was evident early with local Adelaide sailors Todd Hughes, Mark Roberts and Brent Williams first, second and third respectively around the windward mark. It was not long though before former Australian champions Andre Blasse, Mark Jackson and Mike Williams started to make their way through the pack and by the end of the triangle were well in contention.
Local Adelaide sailors 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the top mark
As the breeze started to built to a more constant 13-16 kts the race between the front markers continued with frequent position changes. Ultimately it was Andre Blasse who was able to prevail over last years champion Mike Williams with Todd Hughes third, Mark Jackson fourth and Mark Roberts rounding out the top five.
The sailors return to the beach was greeted with a welcome function at the picturesque Adelaide Sailing Club.
Tomorrow the regatta starts with in earnest the first two races of the International OK Dinghy Australian Championship kicking off at 1pm.