Despite the generally very light winds, Northampton Sailing Club provided a fitting battle of former champions for the 2013 OK Dinghy Inland Championship. Nick Craig was the favourite to take a seventh title, but didn't have it all his own way with former world champion Jim Hunt still looking for his first UK title and recent National Champion Robert Deaves going for the double. Meanwhile, the current inland champion Terry Curtis didn't show much of the form that has won him a pile of titles over the past decade.
Saturday's racing took place with the wind coming across the reservoir with short sharp beats with huge shifts and pressure differences. Craig was the early leader in race one, trading penalty turns with Hunt. Hunt took the lead after Craig spun at the fourth top mark and led to the finish, with Craig recovering to pass Simon Cox on the final reach. Race two was even shiftier with Hunt and Deaves benefiting nicely from a tactical gybe to escape the melee at the first top mark and sailing away from the fleet. As they extended, Craig found a way through and caught Hunt on the final lap, though Deaves had extended for a comfortable win.
After a short break for lunch, conditions deteriorated still further and the course was moved closer to the club to give some better spectator value. There were moments any racing looked very unlikely, but the PRO stayed patient and was rewarded with one and a half good races in 4-6 knots. Craig sailed away with race three, with Deaves a clear second throughout. A long way back, Hunt extricated himself from a sizeable chasing pack on the penultimate reach as the wind came from all directions.
Race four was lighter still and was shortened on the second lap as the wind disappeared. Craig and Hunt were well out in front with their own private battle, while Deaves recovered from a poor first beat to sneak third on the finish line.
Sunday dawned windless and misty and a one hour postponement ensued before the fleet was sent out in what turned out to be the best wind of the weekend, as well as being down the length of the reservoir providing longer upwind legs. Craig and Hunt continued their private dual at the front, barely more than a few boatlengths apart for the duration of race five. Craig took his third win by very narrow margin to seal the series with Hunt second and Alex Scoles in third. Hunt could now do no better, or worse, than second and a fifth for Deaves cemented his third overall.
With nothing to play for in the final race, there were some different faces up front as the breeze increased to 10-12 knots. Burp Burton, sailing his recently rebuilt and renovated GBR 2042, led early on was was pushed hard by Simon Cox, who eventually took the lead on the second beat to win. Terry Curtis and Hunt also passed Burton when he went too far left on the final beat. The race was shortened on the run which caused considerable confusion as the committee boat was a long way from the mark.
So Craig was the deserving OK Dinghy Inland Champion for the seventh time, with Hunt still looking for that first UK title. The current enthusiasm and growth in class numbers bodes well for 2014 as the UK class prepares to send a full team to the Europeans in Germany and a more select team to the Worlds in Melbourne.
The 2013 Travellers Trophy was also presented at the weekend, using results from last years Inlands through all the events this year so far. Simon Davis took a well deserved win, while Deaves and Burton were tied for second. An impressive 85 boats took part in at least one event during the series.
15.00 72 544x376 Results as of 11:50 on October 7, 2013 Overall Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 27, Scoring system: NSC OK Inlands 2013
|3rd||18||2138||Robert Deaves||5.0||1.0||2.0||3.0||5.0||(28.0 DNF)||44.0||16.0|
|4th||21||2151||Simon Cox||Waldingfield S C||3.0||(28.0 DNF)||5.0||9.0||8.0||1.0||54.0||26.0|
|5th||15||2118||Terry Curtis||4.0||10.0||6.0||(28.0 OCS)||13.0||2.0||63.0||35.0|
|6th||13||2116||Ed Bradburn||South Staffs S C||6.0||6.0||10.0||11.0||(14.0)||7.0||54.0||40.0|
|7th||3||2145||Tony Woods||Glossop S C||8.0||11.0||4.0||(12.0)||11.0||8.0||54.0||42.0|
|8th||19||2120||Daniel Ager||Waldringfield S C||9.0||9.0||12.0||5.0||9.0||(15.0)||59.0||44.0|
|9th||1||2147||Alex Scoles||Overy Staithe S C||(17.0)||12.0||9.0||14.0||3.0||14.0||69.0||52.0|
|10th||17||2042||Richard Burton||West Oxford S C||13.0||18.0||7.0||(28.0 OCS)||10.0||4.0||80.0||52.0|
|11th||20||2121||Anthony Rich||West Oxford S C||14.0||(21.0)||11.0||4.0||7.0||16.0||73.0||52.0|
|12th||26||2136||Tom Lonsdale||NSC||(28.0 DNC)||4.0||8.0||28.0 OCS||4.0||17.0||89.0||61.0|
|13th||6||2100||Toby Ramesy||Dabchicks S C||(22.0)||16.0||13.0||7.0||17.0||10.0||85.0||63.0|
|15th||8||2159||Norman Bird||NSC||18.0||7.0||(28.0 OCS)||28.0 DNC||6.0||9.0||96.0||68.0|
|17th||11||2129||Alan Atkin||Burghfield S C||11.0||14.0||(19.0)||10.0||18.0||19.0||91.0||72.0|
|18th||9||2155||Bob Bourne||UpRiver Y C||16.0||17.0||14.0||13.0||(23.0)||12.0||95.0||72.0|
|19th||10||2157||Dave Bourne||10.0||15.0||16.0||(28.0 DNC)||12.0||28.0 DNF||109.0||81.0|
|20th||24||2082||Christopher Murray||West Oxford S C||(24.0)||20.0||21.0||6.0||19.0||18.0||108.0||84.0|
|21st||22||2154||Simon Cowood||NSC||7.0||13.0||20.0||16.0||(28.0 DNC)||28.0 DNC||112.0||84.0|
|22nd||25||2130||Deryck Lovegrove||Burghfield S C||19.0||22.0||17.0||18.0||(24.0)||13.0||113.0||89.0|
|23rd||4||2137||Simon Shaw||Deben Y C||20.0||(23.0)||23.0||17.0||20.0||20.0||123.0||100.0|
|24th||5||1728||Tom Lee||Burghfield S C||21.0||19.0||(24.0)||21.0||22.0||21.0||128.0||104.0|
|25th||23||2028||Finn Ghevry||Datchet Water S C||25.0||(28.0 DNF)||28.0 OCS||8.0||16.0||28.0 OCS||133.0||105.0|
|26th||12||2104||Paul Pike||Covenham S C||23.0||24.0||22.0||20.0||(25.0)||22.0||136.0||111.0|
|27th||2141||(28.0 DNC)||28.0 DNC||28.0 DNC||28.0 DNC||28.0 DSQ||6.0||146.0||118.0|