Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

International OK Dinghy celebrates 50 Years of National Championships

by Mark Roberts on 2 Jan 2012
Michael Williams, Andre Blasse and Justin Barr competing at the 49th Natioanls in Hobart - International OK Dinghy 50th Australian National Championships Mark Roberts
Commencing tomorrow, Adelaide Sailing Club will host the 50th Australian Championship for the International OK Dinghy.

To commemorate this important event, OK sailors from around Australia have assembled to do battle in what is shaping up to be an interesting week. With 40 degree temperatures in Adelaide over the past few days, a southerly change expected to arrive later today or tomorrow will bring a welcome change and hopefully the south westerly swell and strong sea breezes which Adelaide is most renowned for.

While 10 times national winner and former world champion, Roger Blasse, will not be sailing, a very strong fleet will be vying to win the famous trophy, including defending back to back champion from Victoria, Michael Williams, and fellow Australian champions Mark Jacksons (2003) and Bruce Ashton, who in fact won his second of two Australian titles in Adelaide back some 32 years ago. Joining them is International OK Dinghy President, ISAF measurer and multiple Australian Champion, Andre Blasse, who first won the championship in 1993 and has since taken the title a further three times, with the last being in 2009.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
What makes this class a true enigma is the longevity of those who sail the OK. Bill Tyler is in Adelaide competing at his 32nd nationals. Bill is 70+ years and is showing few signs of slowing down, although he does threaten to hang up the sailing boots each year. The Blasse brothers and Bruce Ashton have all surpassed 25 national appearances, as has Adelaide pediatrician, Dr David Ketteridge.

Added to the longevity of those competing is the ability of the OK to cater to sailors of all shapes, sizes and levels of fitness by virtue of the rig set up and in particular, the use of carbon fibre masts, with most being purpose built by CTech (NZ) to each sailors weight and sailing style. This evolution, away from aluminium masts, has allowed the OK to foster equality such that the Dr Ketteridges of this world at 60 something kgs (when wringing wet) and Bruce Ashton (not much more) remain competitive in most conditions even when matched up against the likes of Michael Williams and Andre Blasse, who both weigh in at around the 100+ kg. It is perhaps this factor above all that continues to keep the OK faithful coming back year after year and it is that which is also causing new sailors of all ages to move into a class where they can be instantly competitive and be surrounded by a group only too willing and happy to help out where required.

After a practice race on 3 January, the first full day of racing will commence on 4 January, with the first gun at 1pm.

Further reports to follow.
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Day 29 - Southern Ocean match racing duel + Video
The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, Australia The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, on the SW extremity of Australia as the head for Stewart Island (NZ) and then Cape Horn. At one stage Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) were within sight of each other.
Posted today at 9:05 pm
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati team complete RORC Transatlantic Race
At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line, just off Camper and Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina on Grenada, to complete her first ocean race in a time of seven days, eight hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds.
Posted today at 2:52 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 9 – Grenadian welcome for Maserati
Maserati crossed the finish line on Saturday, completing their first ocean race in seven days, eight hours, 44m, 23s The Italian MOD70, Maserati has finished the race; Phaedo3 has been declared the winner of the Multihull Trophy and Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard is on the hunt for the monohull record.
Posted today at 12:39 pm
18ft Skiffs Yandoo Trophy – Ward, Marshall and West win first race
Young team had to withstand huge pressure from the fleet’s top crews before crossing the finish line with 40s to spare. Following last week’s brilliant performance with a brand new number one rig, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Anderson, Tom Clout) again showed the skiff to be a major threat in the upcoming championships with a great second placing.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Vendee Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire
At 0240 UTC on Sunday, Kojiro, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.
Posted today at 10:11 am
Melges 24 World Championship –Day 5– Embarr and Taki crowned champions
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. Important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance
Posted today at 9:42 am
Meet the 2017-18 crew - Mike Kidwell
It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet “It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet, cold and miserable, but equally fun, warm and enjoyable!” says Mike Kidwell, a 63-year-old Business Developer from Queensland who is taking part in the full circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition of the race.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Spirit of Yukoh has dismasted
Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above attachment for small jib. Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib. The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig. Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.
Posted today at 5:49 am
The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec
Iain Jensen wins MS Amlin 'Dash for Cash'
Some crashes were spectacular, with the skipper being launched from the boat in a cloud of spray. Jensen is the longtime crew for Nathan Outteridge, the helmsman for Artemis Racing. As a team they won the Olympic Gold medal in the 49er Class at the 2012 London Olympics.
Posted on 3 Dec