Please select your home edition
Edition
PandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Leaderboard

World Youth Champion wins OK Dinghy Rum Bucket at Wakatere

by Bob Smith, BS Sports Publishing 1 Nov 2018 22:10 PDT 2 November 2018
OK Dinghy Rum Bucket - Wakatere BC October 2018 © Wakatere BC

Early indications of local form were put to the test at the recent OK Dinghy Rum Bucket, held at Wakatere Boating Club, Auckland, over the weekend of 20-21 October. A strong fleet of 35 boats was entered, and the forecast was for light airs and fine weather.

Race 1 looked like a pin-favoured start line, with an incoming tide suggesting the left side of the course would be a sensible option. Napier's Rob Hengst tacked at the boat-end on the starting signal, sailed all the way to the right hand corner, and led the fleet comfortably around Mark 1. Paul Rhodes was in hot pursuit, and would eventually take the lead and win the race, not bad considering he had just launched his new boat that morning. Hengst hung on for an excellent second, while Steve McDowell sailed a solid race for third.

The highlight of Race 1, for many sailors, was a contest many had been anticipating when current world Laser youth champion, 16-year old Josh Armit, attempted to roll over the top of current national champion Luke O'Connell down the first reach. O'Connell has long been feared on the reaches, and as Armit came up and steamed to weather, O'Connell luffed him hard. As they headed off to the open Pacific, the rest of the fleet waved them goodbye and got back to racing. This time, Armit couldn't make the pass stick and was forced to choose between spending the rest of the day stuck in irons, or falling back in line. He chose wisely...and followed up by sailing straight past O'Connell to leeward.

Race 2 saw Rhodes sail another great race with a second just behind Andrew Philips, who took the race in his distinctive black and yellow boat, with Armit taking third and showing that the presence of so many experienced, senior sailors didn't worry him all.

After an uncharacteristically poor start to the contest with a 24th and an eighth, O'Connell found his way to the front of the fleet in Race 3 and sailed away for a solid win. Armit continued to improve with a second, and the old Sultan Mike Wilde showed excellent form with a third.

With the wind dying, and the siren call of on-shore refreshments beckoning, the fleet returned to shore after a great day's racing. Rhodes and Armit shared the lead with 14 points apiece, and nearly every sailor had at least one high-scoring race to his name in the shifty conditions.

Sunday brought a change in wind direction to the west, and the race area moved to the world's race area off Takapuna Beach. Four light-air races would be sailed in a day characterised by big shifts and ferocious competition.

Race 4 got underway with a left-hander that Joe Frazier would have been proud off, Philips got it first after pulling off an aggressive start and sailing away for a brilliant victory, his second of the contest, followed by Rohan Lord who was starting to show signs of serious light-air pace, with Rod Davis also showing speed and cunning to take third.

Steve McDowell tacked into another left-hander in Race 5 to lead at the first mark followed by Ben Morrison, Phillips and Armit. McDowell was not to be denied, and sailed a perfect race for the win, with that lover of all things light and shifty, Alistair Deaves coming through for a well-deserved second, with Chris Fenwick in third, after Morrison had been OCS.

Race 6 put the final nail in the coffin for O'Connell who was OCS, forcing him to carry his 24th from Race 1. This time it was Lord who sailed the shifts the best to take the gunsmoke, while Armit started to close his grip on the Rum Bucket with a solid second. Wakatere's Eric Rone was third, making the top three for the first time. Race 6 was also notable for the biggest right-hand shift of the contest up the middle beat, and except for a few lucky escape artists, the back half of the fleet swapped places with the front half.

Race 7 was the final race and started with (for once) a relatively even line, and shifts coming down both sides of the track. Deaves and Morrison, having started in the middle of the line, finally got in phase with those shifts and were first and second around Mark 1, followed by Rhodes, Davis, and Armit. Armit came through brilliantly on the reaching legs to take a lead he would never relinquish, taking the final race, Tiki glory and the Rum Bucket in fine fashion. Morrison was second and would be allowed to keep this result, while Rhodes was third in a good effort after what had been a testing day.

So young Josh Armit took the Rum Bucket and sent an early message to the OK Dinghy fleet ahead of the Worlds (at this location in 100 days). Eric Rone also showed that he has his act together with a well-deserved second, while Steve McDowell claimed bronze.

Related Articles

2019 Sail Brisbane - Day 2 action-shots
A gallery of images from day 2 of 2019 Sail Brisbane A gallery of images from day 2 of 2019 Sail Brisbane held at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Posted on 8 Dec
2019 Sail Brisbane overall
Sail Brisbane regatta concluded today on the waters of Waterloo Bay The Sail Brisbane regatta concluded today on the waters of Waterloo Bay, hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. The event was the Queensland Championships for the VXOne class, as well as the International 29ers Posted on 8 Dec
2019 Sail Brisbane - Day 1 action-shots
Sail Brisbane day one images Mitch Pearson, Surf Sail Kite, has sent in this gallery of images from Day One of Sail Brisbane Posted on 7 Dec
Sustainability is Fundamentally OK
British take lesson from Kiwis on eco-friendly boat building and races After being inspired by the excellent World Championship held in Auckland at the start of the year, the British OK class has taken the lessons learned from the Kiwis and have put in place their own Sustainability Policy and Action Plan. Posted on 22 Nov
OK Dinghy World Ranking final list of the year
Thomas Hansson-Mild remains world number 1 After the traditional end of season round of national championships across Europe, there is no movement in or out of the top 10 of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking List of the year. Posted on 13 Nov
OKs at South Staffs
A challenging day's sailing for the 17 sailors The morning of September the 28th dawned grey and breezy at SSSC, but with the rain helpfully abating, 17 spritely OK sailors arrived for what would prove to be a challenging day's sailing. Posted on 30 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch overall
Starting with a bang, building to a crescendo, ending with a whimper It could be said that the 2019 OK Nationals started with a bang, built to a crescendo of close racing and energetic socialising and ended with a whimper but one thing is certain - it is an event that will be remembered for all the right reasons. Posted on 10 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch days 1 & 2
One of the strongest fleets in a while One of the strongest OK fleets in a while gathered at SCYC at Abersoch for their 2019 National Championships on Thursday 5th September to be greeted by a moderate to fresh breeze out of the North West. Posted on 7 Sep
International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship
Held over the weekend at Southport Yacht Club The 2019 International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship have concluded today at Southport Yacht Club in Hollywell, Queensland. The Championships were held on the Saturday 17 and Sunday the 18th of August. Posted on 19 Aug
Swedish OK National Championship in Marstrand
Thomas Hansson-Mild dominates the event to take his 14th National title Nearly 60 OK Dinghies from seven countries travelled long distances to sail the 2019 Swedish National Championship says as much about the current health of the class as it does about the beautiful venue that is Marstrand, host for 2020 World Championship. Posted on 8 Aug
Festival of Sails 2020 GIF - FOOTERNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterMelges 14 2019 Footer