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Australian OK Dinghy fleet returns to Black Rock

by Robert Deaves 18 Nov 2018 13:29 PST 28 December 2018 - 3 January 2019
OK Dinghies racing at Black Rock © Robert Deaves

For Australian OK Dinghy sailors there is only one place to be for New Year. The 57th Australian OK Dinghy Championships will be hosted by Black Rock Yacht Club from 28 December 2018 to 3 January 2019.

Black Rock YC, which is located in Half Moon Bay just south of Melbourne, Victoria, is one of the strongholds of the Australian OK Dinghy fleet, and one of the biggest fleets in Australia. Over the years it has produced a host of national, Interdominion and world champions in the class. The club has also hosted three OK Dinghy world championships in the past, in 1982, 1990 and more recently in 2014, as well many national championships, the last one being in the combined Nationals and Interdominions in 2013.

Located adjacent to the iconic waters of Port Phillip, the conditions are near perfect for sailing at this time of year, with reliable breezes giving great racing and fantastic wave conditions. This makes it one of the most famous sailing areas in Australia.

The championship begins with a coaching session on Thursday 27 December before the invitation race and opening ceremony the following day. The National title series consists of 10 races from Sunday 29 December to Thursday 3 January, with a lay day on New Year's Day, which given the popularity and enthusiasm for the club's famous New Year's Eve parties, is particularly well timed.

The club is also hosting the Go for Gold regatta from 24-25 November. This is the 30th consecutive year of the event, which was the first coaching regatta of its kind in Australia.

Practice is high on the fleet's agenda at the moment, as most of the fleet are looking ahead and preparing for the 2019 World Championship, in Auckland, New Zealand, which begins on February 7. Containers will be packed the day after the regatta concludes, to make the voyage across the Tasman Sea.

The 2018 National championship attracted 42 entries from all over Australia. So far, 14 entries have been received for next year's event, but the hope is the fleet will at least match last year's entry, or maybe break through 50 for the first time in five years.

Black Rock Yacht Club Commodore, Gary Lokum said, "We are really looking forward to hosting the Australian OK Dinghy Nationals over the New Year as well the Australian Finn Nationals the week after that. Both classes have a long history at the club, both in terms of membership and running major championships, so we are delighted that they both chose to return during the same period."

"It positions Black Rock as one of the foremost clubs in Victoria, and Australia, that runs racing for these iconic and popular single handers, which are both gaining in numbers at the moment. We are sure everyone will, as usual, have a great time and enjoy Black Rock hospitality, and the great conditions we enjoy on Port Philip, and we would very much welcome any overseas competitors to take part as well."

The Notice of Race, Entry Form and current Entry List can be found here

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