Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

OK Open at South Staffordshire Sailing Club

by Ben Pickering 30 Sep 07:12 PDT 28 September 2019

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.

Having dealt with the important business for the day (watching Ireland's shock World Cup defeat with bacon butties in hand), the fleet turned their attention to the strong gusts and inevitable shifts that lay in waiting. Swiftly the memories of strong consistent breeze at the nationals faded, with the fleet readying themselves for a new type of game.

Race 1

The first race got away with a clean start set to the right of the island, with local Ed Bradburn (SSSC) nailing the pin and Richard Burton (WOSC) punching out the middle of the line well. With a short (South Staffs medium) beat to the first windward mark, carnage ensued as the tightly knit pack exchanged cross after cross with plenty of big shifts and gusts thrown in for good measure. Only now did the fleet truly understand the game for the day, with quick reactions required just to stay upright in the strong lifts and headers.

Regardless, it was Bradburn and Burton round the windward mark first, closely followed by Neil Goodhead (SSSC), Will Croxford (SSSC) and likely some others... Unfortunately, the reporter doesn't know exactly who as he was well down the pan after a dangerous encounter with one of those monsterous backers! As the race continued Bradburn and Burton began to extend, with Goodhead in hot pursuit. The first reach proved costly for Bradburn however, with some loud 'conversation' leading to penalty turns and Burton with a gap. This was much how the race ended, with Burton taking the first bullet, followed by Bradburn, Goodhead, Ben Pickering (Chase SC) having fought back up to 4th and Will Croxford (SSSC) in 5th.

With the fleet thoroughly tested, a hot lunch put on by SSSC was then warmly welcomed, with some more rugby and tales of mammoth holes, lifts, backers and swims. All good fun!

Race 2

As the fleet began to launch for the second race the breeze gusted up substantially, with some opting to sit on the bench for this one. The fleet were greeted with a port-biased line and the first beat moved to the left of the island for a longer first beat. Off the start it was Pickering this time to nail the pin, holding out left and rounding first, closely followed by Bradburn. Again, Goodhead was well up there showing great pace back in the OK along with Gavin Waldron (SSSC) and Tony Woods (Glossop SC). Pickering proceeded to hold first for the next couple of laps, in a constant battle with Bradburn. The pair pulled out a significant gap, whilst Burton after a poor first beat battled his way back through the fleet. Apparently, Burt especially enjoyed Woods' covering tacks!

After a few laps Bradburn eventually got the better of Pickering to take the win, with Burton taking 3rd followed by Goodhead and Waldron.

Race 3

By race 3 some of the fleet had begun to tire, but for the remainder a very port-biased line was set with the windward mark shifted further right. The extent of the bias left many at the pin end floundering as the start gun sounded, with the majority unable to cross the line on starboard. From the muddle it appeared that Woods and Croxford had got away best, with Woods just about tacking onto port at the pin to scoot away. Regardless, Croxford sailed out right to find a good track and round first, swiftly followed by Bradburn, Woods, Burton and Pickering. Pickering managed to sneak inside Burton at the following mark, whilst a battle ensued between Croxford and Bradburn for the lead. Eventually Bradburn slipped through Croxford to take and hold the lead, whilst Pickering climbed the ladders whilst avoiding the snakes to move up to second. This was how it finished, with Bradburn taking a dominant second bullet, followed by Pickering, Croxford, Woods and Burton.

Overall, this gave Bradburn a well-deserved victory in the South Staffs Open Meeting and the re-arranged Northern Championships. Burton took second overall on count-back from Pickering in third, with Goodhead and then Croxford rounding out the top five.

A special thank you must go to everyone at South Staffs for a great day including a warm welcome, great race management and (most importantly...) plenty of food. A special mention must also go to the hardy travellers including Mary Reddyhoff and Hugh Myers coming from the south coast and Keith Byers coming down from Morecambe - true dedication! The final event for this year is the End of Seasons at Grafham, for which entry is already open - we hope to see you all there!

Related Articles

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
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
Thomas Hansson-Mild is new OK Dinghy World No. 1
Swedish sailor has had a very successful season so far Former world champion, Thomas Hansson-Mild, from Sweden, is the new OK Dinghy World No. 1, taking the spot from his compatriot, the winner of the recent European championship, Fredrik Lööf. Posted on 10 Jul
OKs at Overy Staithe
Strong tide leads to racing being held in the harbour Nine OKs arrived at Overy Staithe for the annual OK Open Meeting, run every year since 1971. The wind was a fickle northerly in brilliant sunshine. Posted on 10 Jul
English Braids support the 2019 OK Nationals
Being held at The OK Class Association are pleased to welcome English Braids as a sponsor for our 2019 National Championship being held at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch 5-8 Septempter. Posted on 6 Jul
OK Dinghy Europeans overall
Fredrik Lööf successfully defends title Fredrik Lööf, from Sweden, has secured his second successive OK Dinghy European title in Kiel with a race to spare after winning the first race of the day on the final day on Tuesday. Posted on 25 Jun
Kiel Week day 4
Hunger quenches his thirst for a 22nd title The international classes concluded the first half of Kiel Week today, with a German legend winning the 505 title after a few years in the wilderness. It was searingly hot in Kiel-Schilksee today, with temperatures touching over 30 degrees. Posted on 25 Jun
Festival of Sails 2020 GIF - FOOTERPredictwind - IridiumNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer