Australian National Championship 2012/13
Wangi Wangi, Lake Macquarie, NSW, 29 Dec. 2012 -2. January 2013
JACKSON MAKES IT TWO, OK CHAMPIONSHIPS AT LAKE MACQUARIE
By Mark Roberts
10 years ago Mark Jackson captured his first Australian OK Championship. After sailing quite brilliantly all year, including at the World Championships in Vallensbaek Denmark, Mark claimed his second Australian championship from last year’s winner Michael Williams.
The 51st championships were conducted at the picturesque Wangi RSL Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie. It’s not hard to see why this body of water has produced some of Australia’s top sailors in the likes of Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. In a week of easterlies ranging from a gentle whisper to 8 or 9 knots, negotiating not so subtle shifts and indiscriminate patches of breeze made for a difficult week, particularly for PRO Tony Outteridge! Not so, however, for Mark Jackson who throughout the week never put a foot wrong – winning with a race to spare.
Accepting the coveted OK Championship trophy, a humble Jackson thanked Williams, who over the past three years has all but dominated the championships, for driving him to find that little bit extra. The Patrick Whittington handicap trophy was won by Folkert Janssen, who sailed consistently well over the week. At a lazy 6ft 4 and 90 something kilos, Janssen is likely to be a force in the future. The trophy for first veteran went to Jackson. First master was Bruce Ashton, who finished 8th overall in the championship and continues to amaze all in his ability to sail fast in most conditions - despite the fact that he won his first of two championships well before Michael Williams was even born! First female was Elizabeth Williams. A true inspiration, “Lizzy” sails better than many of the blokes, is a downwind flyer and like her brother, pretty damn clever on the water to boot. First junior was Jake O'Donnell - the latest in a long line of OK-sailing O’Donnell’s.
With the 2013 OK World Championships to be held in April in Pattaya, Thailand followed by Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne in December 2014, the interest within the class has never been higher. In preparation the OKs will next year head to Black Rock for the 52nd championships – the home club to the Blasse brothers, Michael Williams and Mark Jackson. Out of interest these 4 have held the championship trophy between them for nearly two decades. Is there something in the water down there??
by Mark Roberts
Having been kept ashore for the invitation race due to strong winds, today saw the International OK Dinghy Class on the water for the start of the 51st Australian Championships being hosted by Wangi RSL Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie.
In an easterly breeze of between five and eight knots PRO Tony Outteridge sent the fleet away on a clean start. It’s not hard to see why this body of water has produced some of Australia’s top sailors in the likes of Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. Negotiating not so subtle shifts of 10 to 20 degrees and breeze lines that seemingly were without rhyme or reason made for a frustrating first beat. That was not the case though for light wind specialists Bruce Ashton, Tim Davies and Peter Robinson who relished the conditions and found themselves leading at the top mark. On the reaches Mark Jackson also came into the fray with the same four changing places to the bottom mark. The chess game continued up the next work with Peter Robinson stealing the lead and holding the rest of the trailing pack at bay for the remainder of the race. At the end not more than 11 seconds separated the top three.
By race 2 the breeze had kicked up a notch or two to be in the eight to ten knot window. With the increased breeze though came more aggressive shifts. Negotiating the conditions best on this occasion was Mark Roberts, International OK President Andre Blasse and former national champion Mark Jackson. By the top mark these three had managed to open up a break on the following pack with Roberts rounding first with a healthy lead to Blasse and then Jackson. By the end of the triangle downwind flyer Mark Jackson was able to get past Roberts and Blasse to lead on the start of the second lap. By the top of the next upwind leg current Australian champion Mike Williams was chasing the leading pack with Peter Horne and local Mark Skelton not far behind. On the downwind run Andre Blasse and Mark Jackson were able to open up a 30 second break leaving Mark Roberts to battle with Mike Williams and Peter Horne with the three not more than a few boat lengths apart and regularly changing positions all the way to the bottom mark.
Up the last work Mark Jackson and Andre Blasse engaged in a battle with each trying to get the upper hand. At the end Blasse, with a bit more speed, was able to able to reel in Jackson and cross a mere two seconds in front. Just behind the second battle was just as intensive with Williams, Skelton, Horne and Roberts crossing tacks in the last 500 metres. Finally it was a very well sailed Peter Horne who managed to squeeze out the rest crossing the line in third with Skelton fourth followed by Williams and Roberts.
by Peter Robinson
PRO Tony Outteridge made a subtle change to the program for the Australian OK Dinghy Championships on day 2 by getting the Impulses away first and successfully keeping the two fleet well separated for each race. The wind was better for the first race of the day than for the first day with a consistent but gentle 8-10 knots but no less tricky to pick either shift or pressure.
The first start of the day also delivered the first general recall of the regatta and the restart also had one OCS giving an indication as to how keen the OKs were to get away.
Once again the fleet mostly separated to either side of the course with both experiencing gains and losses. This time the right paid with the group that separated to the favoured side beating the group from the left by 4-5 boat lengths. This was a consistent pattern for the day and made picking the works a defining part of each race.
Mark Jackson lead father and son, Eddie and Dave O’Donnell to the top mark and maintained their lead on the reaches, but a dig to the right again was less successful this time and the following bunch who took the option of the left coming through to close ground. Peter Horne took his first win for the regatta with Andre Blasse and Mike Williams with Eddie O’Donnell fourth.
As with day 1, the second race was slightly windier and with a slight sea breeze effect giving a tricky left oscillation. Whether becoming more conservative or seeing a new trend the fleet took a more central course but a last minute charge saw Michael Williams, Tim Davies, Peter Robinson and Mark Jackson emerge from the left to surprise those of on the right who had looked great for much of the work.
The second beat delivered frequent changes to the order across the entire fleet. The lead quickly changed at the top mark when Mike Williams misread the course change signal and let Mark Jackson through to lead the final run for the day. The final beat saw Peter Robinson come through for second and a typically close finish with Mike Williams, Mark Skelton and the consistent Tim Davies crossing the line within a minute of Mark Jackson.
Four winners from four heats reflect the very close and competitive racing that is eventuating with this series. Mark Jackson leads from Mike Williams and Peter Horne, and first junior is Mitch Wilson just ahead of Jake O’Donnell.
There is a lay day on New Year’s eve with racing to resume on Monday.
by Peter Robinson
Wind forecasts for day 3 of the Australian OK Dinghy Championships could not agree on strength or direction and what transpired was exactly that – a mixed bag. The wind preceding the first race start of the day was a pleasant and steady 8-10 knot south easterly that held until the second beat before dropping away and filling in again, creating a momentary pause to progress.
As usual, there was an each-way bet with much of the fleet heading right to the Wangi Point shore and the rest to sea. It appeared that less wind to the right would penalise those venturing to shore but at the end of the beat they found nice pressure and lifts to dominate.
Series leader, Mark Jackson lead Wangi local, Mark Skelton with both extending their lead during the reaches, again heading right and to the shore. They reported later that their decision to finally tack to the mark was because they ran out of water. And even proportion of the next bunch split to either side and all managed to keep in touch, with Peter Horne, Mike Williams and Tim Davies rounding some distance behind the leaders for the run.
During the final beat the wind dropped away and for a while neither side of the course offered any advantage. In close proximity the two leading Marks were locked in battle and as the wind filled back Mark Skelton was able to pass Mark Jackson for his first race win, delivering five different race winners. Tim Davies picked the wind minefield better than the rest to cross third, then Mike Williams, Peter Robinson and Andre Blasse.
The second race was delayed waiting for the wind to settle and eventually got underway after four o’clock. A significant shift at the start gun forced the entire fleet onto port tack and then into a dying breeze that dropped to only 3-4 knots. The fleet ghosted to the top mark with light weather specialist Bruce Ashton first followed by Mark Skelton.
Again the wind dropped away and, mysteriously, some boats found zephyrs of breeze and whispered past stationary boats only metres apart. Mark Jackson found one such zephyr and led at the wing mark followed by Peter Robinson.
Predictably, the fleet split evenly at the bottom mark with the Victorians, Mark Jackson and Bruce Ashton heading right and locals, Peter Robinson and Mark Skelton left. With the wind very light it was Mark Skelton who ventured furthest and found the edge of the sea breeze to lead at the top mark. The run was the final leg of this race as, with the time limit approaching and the remaining wind dying, the race committee shortened the course.
Mark Skelton made this his second win for the championships with Mark Jackson second followed by Bruce Ashton and Peter Robinson. Closely behind were David Ketteridge, Mike Walker and Glenn Yates with their best places yet for the regatta.
The light and patchy wind took their toll on many in the fleet with some series leaders recording a drop for the regatta in this race and around ten boats didn’t make the time limit.
With a very consistent score line, Mark Jackson comfortably leads the championship and with two great results for the day Mark Skelton has a clear gap to second place. With one final race to sail on Wednesday, the minor places are wide open with a number of boats within only a few points of each other.
By Mark Roberts
Is there something in the water at Black Rock?
10 years ago Mark Jackson captured his first Australian OK Championship. After sailing quite brilliantly all year, including at the World Championships in Vallensbaek Copenhagen, Mark claimed his second Australian Championship from last year’s winner Michael Williams and local, Mark Skelton, in third.
After an “unseasonally” light week of fickle breezes, the final race of the Championship took place in a nice 12-15 knot south easterly. With a slightly biased line, those up the boat end enjoyed an advantage from the gun. Unfortunately the youthful Bruce Ashton (70+ years) was a little too eager and broke the start, only to learn his fate at the end of the race. Up the first work Mark Roberts, Michael Williams and Andre Blasse appeared to have the best speed and opened up on the fleet. At the top Roberts had a small lead from Williams with Blasse in third and Drummoyne sailor “Cracker” Horne in fourth. Those four opened up a bigger lead on the trailing pack down the reaches with Mark Jackson, and local sailors Mark Skelton and Eddie O’Donnell also coming into contention by the bottom mark.
During the second upwind those who played the left side gained on those who had chosen to go right with Williams, Blasse, Skelton and O’Donnell etching out a nice break on Jackson, Horne and Roberts. Also coming into contention with a well sailed work was Folkert Janssen, Tim Davies and Gareth Wells.
Down the run Williams and Blasse extended on their lead with Jackson and Horne in third and fourth around the bottom mark respectively followed by Skelton, O’Donnell and Roberts. An infringement by Davies on Roberts resulted in a penalty turn and took him out of contention.
On the beat to the finish the leaders headed left, but unlike the previous work, the right paid allowing the gap to close. With bodies starting to fatigue, Williams was just able to hang on for the win, which was good enough to allow him to take second place overall and relegate Skelton to third. Blasse finishing second was also enough to capture fourth in the Championship on a count back from Horne who finished fifth.
Accepting the coveted Championship trophy, a humble Jackson thanked Mike Williams, who over the past three years has all but dominated the Championships, for driving him to find that little bit extra.
The Patrick Whittington handicap trophy was won by Folkert Janssen who sailed consistently well over the week. At a lazy 6ft 4 and 90 something kilos Janssen is likely to be a force in the future. The trophy for first veteran went to Mark Jackson. First master was Bruce Ashton, who finished 8th overall in the Championship and continues to amaze all in his ability to sail fast in most conditions - despite the fact that he won his first championship well before Michael Williams was even born! First female was Elizabeth Williams. A true inspiration “Lizzy” sails better than many of the blokes, is a downwind flyer and like her brother, pretty damn clever on the water to boot. First junior was Jake O'Donnell - the latest in a long line of OK-sailing O'Donnells.
So another OK Championships has come to an end. Next year we find ourselves at Black Rock Yacht Club – the home club to the Blasse brothers, Michael Williams and Mark Jackson. Out of interest these 4 have held the championship trophy between them for nearly two decades. Is there something in the water down there??
|1||AUS735||Invictus||M Jackson||Black Rock YC||15.0||4.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||5.0||2.0||4.0|
|2||AUS730||Time Machine||M Williams||Black Rock YC||21.0||1.0||9.0||4.0||3.0||3.0||5.0||5.0|
|3||AUS736||Agent Provocateur||M Skelton||WASC||22.0||6.0||1.0||1.0||4.0||12.0||4.0||6.0|
|4||AUS729||Ironhide||A Blasse||Black Rock YC||27.0||2.0||DNF||6.0||7.0||2.0||1.0||9.0|
|5||AUS733||Cracker||P Horne||Drummoyne SC||27.0||3.0||29.0||7.0||6.0||1.0||3.0||7.0|
|6||AUS750||Broken Arrow||P Robinson||Drummoyne SC||30.0||14.0||4.0||5.0||2.0||8.0||10.0||1.0|
|7||AUS739||Don't Poke the Bear||T Davies||WASC||33.0||10.0||18.0||3.0||5.0||6.0||7.0||2.0|
|8||AUS728||Bowfinger||B Ashton||Black Rock YC||47.0||OCS||3.0||9.0||9.0||9.0||14.0||3.0|
|9||AUS734||Cracked Pecker||E O'Donnell||WASC||56.0||5.0||DNF||15.0||10.0||4.0||9.0||13.0|
|11||AUS693||Pale Rider||D O'Donnell||WASC||70.0||18.0||DNF||14.0||8.0||7.0||11.0||12.0|
|13||AUS725||Joan's Respite||D Ketteridge||ASC||78.0||17.0||5.0||22.0||18.0||14.0||13.0||11.0|
|14||AUS610||Obscena Misdemeanour||F Janssen||South Gippsland YC||85.0||9.0||17.0||10.0||15.0||17.0||17.0||36.0|
|16||AUS746||Smash Skippy||D Hunt||PMSC||94.0||12.0||20.0||11.0||13.0||21.0||18.0||20.0|
|17||AUS761||Aussie Bob||A Baker||Black Rock YC||94.0||13.0||DNF||17.0||14.0||13.0||21.0||16.0|
|18||AUS704||Occasional Kudos||R Chapman||Drummoyne SC||94.0||20.0||14.0||13.0||17.0||15.0||15.0||24.0|
|19||AUS748||ICE||P Yates||Corio Bay||99.0||19.0||23.0||25.0||23.0||18.0||8.0||8.0|
|21||AUS759||Sense and Cents||E Williams||Black Rock YC||117.0||26.0||11.0||20.0||22.0||31.0||24.0||14.0|
|22||AUS692||Dining with the Devi||B Tyler||Drummoyne SC||134.0||28.0||13.0||29.0||25.0||19.0||22.0||27.0|
|24||AUS727||Tight Squeeze||D Williams||Black Rock YC||137.0||27.0||DNF||24.0||19.0||20.0||26.0||21.0|
|25||AUS741||Turkish Delight||G Lokum||Black Rock YC||138.0||16.0||25.0||12.0||OCS||35.0||20.0||30.0|
|26||AUS694||Diogenes||R Furneaux||Black Rock YC||139.0||21.0||22.0||28.0||21.0||30.0||30.0||17.0|
|27||AUS655||The Phantom||M Walker||WASC||142.0||31.0||6.0||26.0||28.0||24.0||27.0||37.0|
|29||AUS755||Grey Matter||S Moore||BRYC||153.0||DNF||10.0||31.0||32.0||27.0||19.0||34.0|
|30||AUS716||Joker||D Swales||Drummoyne SC||154.0||32.0||12.0||23.0||29.0||33.0||36.0||25.0|
|31||AUS629||OK Motion||A Parkinson||BRYC||165.0||37.0||8.0||36.0||31.0||36.0||32.0||22.0|
|33||AUS724||A Fine Line||F Prater||WASC||173.0||30.0||26.0||30.0||33.0||25.0||29.0||33.0|
|34||AUS703||Space Monkey||G Wakefield||Drummoyne SC||175.0||36.0||24.0||27.0||RAF||26.0||33.0||29.0|
|35||AUS695||The Wife||J O'Donnell||WASC||189.0||35.0||15.0||34.0||34.0||32.0||40.0||39.0|
|36||AUS605||Azzizz Werrizz||M Fry||Indented Head YC||198.0||22.0||DNF||37.0||30.0||37.0||31.0||DNS|
|37||AUS709||Schaak||B Kerstley||Corio Bay||202.0||33.0||27.0||32.0||37.0||38.0||39.0||35.0|
|38||AUS732||A Trifle Unbalanced||D Wade||WASC||204.0||34.0||DNF||35.0||35.0||34.0||35.0||31.0|
|39||AUS706||Smoke on the Water||E Thompson||BRYC||215.0||25.0||DNF||39.0||36.0||40.0||37.0||38.0|
|40||AUS751||True Blue||M Wilson||WASC||223.0||DNC||DNC||DNC||38.0||39.0||38.0||26.0|