Great Britain, Open Meeting at South Staffs SC
South Staffs SC
Report by Mike Edwards
Twenty OK sailors turned out for the annual late season open meeting at South Staffs SC, to be greeted as warmly as ever with free cups of tea and coffee and tasty bacon rolls. Some had come from far and wide, from the south coast, Lincolnshire and the northwest. Two of entrants were ex OK World Champions, plus one of the top GP14 sailors in the country giving the OK a try. Light winds were forecast and light winds we got!
Race 1 Got away at the second time of asking following the inevitable general recall. With several converging at the windward mark together, it was Mike Edwards who rounded first closely followed by Nick Craig, Mike Senior and Jim Hunt. Over the next few legs these four pulled out a decent lead on the rest. Craig and Senior picked the shifts correctly to overhaul Edwards on the second lap, but Edwards and Hunt were never too far behind. At the final mark Craig and Senior were locked together and battle commenced! A tacking match ensued with Craig just managing to cover Senior to the finish to win, with Edwards third, Hunt fourth and Tony Woods fifth.
Race 2 Following and excellent South Staffs lunch race two got away first time with a couple needing to go back. Upwind was proving to be very tricky, with many shifts to contend with. Senior clearly enjoying the OK and the conditions rounded first followed by Craig, super veteran Alan Atkin and Hunt. Edwards was forced to spin after not noticing Neil Goodhead coming in on starboard. As the race developed, Senior using his local knowledge built a healthy lead on Craig and Hunt. A lead his was to easily hold to the finish, from Craig, Hunt, Atkin and Goodhead.
Race 3 The final race of the day was all about two people, Craig and Senior! Would Senior manage to win at his first attempt at an OK event and beat a three time OK World Champion to do it? Craig was up for it and tracked Senior before the start. Another tricky first beat and Goodhead finally showing true form rounded first from Woods, Craig and Gavin Waldron, with Senior a little way down the order. All was well until Goodhead rounded the second windward mark the wrong way, with Waldron, Craig and Edwards following on behind. Senior spotted the mistake and rounded correctly to quickly build a decent lead. Craig and Waldron managed to unravel themselves but were left well down. Senior crossed the finish line to win the race and the event with Hunt finishing in second and Craig coming through to take a determined third from Woods.
Everyone came ashore quickly in order to capitalize on the famous South Staffs afternoon tea, with a seemingly greater selection of cakes than ever!
So, congratulations to Mike Senior who took first prize in only his second time in an OK, against pretty talented and experienced competition. Craig finished a frustrating second from Jim Hunt in third and Mike Edwards fourth. Alan Atkin at 69 years of age took the senior prize finishing in a terrific sixth place overall and the Dave Danbury junior prize went to Ed Dutton from South Staffs.
A big thank you from the OK Class to the race team, galley and bar staff at South Staffs for laying on the usual quality event.
|2||2135||Nick Craig||Frensham Pond||1||2||3||3|
|4||40+||2126||Mike Edwards||SSSC||3||6||21 DNF||9|
|5||40+||2124||Tony Woods||Etherow Country Park||5||9||4||9|
|7||40+||2084||Keith Byers||Morecambe & Heysham||11||7||5||12|
|8||40+||2125||Neil Goodhead||SSSC||7||5||21 DNF||12|
|20||u21||2052||Chris Cook||SSSC||20||18||21 DNF||38|