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Great Britain, British National Championships 2011

Largs, Scotland

19 - 21 July

Photos at

Report by Mike Edwards

Daily Report – Day one

The 2011 International OK Dinghy National Championships got under way today in Largs, Scotland with great conditions for the 42 competitors to enjoy. The UK boys were joined by 16 foreign sailors here early to warm up for next week’s World Championship.

A north westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant that the Race management Team could set a full championship course in the race area to the north of Great Cumbrae Island.

Race 1 - kicked off after a short postponement to give the competitors time to reach the starting area and the breeze built steadily through the race peaking at around 15 knots. First out of the trap was Ian Harris (UK), closely followed by Nick Craig, Kiwi Greg Wilcox and Aussie Andre Blasse. Craig (UK) took the lead showing great downwind speed and used his experience to hold the rest of the fleet at bay to take the bullet. Wilcox (NZ) maintained second from Blasse (AUS) with Martin Von Zimmerman (GER) sailing consistently to finish fourth. Shortly after the last boats finished Race 1 the wind backed a little and the course was reset quickly.

Harris (UK) has shown sparks of brilliance over the last few years but this was the first time he had led a quality fleet. When asked what the experience was like he commented “I had an amazing start after spotting a sag in the line and went for it. It’s a great feeling to be leading four OK World Champions at the first mark”.

Race 2 - started without delay. The breeze stayed consistent although there were plenty of minor shifts around that meant the sailors had to keep their heads out the boat if they were to maximise their chances of getting to the front. They also had to watch for the occasional gust which resulted in a few sailors taking an unexpected dip in the Firth of Clyde. Blasse (AUS) took the gun from Craig (UK) sailing consistently. Former World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) improving on his sixth place in race one finishing third with Wilcox (NZ) fourth and young Bartek Rakocy (POL) in fifth.

Race 3 - started immediately after the fleet returned to the starting area as the wind was now well established and was a solid force 4. The conditions provided the sailors with great tactical sailing and the downwind experts had some good waves to exercise the fine art of catching the surf to maximum effect. Those observing enjoyed the spectacle of 42 OKs snaking their way down the run while trying to stay on the waves. The race was dominated by Hanson-Mild (SWE). After nailing the start he then stretched his lead on every leg to take the win in convincing style. Craig (UK) had to fight his way through to finished in second after an unusually mediocre start with Wilcox (NZ) again in the mix in third and Von Zimmerman (GER) fourth. Rakocy (POL) is only 19 years of age and established himself as a real prospect when winning the European Championships last year in Medemblik. Scoring three fifth places today, he will surely be in the mix for next week’s World title.

Day 2 Report

Day 2 of the OK National Championships promised much but in the end failed to deliver.

The fleet launched on time in an Easterly breeze of up to 23 knots which resulted in an exciting full on reach out to the Race Area but unfortunately by the time the fleet arrived there a Northerly wind began to fight the Easterly resulting in very confused conditions. After an hour of waiting, extreme wind shifts and a failing wind made it impossible for the Race Committee to set a fair course.

The Race Officer relocated to the Largs Channel as conditions appeared to be much better in the reserve Race Area, however the awkward weather followed the fleet and extreme wind shifts of up to 120 degrees again forced the Race Committee to delay starting any races. After another postponement it became obvious that racing was impossible so the Race Committee sent the fleet ashore to wait for the wind to stabilise. Unfortunately the wind then faded to below three knots and all racing was postponed for the day. Hopefully better conditions will arise on Thursday which is the last day of the 2011 OK Nationals. The prize giving will be followed by a barbecue and no doubt a few beers.

Day 3 Report

On the final day of the OK National Championships the weather system affecting much of the UK again took its toll on the days racing. The race team did venture out on time but the fleet were held back on shore in the hope that some wind would fill in. Some wind did appear and many launched and headed out to the race area. However, with only a maximum of 3 knots recorded all day eventually the decision was taken to abandon. Competitors were not too disappointed as enough races had been sailed to constitute a series and all are thoroughly enjoying what this top class venue has to offer.

The results from Tuesday’s excellent day on the water had resulted in Nick Craig (GBR) once again becoming OK National Champion. Second place and first veteran went to Kiwi Greg Wilcox who was actually born in the UK and third Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE). These three are all past OK World Champions and will surely be in the mix for next weeks World title. First Cadet title was won by 15 year old Ollie Burrows (GBR) with the Junior title going to the ever improving Richard Burton (GBR) who finished eleventh overall. Unfortunately this was not quite good enough for Richard to win his £20 bet with Tony Woods (GBR) who finished one place better in tenth. The final title of first Master went again to the unflappable Andy Turner (GBR).

The prize giving took place in the large clubhouse lounge overlooking the Clyde and the islands beyond. Nick Craig thanked the race team for setting perfect courses and the amazing shore team who even mended a few trolleys whilst sailors were on the water. He also thanked the excellent galley and bar staff for keeping everyone fed and watered. Competitors, family and club members then enjoyed an excellent barbecue on the balcony.

Two days of measurement for the Worlds will start early tomorrow morning with the practice race and opening ceremony on Sunday. Worlds racing starts on Monday with everyone hoping for more wind.

1GBR 2134Nick CraigFrensham1.
2NZL 522Greg Wilcox2.
3SWE 100Thomas Hansson-Mild6.
4POL 19Bartek Rakocy5.
5GER 693Martin Von Zimmerman4.
6DEN 1388Stepan MyraifHellerup12.
7GBR 2118Terry CurtisWeymouth9.
8NZL 542Alistair DeavesWakatere15.
9DEN 1340Christian OlesenHvidovre10.
10GBR 2124Tony WoodsGlossop7.
11GBR 21Richard BurtonW Oxford16.
12AUS 750Peter RobinsonDrummoyne11.
13DEN 1335Mogens JohansenSolrod Strand19.
14SWE 1100Hans ElkjaerVarberg21.
15AUS 729Andre BlasseBlack Rock3.01.043.0 DNC47.047.0
16AUS 739Mark RobertsAdelaide18.
17GBR 2084Keith ByersMorecambe13.
18GBR 2085Gavin WaldronSouth Staffs20.
19GBR 2123Andy TurnerOvery Staithe24.
20GBR 2125Neil GoodheadSouth Staffs22.
21AUS 732Tim Davies14.09.043.0 DNC66.066.0
22GBR 2068Tom LonsdaleW Oxford25.
23GBR 2119Martin BowerBlithfield23.
24DEN 1265Malte PedersonRoyal Danish28.
25AUS 724Glenn YatesWangi ASC26.
26GBR 2107Darren PriorMorecambe33.
27GBR 2139Robert Campbell-GrayOvery Staithe29.
28GBR 2137Simon ShawDeben30.
29GBR 2096Chris PerryGlossop17.024.043.0 DNC84.084.0
30GBR 2031Dave CooperOvery Staithe31.
31GBR 2141Simon DavisUpper Thames27.022.043.0 DNC92.092.0
32GBR 2142Ian HarrisBristol Corinthian8.043.0 DNC43.0 DNC94.094.0
33GBR 2062Brian QuayleManx32.
34GBR 2135Bill BradburnSouth Staffs35.
35GBR 2129Alan AtkinBurghfield34.
36GBR 2104Paul PikeCovenham38.034.028.0100.0100.0
37AUS 692Bill TylerDrummoyne36.035.031.0102.0102.0
38GBR 2088Richard GadsbyUpper Thames37.037.032.0106.0106.0
39GBR 2118 L.BlueOliver BurrowsW Oxford40.038.034.0112.0112.0
40GBR 2012Teddy ArrowsmithBrancaster41.043.0 DNF35.0119.0119.0
41GBR 2065Bob AustinMilton Keynes39.043.0 DNC43.0 DNC125.0125.0
42GBR 2067Matthew BatesSouth Staffs42.043.0 DNF43.0 DNC128.0128.0