Great Britain, British National Championships 2012
Brightlingsea SC, Essex
24th - 27th August
Report by Jonathan Fish
A very competitive fleet of 31 OK Dinghies travelled to Brightlingsea for a great event over the bank holiday weekend. Sailed in a good breeze and hosted by a very hospitable club, the event will be remembered for some time – not least because it was won after a nip-tuck struggle between a few boats with the eventual outcome only being known after the fleet was ashore on the final day.
Proceedings started in a solid force 3-4, with Lee Child in his shinny new Synergy boat taking an early lead. Jon Fish came through to second by the leeward mark and with the pair clear of the fleet, a 1hr 20min match race commenced. Fish came through down the run, but Child managed to claw back up the last beat, and looked like he was going to take the race, but Fish just nicked it on the finish line.
Fish led race 2 from start to finish, albeit pushed by defending champion Terry Curtis, who performed downhill recovery acts in both races to end the day with a 3, 2. Child put in another counter with a third almost catching Curtis after a 40 degree shift shuffled the pack up the last beat. Alex Scoles showed better form to take fourth, while Tony Woods had a solid day to sit in fourth overall as the fleet headed in after two great races.
Saturday morning started breezier, with 18-20 knots initially recorded on the race track. Richard Burton showed some of his windy weather pace to hold an early lead in race 3. Fish, sailing his piece of Synergy furniture, reeled him in on the first set of reaches to take the lead, and despite trying to finish a lap early, had pace on the fleet to take his third straight win. Behind him, Burton just kept Curtis at bay to hold second, and Robert Deaves claimed fourth after Lee had a swimming incident on the second reach.
The breeze dropped slightly for the start of race 4, and Curtis started to show his usual mid-range pace, getting round the first mark just in front and comfortably holding to take his first race win. Child got into second and was never headed, and Deaves went one better with a third.
The big event of the race was back in the pack at the first windward mark, where Alex Scoles misjudged his windward mark approach on port and ended up crash-tacking and capsizing directly in front of Fish, causing a bit of a tangle. Once they had extracted themselves, the pair were a leg behind the leaders. With the breeze dropping to a force 2, Scoles opted to retire, while Fish couldn’t haul his way back into contention, and with no damage couldn’t claim redress - posting a rather grumpy 17th.
The race officer did a really good job on day 3 keeping the course true in the face of regular 30 degree shifts. The three protagonists for the title managed to get clear of the fleet and have good tussle, with Curtis keeping his nose in front with Child and Fish snapping at his heals. On the last beat Fish managed to inspect his centreboard again, allowing both Child through to second and a fast finishing Julian Burnham through to third.
Race 6 was one of snakes and ladders, as the breeze turned patchy and shifty. Keith Byers put in a strong showing only to overhauled later on. Woods took a large left shift up the second beat to steam roll into the lead, only to lose it in the final stages to Child who sailed really smartly to pick his way to the front. Deaves again sailed a clever race to finish third, whilst Curtis and Fish along with several others hit one too many snakes to put in results they’d rather forget.
So, going in to the last day, Child and Curtis were tied on points with almost identical results; whilst Deaves was hard on the heels of Fish in third and fourth some 10 points back. Child charged off the line to lead the first race from start to finish. Fish pulled through the fleet to get within a boat length of Child in the building breeze but couldn’t quite squeeze past for the race win. Curtis could only recover to fourth just behind Deaves after having a bad first beat. This meant he still had it all to do in the final race.
He didn’t really disappoint, leading Child over to the unfavoured right hand side, putting both of them deep down the fleet. At the same time, Fish and Deaves tussled at the front for the race lead with Alex Scoles briefly taking the lead offwind in the fresh conditions. Fish won the pie contest up the second beat to get in front of Deaves and took his fourth race win of the series and third overall.
Meanwhile, Curtis used his famed downwind pace to come through the fleet to catch up to Deaves. In a photo finish, Deaves took second with Curtis third, but with Child finishing in seventh place, the fleet sailed in thinking that Terry Curtis had come back from the brink to win his fourth OK Dinghy British National title.
But then the race officer revealed that 2118, 2145 and 2027 were all OCS. Curtis was out, and the title belonged to the deserving Lee Child.
|1||212||Dabchicks SC||Lee Child||2||3||7||2||2||1||1||5||23||16|
|2||2118||Weymouth SC / Upper Thames SC||Terry Curtis||3||2||3||1||1||7||4||OCS||53||21|
|3||2151||Waldringfield SC||Jonathan Fish||1||1||1||17||4||13||2||1||40||23|
|4||2138||Waldringfield SC||Robert Deaves||5||6||4||3||8||3||3||2||34||26|
|5||2145||Glossop SC||Tony Woods||4||5||13||9||5||2||10||OCS||80||48||V|
|6||2084||Morecambe and Heysham YC||Keith Byers||7||15||5||11||10||4||18||4||74||56||V|
|7||2147||Overy Staithe SC||Alex Scoles||15||4||9||DNF||11||10||5||3||89||57|
|9||2116||South Staffs||Ed Bradbun||15.0 TLY||14||10||5||7||9||6||8||74||59|
|11||2042||WOSC||Richard Burton||13.0 TLY||11||2||10||18||16||7||6||83||65|
|12||2107||Upriver YC||Dave Bourne||6||8||15||6||6||17||12||12||82||65|
|13||2120||Waldringfield SC||Dan Ager||OCS||7||8||13||16||8||11||7||102||70|
|14||2123||Overy Staithe SC||Andy Turner||13||12||17||12||22||12||15||9||112||90||V|
|15||144||Waldringfield SC||Simon Cox||14||13||19||DNF||19||6||13||14||130||98|
|16||2121||West Oxfordshire SC||Anthony Rich||16||16||11||7||17||20||21||11||119||98|
|17||2100||Dabchicks SC||Toby Ramsay||19||20||12||15||13||19||8||13||119||99|
|18||2027||Weymouth SC||Nick Frampton||17||18||DNF||16||14||23||17||OCS||169||137|
|19||2137||Deben YC||Simon Shaw||20||19||DNC||DNC||20||21||16||DNC||192||160|
|20||2135||South Staffs SC||William Bradburn||21||21||DNF||DNC||21||15||19||DNC||193||161||V M|
|21||2149||Blithfield SC||Martin Bower||DNC||DNC||16||14||15||22||DNC||DNC||195||163|
|22||2104||Covenham SC||Paul Pike||26||24||DNC||DNC||26||24||20||15||199||167||M|
|23||2125||South Staffs SC||Neil Goodhead||18||17||18||18||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||199||167|
|24||2148||Etherow CPSC||Chris Perry||12||DNF||DNC||DNC||12||18||DNC||DNC||202||170||V|
|25||2129||Burghfield SC||Alan Atkin||22||23||DNC||DNC||23||14||DNC||DNC||210||178||M|
|27||217||South Staffs||Adrian Walker||25||25||DNC||DNC||25||25||DNF||DNC||228||196||J|
|28||2108||South Staffs||Sam Thomson||27||DNF||DNC||DNC||24||26||DNC||DNC||237||205||C|
|29||2144||Bristol Crinthian YC||Rhys Lankester||24||22||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||238||206||V|
|30||2067||South Staffs||Matthew Bates||29||26||DNC||DNC||28||28||DNF||DNC||239||207||C|
|31||2092||South Staffs||Sam Blocksidge||28||DNF||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||252||220||J|
OCS, DNC, DNF, DSQ etc: 32 Points