Please select your home edition
Trident-UK 2012 May

International OK Dinghy Open at South Staffordshire Sailing Club

by Rodney Tidd on 24 Oct 21 October 2017
Battling Storm Brian during the South Staffs OK Open © Tim Coleshaw

Saturday saw the final event of the HD Sails OK Inland Series held at the mecca of inland OK sailing, South Staffs Sailing Club. Early signs suggested a good attendance with people looking for any excuse to come and sample the stable winds and steady rollers that South Staffs has to offer...

Unfortunately this was not to be the case as some bloke called Brian threatened to ruin the day. The early expression of interest turned to concern as multiple competitors decided that this Brian was not one to mess with and that it would be safer to stay indoors.

The organisers considered the options as the week went on and after consulting the South Staffs elders decided to call Brian's bluff and go ahead with the event anyway.

The forecast was for the wind to build throughout the day and expert PRO Tony Hotchkiss and his race team were keen to get at least one start underway before Brian reared his head. 4 hardy competitors made their way out for the start of the first race in a building breeze and surprisingly all got away cleanly at the start. Brian took his first casualty mid-way up the first beat as Sam Thompson was hit by small header taking a little dip into Windward. At the first mark it was local youngster Ed Bradburn in the lead ahead of recently converted Solo sailor Ian Hopwood with Rodney Tidd in third. Brian took his next victim down the run, unfortunately again this was Sam Thompson who exploded in a ball of spray and finally decided he disliked Brian intensely and called it a day. The race went on with the positions remaining the same until Rodney Tidd also decided mid-race that this tosser Brian was bringing some unusually large shifts to the normally Garda'esque South Staffs and promptly called it a day. Ed and Ian both survived the race and finished 1 and 2 respectively, with Ian demonstrating an International Moth style landing by swimming his capsized boat into the shore.

Lunch saw the arrival of the Northern Powerhouse that is Ben Steel to add to the party. Not one to shy away from strong winds and cold weather he took to the water in his t-shirt along with the remaining two survivors for Race 2 and 3. The 5 minute gun sounded and Brian decided it was time to up the antics slightly. At the first mark it was The Powerhouse in the lead with Ian "this boat is much more fun than my other one" Hopwood snapping at his heals and Old Ed rounding in third. Down the run Ben and Ian both went high with Ed managing to soak low in a gust which took him clean underneath the two of them and into the lead. The last lap saw Ben mount a last minute charge resulting in a close cover up the final beat to retain the lead. Final results were Ed 1st, Ben 2nd and Ian 3rd

The same three remained for the final race and after no hanging around Tony and his team shortened the start line further for comedy value and had us straight into sequence. The start saw an individual recall for Old Ed as Ian nailed the pin and Ben followed shortly behind. At the first mark Ian lead from Ben with Ed playing catch up at the rear. The first lap saw a good tussle between Ben and Ian with Ben eventually taking the lead and pulling out some distance. By this point the gusts where coming through the strongest they had all day causing some code brown downwind moments and some challenging upwind sailing. Mid race Ed caught one of these gusts to catch up with Ian and after a bit of a scrap took second with Ben still some distance ahead. Another challenging upwind and Ian had regained second from Ed with Ben still ahead but not as close as before. The penultimate beat saw all three bunch up again. Ian took to the centre of the lake with Ed and Ben both sticking close to the shore. At the windward buoy it was Ian in the lead with Ben second and Ed back in third again. The final reach saw Ed sail underneath Ben into second with Ian still making a final dash for the last beat. The leeward mark rounding saw Ben use too much of his Northern power as he capsized to windward. The capsize was short lived with Brian deciding to flip the mast back upright the way it had come chinning Ben in the process.

The final beat saw Ed and Ian split with Ed benefiting from a big right hand shift. At the top mark Ed gained a starboard advantage on Ian forcing him to tack clear. No sooner had he tacked when the wind promptly backed forcing Ian almost into windward and Ed into evasive maneuvers behind. That evasive maneuver saw Ed cross 1st ahead of Ian in 2nd and Ben, still nursing his wounded chin, in 3rd.

Despite the low turnout a great day was had by all with the last race providing as close racing as possible in the challenging conditions.

Overall Results:

1st Old Ed
2nd Ian "much more fun than a solo" Hopwood
3rd Ben "please don't make me write the report" Steel

The Dave Danbury Memorial trophy, usually awarded to the first junior was presented by Carol Danbury to Sam Thompson for his epic downwind capsize during the first race.

Thanks as always go to South Staffs and all the members for a great fun event. Let hope this bloke Brian doesn't scare everyone off next year.

Land Rover BAR Cap
REPORT OF THE MONTH SPONSORED BY Report of the Month sponsored by Henri Lloyd Nominate this article for report of the month for your chance to WIN a Land Rover BAR Cap for yourself and the author of the report that receives the most votes. Just fill in the form below!
Your name

Your email address

Why do you like this report?

Related Articles

Greg Wilcox extends lead
In final OK Dinghy World Rankings of 60th Anniversary Year After winning the German OK Dinghy championship in October, Greg Wilcox, from New Zealand, has extended his lead at the top of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking List of 2017 to 100 points. Posted on 17 Nov
Gower continues his winning streak
In the OK season finale at Northampton The OK season finale was held over the weekend of the 4th/5th November at Northampton Sailing Club. Posted on 12 Nov
2018 OK Dinghy Calendars now available
28cm by 49cm with photos from throughout the season The 2018 OK Dinghy Calendar is now available to purchase. Posted on 8 Nov
OK End of Season Championship
Healthy fleet of 23 boats at Northampton A healthy fleet of 23 gathered at Northamton Sailing Club for the End of Season Championship, sharing the event with the National 12s on 4th & 5th November. Posted on 7 Nov
OK Dinghy North Sails Super Series Finale preview
A two horse race at Northampton SC this weekend? The clocks have gone back and many young thoughts turn to Halloween and Guy Fawkes. However with five of the six North Sails Super Series events completed many OK sailors thoughts will be turning to the last event of the series. Posted on 30 Oct
World Champion Greg Wilcox set to compete
In 2018 Australian OK Dinghy Nationals at Southport YC Greg Wilcox has confirmed he will compete in the 2018 Australian Nationals, hosted by Southport Yacht Club at the Hollywell Sailing Squadron on the Gold Coast, from 2nd to 7th January 2018. Posted on 28 Oct
Growing classes and exports at Ovington Boats
We speak to Nathan Batchelor about the 2017 season Ovington Boats has had a great season, supporting the classes they build, while adding a couple of new ones to their roster. We spoke to Ovington's Nathan Batchelor to find out more... Posted on 19 Oct
Better block selection helps top OK sailors
Nick Craig and Jim Hunt rely on Harken With both Nick Craig and Jim Hunt taking delivery of new boats this year and exploring equipment options, Harken used the opportunity to leave no stone unturned. Several small refinements were made to the fitting kits for these new boats. Posted on 6 Oct
Materials still needed
To finish project 60 book As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the OK Dinghy, a new book is being published. Under the working title, project 60, this will be the story of the OK through personal anecdotes and stories. Posted on 3 Oct
OK Nationals at Herne Bay overall
Sailors from as far afield as Belgium and Scotland Sailors from as far afield as Belgium and Scotland (and one local-ish Kiwi) descended upon Herne Bay Sailing Club in Kent for the 2017 OK National Championships from 21st to the 24th of September. Posted on 27 Sep