Please select your home edition
Edition
NeilPryde 2020 29er Sponsorship - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Completely OK by Robert Deaves
Completely OK by Robert Deaves
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

OK Dinghy Northern Championship at Sunderland Yacht Club

by Karen Robertson 4 Sep 2017 17:00 BST 2-3 September 2017

A small but select band of OK sailors from as far afield as Kent and Scotland turned up at a gloriously sunny Sunderland Yacht club on the weekend of 2/3 September to take part in the OK Northern Championship.

With a warm sun on their backs and a gentle F2 blowing, the fleet made their way out of the harbour to sail off Roker north of the Yacht Club.

Race 1 was led by Ian Hopwood and Tony Woods all the way round with the chasing fleet bunched closely together and everybody experiencing good close racing. Andrew Martin crossed third over the line closely chased by Alan Robinson and Dave Bourne, but cunningly he had been behind the line at the start and took the winning gun while Ian and Tony in their keenness to get racing had been listed as being OCS.

Race 2 saw Karen Robertson leading at the first mark, and while she was passed at the gybe mark retook the lead by the bottom mark and stretched her lead out until the finish with Ian Hopwood chasing hard... well, she thought it was the finish as the 'S' flag had gone up as she approached the line but apparently it was for the Handicap Class that were also sailing and, by the time she realised what a fool she's been in stopping at the start/finish line, Ian Hopwood, Tony Woods and Dave Bourne calmly sailed past leaving her to salvage a fourth and the rest of her pride.

The third race saw a change in course to a windward/leeward and the first mark saw virtually the whole fleet arrive at the top mark at the same time. Keith Byres rounded first and swiftly gybed onto port which caused a startled incoming boat on starboard to apparently exclaim 'don't touch me!' in an excited tone. Byres led down the run but was overtaken by Karen Robertson who led for the remainder of the race (and carefully checking for flags on the committee boat this time) followed by Keith and the ever consistent Dave Bourne who scored his third 3rd of the day.

With the first day's racing out of the way the fleet retired to the hospitality of Sunderland Yacht Club to tell tales of the day's racing and laugh with (or was it at) those who had messed up, had 'moments', or generally caused amusement for the fleet. One visiting RS600 sailor made the mistake of joining the OK fleet for a few refreshments after sailing and very nearly ended up sailing at the upcoming OK nationals only escaping with some lame excuse about 'work' or something. Don't worry though Micky, the offer's still open and we'll get you in an OK next year.

The fleet awoke surprisingly bright and fresh on the Sunday to exactly the same sort of weather in the bay. As the fleet headed out however it became apparent that the view from the clubhouse was misleading and a sizeable sea was running in against the tide and a fresh F4 blowing. Some decided early on it was not for them and headed back while the others headed off downwind to get to the start line.

The first race of the day started at a nice early 10:30 for a three lap triangle-sausage course. Ian Hopwood got out of the blocks early as the fleet headed offshore to get into the tide. At the top mark the first five boats arrived together in as many boat lengths and headed off for the first broad reach. Hopwood was clearly going for it with at least one near death roll on the first reach as the fleet screamed towards the gybe mark still closely packed together.

The second reach was fantastically fast being on a tighter angle and more directly in the direction of the waves. On the second beat the hiking power of Dave Bourne saw him taking a lead he did not relinquish for the remainder of the race although closely followed by the chasing pack. On the run Ian Hopwood rolled in to windward in spectacular fashion near where the committee boat was stationed showing off his new hi-viz orange centreboard and rudder which made him easy to avoid as the fleet surfed down the waves. This let Keith Byres through to third with Bourne and Woods ahead.

The second race of the day, saw fewer starters as the breeze and big seas took their toll on competitors and followed a similar pattern to the first race of the day with Bourne leading the way around, followed by Tony Woods and Ian Hopwood rolling in again at almost the same spot on the run to let Karen Robertson through to third, this time with Keith Byres chasing hard.

Thankfully for the final race of the day the committee set a windward/leeward course, but the pattern of the day had been set. Bourne powered off and led from start to finish despite a near-death experience on the run followed by Woods and the remainder of the fleet. Ian Hopwood wisely decided to keep his foils in the water for the whole of this race.

Once a very tired and wet fleet returned to the yacht club they were greeted by those that had gone in earlier and helped with their boats up the slip – a gesture that was extremely appreciated by those that had made all three races. After packing up, the final results were calculated with Dave Bourne, despite being a confirmed southerner, taking the Northern Championship with Tony Woods from Glossop second, but there was a tie break for third between Keith Byres from Morecambe and Karen Robertson from Loch Earn. Karen got the short straw and took third and with it the duty to write the event report.

Many thanks go to Sunderland Yacht Club for hosting a fabulous event and being so hospitable to all the visitors. As a venue and hosts they were hard to fault and the OKs look forward returning in the future

At the end of the month the OK fleet have their National Championship at Herne Bay and hope for a good turnout in their 60th anniversary year. All OK sailors are encouraged to come along and enjoy the event and any prospective sailors who are interested in sailing these classy single-handers should contact the class association as loan boats may be available.

Related Articles

New OK Dinghy class rules published
The 2020 changes that everyone needs to note Following the email vote at the end of 2019, the 2020 edition of the Class Rules has been published and is now available on the World Sailing website. Posted on 11 May
OK Dinghy Worlds schedule gets reset
A pragmatic approach that tries to find a balance between realism and hope Event organisers and class associations worldwide are facing huge challenges of not only deciding whether to run events this year because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also deciding how best to reschedule them to a later date. Posted on 28 Apr
Bill Bell - Long time OK and Finn sailor dies
Quietly spoken, but always considered, Bill Bell was a great friend to many sailors across the world The sailing world has lost a great friend. Quietly spoken, but always considered, Bill Bell was a great friend to many sailors across the world and will be sorely missed. Posted on 11 Apr
Where there's a will there's a way
The past fortnight has proved that sailors are a resourceful bunch If there's one thing that the past fortnight has proved, it's that sailors are a resourceful bunch. The vast majority of the sailing world can't get out on the water, but it certainly doesn't mean we're idle. Posted on 5 Apr
Restoring a very early wooden OK dinghy
Purchased free with a cheap trailer, and turned into an unexpected project Our series of ebay restorations continues, but this time only £50 was spent, or was that actually £0? Rob Efans tells us the story... Posted on 5 Apr
Statement from the OK Dinghy Class
On the situation with COVID-19 and its events schedule This is not the year we all planned. Due to the worsening situation with COVID-19 we are seeing events cancelled worldwide, therefore the OK Dinghy International Association Executive Committee decided to be pro-active and make some tough decisions. Posted on 3 Apr
OK Dinghy World Rankings
Thomas Hansson-Mild stays on top Thomas Hansson-Mild, from Sweden, stays at the top of the first OK Dinghy World Ranking list of the year, the third list in a row that the 2009 World Champion tops the list, after reaching the number one spot in July 2019 for the first time ever. Posted on 27 Mar
Hamble Warming Pan 2020 welcomes OKs
For their rescheduled Winter Championship on 29th March Hamble River Sailing Club is delighted to welcome the OK class to the 58th Hamble Warming Pan open meeting for their rescheduled Winter Championship. Posted on 12 Mar
OK dinghy class launch Euro League
The series will start at the ever-popular Spring Cup in Medemblik In response to the rapid growth of the OK Dinghy class in recent years, and calls for a coordinated European circuit, the International OK Dinghy Association has launched the 2020 OK Euro League. Posted on 10 Mar
The OK Dinghy class at the RYA Dinghy Show
A home-built boat and a variety of professional builders present too After a year of increased interest in the class, with record numbers of new boats being built in the UK and lots of new faces buying boats ahead of the 2021 World championships coming to the UK, the OK class are looking forward to the 2020 Dinghy Show. Posted on 21 Feb