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OK National Championships at Herne Bay Sailing Club - Preview

by Rodney Tidd 16 Sep 2017 09:29 BST 21-24 September 2017
One beautiful aspect of the International OK Dinghy © Ela Miller

The International OK Dinghy British Class Association are proud to have been able to secure Herne Bay Sailing Club as their venue for the forthcoming National Championships. The championships were in doubt earlier in the season due to late permission being granted to hold the local air show resulting in a late change of dates. Thanks are due to association chairman Deryck Lovegrove and the Herne Bay Sailing Club committee for rearranging the championships in short time. It is unfortunate that the class 60th anniversary celebrations could not be held in conjunction with this event, as originally planned, as this surely would have been a truly marvellous occasion.

The event will be held over four consecutive days with two races planned each day. Registration and any necessary measurement matters will be taken care of during the morning of the 21st with racing planned to commence in the early afternoon. Reports of previous championships held at Herne Bay have indicated that we can look forward to good water, good courses, an experienced race team, an extremely hospitable club and an area boasting enough nearby amenities and attractions to keep other family members well entertained.

The championships are the central point of the North Sails Super Series as they are the 'Must Do' event for qualification to win the main series prize of a new mainsail offered by our kind sponsors, North Sails.

At the time of going to print there are a number of leading contenders ready to lift the main prize and get their hands on the coveted numeral 1 for their sail. First mention must go to Terry Curtis who has previously held the title three times in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Terry has had a very successful season having won the Asymmetric section of the International Canoe nationals as well as the Osprey Nationals and a very creditable, for such a substantial character, second place in the recently held Europe nationals held at Highcliffe.

Other hopefuls include the recently-married Dave Bourne, fresh from his win in the North Super Series at Sunderland; Luke Gower who, in his new Ovington hull, performed very creditably in the OK European championships held in Denmark during August; and Richard 'Burt' Burton who will surely perform well if the conditions decide to roughen up a little.

In addition to the national title this event is the final part of the 'Triangle Trophy' presented this year by Ken Carroll. This event started in Medemblik with less than tropical temperatures, moved on to Lac du Der where the temperatures rocketed to over thirty degrees and concludes here in Herne Bay where we hope not to need the hot water bottles again.

Andy 'Rover' Rushworth currently leads the series from Rodney Tidd by a substantial margin and it will take a most unfortunate of happenings to Rushworth for Tidd to prevail. Of course predictions that have been taken for granted this past year have surprised us a few times and Tidd 'may yet have a trump card to play'.

The OK class is, if nothing else, highly experienced and there will be hot competition for both the Veterans and the Masters prizes. For the first time in many years Mary Reddyhoff has competition in the Ladies fleet with Karen Robertson making the long journey south from Loch Earn.

Late entries for the event are still open with full details on www.okdinghy.co.uk

"Come and join the party!"

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