Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures

Inaugural International OK River Championship at Upper Thames Sailing Club

by Duncan Ellis 6 Jun 12:21 BST 26-28 May 2018

This year saw Upper Thames SC combined the three day River Championship within the usual four day Bourne End week. Twelve competitors took part in the "snakes and ladders" event with all, even your scribe, thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Racing on the first day was held in anything from nothing to a F3 breeze. Young Ed Crichton, sailing the aptly named "Hot Love", shot off into the distance in the first race proving that local knowledge is king in these parts to take a resounding win from the boringly consistent Dave Bourne, with the all new, larger version of Richard Burton in 3rd.

Race 2 in exactly the same conditions saw the same few escape the pack, god knows how, and proceed to have an epic ding dong round the race course only ended by the beautiful sound of a whistle and a lovely yellow flag waved at Ed, naughty boy! Burt and Dave continued serenely on their way whilst trading insults and tacks with the fat one emerging the victor. The ever sprightly Hugh Myers holding off the red faced Ed for a fine 3rd place.

Saturday night, as ever, was a quiet affair spent sipping pink gins until the thunderstorm came and with it a rarely seen, naked, male Burton whale splashing noisily through the upper reaches of the Thames.

Sunday, less wind and therefore locals revenge. Phil Benton looked the visitors in the eye, and that was the last they saw of him as he opened up a huge lead to take the bullet. Burt, shaking off the previous night's disguise, came through with a 2nd place, Dave coming in a distant 3rd.

The 2nd race of the day saw Burt defying, not only the laws of physics, but also local convention by starting along the club-side bank. We never saw Burt again. It hurts me to have to report that he was so far in front at the finish that he actually received a round of applause from the spectators. Painful. Jennie Portsmouth and Garth Thompson took 2nd and 3rd place respectively, I'm sure I saw them actually planing at one point, with Pietr Przewozny putting in a fine 4th place.

Sunday night's entertainment was the sprint drinks, also known as the cocktail party. Buckets of G&T, as many as you could get through in an hour, messy! A lovely dinner was also laid on by the Upper Thames catering team whilst we were serenaded by a fine female singer throughout the evening, how very civilised!

Monday morning, very little wind and all to play for. Lots of guys trying to add up scores with eyes that didn't work and brains that were giving different totals each time. Steely eyed Garth decided he wanted to blow the fat guys out of the water and took a resounding win with Dave coming in 2nd and local poster boy Ed sneaking through to 3rd. The ever improving Andrew Boxer picking up a well earned 4th place.

A short break for lunch, more adding up, and we were back out for another drifter. Highlight of the pre-start manoeuvres was Hugh Myers' capsize in the middle of the river after a particularly nasty F1 gust. As usual it was all very tight down the far bank with Dave, Ed and Andrew eventually pulling away to get a well earned lead. Ed pulled through and sat on Dave to the finish, Dave very kindly returning the favour to Andrew. But... where was Burt? Ed was nervously pacing up and down the river bank waiting to see who the next boat round the bend would be, conscious of having only one hand on the trophy. Damn, the whale was in 4th and had done enough to secure the championship by 1pt. So, in the end, congratulations must go to Richard Burton for winning the River Champs ahead of local hero Ed Chricton and Dave Bourne in 3rd.

Thanks must got to everyone at Upper Thames for laying on a fantastic event, from the bar staff to the catering crew and to the race team. If you haven't been before it's well worth the visit as it really is a beautiful setting and a wonderful club. Just watch out for the cows!

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stErnie2183Richard Burton 3121‑5411
2ndHot Love2093Edward CrichtonUTSC144‑52112
3rd 2155Dave Bourne 223(OCS)3212
4thNot Fade Away2146Garth ThompsonUTSC55‑631519
5thSmokey2167Phil BentonUTSC7(DNC)177729
6thVery OK2082Hugh Myers 431066(DNC)29
7th 2196Andrew BoxerCRSC1085(DNF)4330
8th 117Pietr PrzewoznyUTSC6694‑10631
9thThe Bug2000Jennie PortsmouthUTSC(DNC)DNC728838
10thGood Vibrations2090D. FinlaysonUTSC87(DNC)8DNCDNC49
11thKnot Paid Enough2091Kim BreckenridgeUTSC(DNC)DNC89DNCDNC56
12thAlouette2089Chris BurrellUTSC9(DNC)DNCDNC9DNC57

Related Articles

OK End of Season Championship at Burton
The championship that nearly wasn't It was the Championship that nearly wasn't. It was only a few weeks ago when the OKs found out that the expected host club could not now host this popular event and no other obvious option was on the table. Posted on 7 Nov
Youth World Champion takes OK's at Wakatere
Young Josh Armit took the Rum Bucket and sent an early message ahead of the Worlds Early indications of local form were put to the test at the recent OK Dinghy Rum Bucket, held at Wakatere Boating Club, Auckland, over the weekend of 20-21 October. A strong fleet of 35 boats was entered, and the forecast was for light airs and fine weath Posted on 2 Nov
100 days to OK Dinghy World Championship
Auckland, New Zealand, to host in February The 2019 OK Dinghy World Championship is due to begin in just 100 days time in the iconic sailing area off Takapuna on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. The championship will run from 7-15 February 2019 and will be based at Wakatere Boating Club. Posted on 1 Nov
Wilcox maintains OK Dinghy World No. 1 position
Ranking calculated from 45 events over the last two years With the 2019 World Championship heading to New Zealand in just over three months, Greg Wilcox, maintains his lead at the top of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking List of 2018 as the only Kiwi in the top 20. Posted on 30 Oct
Everything is loOKing up
120 boats took part in the Worlds in Warnemünde For those of you who have been out there this year, it has been an incredibly successful season for the OK Dinghy. Posted on 18 Oct
2018 OK Dinghy Europeans in Bandol overall
Fredrik Lööf secures the title in Bandol after final day thriller Fredrik Lööf, from Sweden, has lifted the 2018 OK Dinghy European Championship title with a thrilling last race win, after the title fight went right down to the wire. Posted on 30 Sep
2018 OK Dinghy Europeans in Bandol day 3
Swedish pair go into the final day separated by a point Thomas Hansson-Mild and Fredrik Lööf, both from Sweden, will go into Saturday's final day at the OK Dinghy European Championship in Bandol, France, separated by just one point after they dominated both races on Friday. Posted on 29 Sep
2018 OK Dinghy Europeans in Bandol day 2
Double bullet day for Charlie Cumbley in Bandol Two bullets for Charlie Cumbley takes him into the lead after the second day at the 2018 OK Dinghy European Championship in Bandol, France. Fredrik Lööf, from Sweden, is up to second with Stefan Myralf, from Denmark, up to third after a stellar day Posted on 28 Sep
2018 OK Dinghy Europeans in Bandol day 1
Breezy start as two races sailed late in the day The 2018 OK Dinghy European Championship was opened Wednesday evening at the SNB (Societé Nautique de Bandol) after two races were sailed late in the day following several days of strong winds. Posted on 27 Sep
OK European Championship to be held on the Med
Returning to Bendor Island after a 50 year hiatus Five years ago an old OK Dinghy was dragged out of a garden in southern France and given a makeover. Soon it was joined by another and then another, and what followed was the amazingly successful revival of the Mediterranean OK Dinghy fleet. Posted on 21 Sep