Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2018 Yacht 728x90

World Youth Champion wins OK Dinghy Rum Bucket at Wakatere

by Bob Smith, BS Sports Publishing 2 Nov 05:10 GMT 2 November 2018
OK Dinghy Rum Bucket - Wakatere BC October 2018 © Wakatere BC

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 weather.

Race 1 looked like a pin-favoured start line, with an incoming tide suggesting the left side of the course would be a sensible option. Napier's Rob Hengst tacked at the boat-end on the starting signal, sailed all the way to the right hand corner, and led the fleet comfortably around Mark 1. Paul Rhodes was in hot pursuit, and would eventually take the lead and win the race, not bad considering he had just launched his new boat that morning. Hengst hung on for an excellent second, while Steve McDowell sailed a solid race for third.

The highlight of Race 1, for many sailors, was a contest many had been anticipating when current world Laser youth champion, 16-year old Josh Armit, attempted to roll over the top of current national champion Luke O'Connell down the first reach. O'Connell has long been feared on the reaches, and as Armit came up and steamed to weather, O'Connell luffed him hard. As they headed off to the open Pacific, the rest of the fleet waved them goodbye and got back to racing. This time, Armit couldn't make the pass stick and was forced to choose between spending the rest of the day stuck in irons, or falling back in line. He chose wisely...and followed up by sailing straight past O'Connell to leeward.

Race 2 saw Rhodes sail another great race with a second just behind Andrew Philips, who took the race in his distinctive black and yellow boat, with Armit taking third and showing that the presence of so many experienced, senior sailors didn't worry him all.

After an uncharacteristically poor start to the contest with a 24th and an eighth, O'Connell found his way to the front of the fleet in Race 3 and sailed away for a solid win. Armit continued to improve with a second, and the old Sultan Mike Wilde showed excellent form with a third.

With the wind dying, and the siren call of on-shore refreshments beckoning, the fleet returned to shore after a great day's racing. Rhodes and Armit shared the lead with 14 points apiece, and nearly every sailor had at least one high-scoring race to his name in the shifty conditions.

Sunday brought a change in wind direction to the west, and the race area moved to the world's race area off Takapuna Beach. Four light-air races would be sailed in a day characterised by big shifts and ferocious competition.

Race 4 got underway with a left-hander that Joe Frazier would have been proud off, Philips got it first after pulling off an aggressive start and sailing away for a brilliant victory, his second of the contest, followed by Rohan Lord who was starting to show signs of serious light-air pace, with Rod Davis also showing speed and cunning to take third.

Steve McDowell tacked into another left-hander in Race 5 to lead at the first mark followed by Ben Morrison, Phillips and Armit. McDowell was not to be denied, and sailed a perfect race for the win, with that lover of all things light and shifty, Alistair Deaves coming through for a well-deserved second, with Chris Fenwick in third, after Morrison had been OCS.

Race 6 put the final nail in the coffin for O'Connell who was OCS, forcing him to carry his 24th from Race 1. This time it was Lord who sailed the shifts the best to take the gunsmoke, while Armit started to close his grip on the Rum Bucket with a solid second. Wakatere's Eric Rone was third, making the top three for the first time. Race 6 was also notable for the biggest right-hand shift of the contest up the middle beat, and except for a few lucky escape artists, the back half of the fleet swapped places with the front half.

Race 7 was the final race and started with (for once) a relatively even line, and shifts coming down both sides of the track. Deaves and Morrison, having started in the middle of the line, finally got in phase with those shifts and were first and second around Mark 1, followed by Rhodes, Davis, and Armit. Armit came through brilliantly on the reaching legs to take a lead he would never relinquish, taking the final race, Tiki glory and the Rum Bucket in fine fashion. Morrison was second and would be allowed to keep this result, while Rhodes was third in a good effort after what had been a testing day.

So young Josh Armit took the Rum Bucket and sent an early message to the OK Dinghy fleet ahead of the Worlds (at this location in 100 days). Eric Rone also showed that he has his act together with a well-deserved second, while Steve McDowell claimed bronze.

Related Articles

Australian OK Dinghy Nationals: Two weeks to go
The entry list includes the four most successful Australian OK Dinghy sailors With just two weeks to go before the start of the 57th Australian OK Dinghy Championship, the entry list is looking like a who's who of OK sailing in Australia, with 30 entries so far received. Posted on 13 Dec
Symonite is 2019 OK Dinghy Worlds' title sponsor
Wakatere Boating Club is proud to make the announcement Since confirming the event will be held in New Zealand, WBC has been in discussions with many local Auckland businesses and it was the enthusiasm of Symonite, and its owner John Cobb, for the club, the OK Dinghy Class and the World's concept Posted on 3 Dec
OK Dinghy magazine November 2018 issue published
It includes coverage of all the major championships since the last issue in April 2017 The November 2018 issue of the OK Dinghy International magazine has now been published online and through the letterboxes of OK Dinghy sailors worldwide. Posted on 21 Nov
Australian OK Dinghy fleet returns to Black Rock
A stronghold of the fleet For Australian OK Dinghy sailors there is only one place to be for New Year. The 57th Australian OK Dinghy Championships will be hosted by Black Rock Yacht Club Posted on 18 Nov
Interview with OK Dinghy European Junior Champion
Will Heritage, a teenage boat-building apprentice from the Isle of Wight Will Heritage, a teenage boat building apprentice from the Isle of Wight has surprised and delighted many in the OK fleet after bursting onto the scene in a boat he largely built himself and taking fourth at the OK Nationals in his first event. Posted on 16 Nov
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
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