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Australian OK Dinghy Nationals at Black Rock Yacht Club - Overall

by Robert Deaves 3 Jan 13:12 GMT 28 December 2018 - 3 January 2019

The 57th Australian OK Dinghy National Championship ended with two really tricky light wind races that left the regatta leaders struggling and picking up high scores.

However Roger Blasse, from the host club, Black Rock YC, survived to take his 11th Australian title. Mark Jackson secured second, while Brent Williams took a close third from Race 10 winner, Tim Davies. The first race of the day went to Grant Wakefield.

The final day was another day for the lightweights. An earlier start and the beginnings of a sea breeze was enough for the Race Officer to send the fleet out in 2 to 4 knots for the scheduled midday start. Two races were scheduled with a cut off time of 15.00.

Race nine belonged to three Kiwi expats, who seem to have an affinity for light winds. But it took several false starts and a 45-minute postponement to get the race away in a very light south-westerly breeze. It eventually started cleanly under Black Flag and the fleet split and pressed upwind in 6 to 8 knots. Initially the right looked great, then the middle and finally the left.

At the top mark it was a very different leading group with Peter Robinson, AUS 774, leading Kelvin Holdt, AUS 708, Grant Wakefield, AUS 776, David Ketteridge, AUS 725, Shane Smith, AUS 33 and Elizabeth Williams, AUS 759. Only Tim Davies, AUS 779, from the 'heavy weights' was with the group. Regatta leader Roger Blasse, AUS 749, was buried very deep. It turned into a great light weather tactical race in a very slowly building breeze. Wakefield passed Robinson down the run to round the last mark in front and lead up to the finish. Holdt also snuck in front of Robinson to get second with Ketteridge in fourth.

Wakefield said, "After my third place in the invitation race, I knew I had good boat speed in the 5-8 knot range and so did my best to find a clear lane off the start and just worked on letting the boat have good speed and working the lifts to find myself in third behind Kelvin and Peter at the top mark. From there I got past Kelvin on the first reach and held that to the bottom mark and then followed Peter to the top. We're were all still very close but I managed to sail through Peter on the square run to round the last mark in the lead. From there I just had to keep the cover and avoid the wind shadow from the fleet approaching the bottom mark."

"I'm very happy to have my first nationals heat win and to move up to 10th overall."

With Roger Blasse back in 13th and Jackson in 8th, they had both done enough to secure first and second, though they both eventually discarded this race. However with Brent Williams in 10th, the points for third had suddenly closed up.

The sea breeze was continuing to build and at 14.25 the Race Officer was keen to go into sequence, immediately raising the Black Flag and the fleet got away cleanly at 2.30 with half an hour to spare before the cut off. Jackson and Davies fought for the pin, but it was Davies showing great speed out to the left in the 10 to 12 knot southerly. Davies rounded first, with Brent Williams close behind in second. Both were racing for third place over all, so were keen to keep close together. Roger Blasse had a good first beat and was in the mix along with Grand Masters leader Bruce Ashton and Robinson.

The second beat was again very tactical on the shifting and settling breeze and it appeared certain the conditions experienced yesterday were not going to be repeated. In the end Davies held on to win from a very close battle between Blasse and Williams, Williams getting the honours. Blasse crossed third, followed by Robinson and Holdt with fellow under 80 kg class members Gary McLennan, AUS 678 in sixth, and Shane Smith, AUS 33 in seventh.

Davies commented, "Really pleased to finish the regatta on a high note, with a win. Today I had to balance the chance of catching Brent with the risk of a bad race, which could allow the guys behind me to catch up. The BFD earlier in the regatta meant I couldn't make any mistakes."

"I felt that I did as well as could given the circumstances. Brent sailed really well to stay in touch. It was a great contest. Now the focus is the Worlds in a few weeks time. It's going to be lots of fun."

Jackson finished the week with two eighth places. "Very tough day for me and a hard way to end a ten race series with my two worst results. I actually thought I sailed quite well but it was such a perfect light wind day, the under 80 kg sailors were just fast. They are all great sailors from the front to the back, so when they get their conditions, it is a great leveller."

"Roger was dominant. Over ten races he won seven. I thought my regatta management was good, but Roger was just better. But I was happy to finish in front of Brent and Tim as they are really tough to beat."

"I loved yesterday, not so much today. My gear is good and locked in, VYS Delfs, C-Tech mast and Turtle sails."

While the OK Dinghy nationals have ended, Black Rock YC has a few days respite before hosting the Ronstan Australian Finn Nationals next week, an event in which Jackson is also competing.

"I start the Finn Nationals on Tuesday. I am looking to take a few races off the top guys... just kidding. Finn sailing is fun for me. No expectations."

For the OK Dinghy fleet, next stop is the World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, which has attracted an entry of more than 110 boats. Around 20 Australian boats are now being packed in containers to send across the Tasman for the start of the championship in early February.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameSkipperClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1AUS749GrinchR BlasseBRYC11111211[13]312
2AUS768Out in the StreetM JacksonBlack Rock Yacht Clu22535122[8]830
3AUS754Gunboat DiplomatB WilliamsAdelaide Sailing Clu37329553[10]239
4AUS779GTT DaviesWASC652[42B]23886141
5AUS774Smokin' HotP RobinsonDSC109[22]57710123467
6AUS744Max PowerM HorvathBlack Rock YC731164869[22]1670
7AUS778Jimmy WongJ BevisSASC[30]1110731075121277
8AUS730Time OutM WilliamsBRYC & RGYC441441143[42F]231380
9AUS033cOKeS SmithSouthport Yacht Club11[20]4810914144781
10AUS776Space MonkeyG WakefieldDrummoyne SC151069121415[42F]11092
11AUS708Green Eggs and HamK HoldtSouthport Yacht Club[22]14810131317112593
12AUS719Dilligaf!!G WilliamsBig river saili g cl98191361111716[22]100
13AUS729IronhideA BlasseBRYC56[42U]42B86461824119
14AUS741Turkish DelightS WilsonBlack Rock Yacht Clu12151815211294[24]19125
15AUS678Ichy SphincterG McLennanBlack Rock Yacht Clu17161314[22]22182096135
16AUS735Think PositiveD DorazioBlack Rock Yacht Clu24[42U]72116231313149140
17AUS728BowfingerB AshtonBlack Rock Y C21171216141921[42C]1111142
18AUS756Made Near AustraliaN BennettBlack Rock YC8122011[42C]42C12101918152
19AUS766BundyB BuchananHuon Yacht Club13[22]1717151619212017155
20AUS758Monkey TrunksC VisickBRYC141815121820[33]172121156
21AUS782Dark & StormyD VincentSouthport Yacht Club161992017[27]16221723159
22AUS725Joan's RespiteD KetteridgeAdelaide Sialing Clu192416183324[42F]19514172
23AUS759Shades of GreyE WilliamsSouthport27212119191530[42F]715174
24AUS727tightsqueezeD WilliamsBlack Rock1813232623182315[37]20179
25AUS733Temporary AmnesiaR EkbergBRYC282924[31]252122182925221
26AUS784ToxicD WIDDYSouthport Yacht club23[42F]2622272528232528227
27AUS767Pleasure / PainA ThyrdDSC3127[36]28201720273526231
28AUS688ShakeyD HaseldineDSC2525302528[31]24162831232
29AUS755GREY MATTERS MooreBRYC2928252726263224[33]32249
30AUS77PlumD KurzBRYC26263523242825[42C]3135253
31AUS722Hot RodM FryTBA[38]353324303226262638270
32AUS706Smoke on the WaterE ThompsonSouthport3434313029[36]29283034279
33AUS777Chasing EndorphinsJ SammonsBlack Rock Yacht Clu35303733312927[42F]3227281
34AUS740BlueR FurneauxBlack Rock YC202329[42F]42F42C42C42C1533288
35AUS720FlashM FlavellBRYC[36]333434353331253636297
36AUS715Think BigL CromieBRYC33313232323035[42F]3837300
37AUS736The PhantomM WalkerDrummoyne373227[42F]36343442C3429305
38AUS685OK NakiE HutchesonSouthport Yacht Club39[42C]28293442F42F42C2730313
39AUS713Myuna bayK WilliamsonBlack rock yacht clu32363835373536[42C]3939327
40AUS717OFF KUTB SchofieldWASC40373936383737[42F]42F40346
41AUS732Squid gripB DowneySouthport yacht club[42C]42C42C42C42C42C42C42C42C42C378

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