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K1 Inland Championships at Datchet Water Sailing Club

by Ian Duke 14 Mar 15:47 GMT 11-12 March 2023

Competitors made their way to Datchet Water for the first class open meeting of the 2023 season. Simon Hawkes, the current K1 National Champion, started as the firm favourite having recently won a Selden Sailjuice event. The weather forecast was for force 3 to 4 winds all weekend rising to force 5 later on Sunday afternoon. The wind gods did not disappoint and all races got away as scheduled.

As a warm up event a series of sprint races were held on Friday afternoon. Maybe this would give a clue to how results would unfold on the weekend. With two legs to go in the final race it was still anyones to win and congratulations go to Ben Hawkes who won 2.1.1. Ian Duke 1.2.3. and Mike Becket 3.3.2

Saturday dawned grey with a shifting breeze from the south west. George Hoskins Race Officer set sausage triangle courses and the event was under way. It quickly became apparent that this would be a family affair with the top two places being dominated by Simon and his son Ben Hawkes. They were kept honest in the first race by Jeremy Hudson and Ian Duke in pursuit.

Race two saw Richard Sims with his new Ovington K1 take good advantage of two significant shifts and whilst Ben slipped into the lead, Richard maintained excellent speed and tactics to stay ahead of Simon for 2nd place. This result would prove decisive at the end of the 6 races. By the end of day 1 Ben was leading with 2 wins and a second and Simon with a 1.2.3.

The fleet retired to The Ostrich in Colnbrook to watch a lacklustre performance from England in the rugby against France followed by an excellent meal with lots of banter and dodgy origami. Much discussion was around the history of this coaching inn which has recorded over 60 murders in its history and we were all relieved to see Richard Sims arrive safely for the second day's races.

Sunday started with winds at the lower end of the forecast. Refreshed from the previous night's fun, Graham Butler showed great speed on the left hand side of the course gaining two third places behind a resurgent Simon who took two first places ahead of Ben.

Race 5 was one of the closest K1 races, with positions changing frequently and Graham leading for a good proportion of the race and Simon back in 5th place at one point. With just the last race to run Simon and Ben were on an equal 8 points and the winner would be decided on the last race.

On cue the wind increased and the fleet enjoyed fast planning reaches on the trapezoid course. A fabulous win by Ben closely followed by Simon meant the weekends honours went to the younger Hawkes

After the event Simon spoke with our still working reporter (Lineker weekend), "Well done my boy. Kronenburg and Ibuprofen for me. I hope you hurt a bit. I am shattered. Great fun with all the fleet. What a nice bunch of people."

The next K1 Open Event is at Carsington 16th April. More details at

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