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Great Britain, East Coast Windshift Classic 2012

The OK Dinghy East Coast Windshift Classic

15 September

Report by Dan Ager
Part one

A competitive fleet of 13 Oks including three of the top four from the recent national championships at the arrived at Ardleigh Sailing Club on Saturday 15th September for three races in generally light but extremely shifty conditions. There was a warning that the wind direction was not the best for Ardleigh. However Steve Eade managed to run three hotly contested races.

Jonathan Fish and Toby Ramsey pulled clear in the first race, swapping positions throughout. By the final mark Will Turner and Daniel Ager had caught up sufficiently to be able to attack Fish and Ramsey on the short final beat to the finish. Fish and Ager carried on and Ramsey and Turner tacked off. When the four boats re-converged, Fish who had been leading was unable to clear the starboard tack boats and tacked away. Ager ducked them and was able to cross the line in first having lost no time in having to tack again. All four boats crossed the line within a second of each other. Turner was second, Fish third and Ramsey after all his efforts an unlucky fourth.

The second race was led for the first round by Ager who then lost his way with the shifts. Fish and national champion Lee Child sailed through upwind. Managing to fall out of his boat on a particularly big header didn’t slow Child up too much. He finished second with Fish first and Robert Deaves third.

After a fantastic lunch of shepherds pie (and something for the vegetarians) followed by apple crumble and custard the final deciding race got underway. Will Turner, closely followed by Ager pulled away from the rest of the fleet. Will led until the end of the second beat when a bit more breeze and a favourable wind shift let Ager through who then pulled away to establish a comfortable lead. Child had caught up with Turner and for the next couple of laps they were racing for second and third. Will though is a canny sort as shown in the first race and with a couple of hundred yards to go split tacks with Child, with Lee sailing towards the direction of the finish line. Ager was less than fifty yards or so from the line in breeze. What could possibly go wrong for him? As it turned out, Will was able to cross ahead to win the race and the event, the result of the last race being all important. Ager finished second overall and Jonathan Fish third.

Ardleigh SC put on good days racing that was shared with the Enterprises. As always they provided a very friendly welcome and with a homemade lunch and tea included in the very reasonable entry it made for a day well spent.

Results Top 6 Part One
1GBR 2045Will Turner3
2GBR 2120Dan Ager3
3GBR 2152Jon Fish5
4GBR 2151Lee Child6
5GBR 2075Paul Contstable8
6GBR 2138Robert Deaves8
Part two

Part two of a weekend of open events on the east coast took place twenty five miles up the road at Waldringfield SC as part of the annual Cartoon Open meeting. An event shared with a multitude of other classes. A smaller fleet of OKs turned up to race in generally breezier, though still shifty conditions.

The start of race one saw the Lark fleet crossing though the start line perfectly in time with the OK start. Not ideal for either class. Lee Child and the Fish pulled out a comfortable lead. The key to success was to get through the traffic of the other fleets. This Lee did to best effect and pulled clear away to a comfortable win. Fish was a clear second and Robert Deaves never seriously challenged for third place.

The second race was started with no other fleets about. The beat to the windward mark saw Ager take the lead closely followed by Child. On a gusty downwind leg, those two pulled a long way clear of the rest of the fleet. Lee was ahead by the bottom mark. He decided to tack off straight away into the traffic. Ager carried on into clearer air. Lee then met a Squib coming across on starboard who took him across the other side of the river whilst Ager had sufficient room to duck and then be lifted to the next mark and into a comfortable lead that he held to the finish of a very short race. Lee was in no danger of losing second place and Deaves was third.

The final race could see the Fish, Ager or Child win the event. As it turned out Ager did not make much of an impression on the race. Deaves, Child, the Fish and Simon Cox arrived at the first mark in close company. From a personal point of view Simon will be fed up of seeing the transom of Fish and Child. Professionally however he must be very pleased that the hulls he built for them in his Synergy Marine workshop are proving to be so successful so quickly. It was again Fish and Child that opened up a good lead and it looked like Fish had the event in the bag until another Squib intervention by one of their backmarkers, on a reach with a strongly held conviction of “thou shalt not pass on my windward side”. Afterwards, Lee commented that he had “seen the madness in her eyes” and went low. This proved to be a winning move for the race and the event. Fish came in second in the race and overall. Deaves again had a third in the race but finished fourth overall. Third place went to Ager.

PosSailNoHelm NameR1R2R3TotalNett
12152Lee Child1.
22151Jonathan Fish2.
32120Dan Ager4.
42138Robert Deaves3.
52136Simon Cox7.
61966Tim O'Leary6.
72036Luke Farthing5.
82137Simon Shaw8.