Great Britain, Inland Chamionship 1999
Report and results courtesy Greg Casey.
The OK Inland Championships were hosted by the very friendly Burton SC on October 16 & 17. A healthy turnout of 30 boats enjoyed the usual OK scene of very close racing, varied conditions and plenty of beer & curry on Saturday evening!
Going into the event, it looked pretty open with the main contenders being reigning champion Nick Craig, dominant force of OK sailing in the 90s Hedley Fletcher and the in-form Dave Carroll and Gavin Waldron, both winners of recent open meetings.
Saturdays sailing was held in very light winds which were incredibly fickle. This made the racing at times frustrating but also very close as no-one could establish a clear lead without running out of wind and being caught again. In both races, the leading 3 boats had an incredibly close tussle with 20 tacks being exchanged in the battle for position on most beats.
In race 1, Craig, Carroll and Fletcher broke clear of the pack in that order. On the penultimate beat, Carroll found a gust & lift to pass Craig. They fought hard on the run with Carroll just coming on top from Craig & Fletcher. Former champion Terry Curtis was 4th after a close race with Alan Atkin and Dane Peter Wibroe.
In race 2, Mike Edwards, Carroll and Craig broke clear of the pack to battle for the lead. Edwards had great light wind speed and sailed an excellent race to get the better of Carroll and Craig as they engaged in a very close battle for 2nd, which Craig eventually won. Waldron in 4th kept threatening to catch the leading pack, followed by Fletcher & Wibroe.
So, Carroll and Craig were joint overnight leaders with Edwards in with a chance despite missing the 1st race due to the closure of the M6.
Sundays conditions were totally different, force 4-5 and sunny. Perfect weather! The wind stayed just as shifty as Saturday making racing testing. Carroll led the opening race from Craig with the chasing pack of Andy Rushworth, Fletcher, Waldron and Andy Turner in a very close battle. Craig got past Carroll and a massive gust for Craig on the reach turned a small lead to a massive one, Christmas had arrived early for Craig. Waldron led the chasing pack from Fletcher and Rushworth.
Going into the final race, Craig or Carroll could win with Craig holding a 1 point lead. Carroll got the better start but a good 1st beat from Craig put him 2nd with Carroll 6th. Craig overtook Fletcher on the run and held out the lead to take the Championship. Fletcher covered the chasing Waldron to hold 2nd and just beat Waldron for 3rd overall. Carroll fought back to 4th in front of Curtis and Rushworth.
- Nick Craig (Frensham Pond)
- Dave Carroll (Deben)
- Hedley Fletcher (Burton)
- Gavin Waldron (Upper Thames)
- Terry Curtis (Upper Thames)
- Andy Turner (Overy Staithe)
1st Lady: Mary Reddyhoff (Parkstone)