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OKs at Weymouth 1999

3rdWorlds Qualifier

The OKs had their 3rd World Qualifier on 16-17th April at Weymouth Sailing Centre. The qualifier was held in light and shifty offshore winds which made for close racing with constant place changes.

For the 1st race, there was a force 2 dying right off in the later stages. Nick Craig led from start to finish but was pushed hard by Greg Casey, showing good speed in his new Rushworth hull, and Peter Wibroe, visiting from Denmark. Hedley Fletcher found new wind on the last run and used it skillfully to snatch 2nd just before the finish.

The wind increased to force 3 for the 2nd race but remained incredibly shifty. A 40 degree shift 1 minute after the start meant everyone at the favoured pin end were buried. Gavin Waldron led from Craig and Alan Price at the 1st mark. After a lot of place changes in the shifty wind, Craig won from Andy Turner. Hedley Curtis and Fletcher pulled through the fleet all race whilst having a private duel which Curtis just won. Price sailed an excellent race to hold onto 7th place.

Race 3 was the closest held in a shifty force 2. 7 different people led the race. Wibroe thought he had it in the bag, went to the finish only to find there was another lap, allowing Waldron to take the lead. The last beat saw another 4 different leaders! Craig eventually won from Casey, Turner and Waldron.

Race 4 was held in similar conditions. Craig led all the way but was pushed by Curtis initially until he got on the wrong side of a big shift allowing Fletcher to come through to 2nd followed by Curtis and Casey. Junior sailor Will Turner held his own amongst the experienced front runners to finish in an excellent 5th place.

1Nick CraigFrensham Pond
2Hedley FletcherBlithfield
3Greg CaseyWhitstable
4Gavin WaldronUpper Thames
5Andy TurnerArdleigh
6Hedley CurtisUpper Thames
1 JuniorWill TurnerArdleigh
1 LadyMary ReddyhoffParkstone