The next most relevant big event on the calendar is the UK nationals, being held in the east of England out on the end of the Thames estuary. With the UK fleet having sent a big contingent to the recent Europeans they’ve got a good idea of where they sit in the pecking order at the moment (2 in the top 10 but none in the top 3). With a few other hot boats expected to join in the event it’ll be interesting to see where they land compared to the fleet stalwarts.
Rest of Event Preview Report from UK OK Dinghy Association – written by Lee Childs.
Dabchicks Sailing Club on Mersea Island, Essex will play host to the International OK Dinghy National Championship from 16-19 August. It is the fourth time the club has hosted the event in the past two decades and it is lining up to be one of the most competitive class championships for many years.
The club was founded in 1911 and has developed a great reputation for running top events, as well as producing many top sailors, so the class expects some fantastic racing over the four days next week.
With the Brits taking a bit of a beating at the European Championships three weeks ago in Steinhude at the hands of the Danes, Germans and Poles, attention now turn sharply to the National title for the UK fleet.
Former World Champion Jim Hunt, who has been consistent all season probably leads the charge. He is still seeking his first UK National title in the OK Dinghy, but he wont have it easy. Class regulars include defending champion, Robert Deaves, three times champion, Terry Curtis, 2012 champion, Lee Child and Will Turner who was 10th in Steinhude. These, and several others, may fancy their chances if they can string a decent series together in the 7 races that will count from 8.
In addition, the strong line will be joined by top talent in the form of Charlie Cumbley and Andy Couch. Couch, the current Phantom National Champion, likes the breeze, tends to go the right way uphill and could feature strongly. He finished as runner up in 2009 to Curtis, at Dabchicks. For Cumbley, it is his first OK Dinghy Nationals. He comes fresh from winning the Solo Nationals last week at Brightlingsea just 4 miles away at the other end of Mersea Island.
With 35-40 boats expected by the organisers, and with the long term forecast showing plenty of wind, the 2014 National Championship should get off to a great start. The reduced entry fee of £70 ends on Monday and thereafter goes up to just £80 for four days of racing. Dabchicks Sailing Club is famous for its great hospitality and the class is eagerly anticipating another great event both on and off the water.
Event website: www.dabchicks.org/ok_2014nationals.html
text: Lee Childs, photos: Euro2014