Bigger than Bermuda
The first event took place in the OK North Super Series at Rutland SC on the weekend of the 24th and 25th of June. 21 OK’s arrived with old and new faces, both physically and metaphorically speaking.
Day 1 Race 1;
Tony Woods made his intentions perfectly clear, having been the runner up last year, sailing a faultless race to take a big lead and the first bullet of the weekend. 2nd place was decided at the last mark as Richard ‘Burt’ Burton mistook the last mark for the finish mark and promptly let, current Inland Champion, Ed Bradburn take 2nd and Tony Rich 3rd.
Ian Hopwood made an appearance and the front this time and managed to gain clear air on the reaches and left everyone else scrapping for position. Dave Bourne got the better of Bradburn for 2nd this time and Burt had to settle for 4th again.
In race 3 it became apparent that 3 races where going on. While Burt lead by a margin from Woods at the top mark a small group sailed the wrong course allowing Hopwood to figure out the correct course from the back. Hopwood won the race with Tony Rich 2nd and Duncan Ellis in 3rd.
Unfortunately this reporter didn’t see much of race 4 after some gear failure but it looked very exciting with Bradburn picking up the win to lead overnight. Bourne nabbed 2nd and Fergus Barnham managed to work out how to sail an OK to get 3rd closely followed by Oliver Davenport in the class association boat sponsored by HD, Idol Composites and Foxes yachts.
With a typical OK social underway from the moment the sailors hit the shore, sore heads were expected in the morning.
Oliver Davenport lead round the first lap of the race only to be overtaken by Burt on the second beat, who must have had a point to prove and extended for the win. Woods eked past Oli and was a firm second at the bottom of the run and Bourne was ever catching on the beat, however, he was held off by Oli to the finish.
With the shifts becoming increasingly big Woods lead convincingly again all the way to the finish with Fergus Barnham creeping into and impressive 2nd and Bradburn passing Bourne on the reach for the finish.
Tony Rich, obviously enjoying his new Idol 1, sailed and excellent race to take the bullet however he was constantly hunted down by Duncan Ellis and a host of other boats. Ellis took second and Bradburn and Woods sailed round Burt on opposite sides of the beat to finish 3rd and 4th.
Everything was left to play for. Bradburn and Woods could both win but Woods would need a bit of luck on his side. Hopwood, Bourne and Burt could all be 3rd depending on the outcome of the race.
Bourne lead round the top mark with Hopwood in 2nd and Burt in 3rd, after some devious tactics from Burt forcing Hopwood to gybe (hysterically, he must still be getting used to the boat or something) Burt was right behind Bourne. Ellis had other ideas storming up the beat into 2nd Woods and Bradburn also made and appearance on the last run next to Burt (it was very deja vu from the previous Inlands). But, Woods took Bradburn high in an attempt to take the regatta allowing Barnham through. Dave took line honours but with no hoot… Ellis was 1st! and Burt 2nd with Barnham finishing in style for 3rd.
Bradburn sailed a very consistent regatta to take his second Inland title and Woods had to settle for 2nd, Burt completed the podium after a disastrous Saturday.
Hopwood held onto 4th and Tony Rich finished 5th. But what happened to Bourne? Bourne had been a bit eager on the final start line forcing him to count and 11th and ending up 9th overall showing how close the racing is throughout the fleet. 15 year old Hugo Burrows finished a respectable 13th (1st Junior) with fellow WOSC sailor Joe Scarborough completing all the races in challenging conditions for someone who weighs half as much as some of his competitors.
A big thank you to Rutland SC team for the hospitality and racing and it’s great to see so much youthful enthusiasm in the class.