Inlands @ Northampton
The OK Inland National Championship was hosted by Northampton Sailing Club sponsored by Harken and part of the HD Sails Inland Series
by Tony Woods
Despite the atrocious forecast a healthy turnout of 22 turned up to do battle at Northampton S.C, a club that is always in the Champions league as far as event organisation is concerned.
John Wayling (friend of the class) was our P.R.O. and his intentions were made clear with an early briefing and a get on with it attitude.
Conditions on the Saturday were attritional with gusts reaching 28 knots at times from various directions. The windward mark rounding was made difficult with 20 degree shifts in that area meaning no rest around the course.
The reaches were often exhilarating and the runs proved to be the undoing of many competitors.
John ran the Races back to back with a short break for calorie intake before two more back to back races after lunch.
By the end of close on Saturday Ed Bradburn and Richard Burton were tied for the lead. Fergus Barnham trailed in 3rd after a bad swim in Race 4. Simon Cowood, Tony Woods, and Alex Scoles weren’t far behind with Racing at close quarters the order of the day.
One of the Pre Event favourites Dave Bourne (usually assured in the breeze) retired to the club for an exhaustive and extensive debrief with his coach Captain Morgan.
Sunday morning brought lighter and warmer conditions with a programme of 3 races back to back. With the wind running right down the lake John was able to keep us away from the shoreline however the wind was shifty and patchy throughout the course. It wasn’t easy.
Ed Bradburn sailed impeccably throughout the day and managed the shifting conditions better than the rest of the fleet and deservedly took the Championship with some authority. Fergus Barnham took second overall and now in his third season in the boat looks a proper OK sailor. There’s surely more to come from him. Tony Woods took the last podium result in 3rd overall.
Richard Burton never quite mastered the lighter conditions of Sunday after a great Saturday performance slipping to 4th. The new slimline Simon Cowood took 5th overall and looks to be capturing some of his 2014 form.
Paul Scullion sailing the class demo boat achieved a very respectable 11th place. If you too would like to sail the demo boat please make contact with the OK association.
Thanks again to Northampton Sailing Club for being superb hosts and of course thank you to Harken for their support in helping underpin an excellent weekend.