Terry Curtis wins OK inland championship at Oxford
A total of 26 OKs arrived to Farmoor reservoir for this year’s inlands and final world qualifier at Oxford SC on 11-12 September.
In the first race fleet got away after one general recall. By the time a few big shifts had come down the course Terry Curtis and Andy Rushworth were showing their skills to lead before Andy displayed his capsizing ability. The chasing pack led by Andy & Will Turner and J-P Williams had a tussle for second leaving Terry comfortable out front. J-P took second in a photo-finish from Jon Fish who’d sneaked through up the last beat.
At the first mark of race 2, team Turner had a 1-2-3 whilst Rushworth and Curtis both had poor beats and had work to do to pull through. However, with the help of some large shifts, good speed and some upside-down action from Will Turner, Curtis came through for a second win with Rushworth just behind and Pete Turner third.
In race three the heavily favoured pin end became a tangle of boats as Andy and Pete Turner tacked / capsized on the line creating chaos. Fish extracted himself from the mess to lead from Curtis and Rushworth at the top mark. Curtis pinned Fish at the second windward mark to take first. Fish inspected his centreboard down the run, leaving Rushworth to chase Curtis. After a couple of lead swaps, Curtis took his third win of the day. Gavin Waldron came back from the start chaos to claim third and Will Turner fourth.
After a small delay, race four got underway on Sunday morning in a building breeze. Curtis got nailed on the start line, tacked out, picked up ‘a gift’ and just led from Waldron and Williams at the top mark. Fish pulled through to second before some big breeze took Williams out of contention down the run. Fish and Waldron stayed upright to finish in 2nd and 3rd behind Curtis who had kept his dominant form from the day before.
After the hectic first four races, the fleet drifted for half of race five! Terry Curtis won the race, and with it the event with Waldron and Rushworth tussling for second all the way to the finish. Stuart Williams marked his improving OK talents by taking fourth and also the first junior prize.
For the final race, the wind was back with a vengeance. Rushworth led Curtis at the top mark and both motored off downwind, gaining a decent lead over the chasing pack (due to gybe mark ‘issues’). On the second run, both decided that swimming was easier than sailing, allowing Fish through to first with JP on his tale. JP sailed through when Fish capsized; only to see his massive lead come crashing down with a breaking carbon mast. Fish came through to win from Gavin Waldron with Andy Turner third (and first veteran).
The overall winner was Terry Curtis with five bullets, from the consistent Gavin Waldron.