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WINTER 2008/9



CHAIRMANS REVIEW 2008 The Last Word (or not!) from Mike Edwards


HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2009 Andy Turner’s reminder of some key dates for the year


WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP Mike Edwards reports on the first major event 2009


VINTAGE OK SAILING 2008 Colin Page reviews the Vintage Champs and the year at large


THE UK’S TRIBUTE TO BASIL CROSBY Robert Deaves reports on Basil’s nomination to the OK Hall of Fame


OKDIA NEWS Mary Reddyhoff’s roundup of International OK Issues


CARAVAN TO THE WORLDS Deryck Lovegrove recalls his trip to Warnemünde


COMPLETELY OK Some reflections on Robert Deaves’ OK-fest


THE WORLD’S TOP 5 VENUES Nick Craig’s take on yachting’s recent vote


I THOUGHT SAFFRON WAS A SPICE Roy Burnham is a lone GB at the French Open


AN OK FAREWELL Roger Cooper’s tribute to Jim Howden And an invitation to be part of UTSC’s Bourne End Week 2009

FRONT COVER: A very dapper Basil Crosby modelling the latest in OK Sweaters circa 1970 REAR COVER: A much missed Jim Howden returning to Salcombe 06.08.2007 EDITORS:

Peter Bessey <> Richard Battey <>

PUBLISHED BY: IOKDBCA, The Shelling, Gong Lane, Burnham Overy Staithe, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 8JG 2 WINTER 2008/9

CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW 2008 Mike Edwards writes

I would just like to kick off my ramble by welcoming all of the new members that have joined the UK OK Dinghy Association either during 2008, or so far this year. There are a good number of you, so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to name you all and forgetting someone – but welcome! Whilst on the subject of membership, I would just like to share a few statistics with you, which I believe shows that the OK class is on the up. During the three year period from 2003 – 2005 we averaged 4 new members each year. Since then the numbers have increased with 12 new members in 2006, 10 in 2007, 13 in 2008 and so far in 2009 already 6 in the month of January alone. These figures are very encouraging I am sure you will all agree. So, we are experiencing a credit crunch and now recession and I am sure that you are all feeling the pinch! The OK Class has of course been through this scenario before during it’s long history and has come out fighting. I myself have had to consider whether I can afford to buy a new sail and whether I should go to the World Championships in Sweden in July. I have qualified which is half the battle and I have a burning desire to go to Kalmar and compete as part of the GBR Team. But, I have made the decision not to go! I know there are others that have qualified but are not intending to go, so this does leave the door open for others. So, if you would like to go to Sweden in July or New Zealand in early February 2010 please contact Andy Turner asap. To experience your first international OK event is something else and then when you experience your first OK World Championships, you just can’t wait for the next one. For those of you that have been lucky enough to have done this, you know exactly how I feel. Having gone through all this mental turmoil I have found myself considering what is really important in OK terms. Yes, the international competitions are amazing and if you ever have the opportunity to experience this you should grasp it with both hands. However, what drives and maintains the success and the standard of international competition in the OK class are the domestic fleets. So, I have come to the conclusion that what happens domestically across the globe is more important. If we didn’t have a competitive, friendly and enjoyable UK circuit, would I be sailing the OK? Maybe not! So, I look at my fellow UK competitors, friends and Neil and consider the great racing and fun we have and not going to the Worlds in Sweden doesn’t seem so bad. I am now into my third and final year as Chairman and it has been a lot of work, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I look back at 2007 and what a terrific year that was with the 50th Anniversary the highlight. But last year for me and I hope for you, also brought me much joy. It kicked off with a very successful Dinghy Show of which the best bit for me was watching Neil polish my new boat…he, he!! I believe we raised the

bar again, with a very professional stand. It is vital that we not only maintain but increase our efforts in promoting the OK Dinghy. We are always open to ideas as to how we can best do this, so if you have any please let us know. There was a great deal of interest in my beautiful new Idol Composite boat built by our very own Alex Scoles. This certainly helped to draw in the crowds and Alex came away with a few orders to boot. There were a few more juniors/youths buying OKs and joining the fleet last year and two more this year so far, which is great for the future of the class. Some achieved great results last year and every one of you improved, so keep it up guys! Now you need to save your money and/or bribe the parents and come to Medemblik in late April early May. This regatta is fantastic! It’s in Holland, so easy enough to get to, the sailing is top draw and the social side is the best (as long as Specky is drinking that is!). Medemblik is also a great way to get a taster of international competition. The entry fee is usually 30-40 euros and there is free camping on site, so what are you waiting for? The National Championship was finally won by Terry Curtis which was a very popular win with everyone and very, very overdue. Although Nick Craig couldn’t compete as he had committed to sailing one of his ladyboy boats, he lent his boat to an equally formidable opponent and ex OK World Champion Jim Hunt. Well, I had no doubt who was going to win and he never looked like losing it…..this one was Terry’s. Another highlight of the championships was Keith Byers winning a race after many years of trying and to make it extra special it was his birthday too. So, even taking his considerable age into account, he still got thrown in after coming ashore. I will also never forget asking young Ben Steel and Sam Preston after a gruelling first day in Parkstone, if they had enjoyed it. They were so knackered neither of them could speak (thanks Tony for stepping in). What impressed me most though, was that neither of them was fazed with the prospect of a 45 minute sail to the start, three races in a decent breeze then the sail home. We didn’t manage to make that magic number of 50+ entries, which is where we should be consistently every year when you look at our membership. We just need a few more of you to make the effort. We managed to gain a sponsorship for the second year running in the form of Rooster Sailing, who provided plenty of excellent prizes. A lot of time and effort goes into landing a sponsor, plus having one also helps to raise our profile. But I also hope it makes a difference to you, knowing that you can potentially win a prize. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mary Reddyhoff for liaising with Parkstone YC and doing much of the organisation for the event. A GBR Team of 18 ventured off to the World Championships in Warnemünder, Germany in July, where our very own Nick Craig relinquished his recent

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dominance of the top spot to Karl Purdie from New Zealand. It has to be said that Karl deserved to win and did it with such professionalism. Nick did push him in the end as the pressure started to get to Karl, but he held on with Nick second and Andre Blasse from Australia third. Terry Curtis achieved his best ever Worlds finish in eighth and a total of eleven of the GBR Team finished in the top 50…..well done guys! The social side was as to be expected with a few injuries on the night before the first day….will we ever learn? Terry managed to fall over down some steps, whilst we were in search of a late night snack. The result was one of his ankles grew to twice its normal size and turned a hideous blue and black colour. Terry then shut my thumb in a door as I helped him out of the toilets, resulting in a similar increase in size and discolouration. How Terry went onto sail and come eighth is beyond me! Probably thanks to Mary’s excellent first aid! This night also provided us more hardened social animals with an opportunity to break in the two juniors in tow, namely Ed Dutton and Jake Cracknell. Well they took to the challenge like ducks to water and then it all went wrong. It was funny to watch, although some of the Kiwis didn’t see it like that. That was until Jake managed to knock a table over with about 35 beers on it! He was then sent to bed! The boys redeemed themselves by both sailing really well with Ed finishing 64th and Jake 78th out of 90 boats. Both had a race finish in the early 40s which shows the potential. On the open meeting circuit last year, 80 OK sailors turned up to one or more event, which is one down on last year. It’s a shame not to have increased this number from 2007, but it encourages me to know that there are 80 OK sailors out there willing to compete at an open meeting or championship. There must be plenty more of you out there to add to this number. I am sure if you try it you will love it! The Travellers Trophy was yet again won by Terry Curtis (it’s becoming boring!!), in the form of his life (many years to compare this one to!). I came second (if only I had as many passes as Terry), Alex Scoles third and Julian Burnham having a great year in fourth. Neil, Neil where are you!? I hope to see you all out there again in 2009 and would encourage you to come to as many events as possible. Practice makes perfect! Towards the end of the season we staged the Youth & Junior Championships for the first time in many years. The promotion started at the Dinghy Show and in the end we managed a fleet of 18 boats which was just short of the target, but still terrific! A good number of boats had been generously lent out to the juniors for the day and the standard was impressive. Experienced OK sailors were on hand all day to coach and pass on tips and this certainly paid off. The racing was close and exciting and it all came down to the final leg of the last race. The winner by half a boat length was the talented Will Croxford from South Staffs, just pipping Young Midlands Region Sailor of the Year, Adam Parry to the post. We videoed some of the racing and at the end of the day the great Nick Craig then led a debrief session in front of the telly, offering

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praise and tips to the attentive audience. A lot of work and effort went into arranging this day and I must thank in particular Bill Bradburn for his efforts. I hope we can all make an effort and continue to support and make this event happen every year. It can only help in promoting the class to younger sailors and has resulted in two of last year’s competitors buying OKs. This year’s Youth & Junior Championships is being hosted by Burton SC on Saturday 13th June, followed by an open meeting on the Sunday. Please sign up on the website to offer your boat for the day? There will be a social on the Saturday night and free camping on site. The class have been breeding too! Julian & Tanya Burnham gave birth (well Tanya did) to little Felix just before the New Year……congratulations guys! Tony & Jo Rich are expecting there second child in May (I think). And Nick Craig finally got to grips with lurrrv making and he and Emma are expecting twins….yes twins in June! God help us…...poor Emma……what if they are both boys and look like Nick? Ahhhhhh!! Finally, I would like to thank my committee for all their hard work and efforts last year. A special thank you to Simon Shaw as he stepped down after many years as Class Treasurer in the summer and welcome to Paul Pike who steps into the role fuelled by Carol’s wonderful cakes. And of course, Homer Goodhead (Vice) for his continued support. All the best and wishing you all great sailing for 2009 Mike

Terry Curtis National Champion 2008 and his ever-growing collection, much pondered upon by Mike in his Review of the season’s activities

SECRETARY’S MEMO Andy Turner reminds

A very big welcome to you all for the new season. As part of a great Fixture List for 2009 organised by Tony Rich, I would like to highlight some key dates: Medemblik Spring Cup - April 30 to May 3 A favourite meet at a great venue. Sign up on the website Forum via Dave Cooper’s link. UK National Championships - Aug 28 to 31 4 days at Dabchicks SC, West Mersea, Essex over the Bank Holiday weekend. Training Day Aug 27. If you can loan a boat for this, then let us know. There is a growing list of potential borrowers from other classes. World Championships 2010 - Jan 31 to Feb 14 Hosted in Wellington, New Zealand. This will come very quickly after this year’s Champs at Kalmar in Sweden July. So to find a place for your boat in the shipping container, let me know soon. When filled, the back up may be via a German container.

WINTER CHAMPIONSHIPS 2009 Mike Edwards reports (again!)

What a glorious day!! On Saturday the 21st February the re-scheduled International OK Dinghy Winter Championship took place at Oxford SC. The snow had forced the planned event to be postponed two weeks ago. What a contrast, with glorious sunshine and warm temperatures all day. Twenty four sailors managed to rearrange their diaries and make it to Farmoor reservoir, to be warmly greeted by club members and bacon rolls. The wind was not up to much when people started to arrive, but by the first start there was enough for everyone to sit on the side deck.

Race 2 – After being fully catered for by the galley staff and with a little more wind, everyone seemed very keen to begin race 2, with a general recall the inevitable outcome. The black flag went up and claimed one casualty in newcomer to the fleet Simon Davis. At the port end, Fish, Keith Dutton and Edwards made perfect starts. Craig managed to fall out of his boat at the top of the beat which allowed Dutton to reach the windward mark first followed by Curtis and Dan Ager. Again, the racing was tight throughout the fleet and picking the shifts was all important. Rounding the final mark, Curtis had gained command which he held to the finish from Ager and the recovering Craig. Dutton came in fourth, with Alex Scoles finding some form in fifth place. Race 3 – So, as they lined up for the final race the title was still up for grabs. The wind had increased a little more and it was Curtis who rounded first from

Race 1 – Got underway first time with Tony Woods, Mike Edwards and Nick Craig popping out ahead of the rest. However, the first beat proved extremely shifty and it was young Richard Burton who led at the windward mark, closely followed by Woods, Chris Murray, Nick Craig, Jon Fish, Neil Goodhead and Terry Curtis. This group managed to pull away from the rest and places changed a lot in the shifty conditions. Eventually Craig hit the front, but had to fight hard to stay there and at the finish Craig took the bullet just from Woods relishing the light wind in second. Goodhead pulled through for third from Fish and Burton.

Edwards, Dutton and Craig. Craig then moved ahead of Dutton downwind. The front three pulled out a little gap and on the run Edwards took the lead. The front three swapped places up the tricky beat and as they started the last leg to the finish Curtis had a slim advantage over the other two. Approaching the finish, Curtis and Edwards were neck and neck, with Curtis just taking the gun from Edwards and Craig third. Dutton held a comfortable fourth from Goodhead, who had pulled through after being down the pan initially. So, it was Terry Curtis who walked away with the title of Winter Champion, with Nick Craig having to settle for second and Mike Edwards in third. Our thanks must go to the team at Oxford for rescheduling the event so quickly and for their fine organization and hospitality. Mike

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AN OK VINTAGE YEAR 2008 Colin Page reviews the year’s results

2008 was the 2nd year when Vintage OK’s were recognised and there was a sprinkling of Vintage boats in most of the OK Open meetings, throughout the year. This year a Vintage boat was defined as built before 1983 (25yrs ago) and with a sail number of 1989 or less.

Well, the Opens for 2008 are now over. boats built in 1984 will be eligible.

Next year

1984 was not a good year for new OK’s, only 5 were built. That means that those helms with sail numbers 1994 or less can compete as Vintage boats.

Vintage Traveller Trophy - Final Results


Scoring: The points are awarded for every boat you beat at an event plus one. So if there are ten boats competing in an event, the winner scores ten, the second boat nine and so on down to the last boat who scores one point. Winter Champ

WSC Burton Egg No Vintage




J. Grogan



Julian Burnham

1944 (Felph)


Alex Hobern Lewis Fairbrother



Keith Macauley


Chris Murray


Sam Preston


Tim O'Leary


Ben Woodcraft


Vanessa Pilon


Paul Church


Tom Preston


Colin Page


David Taylor


S. Woods


G. Pilgrim


J. Archer


A. Price


D. Finlayson


Oliver. Shaw





Overy SSC




6 16




S.Staffs SC




18 3




13 14





8 8



7 6



5 5



2 2 1







4 4

3 1

59 23




No Vintage

Richard Burton




In October, the Vintage Boat championships were held at South Staffs Sailing Club. 5 out of the 29 boats at the Open there, were Vintage boats. This year a separate “Travellers Trophy” results sheet was run for the Vintage Boats (shown above) and at the end of the season, the winner was John Ball, with 63pts. John’s placing was mostly thanks to good results at the Winter Championship, together with Felpham and Dabchicks. John was closely followed by Richard Burton, with 59pts. Richard attended 6 Open meetings, including the National, Inlands and the Vintage Championships.

3 3


2 2


This is not always seen as beneficial. Last year Keith Byers in OK1985 was going to become eligible, but over the winter he made sure he quickly purchased a newer boat (2084)! See you next year. If any members with vintage boats wish to contact me, my email address is I look forward to hearing from you. Colin Page OK 1927

Weather-wise, this year has been a year of contrasts. The year started for me, in the sleet (Saturday) and snow (Sunday) at Burton Sailing Club. Then we had weeks of very light winds where, at my local club, I desperately tried to make headway against the tide. Then the year ended with high winds at nearly every Open meeting. In the intervening weekends there was a lovely breeze at my local club. There were good turnouts of Vintage boats at the Winter Championships, Upper Thames, the National, and the Vintage Championships. I would like to thank all the Vintage boat helms for making the effort to attend the Opens. Often it takes them a lot of effort to get their boats to the events, and things do not always go smoothly when they are sailing, with both minor and major failures of fittings.

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Richard Burton OK 1774 at Hunstanton Photo: Ian Holland


South Staffs October 9 2008 The Vintage boat championship, for this year, was combined with the Open at South Staffs Sailing Club (near Cannock). The day started with a cold, but pleasant, southerly wind. But as the day progressed, the wind increased, so by the third race some helms were struggling (and I had decided during Race 2 that I wasn’t having “fun”).

Race 3: Richard made a good start, but went to the wrong mark (a fate that also happened to Nick Craig – was Richard following him?). Due to this Richard fell back to 5th from last, while Chris Murray was 10th. But unfortunately Chris’s mast step exploded at the gybe mark, and whilst he managed to capsize it, to reduce the strain, the bottom of the mast was poking through the side of the hull. Poor Chris got a lot of sympathy from those of us who have suffered similarly. After a poor first 2 legs, Richard managed to make ground on Keith. Richard’s upwind speed was better than Keith’s. But Keith’s offwind speed was marginally better than Richard’s. After a tussle for two laps, Richard managed to get ahead of Keith and finished 1st Vintage boat (13th overall) Looking back at the races, Richard was just happy not to capsize. The same cannot be said for me and many others in the races, as the wind speed increased.

For the Vintage boat the event was won by Richard Burton (1774), with Chris Murray (1728) second. (The actual Open was won by Nick Craig). Race 1: Richard had a poor start, as he tried a newer sail, but he ended 2nd Vintage boat to Keith Macauley (1980), who was a long way ahead. Richard thought he may have trouble beating him in the two other races, but Richard was happy to beat his nemesis, Ed Dutton and even more pleased to beat the person who kindly towed his boat there, Chris Murray, who was in the oldest boat 1728.

During lunch South Staffs had organised a Councours d'Elegance contest for the smartest Vintage boat at the Vintage Championships. The prize was won by Keith Macauley who certainly had a beautifully presented boat (I tried to hide mine at the back of the dinghy park). Thank you to South Staffs, who were their usual very friendly selves, including the ladies behind the counter who kept us well stocked with food and drink. Thanks also to Bill Bradburn who had organised the event and the prizes.

Race 2: Richard got a good start and was 10th in the fleet, round the 1st mark, and leading Vintage boat. He lost one place during the race but ended up 10th in the fleet and first vintage boat

OK 1586 Photo: Burton Race Team And finally thank you, to all those who attended the Championships. After the light winds of the 2007 Championships, this was an event to test the strong winds techniques Colin Page OK 1927 OKs 1774 & 1963 Photo: Oxford Race Team

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Robert Deaves now famed as our Class Historian, informs on a timely initiative The British OK Dinghy Class Association is nominating Basil Crosby to the OKDIA Hall of Fame. Basil Crosby’s role in the establishment and ultimate success of the OK Dinghy as an international class cannot be overstated. He was one of the founders of OKDIA in 1962 and was also secretary of the British OK Dinghy Class Association at the same time. Through his company Crosby Doors and his able and ever willing secretary Jean Smith, Basil tended to virtually every need of the fledging international Association as it embarked on the lengthy process to establish the class worldwide as a serious International dinghy class. Basil was a member of Frensham Pond Sailing Club and was encouraged by fellow sailor Richard Hart (the first UK National Champion in 1961) to take on the role of British Class Secretary when the job became too large for one man, Richard Creagh-Osborne, who up to that point had done almost everything for the OK Class within the UK. Basil took on the role with a certain amount of trepidation and the class began to amass a large following. In 1962 when several class associations around the world decided to apply for international status from the then IYRU, Basil represented the UK at a meeting in Veerse Meer in Holland. There he was nominated as the first secretary of the newly formed OK Dinghy International Association and he held this post until his untimely death in an air crash 11 years later in November 1973. Sadly, he died before all his work to secure international status had been realised. The class didn't finally receive international status until

Basil Crosby - right - seen here with Sven Jacobsen, first OK World Champion at Maubuisson France in 1963 1975. In short, without the enthusiasm and dedication of Basil Crosby, assisted by Jean Smith, the OK Dinghy would not be the class it became and the class we all know today. Every dedicated OK Dinghy sailor owes Basil Crosby a debt of gratitude. His selfless


Mary Reddyhoff today’s successor to Basil Crosby, rounds up her role OKDIA Secretary - What do I do? After just over a year in post, I am beginning to have an understanding of what is involved, and I am becoming proactive rather than reactive to the activities that need to be undertaken. I see the role as largely liaison and co-ordination. OKDIA As one of the officers, my name, address and email appear on the OKDIA website. It is surprising how often I receive communication from people outside of the known countries. For example, I am keeping my fingers crossed that correspondence with an enthusiast in Brazil results in another fleet of OKs and yes, we are looking forward to a World Championship in Rio de Janeiro!

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Winter The work is definitely seasonal; at the moment I am preparing a newsletter that I will distribute to the National Secretaries, it carries news updates since the AGM in July. With this goes a query form that updates me on numbers of members in each country, boat builders, sail makers and other information that is required by ISAF to confirm our international status and to keep their website information current. From this data a subscription invoice is raised, payable to OKDIA that is proportional to the size of membership, some of which is forwarded to ISAF, our subscription to them. In return, the National Secretaries receive from me the stickers that you put on your dinghy as receipt of your subscription to IOKDBCA. Over the winter new boats are being built, their measurement is endorsed by a builder’s plaque that I

buy from ISAF, and then send to National Secretaries as they request purchase for more.

measurement issues – this is an easy job, I just forward it to the Technical sub-committee!

This is the time when all the final preparations for the next World Championships occur: NOR, SIs, camping, allocation of Worlds places for each country, agenda items for the AGM, etc.

Other organisations I am never quite sure what to expect when I open up my email. I receive a number of electronic newsletters, which I skim for relevant information. I get my fair selection of spam that penetrates my filter, but the best are the occasional emails from people who used to sail OKs, reminiscing on the past, or those who are wishing to start sailing an OK. I always supply as much information as I can so the Class is seen as enthusiastic, welcoming and active. For example, in the summer I received an email from a gentleman in USA expressing a wish to build a wooden OK. I put him in touch with the USA National Secretary, an exchange of correspondence ensued and the USA OK Dinghy fleet has started to blossom again!

Summer By April, the bulk of the preparation for the season is done for the Northern Hemisphere, but the Southern Hemisphere is just finishing its season, so emails are more common from them. All this activity provides the framework of information that needs to be disseminated at the AGM at the next Worlds, the agenda for which is published in May. Prior to departure to the Worlds, I need to make sure all trophies are returned, there are sufficient ties and medals, the Hall of Fame names have been agreed and the timetabling of all this is in the World’s social activities. In-between-times the OKDIA committee keep in regular contact through email. ISAF Periodically I receive correspondence from ISAF that requires a response. Some of this is routine; occasionally we enter into dialogue about

Election The OKDIA committee is (re)elected every two years. The post of Secretary, therefore, can be contested in 2009. Generally, however, the post is seen as one that changes hands after multiples of two years, owing to the knowledge that needs to be acquired to carry out the job. I would like to remain in post, however, if you have a burning ambition to become Secretary, please let me know! Mary Reddyhoff


Deryck & Lorraine Lovegrove recount their personal travel experience After attending my first Worlds in Poland without the wife last year. Things were slightly different this year!!!!!! When plans were being made for Warnemünde. Lorraine decided she would like to come and see what all the fuss is about at these great events.

Now to pitch our caravan with space being very limited, we were lucky to find a little corner for our large vehicle.

We purchased a new caravan last year having sold our folding camper which we used for the Europeans in France 2006. Going to Germany was our first trip abroad with the new van. After an overnight sailing from Harwich to Hook of Holland, in a captain’s class cabin - well worth the extra money (double bed, mini bar, TV etc), we were on our way to Warnemünde A very tiring day, rain, more rain, traffic jam after traffic jam. Plus we only stopped once for a late breakfast, arriving in Warnemünde late on in the evening. The nightmare was only just beginning: Not quite sure where to go, we ended up on the beach?????? Anyway after getting directions we headed back the way we came. Unfortunately we were driving back up a one way street, but we just thought the Germans were being friendly waving to us. I think they were getting angry. The English are coming……the wrong way? Finally we are nearly there after reversing a couple of times and some tight manoeuvres, - we found the OK FIELD.

Warnemünde harbour - in busy mode Photo: Pepe Hartmann After some hard work from our friends we pushed and pulled the van into place. Thanks to everyone. I did say to Lorraine about the awning but we gave up on that idea as were only feet away from the drop into the harbour. Would have been fun though. One of Lorraine’s must-have’s, was an electric hook up (women always need to use the hairdryer). After walking up and down the field (pier) several times I was getting a little worried, well, extremely worried.

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Then Lorraine struck lucky. There was a connection right outside the caravan door. Fantastic! Then even better news, my boat arrived thanks to Paul & Carol who had double trailed for me. Thanks also to Alan Atkin for lending me his double trailer. After Paul & Carol had put up their tent on the end of the pier. We showed our appreciation and fed and watered our guests. They were just leaving our caravan when we were invaded by Mike & Neil, just when we thought our day couldn’t get any worse!!!!!!!!! Lorraine was still much stressed the next day. But that all changed when we walked into town. Lorraine was very impressed with what a beautiful place Warnemuende is. You all know how important a happy wife is!!!!!! Means you can go sailing. Result! The week flew by and sailing was great. Wind, waves sun. Superb sailing was had by all. The social highlight of the week had to be the championship dinner. An exceptional evening. Lorraine’s highlights were our German neighbours who decided that the harbour was nearer than the toilets and changing into their wetsuits left nothing to the imagination. Also her coffee mornings and lunches with the girls were thoroughly enjoyed. Stress returned on the Saturday as we left, with many hands pushing and pulling again to get us hooked up to the car. As we were negotiating round the other boat classes and the trailers that were lying everywhere, in order to get out of the boat park, we caught the side of the caravan on a metal wheelie bin. Neil’s fault really as he was helping us – had to happen. (Insurance job). Anyway we were on the road heading home after a most enjoyable week on German soil (+ water). Roll on Sweden next year!

An International Final Result - Andre Blasse AUS, Karl Purdie NZ and Nick Craig GBR (not quite Nick’s plan!) Photo: Pepe Hartmann


Some yachting and OK contributors pass on their thoughts on Robert’s timely Book Tremendous response to OK Dinghy book In 2008, Robert Deaves and the OK Dinghy International Association published 'Completely OK the history, techniques and sailors of the OK Dinghy'. This attractive and exhaustive volume was published to celebrate 50 years of one of the most influential and widespread of all international single-handed dinghies. With over 150,000 words, 1,100 photographs and diagrams and 208 pages of OK Dinghy lore, this book has proved to be extremely popular with past and present sailors as well as those interested in sailing history. Launched at the 2008 World Championships in Warnemünde Germany in July 2008, 'Completely OK' is the definitive text on the OK Dinghy and is becoming a must-have accessory item for everyone who has ever sailed an OK. In reviewing the book, Bob Fisher wrote: “Everything you ever wanted to know about the OK, and more, is contained in the appropriately named “Completely OK’” a history of the first 50 years of the

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class compiled by Robert Deaves. It is not just a list of achievements over the half century, but an informative and highly illustrated book with articles by the greats of the class that will improve everyone’s performance. It also reminds one of just who “did the business” in the important events and just how young looking the sailors all were – where did all that hair go Peter Lester? It occupied me for many happy hours since it dealt with all aspects of the OK from concept, class policy, building and tuning. How I wish I had been able to read the wise words when I built one all those years ago (and sold it because I was broke!). It would have helped enormously. When Knud Olsen listened to Axel Damgaard, who wanted a cheap one-man dinghy that could be easily built by an amateur, the project kicked off and received the additional blessing of the world’s greatest sailor, Paul Elvström, who designed the rig with an unstayed, flexible mast similar to that of the Finn. The prototype was built in 1956 and the class name came from the reversal of Olsen’s initials,

to the novice. The sole downside was I only bought one copy and was constantly battling my wife for reader's rights! By the time it got back to New Zealand it was so battered I had to buy another!” Karl Purdie, NZL. World Champion 2008 “'Completely OK' is a unique book that not only charts the fascinating history of the class but also is a good coaching manual for single-handed sailors in any class. The book maps the long history of this large international class and does not hold back on past controversies! Class champions provide top coaching tips and there are some excellent action shots as well as pictures that provide a good history lesson in rig and sail design. A must have for not just all OK sailors past and present but also all single-handed sailors looking to improve their sailing (and perhaps switch to the greatest single-handed class!) Nick Craig, UK. World Champion 2005, 2006 and 2007 “I got my copy of 'Completely OK' in the mail today. I must say it’s a fantastic job that you have done. From my personal view it’s an important part of my life documented and I’m very thankful for that.” Bo-Staffan Andersson, Sweden. World Champion 1998, 1991, 1992 and 1993 “Congratulations on a job well done! I think you have integrated all that information brilliantly. As a fellow writer and editor, I know how much work must have gone into it.” Jeremy Firth, Tasmania reversed because KO means “cow” in Danish. That winter, 70 OK Dinghies were constructed in Denmark, and used a sail adapted from the Pirat class, from which the original idea had sprung. Fast forward fifty years and the class has established itself in every continent, almost certainly due to the excitement that these inexpensive dinghies can generate for their sailors. Robert Deaves’ excellent book captures the joys of the OK comprehensively and the reader would do well to learn from the wisdom of the 1977 world champion and his advice to the young sailors joining the class – it applies universally: “Initially you’ve got to keep your eyes open. Sort out the guy who is going fastest, look at his boat, his gear and his rig, and copy them.” Practical, interesting and “Completely OK” is

eminently readable, a class act.”

Here's what has also been said about the book so far by current and past OK Dinghy sailors: “Having just received the book please receive my compliments. It is fantastic. Lots of stories and photos. A real pleasure to read. It will by my favourite book for many years to come.” Svend Jacobsen, Denmark. First OK Dinghy World Champion in 1963 “I thoroughly recommend this book to all past, present and aspiring OK sailors. I got my copy at this year's worlds and couldn't put it down. It provides a comprehensive class history which is extremely fascinating and boat design/handling/tuning tips which will benefit all sailors from the most experienced

"It is a credit to the class. Robert deserves a gold medal for what he has done." Don O'Donnell, UK "I have only skimmed through some of it but I am hugely impressed by the quality on all counts. The mono content makes it, in my opinion, timeless and consistent. You have clearly put a vast amount of effort into the collation and indexing - it works brilliantly." Jonty Sherwill, UK "Page upon page of OKs - sheer delight! And nicely split into sections which allows dipping in and out, when time is available. Robert has done well, and I think it will be very successful." Colin Page, UK “Thank you for sending the book. I have received it, however I have not read it yet as my father won't put the book down!" Mark Gleeson, Australia "I already have a copy and have enjoyed going through it - learning a lot of things I didn't know about OKs and all the great people involved in the class.” Terry Bellair, Australia "I received my copy of the OK Book yesterday and was very impressed. I stayed up far too late reading it." Charles Wakefield, Canada Limited copies are available. Order now to avoid disappointment. Copies can be obtained online through the OKDIA website: or through most bookshops.

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Nick Craig opines on his personal choice locations The ‘top places to visit of all time’ seems to be in all the travel mags at the moment, so I thought I’d suggest the top 5 favourite sailing venues of all time! What is striking is that the OKs go to 3 of them. What a great class. Hitch your boat up & go, or ‘I have a double trailer now if you need a lift’..!

Like most European venues, the sailing is pretty variable but the race management is impeccable, the bars are great and the Black’n’White Club is usually open long after any OK sailor lasts! It’s always the 1st event that goes in my calendar for the year.

1. Warnemünde The Worlds greatest sea sailing when it’s good. And it usually is! Big rolling waves make for great downwind sailing – the waves are nicely spread so you get a decent ride on each wave and they are big!

Another local boy - sailing at Medemblik 5. New Zealand Most of their venues are usually both windy & wavy (except when I visit it seems!). Nick Craig on the roll - at Varnemünde 2008 Photo: Pepe Hartmann Just don’t gybe when you’re close to the shore or you might find yourself begging Celidh to make a new mast in a week! Also got a decent bar by the beach with the best views in Germany 2. Garda Got all the great things that Warnemünde has but, alas, no waves. Always sunny & windy when I’ve been there! Also has great restaurants & bars and a fantastic mountain backdrop. All we need is a few OKs in Italy! 3. Mounts Bay Warnemünde in Cornwall! Not quite as consistent but when it’s good, fantastic rolling waves. Very friendly club. Guess it’s a bit far to go for a Nationals but perhaps the Worlds in 2018…! 4. Medemblik

Karl Purdy - is this the man to beat in NZ next year? Photo: Pepe Hartmann Shore side, the food, wine & scenery are great. Just watch out for the traffic police, I had to pay off a large debt to ensure I get back in the country in 2010! For info on the 2010 Worlds in Wellington NZ from Jan31st 2010. So there we have it.

Medemblik - on a sunny day.

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The OKs have 3 of the 5 officially best sailing venues in the World and we’re visiting them all within the next year! Nick


Saffron WAS A SPICE!

Roy Burnham recalls his exploration of the French National Yole – OK 2008 “Did you know that the French OK Nationals are being run near your French holiday Home? You should go!” I should know better than to listen to my son-in-law, Terry Curtis, who last year had won the French Nationals when they were held in Brittany. However I’m a slow learner, so one warm day in July I set off from our French home in the Lot region to drive to Bordeaux. I had no boat, but I did have a buoyancy aid and my boots plus a tent and sleeping bag. After getting lost several times and realising yet again what a large country France is, I arrived at a delightful lake not far from the Atlantic coast and found the Lacanau sailing Club. In the car park there were a few French guys gathered around a boat which looked remarkably like an OK.

followed a long hunt for mast and saffron (strange French word for a rudder spelt safran) which were located in the garage of the owner of the boat and delivered the following morning.

So I was all equipped and running out of excuses. All we wanted was wind, which, a bit like Upper Thames, was hard to find. However when it did eventually arrive at 3 p.m. the racing began. At that point I discovered that the strange drum thing on the boom which was supposed to control the kicker didn’t, the Cunningham was trapped behind the inhaul and there were no bungs in the buoyancy tanks. Learning opportunity – try everything out before you get on the water! The wooden mast seemed very bendy but the race was on and my competitive instinct cut in. We had 2 great races in which I didn’t finish last but unfortunately I couldn’t repeat Terry’s success of last year.

I went up to them and introduced myself in my best French – little did I realise that I would have to speak only French for the rest of the weekend! Anyway they turned out to be typical OK sailors – ready for anything and very welcoming to strangers. After lots of discussion they unearthed from the undergrowth a very old wooden OK, which after the application of a roll of gaffa tape, I was assured was seaworthy. There

The following day should have been better but again the wind didn’t happen until late afternoon and then blew hard. Recognising the frailty of the boat and with regard to the feelings of the owner, I decided discretion was the best option so I sailed home again without either racing or capsizing. I was not alone, but the hardy ones raced and the championships were successful. But being French, the highlight of the event was the catering and social interaction. Food appeared miraculously, everything stopped for lunch, beer was

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freely available from the fridge and the evening barbecues under the trees were delicious.

The French OK sailors were very pleased that they now could call their Nationals, Internationals. I promised to try to get more British to join them next year so that at least I could speak English occasionally. Roy

Prize giving - lots of bottles (well it is France) but note only 2 get the ladies! Is this why Terry told Roy to go? 1. Noël Masseron 2. Frédéric Lamarque 3. Didier Crescence Photos: courtesy of

Yan Rialland - natty decking in view!


Roger Cooper pays tribute to a much-missed Jim Howden The late Jim Howden - 1940-2008 Jim Howden of Upper Thames Sailing Club (UTSC) very sadly died on 7th Sept 2008, after a short but valiant fight against pancreatic and liver cancer, complicated by the need for a serious intestinal operation. Jim’s illness cruelly took the life of a true OK enthusiast in only a few short weeks. He had competed regularly at club races throughout Spring and early Summer of 2008, and at Bourne End Week in late May and at the UTSC OK Open on 21/22 June when he finished 1st an the opening race, and 4th overall. His last sail in his OK 2088 “Windfall” was on 27th July.

End reach of the Thames. Over the years he won many Club series, and often won the trophy for the greatest number of starts in any one season. He was by far and away the Club’s most regular and consistent competitor. Apart from his love of being on the water, Jim found time to serve his Club in many capacities, including 6 years as a Rear Commodore (Sailing and House/Social) , 3 years as Vice Commodore, and culminating with 3 years as Commodore 1998-2000, when he lead the Club with quiet determined resolution.

During his term as Commodore he brought to fruition a new £40,000 boat house, opened in 2000 by his wife In 1976 Jim Howden, along with Jackie, known as the “Century Graham Curtis (Terry’s Dad) and John Boathouse”, which provides much Dey, were amongst a group of sailors Photo: Explosures Photography needed winter storage, repair facilities, responsible for migrating the OK class and income for the Club. Following his “term of and other boats from Bourne End Cruiser and Yacht office”, Jim was elected to be a Trustee of the Club, Club (the neighbouring marina) to UTSC. Jim moved and he was also frequently found doing much with a Mirror 14, but soon acquired an OK and was needed maintenance tasks on UTSC’s 120 year old therefore one of the “founding fathers” of the OK class clubhouse. at UTSC, where it has grown into the largest and most successful fleet at the Club and the biggest OK club Jim’s sailing skills were renowned amongst the UTSC fleet in the country. OK fleet, a light-wind specialist par excellence, but also very capable of holding his own in heavier airs. Jim’s talents in an OK were perhaps not as widely Jim sailed using his highly honed skills to advantage, as known amongst the OK class as perhaps they should evidenced by his trophy hoard. But he also sailed with have been. He didn’t “travel” very often, preferring to great fairness and was the first to praise the sail at his much loved club on the beautiful Bourne performance of his fellow competitors. On the water,

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to get close to Jim was to know that you were sailing well. To get past him was very hard work and a rare event for many of us. He sailed as he lived - a true and very generous gentleman.

Whilst he was seriously ill in hospital when the news of the award came through, Jackie was able to tell him about it before he died.

Although Jim was seriously ill in hospital for nearly a month and died on 7th September, it is still hard to believe that he will no longer turn out on the water on a Sunday morning. He will be greatly missed and remembered with huge warmth and affection as a stalwart of the OK Fleet. He is survived by his wife, Jackie, and his daughter Samantha, his son Andrew and his grandchildren, Isabel and Callum to whom our sympathy and condolences are extended. Roger Cooper OK 2074 The RYA Award for Jim Howden. In November Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife, Jackie, was presented with the prestigious RYA Community Award by HRH The Princess Royal at a reception in London. Jim was awarded the honour in recognition for his lifetime commitment to sailing and the considerable contribution he made to the success of UTSC.

Many words have already been written and spoken in tribute to Jim, but this award will be something for Jackie and her family to treasure for a long time.


Roy Burnham & Derek Berry suggest YOU should be part of a famous event Upper Thames Bourne End Week Regatta Saturday May 23 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Saturday May 30th

Bourne End Week will run from Saturday 23rd until Wednesday 27th May. There will be Dinghy class races on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday there will be a Dinghy handicap race followed by the Thames A-Raters, which will be competing for the famous Queens Cup. The Junior Bourne End Week Regatta will take place on Thursday 28th through to Saturday 30th. This has proved to be a very successful event, geared to cater from pure fun on the water for the very young to both competitive and fun sailing for children of all ages.

Thames A Raters at work - OKs are just tiddlers here! Photo: courtesy Why not leave the global economic crisis behind and come to the Upper Thames Sailing Club to enjoy our Bourne End week ? This will take place from Saturday 23 - 30 May, with Bourne End week from Saturday 23rd until Wednesday 27th May, and the Junior Bourne End week from Thursday 28th until Saturday 30th May. And, this year, camping on the Club campsite will be absolutely FREE for every night during the week with toilet and shower facilities in the Club House. This year is special because it is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Upper Thames Sailing Club and the Bourne End Week Regatta has been a popular and major event on the river for around 100 of those years .

All sailors, young and old, experienced and novices, families and friends, are very welcome to join us for what promises to be an exci ti ng, competitive and fun week and a chance to meet new friends and renew old acquaintances . The full Sailing programme will be posted on the Upper Thames Sailing Club web site soon, There will also be a comprehensive social programme, which has always been popular with our visitors as well

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Photo: with thanks to Explosures Photography Salcombe

All OK - Winter 08/09  
All OK - Winter 08/09  

Winter Edition 2008-9 Newsletter for the International OK Dinghy British Class Association