Tic-tac-toe three in a row for Mike Williams at the OK Nationals

Mike Williams takes race 7 and the championship - International OK Dinghy National Championship
Mark Roberts
For a third year in a row Geelong based sailor, Mike Williams, has won the 50th Australian National Championship in the International OK Dinghy class held in Adelaide. It is a feat that has only happened three other times in the 50 year history of the class with Williams joining an elite group including Bill Bell, Glen Collins and Roger Blasse (who having won the championship an unprecedented 10 times, amazingly won five of those championships back to back).

After a difficult day 3 of the championship, the OK fleet were met on the final day of the championship with a 17-22 kt north westerly (with the BOM forecast predicting thunderstorms and 30-35 kts later in the day).

What was to make the final day of racing even more interesting was the fact that only four points separated the top three with former national champion from 2003, Mark Jackson, only a single point behind in second and multiple national champion, Andre Blasse, a further three points back in third.

With a stronger tidal influence than in previous days and perhaps an overly eager few, PRO Malcolm Hughes decided to pull out the black after the first general recall. The fleet got away cleanly and thereafter Michael Williams showed early dominance in upwind speed to be the first to the windward mark followed closely by Andre Blasse, Mark Jackson and Todd Hughes. The rest, as they say, was history, with Williams increasing his lead through out the balance of the race to record his third bullet for the regatta and to take the coveted national championship. He was closely followed by Blasse and Hughes with Jackson fourth, but doing enough to retain second overall and two points ahead of Blasse.

In accepting the national champions trophy, a humble and emotional Williams recounted that he had started sailing OK Dinghys 20 years earlier as a teenager when he had first met and subsequently forged a strong relationship with fellow Black Rock sailors Andre Blasse, his brother, Roger, Peter Milne and Mark Jackson, who had gone on to coach Williams during a Finn campaign in 2008. He thanked them for their ongoing support and friendship and for the fantastic competition that had continued between them for so many years after.

A well deserved Brent Williams was the winner of the Patrick Whittington Handicap Trophy having sailed an excellent regatta to finish in fourth.

The final results were as follows:

1 730 Time Machine Michael Williams BRYC 11.0 1.0 4.0 [5.0] 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0
2 735 TBA Mark Jackson BRYC 15.0 4.0 [6.0] 2.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 3.0
3 729 Knot 4 Sail Andre Blasse BRYC 17.0 2.0 5.0 [13.0] 2.0 4.0 3.0 1.0
4 754 Gunboat Diplomat Brent Williams ASC 26.0 6.0 3.0 3.0 [11.0] 5.0 5.0 4.0
5 739 Dont Poke the Bear Todd Hughes ASC 29.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 9.0 7.0 [9.0] 8.0
6 732 Dune Buggy Tim Davies WASC 30.0 5.0 8.0 [8.0] 4.0 3.0 4.0 6.0
7 750 Broken Arrow Peter Robinson DSC 44.0 11.0 [13.0] 6.0 8.0 8.0 6.0 5.0
8 747 Jumbo Mark Roberts 46.0 8.0 [15.0] 7.0 5.0 6.0 13.0 7.0
9 728 Bowfinger Bruce Ashton BRYC 53.0 13.0 2.0 4.0 12.0 14.0 8.0 [28.0F]
10 719 Dilligaf II Glenn Williams BRSC 58.0 9.0 [17.0] 10.0 10.0 9.0 11.0 9.0
11 734 Cracked Pecker Edward O'Donnell WANGI 62.0 7.0 12.0 15.0 7.0 [28.0F] 10.0 11.0
12 741 Turkish Delight Gary Lokum BRYC 64.0 10.0 [28.0O] 20.0 6.0 11.0 7.0 10.0
13 725 Joan's Respite David Ketteridge 67.0 [16.0] 7.0 9.0 13.0 12.0 14.0 12.0
14 727 Tight Squeeze Donald Williams BRYC 76.0 12.0 [21.0] 12.0 14.0 13.0 12.0 13.0
15 744 Bonecrusher Andrew Baker BRYC 84.0 14.0 10.0 11.0 [28.0F] 18.0 17.0 14.0
16 610 Oops Folkert Janssen SGYC 90.0 15.0 16.0 17.0 15.0 10.0 [28.0F] 17.0
17 694 Diogenes Richard Furneaux BRYC 94.0 17.0 [20.0] 16.0 16.0 15.0 15.0 15.0
18 755 Grey Matter Stephen Moore SYC 107.0 19.0 9.0 14.0 21.0 16.0 28.0F [28.0F]
19 752 Mercury Douglas Parker BRYC 108.0 22.0 11.0 19.0 19.0 21.0 16.0 [28.0F]
20 660 The Wife Jake O'Donnell WANGI 117.0 20.0 19.0 21.0 20.0 19.0 18.0 [28.0F]
21 25 Purple Patch Kevin Knott 118.0 21.0 23.0 23.0 18.0 17.0 [28.0F] 16.0
22 640 Danish Blue Peter Neilsen 123.0 18.0 14.0 18.0 17.0 28.0F 28.0F [28.0F]
23 751 True Blue William Tyler DSC 144.0 28.0S 18.0 22.0 28.0F 20.0 28.0F [28.0F]
24 706 Smoke on the water Erik Thompson BRYC 155.0 23.0 24.0 24.0 28.0F 28.0S 28.0F [28.0F]
25 672 Fossil Fuel Michael Collins 159.0 28.0C 22.0 25.0 28.0C 28.0C 28.0C [28.0C]
26 508 d'accord William Villet HYC 163.0 28.0F 25.0 26.0 28.0F 28.0F 28.0F [28.0F]
27 684 Bilbo Glenn Yates WASC 168.0 28.0C 28.0C 28.0C 28.0C 28.0C 28.0F [28.0F]