Oxford K6 Open

May 4th - May 5th 2024 , Oxford SC

It didn’t look promising. The forecast predicted very light winds over the two days which may have been why visiting competitors stayed away. However the gloomy forecast did not deter 8 Oxford based K6s from entering with the added incentive of the first Oxford boat home winning the John Hall Trophy.

It was no surprise come Saturday to see a very light, patchy and shifty south easterly wind across the reservoir which was forecast to go South Westerly at some point during the day: a real challenge for Race Officer Mile Roebuck and his team.

Race 1, southerly wind, 5 Knots maximum, good clean start by the fleet. A few tacked onto port soon after the start, including John Tabor/Tom Kosteletos (K6 122) and Tim Williams/Ross Kemp (K6 189). John/Tom were almost immediately lifted with what wind there was, pulling distance from Tim/Ross and the rest of the fleet, many of whom had found less wind on the left of the course and were struggling to reach the windward mark. As a result, John/Tom pulled away, seemingly sailing in their own wind system, whilst the fleet continued to struggle to find the same or any wind! John and Tom finally coming home clear in first place, lapping some of the fleet(!) with Adrian and Sue Thomas (K6 105) in second.

Race 2, same conditions patchy and shifty wind. Good start by Dan Robins and Martin Gibson (K6 159) quickly onto port tack with momentum and Harry and George Barker (K6 204). The fleet staying in the shifting wind for the most part. After four laps, Dan/Martin held on to win with Harry/George in second and Tim/Ross comfortably in third. These were tricky conditions, with wind strength and direction changing frequently on different parts of the course.

By the time Race 3 was due what wind there was had veered and dropped considerably. The Race Officer waited and waited but nothing materialised so sensibly racing was abandoned for the day.

Sunday morning, Race 4, a slightly more positive forecast 7 knots gusting(!) 11, if Wind Guru was to be believed, but still shifty. With John and Tom over the line at the start, the fleet took off with Dan/Martin and Harry/George leading the way towards a shortened upwind beat, followed by Adrian and Sue Thomas and Tim/Russ. Four laps were required, however remembering laps completed proved difficult for the front runners as Adrian/Sue came home in first place followed home by John/Tom, whilst Dan/Martin and Harry/George completed an extra lap before finally crossing the finish line in third and forth, such was the tight competition between them.

Race 5. Clean start this time, shifty light conditions. Dan/Matin and Harry/George renewed their battle up front with Harry/George coming home first this time and Chris Pugh/Jamie Ferguson (K6 115) in third benefiting from Tim/Russ and John/Tom who were both delayed with spinnaker issues.

Race 6, Starboard start for most as the wind seemed stronger on the left but then strengthened on the right, resulting in a close first beat and rounding. Shifts and varying wind strength during the downwind legs spaced out the fleet with Dan/Martin and Harry/George leading. Again Chris/Jamie came home in third place. That left Dan/Martin and Harry /George on equal points in first place. However with Dan/Martin winning the last race they took the overall win and the John Hall Trophy.

The result was poignantly celebrated by everyone as in winning the event Dan and Martin had been sailing the very K6 owned by John Hall before his untimely death from cancer in late 2023.

Oxford Open Results

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