The OK Dinghy Summer Series reached Napier last weekend for some excellent close racing and brought the news that the current and three time World Champion, Nick Craig (GBR), has booked his flights and will be competing in the NZ OK Nationals at New Plymouth over Easter.
Says Craig, 'The Kiwi OK fleet is without doubt the most competitive in the world, with huge depth and talent. It will be great to race against them next year'. Craig is seeking a record fourth consecutive World Championship next year in Warnemunde, Germany and will be using the NZ Nationals to hone his skills. Craig normally sails an NZ built icebreaker hull and will be chartering a similar boat for this event. This years silver medalist Mark Perrow (NZL) and bronze medalist Karl Purdie (NZL) will be out to give Craig a hard time though.
Meanwhile, Napier turned on the style for the OK fleet over the weekend of December 1/2 with sun and force 2-3 sea breezes on both days of the OK East Coast Championships. The racing was extremely close with 5 different winners to the 6 races. Last years winner Steve McDowell from Worser Bay again took the title, but after a bad second day only won the regatta on a count-back from Alistair Deaves of Wakatere. The closeness of the sailing was emphasized in the results with the top four places only separated by 3 points.
It should be noted that distinguished class veteran Joe Porebski decided to sail a Laser this weekend on Lake Taupo. For this crime he will be shouting the bar at the next event in Wellington.
The next event in the Summer Series will be the Hurricane Classic to be held from The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Wellington in February. This will be used as the first test event for the 2010 OK Worlds being held at this venue.
Karl Purdie still leads the Summer Series, but now only by 1 point from McDowell. Third is Luke O’Connell, then Perrow and Deaves.