OK Dinghy World Championship - Danish heatwave halts racing

OK Dinghy World Championship 2012 Day 2
On the second day of the 50th OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, a Danish heatweave meant that both the sailors and the wind would have a holiday. After a long delay ashore, the fleet was sent out in the early afternoon - only to wait afloat while what wind there was died again and were then sent in with no more races on the scorecard.

It was a sweltering day in Vallensbaek with temperatures in the high 20s and very little wind early in the day. A postponement held the fleet ashore until around 13.00 when a four knot stable wind encouraged the race officer to send the 145 boat fleet afloat. However by the time the boats arrived on the course area the wind had started to fade away and a further postponement was hoisted afloat. Nearly two hours later the fleet was sent in as the wind was showing no signs of picking up.

The forecast for the rest of the week is not great though it is hoped that there will be enough wind in the next three days to be able to make it a championship.

The fleet this year includes many old faces, some new faces and some new, old faces. One of the new faces is Björn Allansson (SWE) who is taking a break from his Finn campaign to sail the OK Dinghy, a class that his father sailed for many years in the 1980s, and who is coaching him here.

Allansson said, 'It's interesting actually. I am learning a lot every single time I am out on the water. So for me it's very different from sailing the Finn for six years, to do something different. I have only been in the OK since after Kiel Week this year.'

OK Dinghy World Championship Day 2 - Slow day

'It's a really friendly fleet and I am trying my best but they really make me fight for every position. I expected the quality to be this good but I was also expecting my own performance to be a bit better. I am really inconsistent. I am going fast and then I am going dead slow and then I am going fast, probably because a lot of the time I have been training alone. You can really feel these guys are good sailors with a lot of experience in the boat. They keep the same speed throughout and then it's bye bye.'

His father Tomas Allansson sailed the OK Dinghy through the 1980s and placed 10th at the 1987 World Championship. 'I think he is really happy I am sailing the OK Dinghy and really happy to be at an OK Dinghy regatta again. He sailed until about the time I was born. He told me I had to beat his best results and so far that doesn't look too good.'

'I think I need a little bit more breeze so we can do some hiking. But otherwise I have a good incentive to come back next year and try again.'

'For the next Finn campaign for Rio there's no need to weigh 104 kg again so I think it will be enough to weight maybe 97 kg and I think even if I am on the heavy side it is possible to do some OK Dinghy sailing.'

'I have lost as much weight as I could for this event. I have been running for one hour and cycling 60 to 90 km every day since Kiel. And now I am down from 104 kg to 93 kg. But now I have had to start eating properly in the last few days because I have been a bit light headed.'

Allansson was named after the Danish sailing star Björn Westergaard who is also sailing at this anniversary championship. 'It's going to be a lot of fun racing against him. It's the first time I have raced him. My father told me I have to beat him. With him not being able to sail yesterday it looks good so far.'

OK Dinghy World Championship 2012 Day 2

He concluded, 'For me sailing the OK Dinghy is the best thing I could have done when I wasn't selected for the Olympics because otherwise after Kiel Week I would have no regattas until the Malcesine Finn Cup in October and now I can do this regatta and I really feel I am learning every time I go sailing.'

Racing will hopefully continue on Thursday with two more races scheduled, though the forecast is for less wind than today. The championship continues to Saturday.

Results after two races

1 GER 762 André Budzien 5
2 DEN 1393 Rene Johannsen 9
3 DEN 1374 Bo Petersen 10
4 AUS 749 Roger Blasse 18
5 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 20
6 DEN 1411 Jørgen Svendsen 23
7 DEN 1398 Christian Hedlund 26
8 NZL 542 Alistair Deaves 28
9 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild S 31
10 DEN 1377 Jørgen Holm Nielsen 31



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