OK Dinghy World Championship to Nick Craig

OK Dinghy World Championship 2011
OK Dinghy World Championships 2011’s final day had the sailors awaking to find that the sun had returned and the temperatures were rising but that there was very little breeze. As the morning went on with little change in the conditions, some competitors started to pack up.

Everyone was expecting an imminent abandonment when all of a sudden word came in of wind working its way up the East Kyle. The horn sounded as the postponed flag was lowered and sailors rushed to get on the water at 1300 hours. The position at the top of the leader board was tight with only ten points separating the top five.

The unlikely happened as race six of the Championship got underway at 1430 hours in eight knots of breeze. The first start was clean and the majority of the fleet remained on starboard tack, paying as the leaders approached the windward mark. First round was Nick Craig (GBR), closely followed by Soenke Behrens (GER), Alistair Deaves (NZL) and Martin Von Zimmerman (GER).

There was no change in the lead boats at the gybe or the leeward mark, but by the end of the second beat Deaves had overhauled Craig and Behrens, with Von Zimmerman still hanging onto the front group in fourth place. Close behind was Tony Woods (GBR), closely followed by Rudiger Prinz (GER). Unfortunately both Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE), lying first at the end of racing yesterday and Bartek Rakocy (POL) second overall, were having a bad race day sailing around in the 20’s positions.

At the bottom of the run Deaves rounded first, with a clear lead on the chasing pack. He opted to sail the starboard side of the course, closely following him were Behrens, Von Zimmerman and Craig. Opting for the port side of the course was Woods, Bo Teglers (DEN) and Prinz. Close behind the front group of sailors was Ralf Mackman (GER), Roger Blasse (AUS) and Stefan Myralf (DEN), all capable of finishing strongly on the final beat.

It was nail-biting as the spectators, and probably some of the competitors were trying to work out who was going to win the regatta. At the finish, with a clear lead on the rest of the fleet was Deaves who wins the New Zealand OK Class Clock. Finishing second was Von Zimmerman, barely a boat length behind was Behrens and Craig.

OK Dinghy World Championship 2011

Craig had done just enough to win the International OK Dinghy World Championship for the fourth time, only achieved before by Bo Stephan Andersson (SWE) and Leith Armit (AUS). Martin Von Zimmerman, a former European Champion came second, just two points behind Craig. In third and fourth positions were two ex- World Champions Thomas Hansson-Mild and Greg Wilcox (NZL) respectively.

So, the 2011 International OK Dinghy World Championship comes to a close. The weather has been exceptional with sunshine and high temperatures on most days. However, the wind has been light which has resulted in testing conditions for Race Officer Chris Haddon and competitors.

One thing is for sure that socially this has been one of the very best OK Worlds. The team at Largs Sailing Club led by Commodore John Ridley and his charming wife Sandra could not have done more. Their energy and enthusiasm have been remarkable and OK sailors and their families from 11 nations have been made to feel so welcome. Chef Alec is quite a Character! He and his team have delivered great food all day every day at very reasonable prices. Barry, Jamie and team have kept the bar and front of house running like clockwork and always with a smile.

Sue Byers, wife of OK sailor Keith has worked tirelessly to organise and deliver a fun and jam packed social calendar for family, friends and kids. Sue and her team have organised day trips, daily kid’s competitions and activities. On Thursday night dads were on babysitting duty as the wives and girlfriends had arranged a ladies only (boozy) dinner!

The last two weeks of the National and World Championships have been two and a half years in the planning. During this time, the UK OK Dinghy Association has worked with David Kent of the Scottish Sailing Institute to make this event happen. David is a terrific guy, professional, dedicated and a pleasure to deal with. It would be hard to find a more committed individual. His efforts have been noticed by all of the competitors and officials alike. Thank you David!

After sailing everyone made their way to the prize giving and Championship dinner at the National Sports Centre Inverclyde. They will be greeted by a full Scottish pipe band and drinks on the lawn outside the impressive Inverclyde building. OKDIA (OK international governing body) President Andre Blasse (AUS) gave thanks to everyone involved in making this event such a great success. Then every competitor was called up one by one to be presented with a memento to take home followed by category prizes and trophy presentation.

OK Dinghy World Championship 2011
Neil Goodhead

A special presentation was made to the juniors in the fleet who had been led astray all week by GBR junior rep Richard Burton. The top ten overall take home the prestigious OKDIA tie. Alistair Deaves (NZ) after many years of trying was so over the moon with winning his first tie that he put a large amount of money behind the bar for everyone to enjoy. Nick Craig (GBR) was then crowned OK World Champion and stood before all to say his thanks to the organisers, his fellow competitors and most of all, his wife Emma for putting up with his sailing.

Everyone then moved inside to the large dining room and were treated to ‘Ode to the Haggis’ and a fabulous three course diner. As the wine flowed the Fairlie Folk Band played traditional Scottish tunes. Many revelled long into the night celebrating what was a truly amazing event!

Thanks again must go to the headline sponsor 'Scotty Brand' care of Albert Bartlett. Tunnocks Biscuits, Sangs and Old Pulteney. Another mention has to go to GBR OK sailor Deryck Lovegrove who single handed raised £750 to add to the sponsorship pot. Well done Deryck!

Next year the international OK fleet move onto Denmark for the 50th OK Worlds which promises to be one to remember. In 2013 the Worlds will be hosted by Thailand for the very first time and later that year will be the European Championship in Carnac, France. Melbourne, Australia is bound to be a popular venue for the 2014 Worlds showing what wonderful opportunities there are to travel as an OK sailor.

World Championship 2011
PlcBowageNat.SailnoNameClubR1R2R3R5R6R7TotNet
157GBR2134Nick CraigFrensham(16.0)2.011.04.03.04.040.024.0
215VGER693Martin von ZimmermanSCOe3.05.012.0(19.0)4.02.045.026.0
364SWE100Thomas Hansson-Mild1.01.013.05.07.0(19.0)46.027.0
48VNZL522Greg WilcoxBlankeneser SC6.04.01.06.0(20.0)10.047.027.0
54POL19Bartek Rakocy9.03.015.03.01.0(22.0)53.031.0
634VDEN1388Stefan MyralfHellerup7.07.07.07.0(13.0)9.050.037.0
710VGER672Gunther ArndtFlensburg2.09.04.011.012.0(16.0)54.038.0
89VNZL542Alistair DeavesWakatere14.013.02.0(25.0)11.01.066.041.0
913VGER690Soenke BehrensSCOe8.012.0(27.0)15.010.03.075.048.0
1024VAUS678Roger BlasseBlack Rock12.06.014.08.0(23.0)8.071.048.0

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