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Championnat du Monde de Yole-OK 2008 1/5

Warnemünde, Allemagne, le 8 Juillet 2008
vendredi 11 juillet 2008.


OK World Championships Day 1

Purdie produces a perfect score

Two tough and challenging races. One clear winner. Karl Purdie (NZL) dominated proceedings on the opening day of the Bombardier OK Dinghy World Championships to win both races to take the early lead. Defending world champion Nick Craig (GBR) lies in second place with a 7th and a 3rd. By this morning, a total of 91 sailors from seven nations had completed measurement and registration and were ready for the battle ahead.

With forecasts varying between 10 knots and 35 knots, depending on who you listened to, the fleet set out to the start area in torrential rain and 10-12 knots of wind. By the time the first start got away at 11.00, the wind was more like 15-18 knots and pretty gusty. A large shift 10 minutes into the beat favoured those on the left of the course and produced a massive split down the ranks as the half of the fleet on the right struggled to get back into contention.

Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) was the early leader and as the wind increased the leaders stretched away from the fleet. Hot on his heals was Purdie, finally taking the lead at the start of the final beat to take the winning gun. Andre Blasse (AUS) clearly enjoyed the fresh conditions to post a second place while Lindhardtsen slipped to third by the finish.

Karl Purdie (NZL)

The second race started soon after, but not before waiting for a large black cloud to pass which brought winds exceeding 25 knots. By the time the race started the wind had abated to 12-15 knots, though it strengthened again during the race. Again the race was dominated by black clouds and large shifts. An early shift to the right had seemingly favoured the left hand side again, but Purdie had started mid-line and tacked for the right hand corner before coming back into the first mark on a right hand shift and an enormous lead.

Blasse was again in second with Craig soon working up to third by the leeward mark. The increased wind stabilised for the second upwind leg with few place changes until the final beat. Then another large shift to the left brought about 10 more boats up to the front runners. Purdie’s lead was quite safe though and he took a second race win. Blasse slipped to ninth, while the 2000/01 World Champion Karsten Hitz (GER) hooked into the left hand shift to take second while Craig hung onto third. In the final 200 metres there was more place changing than in the rest of the race as the finish line became a mass of boats all arriving together for an exciting finish to a tough race.

The exhausted sailors were sent home to be greeted by ample quantities of beer and snacks generously provided by many of the event’s minor sponsors such as Quantum Sails, Icebreaker Boats, Green Sails, Sylvester, AXA, Gutaussehen Cosmetics, Gerike Segel and Marina Dellas.

Last night the opening ceremony was held at the Baltic Point Cruise terminal, dwarfed by two enormous cruise ships in port for the day. Greg Wilcox, President of OKDIA was encouraged by the health of the class. He said, "The class has experienced an excellent period of growth in the past few years with a number of new boat builders and more boats built in the last year than in any year in the past 10 years. This has to bode well for the future of the class." OKDIA also used the occasion to officially launch its exciting new book,’Completely OK - the history, techniques and sailors of the OK Dinghy’, a magnificently illustrated and comprehensive 208 page book charting the first 50 years of the OK Dinghy class. Copies were on sale at the ceremony and are also available through the class website at www.okdia.org/completelyok.php

Racing for the world championship continues on Wednesday at 11.00 with two more starts scheduled.

About the event

The Bombardier 2008 OK Dinghy World Championship is being sailed as part of Warnemünder Woche, in Warnemunde, Germany from 8-12 July. There are 91 sailors from seven nations competing for the title.

Photo credit : WARNEMUNDE WEEK, photo : Pepe Hartmann

Class website
Event website

© Robert Deaves, OKDIA Publicity



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