Hall Of Fame:
Axel Damgaard - Denmark later USA
Axel Damgaard was inducted during the World Championship 2012 in Vallensbæk, Denmark.
The design of the OK Dinghy can be traced back to two people; without them then class would not exist. Axel Damgaard had the idea and Knud Olsen put it onto paper. Damgaard then promoted the class throughout Denmark and Europe.
Jacobsen continued, “In the mid 1950s Axel realised that maybe they should have another dinghy in Denmark [in addition to the Pirat], smaller, cheaper, and with only one person, and he approached Knud who was a naval designer and talked to him and consulted with a lot of Pirat dinghy sailors and also Paul Elvstrøm who advised him about the rig and sail. And that was the birth of the OK Dinghy. It grew very quickly in Denmark and in 1957 we held the first unofficial Danish Championship.”
“Another interesting thing is that if you had been sailing in my time then it would have been a completely different set of people. There would be no children here and no wives, because we were too young for that. It was only young people. The first five Danish championships the average age was 21.1 years and in the first championships there was only one who was more than 30. On the other hand we were not as skilled as you are today. But I think we owe a big thanks to Knud and Axel and all the people from those days who helped to develop this fantastic boat.”