March 29th – April 4th

Day one: Excellent Sailing Conditions

After the excellent sailing conditions that the competitors enjoyed yesterday, today threw up different yet equally challenging conditions. Winds of about 6-8 knots with lumpy seas greeted the sailors as they went out to begin racing at the International OK Dinghy World Championships 2003 that are being held off the Cidade De Goa Beach Resort at Donna Paula, Goa by the OK Dinghy Association of India.

Race 1:

Race No 1 was started on the second attempt at 1410 hrs. Nitin Mongia from India was the 1st boat at the pin end. Other notables were Greg Wilcox and a few other Indian sailors including Gautama Dutta. Soenke Berens from Germany had the best start at the Committee Boat end with Paul Rhodes and Nick Craig taking good starts at the middle of the line. Paul Rhodes and Soenke Berens tacked off just after the start and sailed out to the right side of the course while Nitin and Nick were content
with playing the shifts down the middle. Greg Willcox was among a group of boats that decided to work down the left side of the beat. At the Windward mark Nitin just squeezed around the outside of Paul Rhodes, Nick Craig rounded third and Soenke Berens rounded in 4th place.

Nitin extended his lead down the 1st reach while Nick made quick work of sailing through Paul Rhodes. Soenke Berens then capsized and dropped down the field. By the Gybe mark Nitin was leading from Nick and Paul Rhodes in third place. The third leg saw the first yellow flag penalty of the regatta being given to IND 5 Ramkumar Singh further down the fleet. Meanwhile the leaders continued to sail clear of the pack and Nitin and Nick Craig were in a battle of their own all the way to the

Nitin held on to record a First historic win for an Indian at the OK Dinghy World Championships. Nick Craig from GBR took a well deserved 2nd place while Ben Morrison (NZL) was 3rd. Defending Champion Greg Wilcox (NZL) finished a disappointing 7th.

Race 2:

The second race went through 4 general recalls before the Principal Race Officer Cdr. Homi Motivala put up the black flag for the first time in the regatta. That seemed t o quell the aggressive instincts of the fleet and they were off to a clean start. Nitin took a good start at the middle of the line while Nick Craig was off to the leeward end and Paul Rhodes took an average start at the windward end of the line. Nitin sailed his shifts down the middle – right side of the beat once again to
lead at the windward mark followed by Joe Porebski who’s faith in the right hand side of the course paid dividends. Nick Craig sailed out from the left hand side to round in third place. Nitin was leading by 10 seconds at the leeward mark after the triangle followed by Nick and Joe Porebski. Nitin opened out further to lead by 28 seconds at the windward mark after the 2nd beat. Nitin held on comfortably thereafter to win his 2nd race of the series. Nick Craig of GBR finished 2nd followed by
Joe Porebski of NZL in 3rd place.

Day two: Clinical Perfomance By Nitin Mongia

As the competitors arrived at the Cidade De Goa Beach Resort this morning it was apparent that it was going to be another blazing hot day. The wind appeared to set into its pattern earlier than usual at about 1200. At the time the participants went afloat for race 3 the wind direction was at about 270 degrees. By the time Principal Race Officer Homi Motivala had set the course it had settled at about 295 degrees oscillating 10 degrees to either side. There was about 8-10 knots of breeze at
the start building up to around 12-14 knots by the end of the race.

Race 3:

The Start line was even with no particular end favored with the fleet being evenly spread through the line. Nitin Mongia took a conservative start about 6 boats down from the Committee Boat. Nick Craig got off the line well from the middle and Paul Rhodes and Greg Wilcox were out on the pin end of the line.

Throughout the beat winds were oscillating from around 285-305 and Nitin squeezed out a narrow lead and rounded the windward mark 1st followed by Greg Wilcox and Nick Craig. Nitin the powered down the reaches and rounded the leeward mark 1st followed by Nick and Greg. The leading group split after rounding the mark with Nick chancing his luck on the left while Greg went to the right side and Nitin anxiously held on to the middle. Greg Wilcox took advantage of as good swing from the right to
force Nitin to undertack him as they approached the mark but Nitin managed to slip out from under him and lead once again at the Windward Mark. Greg rounded a close 2nd followed by Ben Morrison in 3rd and Nick Craig who was sunk by the left hand side. Nitin was not troubled after that and sailed on to win comfortably from Greg Wilcox with Nick sailing a good final beat to finish 3rd followed by Ben Morrison.

Greg Wilcox and Nick Craig filed protests against Nitin Mongia. The Jury after deliberating for long periods dismissed both protests. Two races are scheduled for tomorrow. These should go a long way to deciding the outcome of the event.

The sailors are greeted every evening by the EME pipes and drums band from Secunderabad playing the tune “Lili Bolero” which is the EME tune and other martial music. The international sailors have been all praise for the excellent arrangements made by the EME Sailing Association both on and off shore. Col Rajesh Kochhar, a die hard OK Dinghy sailor and now in the Organising Committee said that this is a result of one years sustained effort by the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical
Engineers. Historically this is the first time that the Indian Army has organised an International Regatta of this stature.

Day three: Nitin Dominates Again

It was not so long ago that an Indian had never won a race at the OK Dinghy World Championship, then Nitin Mongia won one race, then he won 2, yesterday he won his third race, and today against all odds and unfavorable weather conditions, Nitin Mongia won 2 more races and stands on the threshold of winning his maiden World Championship.

The day dawned blazing hot as usual for this time of year in Goa and the water surface was glassy as the competitors arrived at the venue for racing today.

When Principal Race Officer Cdr. Homi Motivala went afloat to set his course the wind was under 4 knots and swinging through 90 degrees. After a delay of one hour the wind finally seemed to settle at 235 degrees and built up to around 6-8 knots. It stayed at the same velocity through the day but ended the day further right at 250 degrees.

Race 4:

With about a minute to go, the start line seemed to be biased slightly to starboard. Nitin Mongia and Nick Craig took conservative starts at the middle of the line. Nick tacked off at the first opportunity to go to the right hand side, Nitin stayed on starboard tack and the wind swung to the left. Nitin then tacked and stayed in phase with the wind throughout lead comfortably at the Windward mark from Paul Rhodes and Rudiger Prinz. Nick Craig who seemed out of phase through the beat rounded
mid fleet. Nitin who had built up a bit of a lead sailed clear while the other boats fought amongst themselves. At the finish, Nitin won comfortably from Rudiger Prinz who took advantage of a shift from the right to finish 2nd followed by Paul Rhodes. Nick Craig sailed through the fleet to finish 4th.

Race 5:

It was an even start off an even starting line, Sönke Behrens from Germany was the last boat at the Committee end while Greg Wilcox was the first boat off at the Port end, Once again Nitin and Nick Craig took conservative starts with Nick tacking off. again and Nitin staying on starboard. The shift Nitin was looking for did not materialize and he had to tack off and duck behind Nick, Nick immediately tacked on him and forced Nitin to tack back, that did not phase Nitin who refocused himself
and held a narrow lead at the windward mark from Nickj Craig and Paul Rhodes. They held their positions around the leeward mark and split tacks on the second beat, Paul Rhodes who was on the right sailed through Nick (on the left ) and Nitin (playing the center) to round the windward mark 1st followed by Nitin and Nick. Nitin however took advantage of his superior downwind speed to round the leeward mark ahead of Paul Rhodes. Nitin then powered away to win his 5th consecutive race. Ben
Morrison came out of the right side to take 2nd . Ben is the current New Zealand OK Dingy champion. He was followed by Paul Rhodes and Nick Craig in 4th.

In the meantime, a request from Nick Craig for reopening yesterdays protest is being considered by the jury at 1900 hrs today. Anyhow, there is one race scheduled for tomorrow which should decide the final outcome of the championship more or less.

Day four: Nitin New World Champion

In a historic day for Sailing in India, an Indian has become World Champion in a Single Handed Sailboat. Nitin Mongia won the OK Dinghy World Championship with a race to spare while Ben Morrison from New Zealand won Race No. 6 to record his first win at the OK Dinghy World Championships and move into 2nd place overall.

A look at the weather this morning did not inspire too much confidence in the mind of the organisers. It was another clear, blazingly hot day with not a whisper of wind, as everyone on shore waited and watched, the wind slowly filled in as if answering their prayers. Nitin Mongia was once again the first boat to launch, a habit he has stuck to throughout the regatta to good effect. All the other competitors then launched and sailed out for what was to prove to be a pivotal days racing.

Race 6:

The wind was at 245 degrees and about 5-6 knots when after a brief delay, Cdr. Homi Motivala the Principal Race Officer went into his starting sequence. The fleet seemed evenly spread out on a square start line when the start gun went off, the boats on the right side of the line seemed to have the better of the start while Nitin and the other boats from the left side of the line had a hard time getting up to speed.

Nick Craig (GBR) and Ben Morrison (NZL) surged into the early lead and stayed on the right hand side. Nitin who has always had a great understanding of the wind throughout this event stayed on the left hand side of the course and took advantage of a lot of pressure on that side to surge back into the lead and round the windward mark 1st followed by Rob Coutts and Nick Craig (GBR). Gautama Dutta of India rounded 4th followed by Ram Kumar Singh also of India.

Nick Craig then sailed out from under Rob Coutts on the 1st reach to round the Gybe Mark 2nd followed by Rob Coutts and Ramkumar. On the 2nd reach down to the lee mark, Nick Craig tried to sail to windward of Nitin and started a luffing match that allowed Rob Coutts to round the Lee Mark 1st followed by Nick who managed Buoy room on Nitin and Nitin in 3rd Place.

On the next beat upwind to the Windward Mark, Ben Morrison (NZL) who had been quietly working his way up through the fleet made his move to the right side of the course and rounded the windward Mark in 4th place with Rob Coutts in 1st, Nick Craig (GBR) in 2nd and the outstanding Ram Kumar Singh of India who rounded in 3rd place. Nitin who by his own admission was taking it easy up the beat dropped to 5th.

On the long run back to the lee mark, Ben Morrison (NZL) took best advantage of the waves and sailed out from under Nick to round the mark 2nd behind Rob Coutts in 1st. Nick Rounded a close 3rd and Nitin rounded in 4th place. Up the final beat Ben took advantage of some tactical indecision from Rob Coutts to sail through and win Race 6 followed by the outstanding Rob Coutts. Nitin who had quietly made it back through Nick came 3rd to confirm his maiden World Championship followed by the
disappointed Nick Craig.

As Nitin came off the water he was greeted by his coach Lt. Cdr. Mahesh Ramchandran, Maj.Gen. Rajendra Singh AVSM, VSM Vice President OK Dinghy Association of India, Lt.Gen. R. K. Mehta PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman of the Organising Committee.

Nitin Mongia a native of Mumbai and Silver Medalist at the Asian Games 2002 in the OK Dinghy Class hails from Mumbai and was introduced to sailing by his father, Commodore Surinder Mongia (Rtd) Arjuna Awardee and the current Vice President of the Yachting Association of India. His elder brother Aashim is also an Arjuna Awardee and won the Bronze Medal at the 2002 Asian Games in the Enterprise Class.. Nitin is also in the midst of campaigning a Star Class boat along with Lt. Cdr Mahesh
Ramachandran with an eye on the Olympics in 2004.

The other outstanding Indian sailor of the day was undoubtedly Ram Kumar Singh of India a native of Pune who despite sailing with an Indian made GRP boat and sub standard equipment stayed in the top 5 throughout the day with a best position of 3rd before dropping down the fleet to finish 10th.

Day five: Rudiger Prinz (GER) wins Race 7, Ben Morrison 2nd Overall

Having won the World Championship yesterday, Indian Star Nitin Mongia remained on shore, packed up his boat and left for the airport to pick up his wife who was coming down from Mumbai to be at the Prize Distribution ceremony in the evening. With Nitin out of the racing, the focus shifted to the battle for 2nd and 3rd overall between Ben Morrison from NZL and Nick Craig from GBR. Lower down the fleet there were other keen tussles to decide the minor places.

After the Principal Race Officer had preponed the start of Race 7 to 1300 to enable the competitors to pack their boats in daylight, the weather gods responded and the notoriously fickle wind started settling down from around 1100 hrs much to the delight of all concerned. The wind settled at around 5-6 knots from 230 degrees and along with the light swells, made for very interesting and challenging sailing conditions.

Race 7:

The Race Officer laid another of his even start lines and the fleet started ling up with about a minute to go. At the pin end Ramkumar Singh, Naresh Yadav and Gautama Dutta all of India had an incident that saw Naresh Yadav doing penalty turns. Ben Morrison (NZL) had a horrible start and once again had to work his way through the fleet. Rudiger Prinz of Germany sailed away into the early lead from the right hand side of the course and rounded the windward mark in a comfortable 1st place.
Gautama Dutta of India rounded in 2nd place after tanking advantage of a good shift from the left hand side. Rob Coutts rounded in 3nd place.

Top Three

Gautama who was sailing an Indigenous Indian hull was then passed on the downwind leg by Rob Coutts while Rudiger Prinz (GER) sailed away out of danger. Rudiger and Robb Coutts sailed away from the rest of the fleet while Nick Craig (GBR) kept an anxious eye over his shoulder looking for Ben Morrison who was sailing through the fleet once again. Gautama chanced his luck again on the left but did not find his shift and dropped down the pack while Greg Wilcox sailed up into 3rd.

The fleet held their positions down the run while Ben Morrison (NZL) sailed up behind Nick Craig (GBR).

Rudier Prinz (GER) held on to win Race 7 followed by Rob Coutts and Greg Wilcox. Ben Morrison finished 5th, enough to take 2nd overall while a disappointed Nick Craig who finished 4th had to be content with 3rd overall.


Pos Sailno Helmsman R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
1 IND 1 Nitin Mongia 1 1 1 1 1 3 OCR 5
2 NZL 511 Ben Morrison 3 4 4 4 2 1 5 18
3 GBR 2110 Nick Craig 2 2 3 5 4 4 4 19
4 NZL 515 Rob Coutts 6 7 13 6 5 2 2 28
5 GER 711 Rüdiger Prinz 4 12 10 2 7 6 1 30
6 NZL 512 Greg Wilcox 7 6 2 10 6 7 3 31
7 NZL 509 Joe Porebski 5 3 6 9 12 5 7 35
8 NZL 517 Paul Rhodes OCS 9 5 3 3 9 14 43
9 SWE 99 Hans Elkjaer 9 8 7 7 10 OCS 6 47
10 AUS 696 James Macalistair 8 5 9 13 14 11 10 56
11 GER 718 Peter Scheuerl 11 10 8 15 9 12 12 62
12 IND 5 Ram kumar Singh 13 13 17 8 11 10 11 66
13 IND 16 Naresh Yadav 12 11 16 11 8 15 13 70
14 IND 2 Gautama Dutta 14 15 15 SCP 13 13 8 78
15 GER 449 Sönke Behrens 10 14 14 12 19 SCP 16 79
16 GBR 2081 Robert Deaves 16 17 11 14 16 16 18 90
17 IND 4 D Selvam.P. 15 16 12 17 15 19 15 90
18 GBR 2058 Mary Reddyhoff 18 20 22 19 20 14 9 100
19 IND 3 P Madhu 20 19 21 18 17 18 17 109
20 DEN 2094 Morten Jacobsen OCS 18 18 16 18 SCP 19 111
21 IND 11 K Venugopal 17 21 19 20 21 22 22 120
22 IND 6 D.K. Acharya 21 24 RTD 21 23 21 21 131
23 IND 9 Anirudh Vijaykumar 23 25 20 DSQ DNC 20 20 134
24 IND 482 Purushottam Sharma 22 23 23 22 22 23 RTD 135
25 NZL 436 John Gillespie 19 22 24 SCP 24 24 23 136