22-26 July

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Reports from Robert Deaves


The 2013 OK Dinghy Europeans Championship gets under way at the Yacht Club de Carnac, France this weekend. The OK Dinghy class only holds a Europeans when the world championship is outside Europe, so it follows on from the class worlds in Thailand at Easter. However such is the dynamic and the spread of the fleet that only 17 of the 68 entries for Carnac were present in Thailand, so for many sailors this will be their major event of the year.

The 68 sailors heading to Carnac come from 10 countries and include sailors from Australia and New Zealand. Unlike some classes these sailors are able to take the overall title; there is no continental segregation in the OK Dinghy class. Bringing the championship to France has also boosted the home fleet with an encouraging 14 French entries, the highest number at an international event for many years.

The line up also includes four former world champions, one of which, the four time world champion Nick Craig (GBR) is also the only sailor present to hold the European title, and that was 11 years ago. Neither the current world champion, nor the current European champion, nor the world No.1 will be present in Carnac, but the fleet is so deep and competitive that there are still plenty of big names taking part.

The 2002 world champion Greg Wilcox (NZL) is back again, as well as the 2009 world champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE), while this year also brings the return of the 2004 world champion Jim Hunt (GBR). Hunt has only sailed a handful of OK Dinghy regattas since his world title in 2004, but he is sure to be a strong challenger nevertheless.

While the largest team is from Great Britian, the Danes are fielding a very strong team as usual with world No. 3 Stefan Myralf (DEN) hoping to improve on his eighth place at this years worlds while world No. 7 Bo Pettersen (DEN) has been putting in some good domestic results and should be near the top.

For Myralf it will be a return to the place where he won the Laser European Championship 32 years ago. His world No. 3 ranking is his highest ever and he has competed in more qualifying regattas than anyone else in the top 30. He just placed second at Warnemunde Week and third at Swedish Nationals. He has been putting the time in and with a new boat, could well be the surprise of the week.

One place ahead of Myralf in both those regattas was Wilcox, who while being New Zealand’s only entry lives in Germany. As well as winning Warnemünde Week, he also picked up the silver at the Nordics earlier this year. Most sailors are expecting a light week, conditions in which Wilcox usually excels. Another favourite has to be Hansson-Mild. He has already won the Nordic and Swedish Championships this year and took bronze in Warnemunde, though he skipped the worlds.

In spite of the fact that he has done very little OK Dinghy sailing since the worlds this year, Craig goes into the Europeans as one of the clear favourites. His record speaks for itself and he can never be discounted. How well the others go we’ll have to wait and see. There are a lot of new names in the class this year, so predicting the form is not easy.

In Carnac, registration and measurement begins on Saturday 20 July with the practice race on Sunday afternoon. The 10 race series takes place from Monday 22 through to Friday 26 July.

OK Dinghy fleet battle with light winds in Carnac

The OK Dinghy European Championship got under way in Carnacn France on Sunday with a practice race that was soon abandoned as the already light wind deserted the fleet.

With 70 entries the fleet are enjoying French hospitality with temperatures in the low 30s.

Four time world champion Nick Craig (GBR) commented. “It’s hot but where’s the wind? But it’s a lovely place. I’ve been here a few times but in other classes.” How prepared is he for the week ahead? “I’ve been sailing quite a bit recently, including in the D1, but not much in the OK since the worlds at Easter.” He picked up fourth place in the French nationals last weekend, so on his chances he said, “I’m a bit out of the groove at the moment, but hoping for a good regatta.”

Since coming sixth at worlds Greg Wilcox (NZL) has been in tremendous form with a third at Kiel, second in the Nordics and at Swedish nationals and wins at Warnemünde Week and at the French nationals. He appears quietly confident but readily concedes it won’t be easy in such a quality field including multiple world champions, “I expect it will be a very difficult regatta.”

The only Australian sailing, Mark Roberts (AUS) commented. “The weather is currently 33 degrees and no breeze at all. Each day the morning breeze seems to die out around 1pm as it battles against the sea breeze and doesn’t return till 5pm. Looks like we’ll have same all week and with daily scheduled starts at 1pm it could be a week for the light air specialists.”

The practice race was started in just 2-3 knots of wind and was abandoned when the time limit to first mark expired, as the died out.

The first championship races are scheduled for 13.00 on Monday.

Thomas Hannson-Mild early leader at OK Dinghy Europeans

While much of Europe sweltered in high temperatures and light winds, the 2013 OK Dinghy European Championship in Carnac, France got under way on schedule with two great races sailed in a moderate sea breeze. The 2009 World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) is the early leader.

The fleet enjoyed two good races and managed to start on time with the wind around 9-11 knots. The first race, after one general recall, was won by Bo Peterson (DEN) from Tomasz Gaj (POL) and Stefan Myralf (DEN). Tomasz had a good lead at the first mark but was slowly reeled in by Petersen. The chasing pack was also quite close and the whole fleet finished in a short time.

The second race was won by Hansson-Mild from Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) who at 68 years of age proves there is no limit. Myralf sailed very well again for another third place to sit in second place overnight. Lindhardtsen said he had a few problems with a jury boat taking photos however Hansson-Mild was just a bit faster. Petersen ended the day in third.

Mark Roberts (AUS) commented, “The sailing was very nice and it is a tough competition however I plan to do better tomorrow.” He is in 29th overall. Nick Craig (GBR) is fifth after two races, “We got a sea breeze so nice sailing. I was a bit sluggish until last 200 metres of last race. Hopefully I have found the groove now.”

One of the stars of the day was young Richard Burton (GBR). He was second to the first mark in the first race and bettered that in the second. Although very happy with this he said it is annoying as he keeps getting passed downwind. Lindhardtsen said that this will improve with age.

The race committee seems very well organised and are setting very good courses so no one is complaining. Tonight there is the opening ceremony with oysters and punch.

The championship continues at 13.00 on Tuesday and continues through until Friday, with a total of 10 races scheduled.

Tough day two for OK Dinghy Europeans in Carnac

There were tough conditions with big tide of more than 5 metres and winds between 4 and 8 knots on day two of the OK Dinghy European Championship in Carnac, France.

The race committee kept the fleet ashore for a late start at 15.00.

Race three got away off after a couple of general recalls. The race winner was Bo Petersen (DEN) after a tight battle with Tomazs Gaj (POL) and Stefan Myralf (DEN).

For the second race the wind had picked up and early leader Christian Hedlund (DEN) who sailed well in both races and finished fifth in the first race. In the second race he started at the committee boat and got off in free wind on to the right side of the course and sailed a good first beat to round in the lead. Hedlund said, “It seems that you have to go for pressure as the wind was a bit low compare to the choppy waves.”

The chasing pack were a big bunch of Nick Craig (GBR), Jim Hunt (GBR), Greg Wilcox (NZL), Lee Child (GBR) and Thomas Hansson-Mild. Hedlund finished second and picks up 5, 2 and advances in the overall results. The winner of race 2 was Hansson-Mild and with two wins now leads the regatta by six points from Myralf.

Wilcox had a much more consistent day with a fourth and a third, to be third overall on equal points with Gaj. Peterson, with a black flag, has slipped down the leader board but with two firsts and a sixth will come back into contention with a discard tomorrow. Hansson-Mild is happy with today’s sailing and is looking forward to tomorrow.

Wilcox said, “It was very tricky sailing with pressure lines everywhere apart from where I was. Still it was a good solid day. The fleet has really closed up in speed which is a pain but actually very good for the class. There is a strong British showing and there are five former world champions here and today we were all together on the top mark, which was kind of fun.”

The championship continues at 13.00 on Wednesday and continues through until Friday, with a total of 10 races scheduled.

Bo Petersen takes lead after tricky day three at OK Dinghy Europeans in Carnac

After six races sailed at the OK Dinghy European Championship in Carnac, France, Bo Petersen (DEN) can discard his BFD from Tuesday and takes the overall lead, helped by a first and second in very tricky conditions on Wednresday.

The fleet left the beach on time but the first race was postponed a short while until the wind settled. After one general recall the Danish team hit the right hand corner very hard and were nearly all in the front group at the top mark. Bo Petersen had a small lead which he extended around the course to win from Stefan Myralf (DEN) and Greg Wilcox (NZL). Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) the overnight leader was somewhere in the 50s at the first mark but recovered to 15th.

The second race started in very light winds and young David Kania (POL) got a good start and was first to the right hand corner. Petersen was also there with Myralf and they were the first three at the top mark. After the reaches the wind died completely and the fleet flopped around at the bottom mark. The leaders had wind though and just disappeared. When the wind finally came back there was so much separation in the fleet that a lot of boats could not manage the time limit against the tide in a dying breeze. Of course the sea breeze filled in so everyone could get back to the harbour.

Lindhardtsen said, “The right hand corner worked well today for me. The second race was a bit unfair for those who didn’t make the time limit but for the front few it was ok.”

Hansson-Mild was philosophical about the day, “The first race for me was really bad as I got a bad start and then went the wrong side as there was no chance to get to the right. I fought back to 15th but when Bo and Stefan are always up the it makes it very hard. The second race was ok and I was reasonably happy to get fourth. Tomorrow it is all on as the forecast for Friday is not so good.”

Returning former world champion Jim Hunt (GBR) is in 11th but impressed by the quality in the fleet. “It is fun out there with so many really good sailors. I have just got back into the class and have a distinct lack of practice which is showing. Still from here it can only get better I hope.”

The championship continues at 13.00 on Thursday and continues through until Friday, with a total of 10 races scheduled.

Second win for Dawid Kania, but Bo Petersen still leads OK Dinghy Europeans

On the fourth day of the OK Dinghy Europeans in Carnac France, only one race was managed in the ongoing tricky conditions. Dawid Kania (POL) seems to know what is going on though with his second race victory for move up to sixth overall.

However, the maths is now getting more complicated as Stefan Myralf (DEN) picked up a second place and is now only trailing championship leader Bo Petersen (DEN) by just one point. Young Pole Kania, scored his second consecutive win in this series. The top is still very close so both Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Tomazs Gaj (POL) could still come from behind and take the title if the two leading Danes had a bad race.

On Thursday’s race Myralf said, “It was nerve wrecking in these conditions. On the border of if sailing is possible. I lost the young Polish guy just at the finish line, which was unfortunate as I would have been on equal points with Bo Petersen if I had won.”

Petersen said, “They were tricky conditions. Some days you have the luck and some days you don’t. Stefan got me today.” What is his strategy for tomorrow with one point separation? He said with a grin, “I will take some sunscreen and pack my boat, the forecast doesn’t look good for sailing., But joking aside I will sail the day conservative, as I have the speed. I will not leave Stefan alone, but as I have a black flag there are limits to how much I can concentrate on the other sailors.”

Other than Kania moving up the top ten stayed in the same order, though it is still all up for grabs on the final day – if the wind shows up.

The championship concludes on Friday.

Bo Petersen wins 2013 OK Dinghy European Championship

The OK Dinghy European Championship in Carnac, France, concluded on Friday without another race being sailed. Very light winds kept the fleet on shore all day in the sunshine. So Bo Petersen (DEN) won the title from Stefan Myralf (DEN) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE).

After only two years in the class the 50 year old architect Bo Petersen won the championship by just one point from Myralf. Petersen said, “I was hoping the wind would not materialise, while Stefan hoped that the wind came. Four years ago I said to myself that I would win a World Championship before I was 50; now I’m 50 and have won a championship.”

Myralf took a very close second, with both Danish sailors sailing the new SOTA hulls from Denmark, which are clearly quick in the light conditions in Carnac this week. Myralf wanted the chance to sail today but it wasn’t to be.

The bronze went to Sweden Thomas Hansson-Mild, who had led the championship for a few days before the Danes took over the top two positions. The world champion from 2009, said, “I am happy with my third and can not ask for more given the conditions. Light winds and two good sailors in front. Congratulations to both Bo and Stefan. Now I take a break from OK sailing but might come back some day.”


European Championship Results
# Sailno Name Pts-1 Pts R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7
1 DEN 1421 Bo Petersen 15.00 77.00 1 6 1 BFD 1 2 4
2 DEN 6 Stefan Myralf 16.00 26.00 3 3 3 10 2 3 2
3 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 23.00 38.00 5 1 6 1 15 4 6
4 POL 1 Tomasz Gaj 25.00 36.00 2 11 2 6 5 7 3
5 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 29.00 45.00 6 8 4 3 3 16 5
6 POL 27 Dawid Kania 41.00 62.00 21 18 12 5 4 1 1
7 GBR 2150 Nick Craig 42.00 52.00 7 4 8 8 10 8 7
8 GBR 2152 Lee Child 52.00 68.00 4 5 7 9 16 12 15
9 DEN 1280 Jørgen Lindhardtsen 56.00 77.00 10 2 16 11 6 11 21
10 DEN 1393 Rene Johannsen Sarabia 56.00 88.00 9 9 14 12 7 5 32
11 GBR 2159 Jim Hunt 57.00 74.00 8 10 11 4 14 10 17
12 DEN 1369 Christian Hedlung 73.00 106.00 11 19 5 2 33 27 9
13 GER 778 Sönke Behrens 77.00 106.00 16 12 9 13 29 19 8
14 DEN 1335 Mogens Johansen 79.00 104.00 13 17 10 22 8 9 25
15 DEN 1402 Bo Teglers 89.00 109.00 20 13 13 17 17 15 14
16 GER 787 Ralf Tietje 95.00 117.00 12 21 22 14 13 13 22
17 POL 4 Radoslaw Drozdzik 106.00 168.00 15 20 20 16 24 DNF 11
18 GER 775 Jörg Rademacher 107.00 142.00 18 14 18 24 11 22 35
19 GBR 2145 Tony Woods 110.00 152.00 17 26 17 7 42 23 20
20 DEN 1414 Bo Reker Andersen 113.00 175.00 19 27 BFD 15 12 28 12
21 GER 771 Ralf Mackmann 118.00 151.00 32 33 32 29 9 6 10
22 GBR 2136 Tom Lonsdale 122.00 156.00 25 22 19 34 19 21 16
23 GER 762 André Hennings 123.00 153.00 22 16 30 21 25 26 13
24 GBR 2157 Dave Bourne 130.00 192.00 27 34 15 18 18 DNF 18
25 DEN 1407 Malet Petersen 144.00 206.00 24 15 23 19 21 DNF 42
26 GBR 2042 Richard Burton 154.00 216.00 14 7 BFD 23 22 DNF 26
27 GBR 2045 Will Turner 159.00 221.00 23 25 BFD 31 30 20 30
28 GER 765 Rainer Pospiech 161.00 204.00 DPI 29 21 20 37 17 37
29 GER 750 Dirk Dame 171.00 206.00 26 30 31 35 32 29 23
30 AUS 760 Mark Roberts 183.00 226.00 34 28 27 40 20 34 43
31 POL 7 Marek Bernat 185.00 223.00 35 37 DPI 25 28 31 29
32 GBR 2121 Anthony Rich 186.00 248.00 38 32 29 28 23 DNF 36
33 GER 688 Ronald Foest 188.00 250.00 BFD 50 25 43 27 24 19
34 GBR 2148 Chris Perry 202.00 264.00 29 31 36 38 35 DNF 33
35 BEL 214 Paul Verrijdt 204.00 256.00 45 52 28 42 26 35 28
36 FRA 1824 Alain Renoux 211.00 273.00 40 42 37 BFD 34 14 44
37 GBR 2100 Toby Ramsay 214.00 276.00 36 36 33 39 36 DNF 34
38 GBR 2123 Andy Turner 215.00 264.00 39 35 35 33 49 32 41
39 FRA 2133 Philippe De Kervenoael 237.00 290.00 51 53 34 47 41 33 31
40 NED 664 Peter Van der Schaaaf 241.00 303.00 41 54 24 27 44 DNF 51
41 BEL 151 Paul Bouts 246.00 308.00 58 57 46 DNF 43 18 24
42 DEN 1356 Jesper Petersen 247.00 309.00 DPI 23 40 30 56 DNF 58
43 GBR 2155 Robert Bourne 249.00 311.00 47 44 DNF 26 31 DNF 39
44 GBR 2084 Keith Byers 249.00 311.00 33 38 41 37 38 DNF DNF
45 GER 640 Sven Marchot 250.00 300.00 50 46 42 50 39 25 48
46 GER 651 Heinz Ridder 256.00 318.00 49 39 48 53 40 DNF 27
47 FRA 1810 Jean-Claude Lidon 259.00 309.00 48 48 38 49 50 30 46
48 GBR 2149 Martin Bower 263.00 325.00 37 49 45 32 48 DNF 52
49 GER 735 Dirk Gericke 263.00 325.00 43 41 43 44 52 DNF 40
50 NZL 2028 Finn Gheury 266.00 328.00 DPI 45 39 41 45 DNF 38
51 GER 715 Sven Beye 268.00 330.00 DPI 24 51 36 60 DNF 55
52 GBR 2130 Deryck Lovegrove 279.00 341.00 42 43 49 45 53 DNF 47
53 FRA 1827 Julien Dejugnat 283.00 339.00 56 47 44 52 47 37 56
54 FRA 723 Matthieu Chenuil 293.00 355.00 44 40 47 48 57 DNF 57
55 GBR 2104 Paul Pike 313.00 375.00 54 55 54 51 54 DNF 45
56 FRA 1257 Eric Kopka 313.00 375.00 55 51 53 55 46 DNF 53
57 FRA 1820 Raymond Dodard 320.00 382.00 52 59 50 54 55 DNF 50
58 POL 201 Darius Heinemann 321.00 383.00 53 56 56 46 61 DNF 49
59 DEN 1396 Stig Frandsen 338.00 400.00 DNC DNC DNC DNC DPI 36 54
60 FRA 186 Jean Jacques Charpentier 342.00 404.00 57 58 52 56 59 DNF 60
61 FRA 1769 Remi Blandureau 351.00 413.00 DNF 60 55 57 58 DNF 59
European Championship Gear List
# Sailor Boat Builder Shape Mast Sail Boom
1 Bo Petersen DEN 1421 Strandberg Strandberg C Tech Green Solgren
2 Stefan Myralf DEN 1423 Strandberg Strandberg C Tech Quantum Art of Racing
3 Thomas Hanson Mild SWE 100 Jason King Delf C Tech Quantum AUS Assn
4 Tomek Gaj POL 1 Icebreaker NZ Icebreaker C Tech Cicada Solgren
5 Greg Wilcox NZL 544 Icebreaker NZ Icebreaker C Tech Quantum Art of Racing
6 Dawid Kania POL 27 Icebreaker NZ Icebreaker C Tech Green Needlespar
7 Nick Craig GBR 2150 Idol Composites Icebreaker C Tech Hunt/Davis AUS Assn
8 Lee Child GBR 2152 Synery Marine Skipper/Rose C Tech Gowen Needlespar
9 Jorgen Lindhartsen DEN 1280 Lindhartsen Delf C Tech Green Solgren
10 Rene Sarabia Johansen DEN 1393 Icebreaker NZ Icebreaker C Tech Quantum/Green Solgren