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Sweden, Veijle Yacht Service OK Dinghy Nordic Championships 2018


9 – 10 June

A familiar face for many sailors showed up last weekend in the OK Dinghy boat park in Gottskär, Sweden. Fredrik Lööf stepped back into an OK Dinghy again after three decades away and took the Nordic title, which he previously won aged 17, with four race wins out of five races sailed. Double European champion, Bo Petersen was second with former world champion, Greg Wilcox in third. A total of 45 sailors from five nations took part.

The host club was SS Kaparen, situated just south of Gothenburg, a family orientated club with a strong and competitive OK Dinghy fleet. The weekend was characterised by light winds and sunny conditions with the very strong fleet enjoying themselves both on and off the water.

Lööf, a multiple champion and Olympic gold medalist previously won the OK Dinghy Nordics back in 1987, when he was just 17 years old, before starting his long career in Finns and Stars. This year he showed good speed right from the start and took all three bullets on the first day. Only Petersen was able to keep up, ending the day with three seconds, while Wilcox was third overnight.

Day two brought similar winds with home sailor Thomas Hansson-Mild taking the day’s first race win, after Petersen was disqualifed, followed by Lööf, who chased him all around for a tight finish. In the last race, Lööf once again took the race win, but this time he had a battle with the promising junior, Maja Hansson-Mild, who led for most of the race, only to lose out to Lööf and Petersen and cross third.

Lööf was clearly happy to be back in the class and thanked the club and all the sailors. He explained how special it was to actually be sailing in the OK Dinghy again after so many years away from it. Back in 1987 he didn’t dare to make a speech after winning the title, but that was long forgotten now and compensated for by his speech this year.

Lööf said he got back into OKs, Because I love the basic, elementary sailing like the Finn and OK. I found the OK more fun as it’s a lighter boat and I like the simple set up. It’s cheaper as well and just great sailing. It is a little special to win the Nordic Championship again as I won it 1987, just before getting into the Finn.

He thinks the equipment has moved on a long way in 30 years. The equipment has improved a lot, the whole concept is simple with a few suppliers, which is great…in a way better than the Finn.

For his first OK Dinghy in 30 years he chose a UK built Ovington. I know Ovington build great boats, and I talked to the guys in the class and they were impressed by the performance. I had great back-up from the Swedish supplier Båths, so it was an easy choice. I went for Green sails as they been building OK sails for ever.

On the racing, The level is great and the sailors love the sport and the OK sailing. It is a great class with no Olympic stress and you can compete at a high level and still enjoy it.

When Lööf started his Finn campaign back in 1987 he was up against Mats Caap, who won the OK World Championship in 1987, before qualifying in the Finn for the 1988 Olympics. Lööf then turned the tables to qualify in 1992, the first of his six appearances at the Games, three in the Finn and three in the Star.

Caap was also racing in Gottskär, having returned to the OK Dinghy a few years ago. Lööf reminisced, It’s always great to sail against Mats. He is such a great sailor and person so that’s also a strong reason to get back into the class – to see all your friends.

Runner up, Petersen, who sails a Strandberg hull from Denmark, added, It is always nice to come to Sweden for sailing, the nature is so beautiful, with this fjord with rocks down in the water, and also the Swedish people are so nice and gentle.

Fredrik was hard to sail against because he made nearly no mistakes and I was close to being a tourist. I enjoyed it though, because now I know what to do with my training. I only managed to take one bullet away from him but was disqualified for touching the leeward starting mark. Sorry boys.

Thanks to Kaparen sailing club for making a very nice and cosy Nordic Championship and I’m looking forward to going back to Sweden for the worlds in 2020.

Third placed Wilcox was also impressed by the level of sailing and equipment. The racing was close and very even as there was not so much wind and now the fleet pretty much all has good gear it is easy to get a bad start and never recover. Some of the top guys like myself and Mats Caap and Thomas Hansson-Mild all had bad races after bad starts.

It was great to sail against Fredrik as he shows a level of ability that comes with years of professional sailing. He doesn't seem to make mistakes and his fleet positioning is very good. Not being slow helps but he didn't really win on speed. He seemed to really enjoy it as well.

Next up for fleet is Kieler Woche, which has attracted the biggest entry for more than a decade with 70 entries so far. Many sailors are using it as a warm event for the World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany, in early July.

Wilcox concluded, We have Kiel next weekend with a great fleet lined up so that should be a very good event and perfect warm up for what looks like an extremely competitive worlds. It's great for me as I need the practice. My new Synergy Marine boat is going well, and is fast, but the skipper's head might need a bit of tuning.

The world championship already has a pre-entry list of nearly 130 boats, including, on the back of his Gottskär victory, Lööf. His last OK Dinghy Worlds was also in 1987, where he took fourth place. This year’s world’s has also pulled in many new names, as well as former champions, and looks like being one of the most competitive championships for a long time.

Nordic Championships 2018 - Results
1SWE 69Fredrik LööfKSSS1112164.0
2DEN 1507Bo PetersenHellerup SK222DSQ2548.0
3NZL 582Greg WilcoxBernd3356203717.0
4SWE 139Hans BörjessonVSS6481263624.0
5SWE 100Thomas Hansson-MildSSKA13841164226.0
6DEN 1487Henrik Kofoed-LarsenHellerup92464125531.0
7SWE 59Lars EdwallLBS46162675933.0
8SWE 2846Jonas BörjessonKSSS72399105835.0
9SWE 797Mats CaapVSS1117313115538.0
10DEN 1433Henrik Kimmel PetersenHerslev Strand SK21.5)51751563.542.0
11DEN 1431Christopher Joe SchubertHorsens SKb1037151098144.0
12DEN 142Jörgen LindhardtsenHellerup SK512721347945.0
13SWE 7Bengt LarssonSSKA1271117257247.0
14POL 7Marek BernatKKS Warmia Oisctyn1518243137349.0
15SWE 2788Jan-Erik Engholm815213388552.0
16SWE 9Håkan TörnqvistSSKA2691014218054.0
17GER 767Juliane HofmannBernd1614222057755.0
18DEN 1419Henri SkovHorsens1420148308656.0
19SWE 2797Olle AlbrektssonVSS273023749161.0
20SWE 60Per WestlundNorrköpings SS25111324229570.0
22SWE 2804Ingemar JansonSSKA203319161810673.0
21DEN 1482Tim NormannHerslev Strand SK241020193110473.0
23SWE 17Jan CarlssonMariestads SK17.521281819103.575.5
24SWE 2816Claes AvellunGKSS21.516321132112.580.5
25SWE 22Lasse HanssonGESS28.513362224123.587.5
26SWE 99Hans ElkjaerVSS363212BFD1414094.0
27DEN 1407Mattis Pedersen233829271713496.0
28SWE 55 Ulf SahleGeSS17.52927BFD36155.5109.5
29DEN 14 Peter ThyboHorsens SK1941343523152111.0
30SWE 2776Peder ThunanderASMK3525302828146111.0
31SWE 2849Sverker HärdUpsala SS3331183138151113.0
32SWE 77Peter RudblomGESS3022253742156114.0
33SWE 15Mats HovdeGKSS3719382933156118.0
34SWE 2802Claes HeymanSSKA3826263037157119.0
35SWE 888Magnus GillgrenSSKA3235312540163123.0
36DEN 88Jacob BangSvendborg Sund SK3134333426158124.0
37DEN 1505Peter PlesnerSvensborg Sund SK28.540423227169.5127.5
38SWE 111Bertil EliassonSSKA3939431539175132.0
39SWE 80Arne MalmKSSS402835BFD29178132.0
40SWE 2792Anders WiddingUmeå SS4127403635179138.0
41SWE 2791Roine EricsonKSSS4336392341182139.0
42SWE 57 Maja Hansson-MildSSKADNCDNCDNCBFD3187141.0
43DEN 1396Fredrikshamn SK Christian Roulsen344441DNCDNC211165.0
44DEN 8Jakob Witthöft424337DNCDNC214168
45SWE 11 Bengt-Ingvar SörgårdSTSS444244DNCDNC222176.0
DNS, DSQ, OCS, BFD etc: 46pts