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World Championship 2000

Leba, Poland

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August 5th - 11th

Day one:
Tough Racing On the Opening Day

When the fleet got away in nearly 20 knots for the first start, the port end of the line was favoured. Karsten Hitz, GER 727, led all the way to the finish line. After Hitz there was a group of eight where no places were clear until the last beat.

With the wind increasing to nearly 30 knots and the black flag up,It was difficult to reach the starting line on starboard. A group of four, led by Hitz, pulled away early from the rest. David Carroll, GBR 2085, capsized on the second beat but managed to stay in the group. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE 2746, then took over the lead on the run. At the beginning of the final beat Hansson-Mild took the middle of the course. Bart Bomans, BEL 44, who was second went to the right, while the third, Hitz, wen left. The right side was favoured and Bomans finished first with Hansson-Mild second. Hitz went too far and lost two places in the last 100 m due to the drifting finishing mark.

Due to the hard conditions many helmsmen decided to retire, leaving only 40 boats to finish the second race. The old Viking, Jørgen Lindhardtsen, DEN 1280, tacked at the gybe mark. We seldom seen that in the last 20 years!

Day two:
More Wind and even higher waves

No racing due to too high waves and too much wind.

Day three:
More Windy Racing

Although there was one general recall and a black flag at the second attempt no one was disqualified at the start of race three. The first beat was lead by Jan-Dietmar Dellas followed by Thomas Hansson-Mild. On the first reach Hansson-Mild passed the German, but was overtaken by Karsten Hitz on the second reach. He managed to take the lead again on the second beat but unfortunately capsized on the run. Hitz held his lead up the last beat, followed by Nick Craig, GBR 2094. Hansson-Mild managed third place.

The fleet got away at the first start of race four, again in winds of up to twenty knots. Craig was in the lead throughout the first beat and the reaches. During the second beat he was passed by Hitz, who kept the lead until the finish. Said Hitz, "I feel confident for the rest of the regatta if the wind stays. Everything works perfectly, boat speed and pointing."

Day four:
Light Winds - Big Seas

Race 5 got underway with the strong wind & big waves of the previous days making way for light winds & chop. Nick Craig (GBR) and Bart Bomans (BEL) sailed fast downwind to be 1st and 2nd with local Antoni Pawlowski (POL) and Andy Rushworth (GBR) not far behind. Series leader Karsten Hitz (GER) was 15th, opening up the championship.

Race 6 was sailed in similar conditions resulting in many high scores for the leading contenders. Hitz sailed a perfect race to lead from start to finish with Craig 2nd and 4 times Olympian Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) 3rd and Pawlowski 4th.

One race is scheduled on Friday, which promised to be an exciting showdown between the 2 remaining contenders for the championship.

Day five:
Karsten Hitz Takes Title

Race seven saw a general recall on first start. No one was caught by the black flag on second. Before start, Nick Craig (GBR 2094) and Karsten Hitz (GER 727) had a "matchracing contest" which resulted in a number of protests from Craig. Just before the second start, Jan-Erik Nystedt (SWE 66) was hit badly on the starboard side and was close to sinking.

The old legend Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN 1280) took the lead on the first beat, ahead of Bart Bomas (BEL 44) and Karsten. The persuers never reached the old Dane, who lead the race to the finish. Bomans took a chance on the last beat, but went too far and was passed by Karsten and Tomas Hansson-Mild (SWE 2746).

The four protests filed by Nick Craig were all dismissed by the jury, and Karsten Hitz was thus declared the World Champion for 2000, after 25 years of OK sailing.

James McAllister from Australia beat the Swede Max Nystedt to the Junior Champion trophy, while Jørgen Lindhardtsen once again got the Veteran trophy.

Said Karsten Hitz, "It was tough before the start, but I got free on the first beat and did not see Nick (Craig) for the remainder of the race.

Another Report

by David Carroll

The OK worlds were held in the town of Leba in Poland on the Baltic coast. Many of the British sailors stayed away from the event after a bad experience in 1993 but they will regret it with the big winds and large waves, sunshine and lively nightlife! It all kicked off with the practice race held in excellent sailing conditions. Most of the leading contenders chose to be lazy and only do one lap with the big wind forecast for the next day. The full 80-boat fleet was led round the mark by Nick Craig (GBR) and was followed by the top contenders such as Bart Bomans from Belgium and Karsten Hitz of Germany. The British sailors faired well all rounding in the top 15 or so. Karsten Hitz followed by 4 times Olympian Jorgen Lindhardsen from Denmark eventually won the race.

Race 1 got underway in a steady force 5 with Jan-Dietmar Dellas (GER) rounding first to open an early lead but his 120kg bulk didn't fair well on the reach's. Karsten Hitz showed his usual windy weather speed to win from Lindhardsen. A shift to the right near the finish allowed Bart Bomans (BEL) and Nick Craig (GBR) to steal 3rd and 4th places ahead of Oliver Grongolz (GER) in 6th.

Conditions for race 2 were extreme and exhilarating. The wind was close to the maximum allows of 28 knots and the waves were massive with boats (and sometimes masts!) disappearing between waves. Bomans showed great skill to defy his weight disadvantage and scored a narrow victory from Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE). Craig had a good run with a broken kicker to hold off Dave Carroll (GBR) for 3rd and 4th places respectively.

Racing was postponed to another day on Tuesday because the wind had got up even more. The wind had moderated to a steady 5 for the two races on Wednesday and it was Jan-Dietmar leading from Hansson-Mild at the top mark. Karsten third and Craig forth. Hansson-Mild capsized on the run to give Hitz a win from Craig. Hansson-Mind finished 4th and Lindhardsen 5th whilst overnight leader Bomans finished 6th with Carroll 7th.

Craig led at the first mark of race 4 and opened up a big lead by the end of the reaches. However, it was the awesome upwind speed of Hitz that scored him another victory. Bomans finished 3rd from Gronholz with Carroll 5th.

The experienced British team had another strong day with 4 of the 5 members finishing the day with a real chance of a top ten finish overall. Terry Curtis (GBR) and Andy Rushworth (GBR) both were sailing out of their skins in the breezy conditions.

Day 4 was a different affair with the winds now easing to force 2 and a nasty chop. A BIG shift up the first beat allowed Andy Rushworth an early lead but missed his toe straps and fell out to round 4th instead of having a big windward mark lead! Antoni Powlowski (POL) led round with Craig second and Bomans 3rd. Craig covered hard to win followed by Bomans and Powlowski. Rushworth ended up 4th despite his swim. Hitz scored a 15th that opened up the event.

Hitz made no mistake in race 6 with a perfect starboard end start to lead from start to finish. Craig pulled through to 2nd to keep the pressure on with Lindharsen 3rd.

In the light airs the Brits had a mixed day but Dave Carroll move up a place to 6th overall despite a bad day and Rushworth moved into the top 10 after an excellent day. Curtis was hovering around 10th and it was all to play in the last race.

The final day lived up to the billing with an exciting but controversial day. There were 2 contenders for the title - Karsten who had clocked up 4 wins but was carrying a 15th and Nick with a consistent series with all top 4 results. Craig had to beat Hitz by 2 places or sail him below 6th. Craig made his intentions clear with a psychological game starting some 20 minutes before the start. Craig arrived off Hitz's quarter for 15 minutes! The 5-minute gun went and Craig went in hard with the protest flag going up within 30 seconds for a luffing incident. Hitz was clearly rattled as Craig tailed and both planed off to the port end of the line. Both boats were OCS in the recalled start, this meant Karsten lived to fight again. Craig continued his aggressive moves tailing Hitz away from the line. In Americas cup style stuff, Craig held Hitz out for almost the 10 minutes but Hitz escaped with to make a perfect start whilst Craig was buried. Hitz sailed a good race to finish 2nd behind Lindhardsen. Bomans and Hansson-mild finished 3rd and 4th. Dave Carroll finished with a 6th, Curtis a 9th and Rushworth a 10th that meant all 4 finished in the top 10.

However it was not over. Craig lodged 4 protests. 2 of the protests alleged that German boats had interfered with the match race in 8 separate incidents. The other 2 alleged rule infringements during the pre-starts against Karsten. The jury's decision's meant Karsten had won the Worlds at long last.

Point System: "Olympic": 1st=0; 2nd=3; 3rd=5,7; 4th=8; 5th=10; 6th=11,7; place+6

1GER 727HITZ Karsten1511151213.00
2GBR 2094CRAIG Nick4322121422.70
3BEL 44BOMANS Bart316327434.10
4DEN 1280LINDHARDTSEN Jørgen284883144.70
5SWE 2746HANSSON-MILD Thomas723165010365.40
6GBR 2035CARROLL David84751424676.70
7GER 2097RUSHWORTH Andrew19129104111090.00
8POL 31PAWLOWSKI Antoni12251313341893.70
9GER 717GRONHOLZ Oliver568430271597.70
10GBR 2084CURTIS Terry1010141213289104.00
11GER 449BEHRENS Sönke1311261411912106.00
12GER 693VON ZIMMERMANN Martin17DNF1718668107.40
13SWE 2747ALBRECHZSSON Olle91311757357118.00
14GER 724DELLAS Jan Dietmar69101751375118.70
15GER 674PETERS Gunter2417189181211121.00
16SWE 99ELKJAER Hans15DNF126221516121.70
17GER 707SCHMIDT Thorsten16151911631617130.00
18NZL 507DEAVES Alistair28331519121713140.00
19GER 618SCHEUERL Peter111423152319DNF141.00
20SWE 66NYSTEDT Jan-Eric2275203625DNF150.00
21IND 1MONGIA Nitin18182225251420153.00
22SWE 2755OLSSON Per-Arne1419162227OCS22156.00
23POL 6MOCZORODYNSKI Boguslaw3820253095DNF162.00
24GER 225KIENE Volkmar25DNF2124103028174.00
25GER 670RIES Hinnerk23262923521327177.00
26GBR 2093CASEY Greg20163628174235188.00
27POL 161BLASZKA Slawomir21243333332626199.00
28DEN 1303SOGREN Henrik26DNF2021355019207.00
29IND 2DUTTA Gautama45DNF3027213821218.00
30DEN 1311ANDERSEN Jesper35233232404023221.00
31GER 725HARTMANN Christian50DNF354572329225.00
32POL 58NOWACZYK Maciej30213426465932225.00
33AUS 696MC ALLISTER JamesDNF273135423425230.00
34GER 695GERICKE Dirk27224429445630232.00
35POL 113KOTEWICZ Michael40DNF2439521DNF234.00
36DEN 1249PEDERSEN Ivan34284236203942235.00
37NED 662KUIJPERS Adrie51323734323134236.00
38GER 970SENST Christian39DNC4844191837241.00
39POL 75MYSZKOWSKI Sandro41DNF493745836252.00
40GER 178POPLONYK Mieczyslaw42DNF4040164533252.00
41POL 20WOJEWSKI Jaroslaw32314141534139261.00
42POL 475KOTWICKI Igor313539DNF542940264.00
43POL 11LESZCZYNSKI Michal29DNF28312654DNC274.00
44GER 621HENNINGS Andre36DNF5247313638276.00
45POL 175BONDARCZUK Krzysztof37364346374845280.00
46POL 101SZMYT Mariusz46373838595141287.00
47POL 45STOBINSKI Janusz49395152392252288.00
48POL 16WITT RafalDNFDNF4549242047291.00
49POL 32ANGIELCZYK Maciej443457RDG474346295.00
50DEN 1302NIELSEN Karl Erik SvareDNCDNF27DNF343331301.00
51POL 36SOBIERAJ Michal53384753434643306.00
52POL 66JANKOWSKI Marian55305656583248313.00
53POL 99PIKULA Tomasz47DNF5343415350323.00
54SWE 2749NYSTEDT Max43DNF504261OCS24326.00
55POL 9CHWALKO Patryk564059542958DNF332.00
56POL 523KANIA Jakub59DNF4651494944334.00
57FRA 2000DODARD Raymond54DNF6157385551352.00
58POL 624KARCZEWSKI Jacek48DNF6250486053357.00
59DEN 1213HANSEN Thomas BirgerDNFDNF6059285754364.00
60POL 141KARCZEWSKI Michal58DNF5548DNF5249368.00
62POL 4JURKIEWICZ Jakub52415855DNCDNCDNC382.00
63POL 52LEWANDOWSKI Slawomir57DNF54585661DNF392.00
64SWE 2699KARLSSON EricDNFDNF63DNF554756397.00
65POL 22WOJEWSKI MateuszDNCDNC64DNF604455399.00