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World Championship 2004

Poole, Great Britain

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July 25th - 30th

Report by Robert Deaves

With a massive 32 point margin, Jim Hunt from Great Britain won the Dean & Reddyhoff OK Dinghy World Championships in Poole Bay sailed from 25 to 30 July from Parkstone Yacht Club with a maximum fleet size of 81 OKs. In winning the event, Jim Hunt has become the first ever British sailor to lift the title in its 40 year history, and has done so in one of the deepest fields of talent ever present at a World Championship.

Leading from race one, Hunt only once fell outside the top 5 and on the way to victory calmed placed consistently in front of the defending World Champion Nitin Mongia (IND), the winner of the previous week's National Championship, Nick Craig (GBR), double world champion Karsten Hitz (GER), current European Champion Bart Bomans (BEL) and former world champions Greg Wilcox (NZL) and Jørgen Lindhartdsen (DEN).

Two races were sailed on Sunday and Monday in probably the most stable conditions of the week, with Hunt, Bomans, Hitz and Craig taking a win each. A solid westerly wind made for some great sailing conditions, but it was obvious from early on that this was going to be a high scoring regatta with Bomans scoring OCS in race 3, Hitz picking up a 51st in race 4 and the other challengers all adding a high score to their results.

For the next two days, the haze prevented any sea breeze building and all races were abandoned, although the fleet was at sea for 5 hours on Wednesday waiting for the wind to build.

On Thursday the race officer was determined to get three races in and kept the fleet afloat for some ten hours. Craig won the first race of the day in light winds to close the gap on Hunt who started badly and played catch-up to finish fifth. Hunt then led the next race by a large margin to take a second win and stretch his lead. In a very patchy and variable wind, Andrew Rushworth (GBR) went on to win the final race of the day with Hunt failing to recover from a large wind shift on the first beat to finish 28th. A 6th place for Craig moved him up to second overall.

The final day proved somewhat of a challenge for some. Race 8 was started in very light winds and saw several changes of pressure and wind direction. On the first reach the wind died completely and the sea breeze started to build turning it into a beat and at the bottom on the second reach - now a run - the windward mark was moved 100° seawards. Those who figured out what was happening made great gains moving from the 70s up to the top 20. Those who got it wrong, or were just plain unlucky, fell from the top 10 to the back. At the finish Rudiger Prinz (GER) led his fellow German Ralf Machmann across the finish. The ever consistent Hunt came third.

Anxious to complete the series of 10 races, the race officer started race 9 soon after but then postponed it at the last minute. By the time it was restarted the race officer was running out of time so it was no surprise that this was the final race. Again characterised by large shifts, Joe Porebski led all the way to win by a large margin and take the massive race trophy home to New Zealand. Craig and Hunt rounded off a successful week with a 2nd and 3rd.

Two fourth places on the final day lifted the 2003 World Champion, Nitin Mongia into third place, while a relatively poor 13th and 19th, dropped pre-event favourite Bart Bomans out of the medals. With seven nations in the top 10 and six different races winners over nine races, the 2004 OK Worlds was perhaps one of the toughest in recent years, but the one with also the clearest winner. One of the UK's top dinghy sailors, Jim Hunt, kept his head and his consistency to become a worthy world champion.

Daily Reports by Valerie from the organizers

Day 1

The OK Class World Championship hosted by Parkstone Yacht Club, got underway in Poole Bay on Sunday in brilliant sunshine and 11 knots of westerly breeze.
With the first race being a Practice Race PRO Peter Drake set a shortened course ending with the second beat. Provisional Results showed New Zealander Mark Perrow (an ex-Laser sailor) winning with two Brits Nick Craig and Jim Hunt in second and third places.

Championship Race 1 followed after some delay due to wind shifts and a dragging anchor. After one General Recall the PRO exercised his authority with the Black Flag and the fleet of about 85 boats got away in a smart 12 knots wind which helped the more heavy weather sailors. GBR 2059 went for a leeward end start whilst Karsten Hitz seem to pop out of the middle of the line like a cork.
Results Race 1:

  1. GBR 2109 Jim Hunt
  2. SWE 2746 Thomas Hansson-Mild
  3. NZL 517 Paul Rhodes

Championship Race 2 started soon after with just one General Recall with a Black Flag, unfortunately 3 boats infringed the 1 minute rule and would be disqualified at the finish. At the start of the race the wind had dropped to 6 knots but it soon increased back to 12 knots and shifted enough for the PRO to swing the course at the appropriate time in the middle of the race. Once again those favouring heavy weather seemed to benefit although there was a fair amount of place changing especially on the runs.
Results Race 2:

  1. BEL 44 Bart Bomans
  2. NZL 520 Russell Wood
  3. GBR 2109 Jim Hunt

Day 2

Championship Race 3: The second day of the Championship started in cloudy conditions with a somewhat erratic offshore wind below 10 knots. PRO Peter Drake had to contend with shifts between 270° and 310°. After several postponements, followed by a general recall the fleet finally got away with four boats disqualified under the Black Flag rule. Danish sailor Joergen Lindhardtsen led for much of the race but was finally beaten into second place (by 15 seconds) by Karsten Hitz from Germany. Third and fourth places went to Nick Craig and Jim Hunt from Great Britain who had both pulled their way up through the fleet.
Results Race 3:

  1. Karsten Hitz
  2. Jørgen Lindhardtsen
  3. Nick Craig

Race 2 of the day (Championship Race 4) got under way, in a moderate breeze, with only one Black Flag start and no disqualifications.
The first beat saw the interesting scenario of son and father sailors, Will and Andy Turner, rounding the windward mark in first and fourth places respectively. They didn't manage to hold these positions although Will only lost his lead on the final beat to Nick Craig and Belgian Bart Bowans. Father Andy finished in twelfth position. The PRO had to react to a late wind shift when laying the finishing line.
Results Race 4:

  1. GBR 2110 Nick Craig
  2. BEL 44 Bart Bomans
  3. GBR 2045 Will Turner

Day 3

The third day of the Championship proved very frustrating. With light variable winds and cloudy conditions there was very little prospect of a sea breeze developing. The PRO held the competitors ashore whilst he went out into the Bay with two support boats to monitor conditions.
After a total postponement of 4 hours he decided that, with very little hope of a reasonable sailing breeze coming in, there would not be any racing that day.

Day 4

Another day with light variable winds made it impossible to sail.

Day 5

Day 5 brought wind at last starting with a SEly 8 to 9 knots, this was forecast to veer to SW later in the day. With the PRO intending to get 3 races in during the day all 81 competitors and the all the Club boats were out on the course early. Everything looked promising with the first race away on schedule. The Black Flag was flying from the first start and only one boat was disqualified. Nick Craig in GBR 2110 led all the way but after some position changing 2nd and 3rd places went to SWE 2746 (Thomas Hansson-Mild) and BEL 44 (Bart Bomans). IND 1 Nitin Mongia (reigning World Champion) lost places right on the finishing line when he had to take a 720° penalty for an infringement.
The second race of the day was dogged by a wind which, when the PRO started setting up the line, was 140° and finally settled into 210° at 8 knots for a start 3 hours later - most frustrating for competitors and management team alike. Seven boats suffered penalty under the Black Flag rule. Jim Hunt in 2109 led at the first windward mark and held this place to the end.
By the start of the third race (at 1730) the wind had settled to 260° with 12 knots, all competitors had a clear start. The Kiwis seemed to come into their own in the stronger winds although Andy Rushworth of Christchurch SC (compensating for his Black Flag in the second race) showed them that the Brits could also sail in these conditions as also did the Germans.
So ended a very long day for everyone with competitors sailing back into Parkstone after 7.30p.m. to be greeted at the slipway with very welcoming "hot dogs" and a beer.

Day 6

For the final day of racing the high pressure system still seemed to be maintaining its position over Poole Bay.

With the Black Flag in operation immediately only one boat infringed for the first race of the day. Gunter Arndt (GER 672) got away to a good start but went too far to the left and a gaggle of British arrived at the windward mark first. By the time the fleet got to the gybe mark the wind had backed to a 190° about 7 knots and the PRO quickly set up a change of course from the leeward mark (where half the fleet seemed to arrive together in a raft!) to a new windward mark. Rüdiger Prinz (GER 711) took the lead, followed by fellow countryman Ralf Mackman (GER 723) and held these places to the finish. The fickle conditions gave good results to sailors who had not been up with the leaders earlier in the week. The only girl competitor, Juliane Hofmann (GER 699), finishing 7th.

  1. Rüdiger Prinz (GER 711)
  2. Ralf Mackman (GER 723)
  3. Jim Hunt (GBR 2109)

With Race 9 most probably going to be the last one, Jim Hunt was looking to be favourite for the World Championship. However, the next places were being keenly contested by Nick Craig (GBR 2110), Bart Bomans (BEL 44) and last year's Champion Nitin Mongia from India.

The wind had steadied to around 190° with a mean of 12 knots. The Black Flag start gave three boats OCS and two of these - NZL 520 and GER 672, were up with the leaders for the whole race, it was a frustrating moment for them when they crossed the finishing line to silence. Joe Porebski (NZL 509) proved a popular winner.

  1. Joe Porebski (NZL 509)
  2. Nick Craig (GBR 2110)
  3. Jim Hunt (GBR 2109)

Jim Hunt had sailed consistently to become a comfortable World Champion for 2004 - the first from the UK. With his discard being 28th he had 2 firsts, 3 thirds, 1 fourth and 2 fifths.

At the prize giving in the Club Cruiser Shed, Commodore Tom Lock thanked all those who had worked so hard to make the Championship a success. He made a special mention of Mary Reddyhoff who had worked on the project for nearly two years, the major sponsors Dean and Reddyhoff Marinas and PRO Peter Drake, to whom the weather conditions had given a hard time. IOKDBCA Chairman Terry Curtis reiterated with thanks from the Association giving mention to the International Jurors who had come from as far away as Australia.

With Jim Hunt the first british sailor ever won the OK Worlds, "breaking the rule" of never a british sailor winning the worlds title.

The OCS, DNC, DNS and DNF scores are guessed as the original results stated "82o" "82d" "82n" and "82r"

Results source: British OK page

1GBR 2109Jim HuntSSSC134551283325
2GBR 2110Nick CraigFPSC161231120616257
3IND 1Nitin MongiaOKDAI,NSC410143585204469
4BEL 44Bart BomansKLYC61OCS23919131972
5NZL 509Joe PorebskiWBBC298770117186187
6DEN 1280Joergen LindhardtsenHSS713285188545102
7GER 727Karsten HitzSSC114151214341814116
8SWE 2746Thomas Hansson-MildUSS271522229251528116
9NZL 519Steven McDowellWBBC182224144252498117
10NZL 517Paul RhodesWBBC32821397109309117
11NZL 501Matt StechmannWBBC1558628483OCS7120
12GBR 2106David CarrollFFSC20273211102291916134
13NZL 522Greg WilcoxWBBC43269101714222511134
14NZL 521Mark PerrowWBC520540136335020142
15GBR 2113Andrew RushworthCSC1711292335OCS1296151
16NZL 511Ben MorrisonWBC122461546OCS132813157
17GER 693Martin von ZimmermanSCOe481530241230102117159
18GBR 2101Terry CurtisUTSC13OCS4113917361725171
19NZL 490Craig PryceNSC21393820663114112185
20NZL 504Adrian ManneringNSC9625373849422315195
21GBR 2081Robert DeavesDSC102316361511583364202
22NZL 520Russell WoodPCSC38222321923562OCS203
23DEN 1324Jesper PetersenSSS1418OCS194331214026212
24SWE 99Hans ElkjaerVSS25443721472738918219
25GBR 2085Gavin WaldronSSSC244217425312391037223
26GER 717Oliver GronholzSSClub531412184436326423232
27NZL 484Michael InwoodWBC59321116304574651238
28GER 672Gunter ArndtFYC27OCS19934161542OCS244
29GER 711Rüdiger PrinzSCST71454034201531159245
30GER 690Sönke BehrensSCOe233043332947302236246
31DEN 1323Bo TeglersHSS39563475619344521255
32POL 14Pawel PawlaczykJKW8933521439DNS6931255
33AUS 711Nick GraySLMA.SC335350302433273622255
34GER 624Thomas GlasSSC372136312657404324258
35GBR 2108Neil GoodheadSSSC74602646635142750264
36GBR 2082John Ball414713535426235210265
37GER 725Christian HartmannVSAW51166943256503733279
38SWE 2750Jonas Lindahl28541857234436558285
39GER 723Ralf MackmannSCH61712327164653263291
40GBR 2045Will TurnerASC303627355DNFDNC3527295
41GBR 2008Geoff WoollenFPSC70DNF6417362226853296
42AUS 610Peter BurtonSLMA.SC314020713951453840304
43IND 2054D.Panneer SelvamAM75OCS54385732171143327
44GER 632Fabian GronholzSSC662910604964124861333
45GER 665Peter StephanSCST4217OCSDNS2255512044333
46GBR 2067Jonathan FishWSC194357496359443230333
47GBR 2105Alex Scoles69724729585224556340
48GBR 2071David BourneBCSC265839593360356134344
49POL 5Krzysztof DabkowskiMos2 W684163611818671270348
50GBR 2059Peter TurnerASC623845416154521446351
51GBR 2107Mike EdwardsSSSC526953256442543929358
52POL 22Mateusz WojewskiLKSC545048722740562657358
53GBR 2100Daniel Ager323555674241635642366
54AUS 708Christopher VisickBRYC223446686874417135385
55GBR 2007Anthony Rich6733444831387355DNF389
56GER 699Juliane HofmannSWSV78707263255348752390
57GER 539Carsten SassLYC474828794524686865393
58POL 61Janusz StobinskiAZSP354952766534625845400
59GER 645Arne LindemannPSCW80743556406816DNS41410
60DEN 1335Mogens JohansenSSS564649546750495155410
61GBR 2049Ian HarrisBCSC726356737921572447413
62GER 726Jörg SylvesterSSC445561457037644762415
63SWE 2759Per-Arne OlssonSSK3451425577OCSDNC3454429
64GBR 2112John Paul WilliamsWOSC403760667567665739432
65GER 659Falk HagemannSWSV646575264869703160433
66DEN 1212Jan LarsenHSS556459695958375348433
67GBR 2083Andy TurnerASC3619711274OCS60DNFDNC436
68DEN 1246Frank VislerSSS5061DNS586065475938438
69BEL 214Paul VerrijdtKLYCK496865623761594468445
70GBR 1774Tony ThresherWOSC4531314352OCSDNCDNCDNC448
71GBR 2087Julian Burnham777567656228616032450
72AUS 692Bill TylerSASC465766477170556749457
73GBR 2102Andrew Day577351746913717367474
74GER 694Gunnar SpechtPSCW635970504172657466486
75AUS 715Tom PearceBRYC76666228806346DNCDNC503
76AUS 694Richard FurneauxBRYC732574447673DNFDNCDNC529
77GBR 2053Alan AtkinBurghfield SC6567OCS645044DNFDNCDNC536
78POL 80Jarostaw KuczynskiBWK6052737773717263OCS541
79GER 695Dirk GerickeSGEB58DNC68787262697071548
80POL 58Darek KrasMos2 W79625875OCS66746669549
81BEL 604Mark GeboesKLYC8176768078OCSDNC7272617