Andre Budzien wins OK Dinghy World as championship ends in glamour conditions
Andre Budzien won the 2012 OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, Denmark after the final two races were sailed on Saturday. Greg Wilcox took the silver while Thomas Hanssen-Mild took the bronze. The final two races were won by Christian Olesen and Björn Allansson.
Despite forecasts of strong winds on the final day, the final day started overcast, damp and windless. Overnight storms had brought heavy rain which tested the integrity of much off the camp site, results in many damp sailors come the morning. The sun soon came out but the wind was not ready yet so AP was hoisted at 9.30 as once again the fleet waited for the elusive Danish wind to appear.
But appear it did and at around 13.30 racing got under way in a strengthening southerly that peaked at about 12-14 knots by mid-afternoon. Two fantastic races were sailed in an onshore wind with nice waves developing that was a fitting end to a great anniversary championship.
In race six, Günther Arndt (GER) was the early leader from the right but soon Christian Olsesen (DEN) took the lead and held it to the finish with Andre Budzien crossing in second and Thomas Hansson-Mild in third.
The wind increased slightly for race seven and Björn Allanson (SWE) was finally able to get out in front and he stayed there the whole race taking his first race win in great conditions. Stefan Myralf (DEN) was second while Nick Craig (GBR) produced his best result of the week with a third.
This meant that Budzien had taken the OK Dinghy world title at the first attempt, his first ever senior world title, after three Finn World Masters titles. The 2002 champion Wilcox had to settle for silver while the 2009 champion Hansson-Mild took home the bronze. The defending champion Craig, finished fourth and went home with just the OKDIA tie that is given to the top ten overall and the major prize winners.
Wilcox summed up, “In the end it was a great regatta actually. It was the largest fleet we've ever had in the worlds and it was pretty well organised. We got seven races in, and on land it was great as well. The race officer and his team did a really good job and he put races in when we thought he possibly shouldn't but they all turned out OK.”
“I'm pretty happy actually. I tried my best and it didn't quite work out at the end but second in the biggest world championship ever is pretty good, so I think I'll be pretty happy when I look back on it.”
“Andre sailed very, very well. He never won a race, but he never had a bad one. He was pretty much always up there. Today I tried really hard to get him but we were exactly the same speed and he just always had an edge after the start for some reason. And he just stayed there and we were locked together. I just couldn't get any points on him. So well done to Andre.”
Hansson-Mild said, “I am happy overall with my week. I knew it was going to be tough. I never sailed this big a fleet before but coming in for the regatta I had some good results at Kiel and the Nordics, but I knew that Andre was coming here and I knew he was going to be a tough competitor. It was all about keeping the numbers low. Going into the last race today I still had a chance for the gold and my only chance was to get points in between so I had to get a good separation so after I saw them starting by the vessel I headed for the right line hoping it would shift right but there was more pressure up on the right. There was little time to decide so I just threw the dice and it didn't work out. Then then it was just a struggle to get back into the race. But I did a good recovery on the run and got back back into it.”
Budzien said, “It's really nice to win and I think it was a really strong fleet here. It was difficult with the low winds to be in the top 10 or even the top 20 so you had minimise the risks all the time. I had some experience with this many boats at this years Finn Masters so that helped me find the right position and also the black flag starts are not so easy to handle. But I am really happy with the result, especially in the strongest OK Dinghy fleet ever.”
“The quality of the fleet here is really good, with six former world champions. I have never sailed against them before apart from Greg and Nick. It was a really strong fleet and strong competition. I would like to try to defend it next year, once we get organised with the transport.”
“The OK Dinghy fleet looks easy, but it is very different on the water. I didn't win a single race here. In this regatta it was important to be consistent to win , but it's not at all easy to win in this class. There are a lot of sailors I remember from really early times in the Finn class as well as younger sailors like Björn Allansson trying to catch the fleet here - it was very a strong field.”
At the prizegiving tonight, Andre Budzien was presented with the Canada Centennial Cup, the OK Sculpture and a new trophy for this year, presented by Paul Elvstrøm, for the sailor with the highest points without discard.
The prizegiving ended with six more inductees into the OKDIA Hall of Fame. Started in 2005, these awards are given to people who have made a significant contribution to the class or have excelled on the water. The six awards this year went to:
A full press release on the Hall of Fame will follow at a later date.
Next year the OK Dinghy World Championship is being held in Pattaya, Thailand, the second time the class has ventured into Asia and early signs are that it will be a very popular venue for the OK fleet.
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