Glorious conditions for opening of OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek
The 50th OK Dinghy World Championship has been officially opened at Vallensbaek Sailing Club in Denmark in near perfect conditions. Earlier Robert Deaves (GBR) won the practice race from 146 entries, making it the largest OK Dinghy World Championship of all time.
In a reception hosted by the Municipality of Vallensbaek, the championship was opened by the Mayor, Mr Henrik Rasussen, with welcome speeches from Jakob Nybroe of the organising committee, Anja Olsen, Commodore of Vallensbaek Saiing Club, Christian Hedlund, President of the Danish OK Dinghy Association, and Andre Blasse, President of the OK Dinghy International Association.
Nybroe said, “This event doesn't happen by itself. It takes a lot of dedicated effort from very dedicated people. We are also extremely happy with all the support we have received from the Municipality. It would be impossible to do this without that support. As well as the opening reception, the Municipality provided the event tent and the event shirts for everyone.”
Anja Olsen said, “Almost 150 sailors have found their way to Vallensbaek and that makes it one of the biggest regattas we have ever held in the club's history. I am sure it's going to be very much fun and I am looking forward to spending the next week with you. I wish you luck and may the best man win.”
Blasse said, “This is a fantastic place to have our 50th world championship. It's also great to see so many competitors here from 11 nations competing. One sailor here has done over 30 worlds and a couple have done over 20. I'd like to thank the OK Dinghy Association of Denmark for some fantastic organisation. The measurement yesterday was just unbelievable. To do 146 boats in 12 hours is incredible. But from now on the number one thing we all need to do is to have fun.”
Mr Rasmussen said, “Welcome to all of you. It is a great honour to welcome you all to this championship, the largest in the history of the class. We have ordered the sun and the wind, but there has been a lot of hard work put into this championship, with more than 40 volunteers spending their summer vacation making sure this week is a success. They do it because of the fun and because of their passion for this sport. I hope you all have a great week, and good luck with the championship.”
The practice race for the Sven Lehn Memorial Trophy was sailed earlier in hot and sunny conditions with some nice waves and 15-16 knots. As expected, there were several general recalls, and it took three attempts to get the race away, the final one under black flag with four boats pulled out.
The current played a crucial role with those on the right crossing clear ahead. Bo Teglers (DEN) rounded first from Robert Deaves (GBR). Teglers held his lead down the reaches with Björn Allansson (SWE) closing up round the leeward mark. At the second top mark, Deaves just led from Allansson and Teglers, but then Allansson played the waves well on the run to lead up the final beat with a nice gap on the fleet.
The front group closed up at the finish as the wind eased slightly and Allansson started down the run again unaware it was the finish. After a couple of shouts to him, he quickly reversed course and crossed just ahead of Deaves, followed by Roger Blasse (AUS) and Teglers. However, Allansson was one of the black flagged starters, so the victory went to Deaves. Defending world champion Nick Craig (GBR) could only manage fourth as he recovered from a poor first beat. Out of the 146 starters, 68 boats finished the race.
Deaves said, “I bailed out of the start after getting buried at the starboard end, but found a clear lane to the right and seemed to have good speed. It looked good and I had clear air so I just kept on going and when I tacked I couldn't believe how far behind the boats on the left were. I thought they had stopped.”
“It was a good fight with Bo and Björn at the front. Being the practice race my plan was to sail the first lap and come in, but when I found myself out in front, I thought I had better continue hoping some of the others had been black flagged.”
“It's great to win this trophy, especially as my brother Alistair won the same trophy 10 years ago after I chose not to finish. Today the positions were reversed. It's only a practice race, but I've never had so many boats behind me, and it's a fantastic feeling.”
Early forecasts for the rest of the week are predicting generally light conditions, but that doesn't dampen the enthusiasm after a hot and sunny opening day. The first two races of the 50th OK Dinghy World Championship are scheduled for 11.00 on Tuesday, with a series of 10 races concluding next Saturday.
Practice race results will be posted at: http://okworlds2012.okjolle.dk/
Practice Race for Sven Lehn Memorial Trophy - Top 10
1 GBR 2138 Robert Deaves
2 AUS 749 Roger Blasse
3 DEN 1402 Bo Teglers
4 GBR 2150 Nick Craig
5 DEB 1408 Stefan Myralf
6 GBR 2085 Gavin Waldron
7 DEN 1373 Rene Johannsen
8 GER 763 Andre Budzien
9 GBR 2151 Jonathan Fish
10 DEN 1377 Jorgen Holm
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|Several galleries have already been posted there and on the event website|
|There are also videos and interviews on the event YouTube Channel|