Roger Blasse secures second OK Dinghy world title, in Pattaya, Thailand
Roger Blasse (AUS) has won the 2013 Singha OK Dinghy World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand after placing second in the only race sailed on the final day. Nick Craig (GBR) took the silver while Mike Williams (AUS) took the bronze. The final race was won by defending champion Andre Budzien (GER).
It was always going to be the lightest day of the regatta and as the fleet launched at 11.00 the wind was 2-3 knots and very patchy. The race officer Kevin Wilson (AUS) was clear he would not start racing in unsuitable conditions so the fleet waited afloat in 30 degrees of heat for over two hours. Finally the breeze stabilised and the fleet got away on the second attempt in 7-8 knots which built to 14 knots during the race.
By this time it was looking like only one race was possible within the time limit, so Blasse didn't actually need sail, but he got a great start and dominated the first beat to lead round from Budzien. The two battled round the course only for Budzien to take the lead in the closing stages for his fourth race win of the week. Blasse crossed in second with Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) in third again.
The more interesting battle was between Craig and Williams for the runner up slot. Initially Williams had the advantage with a five boat gap on Craig, but Craig whittled away the gap and closed up on the downwind to move ahead and cross in eighth, just ahead of Williams in ninth.
So Roger Blasse wins his second world title after first winning in 1998. Next year the worlds returns to his home club of Black Rock in Melbourne, Australia where he will be a firm favourite. He said, “Of course I am really happy to win, but this week has really showed how competitive the OK fleet has become. I also think It was a smart move to delay the start today. But 'Slippery Stool' was an appropriate name for my boat today as I had to stop for a 'comfort break' immediately after the race as I was feeling rather ill all day.”
Four time champion Nick Craig is again on the podium, but still pleased with the silver coming out of the European winter with very little on the water training. He said, “This has been the best event I have ever done, both in terms of the sailing and on the shore, and I have done a lot of events over the last 30 years.”
Mike Williams is on the podium for the second time after being the runner up in 2010. “Well done to Roger, he was superbly consistent, and congratulations also to Nick, he's a real competitor. Bad luck to Andre Budzien, but I hope to see everyone again at Black Rock next year.”
At the prizegiving tonight Roger Blasse paid tribute to the club, it's staff, the event fantastic sponsor Singha and summed up everyone's thoughts by saying, “This club is a hidden gem; it's been an absolutely fantastic week.” There was also a genuine feeling that the sailors wanted to return to Pattaya in the not to distant future for another championship.
Results (top 25 from 74)
1 AUS 749 Roger Blasse 17.0
2 GBR 2150 Nick Craig 32.0
3 AUS 730 Michael Williams 35.0
4 NZL 517 Paul Rhodes 46.0
5 AUS 735 Mark Jackson 49.0
6 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 55.0
7 DEN 1411 Jorgen Svendsen 59.0
8 DEN 1409 Stefan Myralf 68.0
9 GER 782 Andre Budzien 91.0
10 GBR 2118 Terry Curtis 95.0
11 AUS 754 Brent Williams 100.0
12 DEN 1364 Jorgen Lindhardtsen 116.0
13 GER 693 Martin von Zimmermann 117.0
14 NZL 542 Alistair Deaves 120.0
15 GER 778 Soenke Behrens 139.0
16 NZL 535 Mike Wilde 141.0
17 NZL 546 Luke O’Connell 154.0
18 GBR 2152 Lee Child 170.0
19 DEN 1335 Mogens Johansen 172.0
20 AUS 734 Edward O’Donnell 176.0
21 AUS 736 Mark Skelton 183.0
22 GBR 2138 Robert Deaves 184.0
23 GBR 2151 Jonathan Fish 189.0
24 GER 775 Joerg Rademacher 191.0
25 NZL 533 Rob Hengst 194.0