Andre Budzien early leader at 50th OK Dinghy World Championship
Despite a high scoring day for most of the favourites, André Budzien (GER) is the early leader of the OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, Denmark after placing second and third in Tuesday’s two races. 146 OK Dinghies are currently competing for the 50th OK Dinghy World Championship.
The high temperatures brought the side effect of no wind early in the day and the sailors were held on shore to enjoy the summer conditions while the wind established itself.
Race one got under way in 6-8 knots after one general recall under the black flag, which proved costly for the line honours winner. Bo Petersen (DEN) was the early leader and led for much of the race but then missed out the spreader mark at the second windward mark and by the time he has recovered had dropped to fourth. On the final beat the leaders really closed up and the finish was too close to call. In the end Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) crossed first, but he was one of five black flagged at the start, so handing victory to Petersen. André Budzien (GER) crossed in second with Greg Wilcox (NZL) in third.
The wind had increased slightly for race two and followed a similar pattern. Mark Jackson (AUS) and Nick Craig (GBR) were the early leaders, but again forgot about the spreader mark on the second lap and lost the lead. Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) took the lead at the gate and led to the finish. Jens Lauge (DEN) crossed in second with Budzien rounding off his great day with a third to lead overnight.
Petersen described his race win, “I was fighting with everyone else with the current to go down to the leeward mark. Luckily all the other boats were in chaos and I was able to tack right out of the start. After that I was in a good position all the way except at the second top mark I forgot the spreader mark and ended up fourth. Downwind I was getting closer to the front and the other guys went to the left and I took the right and I went out and I got the lead back."
"When we came to the finish lines I misjudged the favoured end so I was second over the line, but Jørgen was disqualified, so now I am standing here as the winner.”
“I have just started in the OK Dinghy. Normally I sail the Contender. Long time ago I sailed 505s and Europes. This is my third regatta in the OK. This event is really perfect so far. Out of the course today, the sun was shining, the water was perfect, the start was perfect. It was amazing out there. The people here are doing a really good job. I expect to meet a lot of new friends and have a perfect week here."
Lindhardtsen spoke about his black flag error. “I had some problems with my timing because I didn’t have it exactly but I saw some boats sailing off so I went with them. So that's disappointing. But otherwise it was a good race. I was happy with my boat speed."
Race two winner Svendsen said, “I had a pretty good start and it was very important to have clear air so I rounded the first mark third and then tried to keep up on the run I got more wind that the others and I rounded the gate in the lead and then it was pretty easy. I had a 50 metre lead and held onto it. It was a pretty good race for me."
His expectations. “I hope to end up in the top 10 and get an OK tie. It's been very good conditions so far. We have had a lot of rain here recently and now its changed and the sun is shining. I hope we have a little bit more wind. They promised light wind for the next few days so I hope we get the races in. So let's see."
Defending world champion Craig is happy with the event so far in spite of his results. He sits in 11th overall, “It was really well run and great racing. There are so many boats it's a fantastic spectacle, but really hard. In the first race I got a good start but the wind swung left out of the start and I tacked straight away but it just kept lifting so I rounded the top mark about 60th, which I guess is what happens with such a big fleet. In the second race I was on the right side of the first shift and rounded the top mark in second. I got in the lead and then forgot about the spreader so that was very, very stupid. But I got back to third but then a bunch of boats hit the left hand corner on the final beat and I ended up sixth. So not a good day overall but I was going quick, just making some stupid errors.”
To prove you don't have to be the sharpest tool in the box to be a world champion, Mark Jackson (AUS) told his version of how Nick Craig lost race two. “The second time round Nick went round the top mark in the lead and started off down the run and I said to him, “Aren't you going to the hitch mark?” And he said, “No not on the run.” So I said, “Well we did in the last race,” and he said, “Did we?” and as we did that the Polish guy [Bartosz Rakocy] came round and went straight to the hitch mark. And then a few of the Danish guys passed us so then we were in a pack of about seven boats so it all went back into the mix then.”
The daily prizes are being presented by past world champions as part of the anniversary celebrations. Tonight Jørgen Lindhardtsen, the 1978 champion, presented the Falmouth Trophy to Bo Petersen and the Ornsjkoldsvik Trophy to Jørgen Svendsen.
Racing continues Wednesday with two more races scheduled. The championship concludes on Saturday.
Results after two races
1 GER 762 André Budzien 5
2 DEN 1393 Rene Johannsen 9
3 DEN 1374 Bo Petersen 10
4 AUS 749 Roger Blasse 18
5 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 20
6 DEN 1411 Jørgen Svendsen 23
7 DEN 1398 Christian Hedlund 26
8 NZL 542 Alistair Deaves 28
9 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 31
10 DEN 1377 Jørgen Holm Nielsen 31