Please select your home edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90
Product Feature
Harken 22mm Double Micro - 226
Harken 22mm Double Micro - 226

OK Dinghy European Championship - Day 1

by Robert Deaves 22 Jul 2014 22:54 BST 22-26 July 2014

Andre Budzien (GER), the 2012 World Champion leads Greg Wilcox (NZL) the 2002 World Champion and Bo Petersen (DEN) the defending European champion after the first two races at the 2014 OK Dinghy European Championship in Steinhude, Germany.

It was a very hot and tricky day with the highly changeable winds producing a very mixed bag of results for most of the competitors as the hot German wind laid on challenging conditions for the competitors. But in contrast to recent days there was wind and the fleet set out on time. However, just as the warning signal was about to to be made, the wind switched off and the fleets were made to wait in swelteringly hot conditions for just over an hour. Then, the wind made a welcome return from the same direction and stabilised at 8-10 knots, though this was just to deceive the sailors as it popped in and out all day long. However, there was enough pressure to run two pretty good races.

Yellow fleet was away first. Frederik Svendsen (DEN) came off pin and favoured the left. Greg Wilcox (NZL), Jim Hunt (GBR), and Bo Petersen (DEN) went right. Svendsen emerged in the lead at the top with Oliver Gronholz (GER) joining the leading group on the second round. However Petersen took lead at top of the second beat after Svendsen forgot the spacer mark. Petersen led to the finish to win from Gronholz and Svendsen, while Hunt was scored OCS.

In the Blue group, Jorgen Svendsen (DEN), father of Frederik, battled at the front with Andre Budzien (DEN) who had led round the top mark. On the first upwind there was a huge shift to the left and the leaders reached into the mark while the right was stranded. Svendsen eventually won from Budzien and Martin von Zimmermann (GER).

Race 2 started almost immediately to make the best of the wind. Wilcox dominated Yellow fleet, starting in the middle of the line before a long tack to the left. He tacked on the first big shift to be lifted to the top mark. He led all the way round apart from Alex Scoles (GBR) briefly taking the lead on the second beat. Simon Davies (GBR) and Simon Cox (GBR) were also in the mix and rounded out the top four while Petersen moved up to fifth by the end.

Blue fleet started after a slight delay to allow the fleet to get back to the start line. This caused an interesting situation later in the race as the two fleet crossed twice. Robert Deaves (GBR) came of the line near the pin and tacked in the first big shift and had clear air all the way to the top mark. He extended on the reach but then the wind died and filled in from behind. Budzien moved through the fleet and passed Deaves at the end of the second reach. At that point the Yellow fleet was rounding the gate mark to starboard while the Blue fleet was rounding its leeward mark (the same mark) to port. It led to some interesting situations, but everyone was very polite about it! The Race Officer is looking at introducing a second leeward mark on Wednesday to avoid this situation again.

Von Zimmerman rounded third and went right to come back well ahead. He led round the remainder of the race, while Tomasz Gaj (POL) led a small group to the right on the final beat and came

through on a big pressure shift to cross the finish second, which turned into first as von Zimmermann was over early on the start line. Budzien ended up second with Pawel Pawlaczyk (POL) in third.

Wilcox said of the day, "It was a shifty nightmare, with the pressure up and down and all over the place. It was pretty warm out there as well. It's going to be a week where keeping the losses to a minimum is going to be crucial. I think pretty much everyone is going to have a good race sometime this week." It would seem that keeping a sense of humour is also going to be important.

After racing the class held a Special General Meeting to address urgent matters. Among other matters, Juliane Hofmann (GER) was elected as the new secretary of OKDIA, The Netherlands was welcomed back as a full member of OKDIA, personal sail numbers were adopted by the class (subject to National Authority ratification), and the members present presented feedback on OKDIA's development strategy which is being prepared. Hofmann replaces Mary Reddyhoff (GBR) who has been class secretary for seven years. The meeting minuted the class's grateful thanks for all her hard work over many years.

Each day after sailing the competitors are greeting by cold beer and hot snacks on the grass by the dinghy park, while each evening dinner is offered in the tent by the lake, all included within the entry fee. There is sunshine, sailing, beer and food, all shared between great friends from across the world. What more do sailors need?

Racing continues Wednesday from 12.00, with a forecast of slightly less wind than today.

Ten races are scheduled for the European Championship from Tuesday 22 July to Saturday 26 July. On the first day, the fleets will be split into two starts based on the latest OK Dinghy World Ranking list, and adjusted each day thereafter based on the overall positions at the end of each day. On the fourth and fifth days, the fleet will be split into gold and silver fleets. The warning signal for racing is scheduled for 12.00 each day.

Results after two races:

1. GER 789, Andre Budzien 5pts
2. NZL 544, Greg Wilcox 6pts
3. DEN 1431, Bo Petersen 6pts
4. GBR 2160, Alex Scoles 9pts
5. GER 777, Andreas Pich 10pts
6. SWE 2804, Per Jaennsson 10pts
7. GER 772, Oliver Gronholz 14pts
8. GER 607, Christian Heinze 16pts
9. POL 1, Tomasz Gaj 17pts
10. GER 771, Ralf Mackmann 18pts

Event website at:

Related Articles

OK Dinghy World Ranking final list of the year
Thomas Hansson-Mild remains world number 1 After the traditional end of season round of national championships across Europe, there is no movement in or out of the top 10 of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking List of the year. Posted on 13 Nov
OKs at South Staffs
A challenging day's sailing for the 17 sailors The morning of September the 28th dawned grey and breezy at SSSC, but with the rain helpfully abating, 17 spritely OK sailors arrived for what would prove to be a challenging day's sailing. Posted on 30 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch overall
Starting with a bang, building to a crescendo, ending with a whimper It could be said that the 2019 OK Nationals started with a bang, built to a crescendo of close racing and energetic socialising and ended with a whimper but one thing is certain - it is an event that will be remembered for all the right reasons. Posted on 10 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch days 1 & 2
One of the strongest fleets in a while One of the strongest OK fleets in a while gathered at SCYC at Abersoch for their 2019 National Championships on Thursday 5th September to be greeted by a moderate to fresh breeze out of the North West. Posted on 7 Sep
International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship
Held over the weekend at Southport Yacht Club The 2019 International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship have concluded today at Southport Yacht Club in Hollywell, Queensland. The Championships were held on the Saturday 17 and Sunday the 18th of August. Posted on 19 Aug
Swedish OK National Championship in Marstrand
Thomas Hansson-Mild dominates the event to take his 14th National title Nearly 60 OK Dinghies from seven countries travelled long distances to sail the 2019 Swedish National Championship says as much about the current health of the class as it does about the beautiful venue that is Marstrand, host for 2020 World Championship. Posted on 8 Aug
Thomas Hansson-Mild is new OK Dinghy World No. 1
Swedish sailor has had a very successful season so far Former world champion, Thomas Hansson-Mild, from Sweden, is the new OK Dinghy World No. 1, taking the spot from his compatriot, the winner of the recent European championship, Fredrik Lööf. Posted on 10 Jul
OKs at Overy Staithe
Strong tide leads to racing being held in the harbour Nine OKs arrived at Overy Staithe for the annual OK Open Meeting, run every year since 1971. The wind was a fickle northerly in brilliant sunshine. Posted on 10 Jul
English Braids support the 2019 OK Nationals
Being held at The OK Class Association are pleased to welcome English Braids as a sponsor for our 2019 National Championship being held at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch 5-8 Septempter. Posted on 6 Jul
OK Dinghy Europeans overall
Fredrik Lööf successfully defends title Fredrik Lööf, from Sweden, has secured his second successive OK Dinghy European title in Kiel with a race to spare after winning the first race of the day on the final day on Tuesday. Posted on 25 Jun