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Helming to Win by Nick Craig
Helming to Win by Nick Craig

Nick Craig secures record fifth OK Dinghy world crown in Barbados

by Robert Deaves, OKDIA 1 Jun 2017 08:10 BST 24-31 May 2017

The Barbados wind beats to the same rhythm of the boom-box buses that rumble past the Barbados Yacht Club each day. It starts, it stops, it turns around, all the time going in no particular direction. You pick it up and take it one way only to find it is taking you in the wrong direction. It pulsates like the booming bass beat. It is hot and humid.

For the majority of sailors at the 2017 OK Dinghy World Championships in Barbados, it has been hard to make sense of the wind, but one person has shown an uncanny ability to be in the right place every time, and sail his boat faster than anyone else.

Discarding a third place in the 79-boat fleet Nick Craig, from Britain, dominated the series for perhaps his most convincing win ever. This is his fifth OK Dinghy world crown and perhaps the sweetest yet as he becomes the first person in the 60 year history of the class to win five world titles.

The defending champion, Jim Hunt, sailed an impressive series as well, never below fifth, and put together a scoreline that in most years would have easily won him the title. Third place Luke O'Connell, from New Zealand, led a strong Kiwi challenge with five boats inside the top ten.

Only one race was possible on the final day in perhaps the most capricious wind of the week. Jørgen Svendsen, of Denmark, led the race all the way until the final beat when Hunt and Craig sneaked past as the wind started to go even more patchy and shifty. Hunt took his second victory of the week, while O'Connell took third as Svendsen was an early starter.

The race team tried to start the final race, but the conditions and the time were against them. Eventually they admitted defeat and at 14.50, the end of the regatta was signalled and the start of the race to the beach to get the first boat into the containers.

O'Connell said, "It's been a tough week, I am pleased to come away with third. The middle of the week was pretty bad for me. I don't know what happened there really. But it was great sailing here. Nick and Jim sailed super well and nick definitely deserved to win."

Paying tribute to Craig, Hunt said "It's fantastic isn't it. He just outsailed every one all week. He's just been a bit more on it all week, starting better, being in the right place at the right time. He hasn't really missed anything. He was quick downwind, there were not really any holes in his game, which is a bit of a shame, as if he hadn't been here I would have looked quite good."

"But it was great fun, I've had a great time."

New World Champion, Craig, said, "Fantastic day, absolutely delighted. It was always a little tense as I needed a 12th which is just the kind of thing where you could be too conservative and end up having a 20th, so I got an average start which was just good enough, got a lane, and went up to about fifth at the windward mark and then just sailed really conservatively and just sailed near Jim as well partly because he always goes the right way and because if he was deep or going well then I would be matching him. So it worked out really nicely."

"I think it was a tricky week because it was very shifty and we had weed challenges, but overall it's just a fantastic place so sail. It's so warm, the water is warm, beer is cold; it's fantastic. I really enjoyed myself."

Next year the class heads to Warnemunde in Germany, for the 2018 World Championship, one of the classes favourite venues.

Even as the OK Dinghies were packed away in their containers to begin their long journeys home, their spaces on the beach were slowly being filled with Finns for the start of the Finn World Masters on Friday.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1GBR 2195NICK CRAIG1112‑3111210
2GBR 11JIM HUNT234‑51452122
3NZL 546LUKE O'CONNELL3224(bfd)1738342
4NZL 545STEVE McDOWELL4168‑174644753
5NZL 517PAUL RHODES595663147‑2055
6AUS 749ROGER BLASSE10153759‑223456
7NZL 551MARK PERROW204732(dsq)2141264
8GBR 2191CHRIS TURNER68‑2588899965
9NZL 566GREG WILCOX910‑20101110616678
10DEN 3JORGEN SVENDSEN1914141235812(bfd)96
11POL 14PAWEL PAWLACZYK‑2451718101310198100
12POL 1TOMASZ GAJ86282272311‑2910115
13NZL 567CHRIS FENWICK18‑31132314227215123
14DEN 1402BO TEGLERS NIELSEN16171013‑2616191026127
15GER 778SOENKE BEHRENS1513341519‑4015513129
16AUS 768MARK JACKSON277611911(dns)3230133
17GER 772OLIVER GRONHOLZ(ret)122616227211514133
18NZL 498JONO CLOUGH17201214121920‑2624138
19DEN 1397HENRIK KOFOED ‑ LARSEN283411915151222(bfd)146
20NZL 523JOE POREBSKI142424(dsq)272723616161
21GER 5RALF TIETJE2121‑33121731172518162
22AUS 754BRENT WILLIAMS111821203321646(bfd)167
23GBR 10ROBERT DEAVES1229192121‑37321321168
24DEN 22ASK ASKHOLM25232319‑3026251117169
25AUS 750PETER ROBINSON‑43379262020133536196
26GER 803MARTIN v.ZIMMERMANN7111533(dnf)122617bfd202
27GER 775JOERG RADEMACHER2225‑40273532243711213
28NZL 575MICHAEL WILDE3328‑44291618332828213
29NZL 531ADRIAN COULTHARD293032401325‑433023222
30NZL 536ERIC RONE132236362529‑383329223
31AUS 719GLENN WILLIAMS372622‑434014352334231
32NZL 571ROB HENGST343630‑452844291825244
33GER 7ANDREAS PICH35‑4135313135392422252
34NZL 565SIMON PROBERT394831323928‑592733277
35DEN 1335MOGENS JOHANSEN4039183434(dnf)415127284
36GBR 2163GAVIN WALDRON5244164118383643‑54288
37GER 75DIRK DAME45383942‑5133273140295
38GBR 13ALEX SCOLES26192930(bfd)243454bfd297
39NZL 563DAVID HOOGENBOOM‑503250243639453637299
40SWE 2791LENNART HANSSON384341(ret)2946314131300
41POL 19GRZEGORGZ SALAMON3233(dnf)ret4421304815304
42GER 6FABIAN GRONHOLZ‑603548494636444019317
43DEN 1442PETER HEIDE‑JORGENSEN3642272843434656(bfd)321
44DEN 1481NILS TROLAND4145‑59374230185059322
45GBR 2176KEITH BYERS30275551375348‑5732333
46GER 11RAINER POSPIECH2340475538455649(bfd)353
47NZL 568DEAN NEIL COLEMAN‑575343254941524743353
48GER 8RONALD FOEST47(ret)63355642403838363
49DEN 1399CHRISTOPHER JOE SCHUBERT(dsq)4646444534476735364
50DEN 1407MALTE PEDERSEN4251576824475842(bfd)389
51GER 22DIRK GERICKE48594547505053‑6439391
52NZL 564SEFTON POWRIE59525639(dnf)dns372049393
53GER 757FALK HAGEMANN515542385451‑646058409
54GER 12STEFAN RASSAU53(dnf)dnf524152286141411
55AUS 736GRANT WAKEFIELD6157515432(dnf)545548412
56AUS 688DAVID HASELDINE55‑5853465855505844419
57GER 767JULIANE HOFMANN54475856534955‑6357429
58GER 731THOMAS GLAS44493748(dnf)dns5139dns430
59AUS 725DAVID KETTERIDGE58643850(dns)dns494550435
60NZL 574PHILIP RZEPECKY4650(dsq)53dnfdns424442439
61NZL 569PHIL COVENY3163(dnf)595257577053442
62AUS 767GLENN YATES4961(dnf)634754606946449
63GER 777NADINE TIETJE6254606048(dnf)655360463
64GER 678HEINZ RIDDER64‑7064625748626552474
65AUS 766ROBERT BUCHANAN66696060(dns)dns703445486
66FRA 1833FABIEN CAPEILLERES565649(dnf)dnsdns635261499
67POL 40ROBERT SWIECKI69605264(dnf)58666664499
68DEN 1458SOREN SIGURDSSON7265(dnf)675556676862512
69SWE 55ULF SAHLE63626257(dns)dns617456516
70AUS 738KEVIN KNOTT68676558(dns)dns695965532
71AUS 706ERIK THOMPSON65685466(dnf)dnf687363538
72GER 697JOERG POSNY7066(dnf)65retdns726251548
73GBR 2116TIM O'LEARY7574(dnf)6959dns717167567
74AUS 716DAVID SWALES6772(dnf)70retdns747269586
75NZL 550TONY BIERRE7171(dnf)dnsdnsdnsdnsdns47594
76GER 539ULRICH BORCHERS7676(dnf)71dnsdns75dns68609
77GER 788JESSICA FINKE7375(dnf)dnsdnsdns737570609
78GBR 2058MARY REDDYHOFF7473(dnf)dnsdnsdnsdnsdns66618
79BAR 12159Charlie Gloomeau(dns)dnsdnsdnsdnsdnsdnsdns55622
80GBR 2159RUSSELL WARD(dns)dnsdnsdnsdnsdnsdnsdnsdns648

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The event website is 2017.okworlds.org

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