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Luke O’Connell back in OK Dinghy World top 10 after double victory down under

by Robert Deaves 6 Mar 14:22 GMT
New Zealand Champion 2018 - Luke O'Connell (NZL 578) © Robert Deaves

The first release of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List in 2018 is much the same as the last one in 2017. Greg Wilcox, of New Zealand, still leads from Tomasz Gaj, of Poland and Henrik Kofoed, of Denmark.

While most of the top places stay the same, there are 18 new sailors on the list, which now includes 519 sailors from 13 countries. All four events counted for this list were in New Zealand and Australia, before the European circuit begins next month.

The first event was the Go for Gold Regatta at Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne, in November 2017. Michael Horvath won from Folkert Jansen and Brent Williams. The Australia Nationals, held at Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast in January 2018 attracted an impressive 42 entries, with Rob McMillan sailing a recently imported Ovington hull, from the UK, to a dominant victory over Wilcox and the defending champion Mark Jackson.

A few weeks later the New Zealand National and Interdominion titles were held at Wakatere Boating Club in Auckland. Luke O'Connell won a shortened series from defending champion Dan Slater and Ben Morrison. The event was viewed as practice for next year's World Championship, which will be hosted by the club in February 2019.

The final event, at Turangi, was also won by O'Connell with straight wins from Alistair Deaves and Steve McDowell.

O'Connell's results means he is back in the top 10 again, while Jackson drops out, from 10th to 12th. The biggest climber though is McDowell, up 17 places to 15th.

The European circuit opens, as usual, with the Spring Cup in Medemblik at the end of April. The next release will be after Kieler Woche in June and just before the 2018 World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany, where pre-entry closed at 99 boats. A huge fleet is expected at what is one of the class's favourite venues.

OK Dinghy World Ranking List: (top twenty, download the full list here)

RankingHelmNatSail NoPtsEvents
1Greg WilcoxNZL566999.7515
2Tomasz GajPOL1898.6910
3Henrik Kofoed LarsenDEN1487890.9110
4Martin von ZimmermannGER803868.3513
5Pawel PawlaczykPOL14860.458
6Jim HuntGBR11822.486
7Oliver GronholzGER783813.788
8Ralf TietjeGER78781.7111
9Andreas PichGER7780.1414
10Luke O'ConnellNZL57876987
11Thomas Hansson‑MildSWE100765211
12Mark JacksonAUS768749.18
13Ask AskholmDEN22745.8410
14Bo PetersenDEN1431729.579
15Steve McDowellNZL545715.796
16Sonke BehrensGER778689.147
17Jonas BorjessonSWE2830685.6310
18Andre BudzienGER71678.347
19Charlie CumbleyGBR1677.526
20Bo Reker AndersenDEN1667.712

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