Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90

OK World Championship at Warnemunde, Germany - Preview

by Karen Robertson 8 Jul 08:13 BST 10-14 July 2018
OK dinghies at Warnemunde © Robert Deaves

As over 140 OK dinghies from ten different countries gather in Warnemunde, Germany for the 2018 OK World Championship (10th – 14th July) an influx of talent is promising an exciting championship with previous winners from Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany and Britain facing the new challengers including the legendary six time Olympian and multiple World Champion in Finn and Star, Freddy Loof (SWE).

Britain have 18 entries registered (or 19 if we count UK based Kiwi and current UK National Champion Luke Gower) and are presenting a bid to hopefully bring the OK Worlds back to the UK again in the next few years. That such a strong sailing nation like Britain who have taken the last two World Champions only makes up an eighth of the fleet indicates just how much the class has expanded in recent years in other countries and the depth of the field is astonishing for a non-Olympic class. Indeed, that Loof has chosen to sail the OK it's clear that the resurgence in the class internationally is beginning to present a worthy challenge for top sailors around the world. Indeed, in New Zealand rumour has it that America's Cup great, Rod Davis, is working up to the 2019 World Championship which is to be held in NZ in February at Wakatere While Loof recently won the Nordic Championship in his first outing in the class, there is no shortage of sailors hoping to give him a run for his money. These include his fellow Swedes Mats Caap (OK World Champion and Olympian) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (OK World Champion), Danes and previous European Champions, Bo Petersen and Jorgen Svendsen, Britain's own Jim Hunt who has won the OK worlds twice, New Zealand's Greg Wilcox (OK World Champion and #1 on the OK ranking list) and reigning European Champion Lars Johan Brodtkorb from Norway. It is a shame that our own Nick Craig, current OK World Champion and who has won more OK World Championships than any other sailor cannot defend his title, but he's promised to be back soon!

One of the new guns, Germany's Jan Kurfeld was one of the German squad sailors in the Finn and had Olympic ambitions but after trying the OK last year is targeting the World Championship on his home patch this year and set out his stall in dramatic fashion by winning Keil Week recently. "For the World Cup I want to sail for a medal" says Kurfeld. "It's going to be a hot class and a high level (of competition). In any case, I want to sail for the medals. The OK dinghy is a nice boat and has a lot to offer for many, it is a kind of combination of Laser and Finn. Also technically a lot has happened - both in the masts and in the sails. And....the class is very different than in the Olympic class, much more relaxed and sociable. At the moment, it is actually booming in the class," says Kurfeld.

Part of the reason the class is expanding internationally is the reasonable initial cost of the boats, the long competitive life of boats, sails and rigs and in some areas the newly developed laser cut flat pack kits have shown that home built boats can once again be as fast as any from the established manufacturers. In Britain we are blessed in having three world class OK builders in the form of Idol Composites, Ovington and Synergy Marine and sails being actively developed and campaigned by North's Charlie Cumbley and HD's Jim Hunt.

With so much talent being present whoever wins the Championship over the course of the next week will be truly worthy of the title of World Champion.

If sailing the OK interests you, the UK Class association has a demo boat that can be tried out or a trial sail organised in many areas of the UK. Please contact the class association at

Related Articles

Get Up Close and Personal with the OK
Demo boat is available for autumn events With summer coming to a close and a sparkling National Championships at Brixham fresh in the fleet's memory thoughts are turning to the final autumn events of the North Sails OK Super Series. Posted on 1 Sep
International OK Dinghy UK Nationals overall
An influx of returning and new OK sailors take part at Brixham The OK fleet met at Brixham YC in Torbay for the 2018 Ovington OK National Championships from 16-19th August. Posted on 21 Aug
International OK Dinghy UK Nationals day 1
Over thirty helms assemble in Brixham Over thirty boats have assembled in Brixham for the 2018 Nationals — unfortunately it was in the rain with no wind. Later however Torbay decided to treat the fleet to sunshine and a shifty and at times boisterous wind. Posted on 17 Aug
OK Dinghy World Championship overall
Andre Budzien claims third world title A tight finish was expected, but no one expected the final day of the OK Dinghy World Championship to be at tight as it turned out. After two thrilling and close races, Andre Budzien claimed his third OK Dinghy world title. Posted on 14 Jul
OK Dinghy World Championship day 4
Fredrik Lööf takes two point lead Fredrik Lööf moved to the top of the OK Dinghy World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany after two more races were sailed on Friday in near perfect conditions. Posted on 13 Jul
OK Dinghy World Championship day 3
Windless Warnemünde For a day that started with such high hopes and good conditions, the third day of the 2018 OK Dinghy World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany ended with disappointment with no more races sailed. Posted on 12 Jul
OK Dinghy World Championship day 2
Andre Budzien takes narrow lead The 2018 OK Dinghy World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany continued Wednesday with two more races sailed in an unstable 8-12 knots, and damp conditions. Former world champion Andre Budzien, from Germany took a one point lead at the top. Posted on 11 Jul
OK Dinghy World Championship day 1
Four race winners across the two groups in Warnemünde The 2018 OK Dinghy World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany got underway Tuesday with two races in a solid 12-18 knots. Jan Kurfeld is the early leader from André Budzien and Lars Johan Brodtkorb. Each won a race in their groups. Posted on 10 Jul
Entries for 2018 Sail Melbourne are now open
To be held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club in December Entries are now open for the 2018 Sail Melbourne International to be hosted out of Royal Brighton Yacht Club on the shores of Port Philip Bay from 12 December through to 16 December 2018. Posted on 10 Jul
OK Dinghy World attracts huge fleet to Warnemünde
140 OK Dinghies from ten countries all set to begin World Championship The class is attracting sailors not only from among its usual club based fleets, but also an increasing number of top sailors from other classes looking for highly competitive racing in a friendly fleet that knows how to have fun. Posted on 9 Jul