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André Budzien wins close OK Dinghy series from Bo Petersen at Kieler Woche

by Robert Deaves 23 Jun 15:30 BST

Germany's André Budzien has won the 2022 Kieler Woche for OK Dinghies after a shortened series ended on Tuesday. Denmark's Bo Petersen took second while Greg Wilcox from New Zealand took third. 35 boats from five nations took part.

The week began as it ended with nice sunny conditions and a good breeze to work with. It was clear from the opening day that the main battle would be between Budzien and Petersen and they were both top three every race, with Budzien winning five races to Petersen's one, though the Dane scored a string of second places trying to find a way past the three time world champion.

First blood went to Petersen before Budzien took the next four races. Sunday's conditions were quite trying with grey cloud, drizzle and a fitful wind, and it just got worse on Monday with a string of thunderstorms passing over Kiel all day long. In the afternoon racing was finally abandoned for the day with the wind doing circles on the course area between 4 and 28 knots.

The final day beckoned with just two points between the top two and everything to play for. Petersen was the early leader but Germany's Oliver Gronholz found the left corner to his liking and popped out ahead on the second beat to lead down to the very close finish. Crucially for Petersen, Budzien was just behind in third, a race he would ultimately discard.

It came down to the final race and Budzien controlled the pin end and tacked over Petersen soon after the start. This left Sönke Behrens the free space to hit the left and round ahead. However Budzien ground him down and took the lead for a fifth race win with Petersen again second.

Behind these leading two a group of very good sailors were battling hard for third and a pretty consistent series from Wilcox landed him another Kieler Woche podium place.

All three will be heading to the world championship in Marstrand, Sweden in just six weeks time, to be joined by what is looking like the most competitive fleet in many years.

Overall Results: (top 10 from 35)

1. GER 71 Andrè Budzien 7pts
2. DEN 21 Bo Petersen 11pts
3. NZL 599 Greg Wilcox 24pts
4. GER 77 Sönke Behrens 27pts
5. DEN 700 Jesper Bendix 30pts
6. GER 72 Oliver Gronholz 39pts
7. DEN 22 Ask Askholm 45pts
8. GER 7 Andreas Pich 50pts
9. GER 3 Wolfgang Höfener 57pts
10. GER 5 Ralf Tietje 59pts

Full results here...

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