Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

Record turnout for OK Dinghy Europeans on Lake Garda

by Robert Deaves 10 Sep 19:38 BST 9-14 September 2023

After a long wait, the 2023 OK Dinghy European Championship has opened at Circolo Vela Arco (CVA) on Sunday evening with a star-studded line up. 115 sailors from 15 nations will race a 10-race series over the next four days.

The 2021 World Championship at CVA was cancelled because of the pandemic, and because of other scheduled events could not be rescheduled until 2025, so to fill the gap the club agreed to hold a European Championship. It is set to be the largest European Championship ever held for the class and also marks the first year ever that the OK Dinghy class has gathered more than 100 boats at both its world and European championships.

The defending and three-time champion is Denmark's Bo Petersen, but the queue lining up to snatch the title is as long as it is wide, and includes former world champions, Nick Craig and Charlie Cumbley from Britain, three time world champion André Budzien from Germany, new Nordic champion and world No. 2 Thomas Hansson-Mild from Sweden, and many others.

The entry also includes Denmark's World No 10, Jens Eckardt, Germany's Jan Kurfeld, Britain's Andy Davis and Matt Howard, France's Valerian Lebrun as well as Ireland's Tim Goodbody, racing for Spain, who has not done a major OK Dinghy regatta for more than a decade.

Conditions on Lake Garda over the last few days have produced very high temperatures and afternoon winds of 12-15 knots. Some of the fleet have been here for days preparing and enjoyed the fabulous weather and sailing.

At the opening ceremony the President of Circolo Vela Arco, Carlo Pompili, welcomed the participants to the club and Garda and wished all a great championship.

Pontis Gäbel, vice president of OKDIA spoke for the class. After thanking the club, the officials and the helpers, he said, "It is great to be here on Lago di Garda, this spectacular lake. I'm sure that a few of you are like me - you have racing on Garda in the No. 1 spot in your bucket list. Entering Arco from the north and seeing all the sails dot the lake as far as you can see is magical.

"This is an extraordinary year for OK sailing. It is the first year we have over 100 boats in both worlds and Europeans. This is the sign of a strong and growing OK class. Thank you for coming and making this event a success."

The event has also attracted a recent record number of entries with 15 nations represented including many of the new members of OKDIA - Thailand, Spain, and Italy, the first two Italian boats taking part in a major event in living memory. Similar to an increasing number of new sailors in the class, both boats were recently home built and it has been a long road to get them ready to race and here in Arco.

Racing begins on Monday with a 10-race series through to Thursday. The racing will be sailed in two groups, and after two days, or four races, will be split into gold and silver fleets for the final series.

For more information visit the event website

Related Articles

OK Dinghy World Rankings updated
Thomas Hansson-Mild back on top Former world No 1, Thomas Hansson-Mild returns to the No.1 spot in the final OK Dinghy World Rankings of 2023. Germany's André Budzien climbs five places to second, while Denmark's Jens Eckhardt moves up to third, and into the top 10 for the first time. Posted on 1 Dec
OK class Tin Rig Revival
New PY proposed, and new prizes for metal masts at all main open events and UK Nationals After a few years of growth culminating with British sailors winning both the World Championships and the European Championship, the British Class Association is planning on putting part of its focus on developing the class at grass roots. Posted on 17 Nov
Moana Auckland - new Ocean Festival launched
the inInaugural Moana Auckland, New Zealand's Ocean Festival, launches in February next year Aucklanders and visitors are in for a festival like no other when the inaugural Moana Auckland, New Zealand's Ocean Festival, launches in February next year. Posted on 8 Nov
OK class Northern and Scottish Championship
Kippford estuary looking very much the 'Salcombe of the North' After a successful OK event at Ullswater, the growing OK fleet in the North of England and Scotland had the opportunity to sail alongside their larger cousins the Finns at the Solway Regatta for the OK Northern and Scottish Championship. Posted on 4 Oct
Solway Yacht Club Autumn Open Spectacular
Strong entry of Finns, OKs, ILCAs and National 12s Several leading racing dinghy classes were invited to Kippford for the Club's big late season Open leading to a strong entry including Finns, International OKs, ILCAs (Lasers) and National 12s. Posted on 3 Oct
OK Southern Area Championship at Hayling Island
A stellar fleet assembled over the weekend There are not many times you head to an open meeting to line up against such a stellar fleet as assembled at Hayling for the OK open. There were a couple of absentees, but this was almost THE who is who of OK Sailing. Posted on 2 Oct
Europe, Finn & OK Open at Hayling Island Preview
Celebrating the unstayed single handers at the end of the season With 12 Finn arriving in the dinghy park en-masse at HISC at the beginning of the year, Europe activity a plenty, and OKs with Paul, Charlie, Alex, Matt and Simon, an event to celebrate the unstayed single handers has been hatched. Posted on 22 Sep
OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy in Bandol overall
Nick Craig wins after epic final day Bandol turned on everything for the final day of the OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy. Two races in a building westerly breeze, great waves and wall to wall sunshine capped off an excellent event on the Cote d'Azur. Posted on 20 Sep
OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy in Bandol Day 3
Three more bullets for Nick Craig After an enforced lay day due to strong winds, the third day of the OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy in Bandol on Monday bought a mix of conditions, starting with light winds and rain and ending in 15 knots sunshine and waves. Posted on 18 Sep
OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy in Bandol Day 1
Nick Craig dominates The 2023 OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy is taking place in Bandol, hosted again by the Société Nautique de Bandol with 25 boats from eight nations taking part. Racing runs from Saturday 16 to Tuesday 19 September. Posted on 17 Sep