Five-time OK Dinghy world champion, Nick Craig has taken the early lead at the 2023 Ovington Boats and Pro-Set Resins OK Dinghy World Championship in Lyme Regis after four races have now been completed. He sits on level points with last year’s runner up, Niklas Edler, from Sweden, with Denmark’s Jens Eckardt in third. Race wins went to Craig, Eckardt, France’s Valerian Lebrun and Britain’s Matt Howard.
The breeze returned to Lyme Bay on Tuesday for the second day of the championship with two great races in 10-16 knots and long rolling waves. The sun made a few brief appearances through the low cloud, but beyond a few brief delays the racing got away fairly promptly.
The first group had a couple of false starts which knocked out a few of the favourites under the black flag, but when it restarted Andrew Mills and Paul Childs led at the top mark in each group. There were not many changes through the fleet today, but Craig and Eckardt came through in their groups to both take a second race win. Mills and Andy Davis picked up seconds while Edler and Henry Wetherell took a third each.
Defending champion Charlie Cumbley had rounded well up in his group but broke his tiller extension and decided to head ashore to replace it.
The breeze and waves increased for the second race with Cumbley leading the first group and Matt Howard leading the second, after being black flagged in the first race. However, while Howard extended throughout for the race win, Cumbley had a much tighter battle. Edler led for much of the race only to capsize on the gybe at the penultimate mark and let three boats through. Lebrun took advantage and sailed through for the win while Edler recovered to second with Andre Budzien third. In the other group, Steve McDowell crossed second with Wetherell again third.
Niklas Edlar, said, “We had a wonderful day. It was quite windy, very challenging upwind and the downwinds were so fun surfing the waves. The conditions are lovely here. But we are quite tired so I will have a good sleep tonight.
“I was third in the first race and second in the last. I was in the lead, but I capsized, so a little bit unlucky. But I was sailing very good, so I am quite happy
“I think the quality of the sailors here is better than last year in Marstrand so it’s very tight racing and a very competitive fleet. There are some really fast guys upwind but I am lucky to be fast downwind, so it’s fun.”
Cumbley is in eighth place. He commented, “Lovely conditions today, a little fresher in the end. Unfortunately, I broke my tiller extension, which was rather disappointing, but got back out for the second race and the breeze had picked up a bit and the waves had got bigger, and it was fantastic conditions. We had a great race and there were a gaggle of five of us having a battle, though unfortunately I was at the back end of that, but it was a great race, so let’s have a bit more of that in Costa del Lyme.
“I think a few people have got their discards in early so that will definitely make it interesting.”
With high scores, starting errors and other letter scores in the top 10 already, there are not many that have maintained a clean score line. Only Lebrun and Wetherell have single digit score lines.
New Zealand’s Steve McDowell is in 11th. “A good day today and the weather was a lot better than we had yesterday. We had more breeze, and the courses were really good. The other nice thing was that the waves downwind were really nice and helped me to catch up a little bit. I got a couple of good results which I’ll be keeping so a good day for me and certainly I think everyone out there enjoyed it.”
Racing continues Wednesday with two more races scheduled from 11.00. The championship continues until Friday.
Results after 4 races
1 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 6
2 SWE 71 Niklas Edler 6
3 DEN 12 Jens Eckardt 7
4 FRA 11 Valerian Lebrun7
5 GBR 2279 Matthew Howard 10
6 DEN 21 Bo Petersen 11
7 GBR 94 Andrew Mills 11
8 GBR 6 Charlie Cumbley13
9 GBR 2245 Henry Wetherell 14
10 NZL 11 Steve McDowell 15
Full results here: http://2023.okworlds.org/results
Full gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/okdia/albums/72177720309371000