Former world champion, Thomas Hansson-Mild, from Sweden, is the new OK Dinghy World No. 1, taking the spot from his compatriot, the winner of the recent European championship, Fredrik Lööf.
Hansson-Mild has had a very successful season so far, winning the Nordic and Mediterranean championships in addition to bronze at the Europeans in Kiel and a top 10 at the worlds in February in Auckland. It is his first time at No. 1, having previously risen to No. 2 in 2016.
The list contains 534 sailors from 12 nations and the July release includes the Spring Cup in Medemblik, the Mediterranean Championship in Bandol, the Northern French Championship, the Nordic Championship in Vallensbæk, the European Championship in Kiel and Warnemünde Week.
The 2018 World Champion, André Budzien, from Germany, won the European season opener, the Spring Cup in Medemblik in very wet, cold and unpleasant conditions. One bright moment though was the 2018 Junior European champion, Will Heritage, from Britain, closing out the series really well to take second, with Richard Burton, also a Brit in third.
Sunnier climes beckoned and next up was the Mediterranean championship in Bandol. After providing a coaching session beforehand, Hansson-Mild borrowed a boat and was pushed hard to win the title. Chris Turner, from Britain was second with Timothe Petetin in third.
A smaller than usual Northern French Championship was won by Jacques Pirenne from Marc Vande Ghinste, both from Belgium, with Heniz Ridder, from Germany, in third.
Hansson-Mild also comfortably took the Nordic Championship in Vallensbæk, Denmark, just before the Europeans in Kiel. Tomasz Gaj, from Poland placed second with Bo Petersen, from Denmark third. All three would be looking for a good finish at the Europeans.
But then Lööf turned up and showed everyone that he had got to grips with the OK Dinghy and dominated the week for a clear victory. Relative newcomer Valérian Lebrun, from France took second, while Hansson-Mild recovered after a slow start to take bronze on the final day.
The huge Europeans reduced the size of the fleet at Warnemünder Woche, one of the classes most popular events. After struggling at the World and Europeans this year, Jan Kurfeld, from Germany, put together a series of straight wins to take the week from Greg Wilcox, from New Zealand, and Jan- Dietmar Dellas, from Germany.
Traditionally the class has most of its major national championships in the Autumn and of particular interest this year is the Swedish Championship in Marstrand, where next year’s world championship is being held. Many sailors from across Europe are making the trip at the beginning of August to explore what this famous OK location has to offer.