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Auckland, New Zealand - In just over 10 months’ time the International OK Dinghy fleet will descend on Auckland, New Zealand, to contest the 2019 OK Dinghy World Championship, bringing with them the friendship and competitiveness that make the OKs such a popular class. This will be the seventh time the World Championship has been held in New Zealand, and the organisers are expecting this edition to be the biggest and best yet.
 
Entries are now officially open with the Notice of Race and online entry form being posted to the Event Website earlier this week.
 
An opportunity almost six years in the making, Wakatere Boating Club submitted their bid to host the World Championship in 2012, and in the years since, building hype around the regatta has seen the number of local OK sailors almost double, with around 40 boats now racing at the club. This strong local fleet now includes an impressive array of top sailors, including three-time Olympian Dan Slater, double Olympic medalist Rod Davis, as well as multiple America’s Cup sailors, all of whom are working towards making sure the 2019 OK Dinghy World Championship is the best the fleet has ever staged.
 
“We’re really looking forward to the competition coming to us, and are proud to show off the club and the great racing venue to the international competitors who have graciously hosted us in the past,” commented Club Commodore, Simon Probert.
PJ Montgomery, The Voice of the America's Cup, invites the OK Dinghy fleet to the 2019 OK Dinghy World Championship at Wakatere Boating Club, New Zealand
New Zealand has a strong tradition of OK Dinghy racing having won a total of 12 World titles since Clive Roberts became the first Kiwi to become OK Dinghy World Champion back in 1973, in Falmouth, UK.
 
While next year’s World Championships will be the first time Wakatere Boating Club has hosted a World Championship, the members at Wakatere are not shy in setting themselves high standards. Initial indications are that there will be an exceptional turnout, potentially exceeding 100 boats, making it the largest OK Dinghy Championship ever held outside Europe. The host club is also planning a range of social activities throughout the week as is the norm with OK regattas, so expect some good parties for sailors and supporters alike, the highlight of which will likely be a wine tour to the island of Waiheke.
 
The early February dates were chosen for the regatta as the weather is generally very settled with beautiful sea breezes and warm seas. The racing days will coincide with small tidal flows and are outside the school holidays so that the beach becomes more accessible. The racing area will be to the north of the club off Takapuna beach, which is about a 20-minute sail in reasonable conditions. The courses will be in the same area that was used for the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cup and the 2015 Finn Gold Cup, and same area that will be used for the 2021 America’s Cup.
 
The New Zealand National Championship will take place the weekend before the World Championship starts, and on the same racing area with the same race committee. International competitors are invited to take part in the NZ Nationals as well. Between these two regattas is Waitangi Day, which is a national holiday commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the official forming of the modern country of New Zealand.

The Notice of Race and entry form are now online and can be found on the website below.
 
Probert added, “We are looking forward to hosting you at our wonderful club in this uniquely beautiful part of the world and hope to see you all here in February 2019 for some fantastic sailing and great parties.”
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