Craig opens OK Dinghy Autumn Trophy with two bullets

Forecasts promised good winds on the second day of the OK Dinghy International Association (OKDIA) Autumn Trophy, however light winds prevailed all day.

Fleet after the race start.
Only two races were able to be completed in the light wind conditions. Pic – Robert Deaves

Three races were started but only two were finished after the wind died. Nick Craig leads from Andy Dalby and Laurent Hay in Bandol, France, on Thursday.

Under cloudy and showery skies – yes even light rain in Bandol – the first race was a sloppy and tricky race with lots of place changes. Craig was looking good out of the start, sailing the shifts up the middle to lead all the way.

Coming up the second beat the wind went left under some heavy cloud with Dalby closing on Craig and those on the right sailing a great circle to the top. Craig took the win from Dalby and Gilles Berenger, from the home club, who sailed a great race.

Andy Dalby sailing downwind, about to pull boom across.
Andy Dalby is coming second overall. Pic – Robert Deaves

Kirchner, from Germany, led out of the start of race two with a cloud front moving down the course and shifting the wind to the right. However Craig again looked good to find the best route to the top, and with a useful gap on the fleet extended in clear air to take a second win by three minutes.

Blue sky appeared for the third race of the day but it also killed the wind with the race abandoned as the leaders approached the top mark.

Laurent Hay sailing in his boat (blue hull).
Local French sailor, Laurent Hay, is in third place. Pic – Robert Deaves

Regatta lead Craig is on his first visit to Bandol and is enamoured by the location and the hospitality. He said, “It’s a fantastic location, a very friendly club, great weather and racing and you get ashore to free beer on the beach with all your mates.”

Exciting conditions are forecasted for Friday with solid westerly winds up to 20 knots with waves and sunshine on the cards. Up to four races are planned to catch up with the schedule after the opening day was lost.

It should be a fun and OK day. Racing in Bandol continues until Saturday.

Results after two races:

1 GBR 233 Nick Craig 2
2 GBR 1 Andy Dalby 5
3 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 10
4 NZL 599 Greg Wilcox 11
5 FRA 8 Timothe Petetin 11
6 FRA 1836 Gilles Berenger 14
7 SWE 999 Johan Hesslind 20
8 FRA 1823 Jean Louis Petetin 20
9 GER 595 Daniel Groschl 20
10 GER 66 Christian Kirchner 22

By Robert Deaves

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