Nick Craig regains lead after single race on penultimate day at OK Dinghy Worlds

After three days of great conditions, Lyme Regis threw a curve ball on Day 4 of the 2023 Ovington Boats and Pro-Set Resins OK Dinghy World Championship. Only one gold fleet race was held with no silver fleet races finished. Nick Craig is back on top with a three point margin over Sweden’s Niklas Edler and Britain’s Henry Wetherell. The race was won by Sweden’s Daniel Björndahl.

With an offshore breeze for the first time this week, everyone expected a shifting unstable race but it turned into much more than that. The 143 boats from 13 nations were now split into gold and silver fleets.

Russ Clark, from Britain led New Zealand’s Greg Wilcox around the top mark with the left side coming in strong. Wilcox took the lead downwind, rounding the opposite gate to Wetherell, who took the lead on the second beat in a big left hander leaving the right wide stranded.

Wetherell led to the gate when the wind started to die, and then Björndahl went wider and found enough pressure to sail into the lead and with the wind swinging further just managed to hold onto the lead into the finish, now a reach, to win the race in a light onshore sea breeze from Wetherell and Jim Hunt.

Meanwhile the silver fleet had not managed to get a start in after several recalls. The change in wind resulted in the course being reset and the silver fleet started first. However, by the top marks the wind had already started to die and both races were abandoned shortly after to be followed by a return of the offshore breeze for a long beat back to the club as further racing was abandoned for the day.

Nick Craig, GBR
Nick Craig, GBR

Wetherell said, “I am really enjoying the OK, it’s a really good fleet. Conditions have really good up until today when we had a really changeable day. I got on the right side of it though we only had one race. So, looking forward to tomorrow. The final day will be hard.”

On the boat, “It’s bit different from the Finn. The downwind is a bit less physical and more technique based, and I am actually struggling a bit downwind and trying to watch a few people and learn a few things, but upwind speed is good. The boat is really tricky with really good racing so it’s hard. But I am really enjoying it.

“The guys in the fleet are also great, really good social vibe and on the water really hard racing so you can’t ask for more.”

Henry Wetherell, GBR
Henry Wetherell, GBR

Daniel Björndahl is up to 20th said, “It was fantastic day. I managed to win the first race and it was very hard conditions. The wind was shifting round a lot. In the first upwind I was about tenth but then I managed to be really fast on the downwind which is I am not doing very often. It was good fun to be with all the professionals so a fantastic day.

“It ended up I light conditions and it was my lucky day I think, and actually when we started the second race I managed to be in front as well, but it was cancelled as the wind died, but I am happy.”

There is one day left and two races possible on the final day and a plethora of possible world champions. The points are really close at the top and it really is still wide open. Racing is scheduled to start at 10.30 with a final warning signal by 14.55.

Niklas Edler, SWE
Niklas Edler, SWE

Results after 7 races
1 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 18
2 SWE 71 Niklas Edler 21
3 GBR 2245 Henry Wetherell 22
4 FRA 11 Valerian Lebrun 26
5 DEN 12 Jens Eckardt 27
6 DEN 21 Bo Petersen 30
7 GBR 6 Charlie Cumbley 38
8 NOR 428 Lars Johan Brodtkorb 42
9 GBR 91 Russell Clark 44
10 GBR 94 Andrew Mills 45

Full results here: http://2023.okworlds.org/results

Full gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/okdia/albums/72177720309417930

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