Swede beats Kiwi by 1 point at OK Dinghy Worlds

Race 9
The day started with two sailors, current World Champion Karl Purdie (NZL) and
Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE), on 13 points, each in a position to win the World
Championship. With a fresh breeze forecast, there was much speculation on who
would win today's races and with them the Championship. Hansson-Mild was
looking the favourite, having won 4 races to Puride's 3. With the wind holding steady
at 8 m/s, with gusts of 10m/s, some sailors had decided to call it a day, choosing to
pack up their boats instead.

With so much resting on these two races, the fifty nine competitors jumped the gun on
the first start and a general recall was called. The black flag immediately instilled
discipline for the second start at which there were no premature starters. An 18
minute beat to the windward mark saw some bang both corners but the majority sailed
the middle course. One of the leading pack capsized on the first reach, costing him
valuable points, but the rest were soon gibing at the leeward mark, to sail the port side
of the course. In the lead was Jorgen Lindhardtsen (DEN), closely followed by Oliver
Gronholz (GER) and Hannsson-Mild, with Purdie on his transom. Lindhardtsen had
increased his lead up the next beat and held it on the run to the leeward gate.
Hansson-Mild had climbed to second place, with Purdie and Andre Blasse (AUS) a
short distance behind. They all continued on starboard tack for much of the beat to
the finish, short tacking as the line approached. Lindhardtsen was first to finish,
closely followed by Hansson-Mild, but Blasse forced Purdie into fourth place.

1st Jorgen Lindhardtsen DEN
2nd Thomas Hansson-Mild SWE
3rd Andre Blasse AUS
4th Karl Purdie NZL
5th Oliver Gronholz GER
6th Greg Wilcox NZL
7th Martin Zimmermann GER
8th Terry Curtis GBR
9th Gunter Arndt GER
10th Tomasz Gaj POL

Race 10
With Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) on 15 points and Karl Purdie (NZL) on 17 points,
the Championship was very much in the balance. Once again the first start resulted in
a general recall, but the second start was quickly underway under the black flag, again
with no premature starters. With the wind still oscillating between 8 and 10 m/s and
the waves becoming quite pronounced, the leaders chose the committee boat end to
start. It is fair to say they were line-shy, but with so much counting on the last race
for many of the top ten places, no-one was taking any chances. Andre Blasse (AUS)
was first to the windward mark, holding his lead on the two reaches, with Martin
Zimmermann (GER), Pawel Pawlaczyk (POL) and Gunter Arndt (GER) close behind.
Again Karl Purdie (NZL) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) were inseparable in 5th
and 6th places. Again the port side of the course was favourite, with Blasse still
leading the race. Blasse again led the fleet at the leeward mark, with Arndt 2nd Purdie
3rd and Hansson-Mild 4th. A nail-biting final beat ensued with Blasse, the new
President of the OK Dinghy International Association, taking his first gun of the
series. Purdie was second and Hansson-Mild 3rd.

1st Andre Blasse AUS
2nd Karl Purdie NZL
3rd Thomas Hansson-Mild SWE
4th Martin Zimmermann GER
5th Gunter Arndt GER
6th Pawel Pawlaczyk POL
7th Jorgen Lindhardtsen DEN
8th Terry Curtis GBR
9th Greg Wilcox NZL
10th Oliver Gronholz GER

With a complete series of ten races completed, all that remained was the assembly of
the overall results. Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) became the new World Champion,
beating the current World Champion Karl Purdie (NZL) by just 1 point. Hansson-
Mild has competed in fourteen World Championships and this is his 7th appearance in
the top ten. His highest position to date was 3rd in 2001.

Overall positions
1st Thomas Hansson-Mild SWE
2nd Karl Purdie NZL
3rd Jorgen Lindhardtsen DEN
4th Andre Blasse AUS
5th Greg Wilcox NZL
6th Nick Craig GBR
7th Terry Curtis GBR
8th Pawel Pawlaczyk POL
9th Martin Zimmermann GER
10th Gunter Arndt GER

49th Jonathon O'Donell AUS

53rd Glenn Yates AUS 

1st Veteran: Karl Purdie NZL
1st Junior: Bartosz Rakocy POL
1st in host country: Thomas Hansson-Mild SWE
Event website: www.kalmarraceweek.se
Class website: www.okdia.org
Text: Mary Reddyhoff OKDIA

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