Massive entry at OK world championship in Gdansk including 21 British competitors 15/6/07

As part of the OK Dinghy 50th Anniversary celebrations, OKDIA the class International association made the decision to lift the 80 boat entry limit for the world championship, that has been in place since the annual event was established in 1963.

With the entry list now up to 130 boats the event which start 22 July in Leba near Gdansk in Poland on the Baltic coast looks set to be the most competitive event in the class’ history.

Britain’s Nick Craig is planning on making it 3rd time in a row after successfully defending his title last February in Australia. Craig recently won the Medemblik Spring Cup in Holland from Germany’s own double World Champion Karsten Hitz who is back after a two-year break from sailing. Hitz won his first title in 2000 at the same venue as this year’s event. He showed some devastating offwind speed in Holland and will be very hard to beat if the wind blows as it did in 2000.

There will also be a strong contingent from the southern hemisphere with both Australia and New Zealand sending containers to the event. Kiwi Paul Rhodes, fresh off the back of winning the Interdominion Championships and runner up Steve McDowell currently ranked No 2 in the world are sure to be in the running alongside 2002 Champion Greg Wilcox and Australia’s Andre Blasse who was runner up in 1998.

Denmark’s Jurgen Lindhartsen currently ranked World No1 won the Worlds title back in 1978 and has been a top placed competitor many times since. He was runner up last year and is sure to be in the frame.

The host nation too has some talent, who will be training hard to make the most of the home advantage. Antoni Pawlowski, a former winner of Kiel Week and Pawel Pawlaczyk who was 3rd in the 2002 Europeans are expected to head the Polish contingent.

Craig is not the only British hope for the title challenge. The 20-strong team have four sailors in the world top 15. Terry Curtis runner up at last years National Championship and placed 10th at the 2002 event in Leba ranked 11th, Robert Deaves current UK National Champion ranked 12th in the World and Jon Fish who has produced some excellent results at a number of international regattas ranked 15. The stage is set for a fantastic celebration of the OK Dinghy Class.

British team
Alex Scoles, Overy Staithe
Anthony Rich, Oxford
Bill Bradburn, South Staffs
Chris Arnell, Christchurch
Dan Ager, Waldringfield
Deryck Lovegrove, Kingsmead
Ed Bradburn, South Staffs
Ed Dutton, South Staffs
Keith Dutton, South Staffs
Gavin Waldron, South Staffs
Ian Harris, Bristol Corinthian
John Meadowcroft, Henley
Jon Fish, Waldringfield
Julian Burnham, Upper Thames
Keith Byers, Morecombe & Heysham
Mike Edwards, South Staffs
Neil Goodhead, South Staffs
Nick Craig, Frensham
Robert Deaves, Dabchicks
Simon Childs, Grafham Water
Terry Curtis, Upper Thames