Nick Craig strikes back and is in a strong position going into final day 27/07/07

Three more tough races were sailed yesterday at the 2007 OK Dinghy World Championships in Leba, Poland. Two wins and a third place for defending world champion Nick Craig (GBR) were enough for him to take a seven-point lead going into the final day.

Conditions yesterday were only slightly lighter than Wednesday’s strong winds, that left competitors aching. Race four got underway in a solid 15-16 knots with the left side favoured again. Karl Purdie (NZL) made the best of the first beat to lead round the top mark while top two overnight, Nick Craig (GBR) and Mark Perrow (NZL) were further to the right. Craig spent most of the race in fourth place, but climbed to third on the final beat. Jorgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) sailed his best race so far to take second, while Purdie took the win.

Race five was sailed in slightly less breeze, which on the second round dropped to around 7-8 knots. Craig started near the pin and soon crossed the fleet to the left to lead and record his second win of the championship. Andre Blasse (AUS) made steady progress through the race to place second while Perrow recovered from an average first beat to place third.

The wind picked up again to about 12-14 knots for the final race, and a big left hand shift on the first beat brought Gunter Arndt (GER) and Jon Fish (GBR) round the first mark in the lead. However Craig was not far behind and was soon in the lead to win his third race. Karsten Hitz (GER) finally found the form that won him two world championships to move up to second, while Terry Curtis (GBR) who led round the second upwind mark placed third.

There are three more races planned going into the final day, with a wind forecast similar to yesterday. Realistically Craig needs only two top three places to assure himself of the title. With his worst result so far as fourth, the odds are in his favour.

Top Ten Results:

1 Nick Craig GBR 8
2 Mark Perrow NZL 15
3 Karl Purdie NZL 16
4 Kartsen Hitz GER 26
5 Gunter Arndt GER 29
6 Paul Rhodes NZL 34
7 Jorgen Lindhardtsen DEN 36
8 Oliver Gronholtz GER 37
9 Terry Curtis GBR 39
10 Matt Stechmann NZL 41