Jim Hunt (GBR) wins the OK world championship at Parkstone YC
For the final race day of the OK world championship at Parkstone YC in Poole last Friday the wind remained light. However, the race committee succeeded in completing the event with two final races.
In the first race of the day Gunter Arndt (GER 672) got away to a good start but went too far to the left and a gaggle of British arrived at the windward mark first. By the time the fleet got to the gybe mark the wind had backed to a 190 degrees about 7 knots. The race officer signalled a change of course from the leeward mark (where half the fleet seemed to arrive together in a raft) to a new windward mark.
Rudiger Prinz (GER 711) took the lead, followed by fellow countryman Ralf Mackman (GER 723) and held these places to the finish. The fickle conditions gave good results to sailors who had not been up with the leaders earlier in the week. The only girl competitor, Juliane Hofmann (GER 699), finishing 7th.
With race 9 most probably going to be the last one, Jim Hunt was looking to be favourite for the world championship. However, the next places were being keenly contested by Nick Craig (GBR 2110), Bart Bomans (BEL 44) and last year’s champion Nitin Mongia from India.
The wind had steadied to around 190 degrees with a mean of 12kts. The Black Flag start gave three boats OCS and two of these – NZL 520 and GER 672, were up with the leaders for the whole race, it was a frustrating moment for them when they crossed the finishing line to silence. Joe Porebski (NZL 509) proved a popular winner with Nick Craig (GBR 2110) in second and Jim Hunt (GBR 2109) third.
A third for Hunt secured him a comfortable championship win – the first UK OK championship-winner for many years.
1st Jim Hunt (GBR 2109) 25 points
2nd Nick Craig (GBR 2110) 57 points
3rd Nitin Mongia (IND 1) 69 points
4th Bart Bomans (BEL 44) 72 points
5th Joe Porebski (NZL 509) 87 points