The 2013 OK Dinghy European Championship commenced on schedule in Carnac, France, whilst much of Europe sweltered in high temperatures and light winds. The fleet were able to get in two great races amid a moderate sea breeze with the 2009 World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) emerging as the early leader.
Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE)
The fleet enjoyed two good races and managed to start on time with the wind around 9-11 knots. The first race, after one general recall, was won by Bo Peterson (DEN) from Tomasz Gaj (POL) and Stefan Myralf (DEN). Tomasz had a good lead at the first mark but was slowly reeled in by Petersen. The chasing pack was also quite close and the whole fleet finished in a short time.
The second race was won by Hansson-Mild from Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) who at 68 years of age proves there is no limit. Myralf sailed very well again for another third place to sit in second place overnight. Lindhardtsen said he had a few problems with a jury boat taking photos however Hansson-Mild was just a bit faster. Petersen ended the day in third.
Mark Roberts (AUS) commented, 'The sailing was very nice and it is a tough competition however I plan to do better tomorrow.' He is in 29th overall. Nick Craig (GBR) is fifth after two races, 'We got a sea breeze so nice sailing. I was a bit sluggish until last 200 metres of last race. Hopefully I have found the groove now.'
One of the stars of the day was young Richard Burton (GBR). He was second to the first mark in the first race and bettered that in the second. Although very happy with this he said it is annoying as he keeps getting passed downwind. Lindhardtsen said that this will improve with age.
The race committee seems very well organised and are setting very good courses so no one is complaining. Tonight there is the opening ceremony with oysters and punch.
The championship continues at 13.00 on Tuesday and continues through until Friday, with a total of 10 races scheduled.
Results after two races
1 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 6
2 DEN 6 Stefan Myralf 6
3 DEN 1421 Bo Petersen 7
4 GBR 2152 Lee Child 9
5 GBR 2150 Nick Craig 11
6 DEN1280 Jorgen Lindhardtsen 12
7 POL 1 Tomasz Gaj 13
8 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 14
9 GBR 2159 Jim Hunt 18
10 DEN 1393 Rene Johannsen Sarabia 18