Tough contest ahead at the 46th OK Dinghy Interdominion Championship
by Richard Furneaux on 5 Mar 2011
Since 1966 the Australian and New Zealander OK Dinghy sailors have met each year to determine the 'top dogs? in the southern hemisphere. Both nations have done very well in the World Championships over the years, with Karl Purdie from NZ currently holding the title.
International OK Dinghy Association - copyright http://www.okdia.org/
While interest in the Interdominions had fallen off a little in recent years it was decided, at the last meeting in the warm up for the 2010 Wellington world championships, to revitalise the contest by holding it separately from World and National Championships. As a result, this is shaping up to be the most closely fought Interdominions in many years.
The event will be hosted by Black Rock Yacht Club, with seven races to be held over Easter, commencing on Friday 22nd April and finishing on Monday 25th. There are eleven competitors coming from New Zealand: Ben Morrison, Mark Perrow, Russell Wood, Alistair Deaves, Paul Rhodes, Luke O?Connell, Karl Purdie, Trent Pryce, Steve McDowell and Adrian Coulthard. The New Zealand team includes four sailors who are in the top ten in the OK World rankings, plus 2010 NZ national Finn champion, Mark Perrow, who was one of the favourites for the 2010 Worlds before injury cut short his campaign.
The Australian team will be drawn from sailors from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. With an impressive line-up the big question is whether the Aussies will have the depth of strength to match the Kiwis. Michael Williams was runner up to Purdie in the 2010 World Championship and is the current National Champion. Andre Blasse, who has multiple top ten finishes at the Worlds, will be there with his brother Roger who is a former World Champion. Tim Davies will head up a strong contingent from NSW vying for a place in the team. There will be over forty boats in the fleet to ensure that there will be a great atmosphere for this traditional event. Fittingly, the regatta concludes on Anzac Day, 96 years from the day that the 'ANZAC legend' which forms part of the identity of both nations was born.
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