sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Nick Craig reflects on fourth OK Dinghy World Title

Nick Craig reflects on fourth OK Dinghy World Title

'Nick Craig - OK Dinghy World Championship 2011'    Alan Henderson - copyright

Nick Craig chats to Robert Deaves after his record-equalling fourth OK Dinghy World title:

How times have changed. A little over seven years ago, no British sailor had ever won the OK Dinghy World Championship. It was a commonly held belief in the class that no British sailor ever would. They were just not up to the job, or jinxed by 50 years of history. Jim Hunt changed all that in 2004 with a decisive win on home ground at Parkstone on the UK’s south coast.

Then it was Nick Craig’s turn, winning the title in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to become only the third person to win three titles and only the second to win three in a row. This year in Largs, Scotland, Craig won it for a record equalling fourth time after one of the trickiest and closest world championships ever held.

Craig joins Leith Armit (NZL), who won in 1983, 1985, 1990 and 1994, and Bo-Staffan Andersson (SWE) who won in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, as the only sailors to have won the title four times.

In addition, Craig rises to the top of the ‘Best OK Dinghy sailors of all time’ list, overtaking class legend Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN).

Several weeks after the win, Craig reflected on the regatta. It was not the easiest of weeks, plagued by light and unstable winds and unusually high temperatures. Only seven out of the ten scheduled races were held after several long days on the water with very little to show on the scoreboard.

Craig said, 'However, it was a very well run event. On shore side, it was one of the best events I’ve done. The family and friends events were organised by Sue Byers. There were activities every day, which meant my wife and kids had a great time which is very important.'

'It’s just a shame the wind didn't play ball. The sailing was very challenging with light, unstable winds, but the race team made the best of it so we raced in the best conditions available.'

What were his expectations going into it the regatta and how did that change during the week? 'I was aiming to win but stayed pretty philosophical with the difficult conditions. I was sailing my best and if the wind was a bit random there wasn’t a lot I could do about it. I didn't open the week well with a 16th and then an 11th in race three but I knew it would be high scoring so I just kept plugging away.'

Thomas Hansson Mild leads fleet in Largs - OK Dinghy World Championship 2011 -  Alan Henderson?nid=88146_- copyright  

And the threats? 'It was as expected – a great mix of experience in past World Champions Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Greg Wilcox (NZL) and new blood from Bartosz Rakocy (POL). In light winds I expected the German team to be fast which they were and in breeze the Aussies are fast.'

After finding great speed in years past to win three world titles with his Celidh mast and North sail combination, Craig has struggled with speed issues in recent years, after the rest of the world caught up. And to some extent this still dogged him in Largs. 'The biggest challenge was my lack of pace in the very light airs. I was just off the pace upwind in sub-hiking conditions, which made life very difficult on the big course. I was having to start very aggressively and get all the shifts right to get any decent results in these conditions.'

The event had started on a low point for Craig. 'My car, which was packed for the event and a two week family holiday, was stolen from the sailing club the weekend before the event and it made the week before very hectic with replacing the car, towbar, clothes, cot bed, credit cards and sailing kit as well as going to work. The biggest low point was how useless the police were – the thief phoned my wife on my phone so could easily have been caught.'

And once into the racing, he didn’t have the best start. 'The opening race was pretty horrible for me. I got a great start but my pace was ordinary, I got on the wrong side of the last shift into the windward mark, and then got killed when the second reach turned into a run so I just scraped a 16th.'

However the championship was still wide-open going into the seventh and final race, held right on the time limit. Craig, who was in fourth place overall, needed things to go his way. 'The highlight of the event for me was the first beat of the last race. I got a bit lucky - there was a shift and new breeze on the left which I was in so I rounded the top mark first with none of my competition in the top 20.'

'After that stroke of good fortune, it was still a tricky race. The wind stayed very light and I again struggled a bit for pace so slipped to fourth through the race whilst Greg Wilcox was coming through quickly. The run was painful as the leeward marks were moved to make it longer and the wind filled in from behind so at one point it looked like I'd be engulfed by the chasing pack. The fleet then inevitably split at the leeward gate but thankfully the wind filled in on my side so I clung on to take the title by just two points.'

What does a fourth world title mean to him? 'It means a lot – winning it this time round was in many ways a lot harder than any other time as I’m sailing less so it’s harder to get an edge.'

'The rigs have also moved on a lot over the last few years and I’ve been behind as I’ve been sailing other boats and doing less sailing. But I’m happy that I've now got a rig that works well across the wind range. I've got no edge though, so I’ll be trying a few things over the winter to find that edge again.'

Nick Craig - OK Dinghy World Championship 2011 -  Alan Henderson?nid=88146_- copyright  

Craig is without doubt an OK Dinghy fanatic, but sees the need for the class to promote itself in a crowded market. 'The class needs to keep playing to its strengths of great international racing and low cost close racing in a good fun atmosphere. It is hard to promote that in the UK because it is a very crowded market and there are big companies promoting their boats hard. But the OK has a unique mix of enjoyable racing that should see it continue to thrive.'

The class has lined up some great venues for the next few years. In 2012 the world championship is being held in Denmark, while in 2013 the class heads to Thailand for the first time, before travelling down under to Melbourne in 2014.

Craig is certainly game to try for a record fifth world title. 'It would be fantastic and I will go for it, more because I love racing the OK Dinghy internationally than because five is a magic number. I hope to have many more years of great international sailing and beer drinking.'

'But I know it will be hard. There is some great young talent coming through the class as well as some very experienced hands who are tough to beat.'

OK Dinghy website




by Robert Deaves

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=88146

8:47 AM Mon 5 Sep 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

10 Dec 2013  Abersoch Dinghy Week 2014 - Title sponsors announced
09 Dec 2013  OK Dinghy World Rankings for December 2013
16 Jun 2013  PWA Catalunya World Cup - Celebrating 15 years of Costa Brava action
16 Jun 2013  Route des Princes - Edmond de Rothschild victorious in Lisbon
16 Jun 2013  Contender World Championship - 174 entries and still counting
16 Jun 2013  Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge – Day 2 in Porto Santo Stefano
16 Jun 2013  NYYC Annual Regatta – J sailing talent to take part
25 Apr 2013  Jorgen Svendsen retains OK Dinghy World 2013 number one ranking
07 Mar 2013  Finn Class partners Dinghy Academy to train next Olympians
03 Mar 2013  RYA Dinghy Show - Glanfield and Patience launch Rio 2016 campaign
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





































Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






























Outteridge and Jensen – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott wins Gold
Santander Worlds - 49ers Burling and Tuke clear ahead
ISAF Sailing Worlds – Live broadcast - Medal races
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5
WMRT Chicago Match Cup 2014 – GAC Pindar through to the semi-finals
Bart’s Bash 2014 at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour
Bart's Bash: First event in at Wakatere in New Zealand
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander 2014 - AUS Laser and 470 Medals + video
2014 Patriot Regatta - U.S. Coast Guard team wins
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 9 highlights
2014 Etchells North American Championship – Day 2
Chicago Match Cup - Top four tour teams tackle tomorrow in semi-finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 49er and Nacra 17 world titles claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo   
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day   
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights   
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off   
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1   
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight   
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT