sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : OK Dinghy World Championship - Fleet gather for Pattaya action
OK Dinghy World Championship - Fleet gather for Pattaya action


'Defending OK Dinghy World Champion Andre Budzien'    Robert Deaves

OK Dinghy sailors from around the globe are gathering in Pattaya, Thailand for the 2013 Singha OK Dinghy World Championship, which gets under way at the end of this week. Seven containers have arrived at the club over the last few weeks with 72 boats from nine countries entered for the championship. The first race is scheduled for Sunday 31 March.

It has been exactly a decade since the OK Dinghy class held its last world championship outside its traditional haunts of Europe, New Zealand and Australia. In 2003, the class held its first world championship in Asia, in Goa, India, and a return to the region has long been a dream of many in the class.

Royal Varuna Yacht Club aerial -  Robert Deaves  
The OK Dinghy has a special place in Thai sailing history, as His Majesty the King of Thailand, King Bhumibol, won the gold medal in the OK Dinghy at the Fourth Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (SEAP) Games in 1967 in Phuket. This day has been commemorated ever since as National Sports Day in honour of his achievement. His Majesty the King sailed the OK Dinghy for many years, having built his own boat, and even travelled to Frensham Pond in the UK for some 'incognito' training in the 1960s.

There have been OK Dinghies in Thailand for more than 40 years, though these days they are mainly sailed by the navy personnel. The two strong Thai entries, Khun Veerasit Puangnak and Khun Manut Photong, bring a wealth of experience. Veerasit represented Thailand in the Laser class at the Sydney Olympics, and both Veerasit and Manut are ex-Thai Laser National Champions.

The fleet this year consists of a lot of newcomers to the class but also some deep experience, including five former world champions. The defending champion is Andre Budzien (GER). More famous for his Finn sailing he took the OK Dinghy world title in 2012 at the first attempt, but reveals he has been planning this trip to Thailand for some time. 'The decision to compete in Thailand was born much earlier than last year. I heard about this World Championship two years ago and my family and I were very enthusiastic to make a nice holiday there with some sailing as well. So the decision was made before I knew I would be defending the title. Of course one of my goals is to defend the title, but also I hope to relax and have some fun there with my family and friends.'

Budzien has changed his equipment since his win last year. 'I have now bought a wonderful boat from Alex Scoles (GBR) with a wooden deck and a lot of nice features; this was and is my dream boat. I don’t know which one is better and of course I was very satisfied with the Icebreaker I had before. The decision to change is more from a visual point of view, so, however the results go, the working place is very nice for me. I also bought a Finn with this wooden layout this year.'

What does he think the conditions will be like? 'About the weather in Thailand, it will always be different from what we expect. For me it is completely out of my mind; when we are there we will see what happens. I hope it is nice summer time and we have not so long waiting on shore or outside. On the race course I like wind from 1 to 30 knots as long as it hits me from the right direction!'

OK Dinghy World Championship 2012 -  Bo Svensmark  
With the conditions largely unknown and a number of new faces in the fleet, it is hard to call a favourite. However four time world champion Nick Craig (GBR) heads the 12 strong British team, and should be in with a good chance at a fifth title.

'I'm hugely looking forward to the these worlds. It's been a long, cold winter here so the thought of sailing in 30 degrees and force 4 sea breezes has put a smile on my face already. I think it will be a very tough regatta - the strong Kiwi team are rumoured to be back in force and they have always had more depth of talent than any other country in OKs. The Danes were very fast last year after many hours training effectively as a team, and current champ Andre Budzien will be hard to beat, as will at least 10 others.'

'I'm doing the least sailing I've done in over 30 years but hoping to still be in the action, and even if I'm not, it's going to be a whole heap of fun off the water.'

And fun is going to be a crucial ingredient of the regatta. To say that the sailors are very excited to have the chance to race in Thailand is a gross understatement. The fact that there are 72 entries says a great deal about the anticipation felt throughout the fleet.

While there has been talk of trying to arrange a world championship in Thailand for many years it was really the work of OKDIA President Andre Blasse (AUS) that made it happen. 'A few years ago on my way to compete in the OK Dinghy World Championships, there was a presentation on the screen of the Thai Airways plane for the King of Thailand’s 80th birthday. It showed the King working on his wooden OK Dinghy, plus quite a few shots of him sailing. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great to sail an OK Dinghy World Championship in Thailand.'

'So I asked around at the regatta though I didn’t really do much more about it until the 2010 World Championships in Wellington, New Zealand. The Chairman of the Jury was Rut Subniran from Thailand. I asked him a few questions about where he sailed from and discovered that his club, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, had run the Fireball Worlds before, and he had helped organise them. So I asked if they would be interested in running ours; the answer was yes. At an AGM we put it to a vote, and everyone was very keen.'

The beach at Royal Varuna Yacht Club -  Robert Deaves  
'The Royal Varuna Yacht Club is the sailing club endorsed by the King of Thailand and the organisers will send a letter to His Majesty the King informing him that OK Dinghy World Championship is being held in Thailand for the first time. I had a meeting with Rut at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, just before Easter in 2012, at the same time we were proposing to run this year’s Worlds. The weather was warm, the facilities and organisation top class. I was very impressed.'

'OKDIA is very happy to have the Royal Varuna Yacht Club running our 2013 Worlds Championships, and I would like to thank the main sponsor 'Singha Beer International'. I know it will be a great event.'

The race team will be headed by Kevin Wilson (AUS, IRO), while the International Jury will be chaired by Bill Bell (IJ AUS) and include Neil Semple (IJ GBR) Radm. Prasart Sribhadung (IJ THA), Omar Kwan (NJ MYA) and Rut Subniran (IJ THA).

The first sailors are already preparing their boats at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. The practice race will be held on Saturday 30 March with a further 10 races scheduled from Sunday 31 March to Friday 5 April. Tuesday 2 April is scheduled as a lay day.

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=107796

4:03 PM Mon 25 Mar 2013GMT


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







News - USA and the World





















HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia












Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   


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.
X6XL WAS US