Please select your home edition
Edition
Festival of Sails 2020 GIF - LEADERBOARD

OK World Championship at Warnemunde, Germany - Preview

by Karen Robertson 8 Jul 2018 00:13 PDT 10-14 July 2018
OK dinghies at Warnemunde © Robert Deaves

As over 140 OK dinghies from ten different countries gather in Warnemunde, Germany for the 2018 OK World Championship (10th – 14th July) an influx of talent is promising an exciting championship with previous winners from Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany and Britain facing the new challengers including the legendary six time Olympian and multiple World Champion in Finn and Star, Freddy Loof (SWE).

Britain have 18 entries registered (or 19 if we count UK based Kiwi and current UK National Champion Luke Gower) and are presenting a bid to hopefully bring the OK Worlds back to the UK again in the next few years. That such a strong sailing nation like Britain who have taken the last two World Champions only makes up an eighth of the fleet indicates just how much the class has expanded in recent years in other countries and the depth of the field is astonishing for a non-Olympic class. Indeed, that Loof has chosen to sail the OK it's clear that the resurgence in the class internationally is beginning to present a worthy challenge for top sailors around the world. Indeed, in New Zealand rumour has it that America's Cup great, Rod Davis, is working up to the 2019 World Championship which is to be held in NZ in February at Wakatere While Loof recently won the Nordic Championship in his first outing in the class, there is no shortage of sailors hoping to give him a run for his money. These include his fellow Swedes Mats Caap (OK World Champion and Olympian) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (OK World Champion), Danes and previous European Champions, Bo Petersen and Jorgen Svendsen, Britain's own Jim Hunt who has won the OK worlds twice, New Zealand's Greg Wilcox (OK World Champion and #1 on the OK ranking list) and reigning European Champion Lars Johan Brodtkorb from Norway. It is a shame that our own Nick Craig, current OK World Champion and who has won more OK World Championships than any other sailor cannot defend his title, but he's promised to be back soon!

One of the new guns, Germany's Jan Kurfeld was one of the German squad sailors in the Finn and had Olympic ambitions but after trying the OK last year is targeting the World Championship on his home patch this year and set out his stall in dramatic fashion by winning Keil Week recently. "For the World Cup I want to sail for a medal" says Kurfeld. "It's going to be a hot class and a high level (of competition). In any case, I want to sail for the medals. The OK dinghy is a nice boat and has a lot to offer for many, it is a kind of combination of Laser and Finn. Also technically a lot has happened - both in the masts and in the sails. And....the class is very different than in the Olympic class, much more relaxed and sociable. At the moment, it is actually booming in the class," says Kurfeld.

Part of the reason the class is expanding internationally is the reasonable initial cost of the boats, the long competitive life of boats, sails and rigs and in some areas the newly developed laser cut flat pack kits have shown that home built boats can once again be as fast as any from the established manufacturers. In Britain we are blessed in having three world class OK builders in the form of Idol Composites, Ovington and Synergy Marine and sails being actively developed and campaigned by North's Charlie Cumbley and HD's Jim Hunt.

With so much talent being present whoever wins the Championship over the course of the next week will be truly worthy of the title of World Champion.

If sailing the OK interests you, the UK Class association has a demo boat that can be tried out or a trial sail organised in many areas of the UK. Please contact the class association at

Related Articles

OK Dinghy World Ranking final list of the year
Thomas Hansson-Mild remains world number 1 After the traditional end of season round of national championships across Europe, there is no movement in or out of the top 10 of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking List of the year. Posted on 13 Nov
OKs at South Staffs
A challenging day's sailing for the 17 sailors The morning of September the 28th dawned grey and breezy at SSSC, but with the rain helpfully abating, 17 spritely OK sailors arrived for what would prove to be a challenging day's sailing. Posted on 30 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch overall
Starting with a bang, building to a crescendo, ending with a whimper It could be said that the 2019 OK Nationals started with a bang, built to a crescendo of close racing and energetic socialising and ended with a whimper but one thing is certain - it is an event that will be remembered for all the right reasons. Posted on 10 Sep
OK Dinghy UK Nationals at Abersoch days 1 & 2
One of the strongest fleets in a while One of the strongest OK fleets in a while gathered at SCYC at Abersoch for their 2019 National Championships on Thursday 5th September to be greeted by a moderate to fresh breeze out of the North West. Posted on 7 Sep
International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship
Held over the weekend at Southport Yacht Club The 2019 International OK Dinghy Queensland Championship have concluded today at Southport Yacht Club in Hollywell, Queensland. The Championships were held on the Saturday 17 and Sunday the 18th of August. Posted on 19 Aug
Swedish OK National Championship in Marstrand
Thomas Hansson-Mild dominates the event to take his 14th National title Nearly 60 OK Dinghies from seven countries travelled long distances to sail the 2019 Swedish National Championship says as much about the current health of the class as it does about the beautiful venue that is Marstrand, host for 2020 World Championship. Posted on 8 Aug
Thomas Hansson-Mild is new OK Dinghy World No. 1
Swedish sailor has had a very successful season so far Former world champion, Thomas Hansson-Mild, from Sweden, is the new OK Dinghy World No. 1, taking the spot from his compatriot, the winner of the recent European championship, Fredrik Lööf. Posted on 10 Jul
OKs at Overy Staithe
Strong tide leads to racing being held in the harbour Nine OKs arrived at Overy Staithe for the annual OK Open Meeting, run every year since 1971. The wind was a fickle northerly in brilliant sunshine. Posted on 10 Jul
English Braids support the 2019 OK Nationals
Being held at The OK Class Association are pleased to welcome English Braids as a sponsor for our 2019 National Championship being held at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch 5-8 Septempter. Posted on 6 Jul
OK Dinghy Europeans overall
Fredrik Lööf successfully defends title Fredrik Lööf, from Sweden, has secured his second successive OK Dinghy European title in Kiel with a race to spare after winning the first race of the day on the final day on Tuesday. Posted on 25 Jun
Melges 14 2019 FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterNaiad 660x82px_Superyacht