Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

Open letter to World Sailing's President and CEO from the International OK Dinghy Association

by Mark Jackson, President OKDIA 2 May 2019 04:27 PDT
The 2019 European Championship is being held in Kiel as part of Kieler Woche © Robert Deaves

I am writing in my capacity as President OKDIA, the International OK Dinghy Class Association, to express our dissatisfaction at the process and decisions taken by World Sailing last year to remove the Finn from the 2024 Olympics.

The International OK Dinghy Class celebrated its 60th anniversary year in 2017 and continues to grow in popularity around the world. Traditionally the class had been used as an intermediate step for singlehanded sailors prior to campaigning a Finn towards Olympic selection.

More recently the class has seen former Finn sailors, and sailors from many other classes, choose the OK Dinghy as their racing dinghy of choice due to the one design nature of the class, the sophistication and availability of equipment, the world standard of racing including annually held World, European and regional championships and of course the social character of the class.

The 2019 International OK Dinghy World Championship was held in February in Auckland, New Zealand with over 100 boats competing. The event was narrowly won by former Olympian and Finn sailor Dan Slater, from Olympic Gold Medalist and former Finn sailor Freddy Loof, with 17 year old World Youth Champion Josh Armit finishing third. While we are rightly proud of the OK Dinghy, equally we feel that the increasing popularity of the class benefits world sailing generally as an avenue for promoting our wonderful sport across many countries.

The Annual General Meeting of OKDIA was held in Auckland in conjunction with the World Championship in February 2019. At that meeting, the Australian Representative informed the meeting that the AUS association had written to Australian Sailing expressing disappointment regarding the decision of World Sailing to drop the event intended for the Finn class from the Olympics in 2024 in favour of a two person mixed keelboat.

There was general consent within the room for OKDIA to express its dissatisfaction and unhappiness at the general direction of World Sailing, in particular the recent Olympic class decisions, which have and will affect many within the class and the options and pathways for singlehanded dinghy sailing in general. The meeting agreed that OKDIA should write to World Sailing and represent the views of the OKDIA member countries that reflect these views.

I have personally sailed the OK Dinghy for almost 40 years since I was 16 years of age and am still enjoying sailing with and competing against both new and old friends from many countries. I have also recently joined the Finn Masters and have similarly enjoyed the level of competition mixed with great friendship. Like most sailors I have also had my fair share of offshore keelboat sailing as part of my lifelong involvement in the sport. With this experience I can personally echo the sentiments and concern of OK Dinghy sailors at the strategic direction of World Sailing, or it seems lack of it, and dismay at the decisions being taken. In my view this demonstrates a lack of leadership, both in honouring the past and building a shared vision for the future.

On behalf of the OK Dinghy Class I implore you and all at World Sailing to act in the best interests of the future of sailing and the people you represent.

Related Articles

Charlie Cumbley lifts 2022 OK Dinghy World title
After windless final day in Marstrand Charlie Cumbley from Britain has won the 2022 OK Dinghy World Championship after a stressful final day in Marstrand, Sweden. Niklas Edler from Sweden takes the silver with Lars Johan Brodtkorb from Norway wins the bronze. Posted on 12 Aug
OK Dinghy Worlds in Marstrand day 4
Heading for a nail biting conclusion on Friday The 2022 OK Dinghy World Championship is going down to the wire with just 0.4 points separating Britain's Charlie Cumbley and Sweden's Niklas Edler after two more races were completed on Thursday in Marstrand, Sweden. Posted on 11 Aug
OK Dinghy Worlds in Marstrand day 3
Two races in a building breeze were the perfect antidote after a great dinner Charlie Cumbley, from Britain, has consolidated his lead on the third day of the 2022 OK Dinghy Worlds, to take a three point lead at the top from Sweden's Thomas Hansson-Mild, with Norway's Lars Johan Brodtkorb, one point further back. Posted on 10 Aug
Mark Paterson - outstanding sailing talent dies
Mark Paterson came close to winning NZ's third Olympic gold medal at Montreal in 1976 Mark Paterson was a fierce competitor in everything he did but there was one fight he ultimately couldn't win. Paterson is being remembered after he died last week after a long battle with Huntington's Disease. He was 73. Posted on 10 Aug
OK Dinghy Worlds in Marstrand day 2
GBR's Charlie Cumbley takes the lead after double bullet Charlie Cumbley, from Britain, has taken the lead on the second day of the 2022 OK Dinghy World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden, after winning both races on Tuesday. Sweden's Thomas Hansson-Mild remains in second. Posted on 9 Aug
OK Dinghy Worlds in Marstrand Day 1
Lars Johan Brodtkorb takes early lead Lars Johan Brodtkorb, from Norway, has taken the early lead at the OK Dinghy World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden. Sweden's Thomas Hansson-Mild is in second with Charlie Cumbley, from Britain in third. Posted on 9 Aug
Spectacular setting for OK Dinghy Worlds opening
Two years after it was originally scheduled to take place in Marstrand Two years after it was originally scheduled to take place here, the OK Dinghy World Championship has finally been opened in Marstrand, Sweden, with 109 OK Dinghies completing equipment inspection and registration over the past three days. Posted on 7 Aug
2022 Allen OK Nationals Gear Review
A range of design and rigging options on display with some interesting touches The OK is one of those classes where the sailor has multiple options for their choice of equipment and how to set it up in the way it suits them. Posted on 5 Aug
The lightest and strongest
The new TiiTAN block's breaking load is 1250kg A key feature within the TiiTAN bearing system is the use of a precision plain bearing washer. When the TiiTAN is exposed to extreme static loads, which would normally cause damage to the internal bearing system, it changes to a plain bearing block. Posted on 2 Aug
Fleet of 115 to sail OK Dinghy Worlds in Marstrand
Thirty months have passed since the last World Championship, so the fleet is understanably eager! Thirty months have passed since the last OK Dinghy World Championship, which was held in New Zealand in February 2019, so it is with some degree of excitement that 115 sailors from 11 nations around the globe are now heading to Marstrand, Sweden. Posted on 2 Aug
Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2Selden 2020 - FOOTERCyclops 2022 May FOOTER