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Fredrik Lööf back on top as OK Dinghy World Ranking list restarts

by Robert Deaves 13 Jun 05:06 PDT
Fredrik Lööf back at No. 1 © Robert Deaves

After more than two years in stasis, the OK Dinghy World Ranking list is back, with a new overall leader. After briefly taking the No.1 spot in April 2019, Sweden's Fredrik Lööf, is back on top, though without sailing any more events.

Fellow Swede, Thomas Hansson-Mild was No.1 when the Ranking List was put on hold in 2020 following the onset of the pandemic, but as neither of them have sailed any events so far in 2022, Lööf takes the lead by virtue of higher scoring regattas in 2019.

Tomasz Gaj, from Poland stays in third, while there are very few other changes in the top 20.

The Ranking List was restarted in April 2022 with qualifying events at the Spring Cup in Medemblik, the French Nationals in La Rochelle and the Nordics in Varberg, Sweden.

The first qualifying event was the Spring Cup in Medemblik in The Netherlands, the first time it has been held for three years. With 32 entries it was close at the front between Stefan de Vries, from The Netherlands, and Britain's Andy Davis, while Russell Clark, also from Britain, held off New Zealand's Greg Wilcox for third.

The French Nationals at La Rochelle attracted 14 entries with another former Finn campaigner, Fabian Pic, representing Belgium, dominating to win every race. Tim Petetin took second with Yann Vilien in third.

The third event included in this list was the Nordic Championship in Varberg, Sweden. In a very competitive fleet of 52 boats, Lars Johan Brodtkorb, from Norway, took a narrow win from Niklas Edlar, from Sweden and Denmark's Bo Petersen.

The next event on the OK Dinghy Ranking List is Kieler Woche, which gets under way next weekend. From now on the intention is to have the Ranking List continually updated online, with press releases three times a year summarising qualifying regattas and movements in the list. There are currently 565 sailors on the list who have done at least one qualifying regatta - including 24 new entries after these three events - and there will be a lot more new names appearing over the coming year as the fleet has grown steadily during the pandemic.

The highlight for the year will be the 2022 World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden, which has so far attracted 120 entries.

With most of these sailors heading to Marstrand in August, the world championship is going to be very tough. Many sailors will be at their first major OK Dinghy championship, so it will be fascinating to see how the new faces fare against the experienced OK helms. It will be the first world championship since the fantastic 2019 worlds in New Zealand, so everyone is enthused by the return to high level competition.

Following that, the European Championship in Bandol, France, in September is also likely to attract to huge turnout, with the venue having a reputation for great sailing and even better hospitality.

The class is going through a period of extraordinary growth with individual membership increasing by around six per cent each year. In the past two years OKDIA has welcomed six new national associations to swell its membership to 18 member countries. During the same time more new boats have been built since any time since the 1970s and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Everything is going to be OK, again.

OK Dinghy World Ranking List - June 2022 - Download here

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