Please select your home edition
J Composites J/99

Record turnout for OK Dinghy Europeans on Lake Garda

by Robert Deaves 10 Sep 2023 11:38 PDT 9-14 September 2023

After a long wait, the 2023 OK Dinghy European Championship has opened at Circolo Vela Arco (CVA) on Sunday evening with a star-studded line up. 115 sailors from 15 nations will race a 10-race series over the next four days.

The 2021 World Championship at CVA was cancelled because of the pandemic, and because of other scheduled events could not be rescheduled until 2025, so to fill the gap the club agreed to hold a European Championship. It is set to be the largest European Championship ever held for the class and also marks the first year ever that the OK Dinghy class has gathered more than 100 boats at both its world and European championships.

The defending and three-time champion is Denmark's Bo Petersen, but the queue lining up to snatch the title is as long as it is wide, and includes former world champions, Nick Craig and Charlie Cumbley from Britain, three time world champion André Budzien from Germany, new Nordic champion and world No. 2 Thomas Hansson-Mild from Sweden, and many others.

The entry also includes Denmark's World No 10, Jens Eckardt, Germany's Jan Kurfeld, Britain's Andy Davis and Matt Howard, France's Valerian Lebrun as well as Ireland's Tim Goodbody, racing for Spain, who has not done a major OK Dinghy regatta for more than a decade.

Conditions on Lake Garda over the last few days have produced very high temperatures and afternoon winds of 12-15 knots. Some of the fleet have been here for days preparing and enjoyed the fabulous weather and sailing.

At the opening ceremony the President of Circolo Vela Arco, Carlo Pompili, welcomed the participants to the club and Garda and wished all a great championship.

Pontis Gäbel, vice president of OKDIA spoke for the class. After thanking the club, the officials and the helpers, he said, "It is great to be here on Lago di Garda, this spectacular lake. I'm sure that a few of you are like me - you have racing on Garda in the No. 1 spot in your bucket list. Entering Arco from the north and seeing all the sails dot the lake as far as you can see is magical.

"This is an extraordinary year for OK sailing. It is the first year we have over 100 boats in both worlds and Europeans. This is the sign of a strong and growing OK class. Thank you for coming and making this event a success."

The event has also attracted a recent record number of entries with 15 nations represented including many of the new members of OKDIA - Thailand, Spain, and Italy, the first two Italian boats taking part in a major event in living memory. Similar to an increasing number of new sailors in the class, both boats were recently home built and it has been a long road to get them ready to race and here in Arco.

Racing begins on Monday with a 10-race series through to Thursday. The racing will be sailed in two groups, and after two days, or four races, will be split into gold and silver fleets for the final series.

For more information visit the event website

Related Articles

Ulli wins OK Dinghy class in 2024 Warnemün Woche
Warnemunde is renowned for great sailing conditions and this year did not disappoint Ulli Kurfeld has won the 2024 Warnemünde Woche with four race wins from six races. Jorgen Svendsen took second with Greg Wilcox in third. 36 OKs from six nations took part. Posted on 15 Jul
OK class set for UK Nationals at Brixham
Hoping that the sunshine will break through for the event The OK class will be heading to Brixham YC in just over a week to compete for their 2024 National Championship event. Posted on 7 Jul
Kiel Week 2024: A sailing festival with all facets
285 extremely varied sailing races between light winds and stormy gusts The Kiel Week Regatta 2024 came to an end on Sunday after 285 extremely varied sailing races between light winds and stormy gusts. Posted on 1 Jul
OK Open at Overy Staithe
The 54th consecutive year that the OK Open has been sailed for the Richard Mason Trophy This year marked the 54th consecutive year that the OK Open has been sailed for the Richard Mason Trophy and tradition was turned somewhat on its head. Posted on 1 Jul
OK Dinghies at Kieler Woche overall
Niklas Edler wraps up the win on a cold and wet final day Niklas Edler, from Sweden, has won the OK Dinghy class at Kieler Woche after a wet and cold final day. Three more races were sailed to complete the series in a cold northerly with incessant drizzle and rain through the day. Posted on 30 Jun
OK Dinghies at Kieler Woche Day 3
Niklas Edler leads the fleet into the final day Niklas Edler, from Sweden, has taken the lead in the OK Dinghy fleet at Kieler Woche on the third day of racing. Jan Kurfeld remains in second with Steen Christensen up to third. 71 boats from seven nations are taking part. Posted on 29 Jun
Kiel Week: Dream races reward long wait for wind
Patience of all active participants and the regatta organisation was required The patience of all active participants and the regatta organisation was required on the penultimate day of Kiel Week 2024, when it took around five hours for a sailable sea breeze from the east to build up on all five courses on Saturday (29 June). Posted on 29 Jun
OK Dinghies at Kieler Woche Day 2
Sweden's Niklas Edler levels with Denmark's Bo Petersen at the top Sweden's Niklas Edler has levelled the points with Denmark's Bo Petersen on the second day of Kieler Woche in the 71 boat OK Dinghy fleet. Posted on 28 Jun
Kiel Week 2024: Strong gusts take their toll
Torn sails, broken masts and 16 injuries were the overall result of a tough day at sea On Friday (28 June), gusts of force six to seven caused problems for the Kiel Week athletes on all five regatta courses in eight international boat classes. Posted on 28 Jun
OK Dinghies at Kieler Woche Day 1
Denmark's Bo Petersen won both races on the opening day Denmark's Bo Petersen won both races on the opening day for OK Dinghies at the 2024 Kieler Woche. Sweden's Niklas Edler is second with Germany's Ulli Kurfeld in third. Posted on 28 Jun
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERRooster Wetsuit RangeVaikobi 2024 FOOTER