Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites J/45

Huge OK Dinghy fleet preparing for world title battle in Brisbane

by Robert Deaves 15 Feb 05:35 PST 24 February - 3 March 2024
2023 OK Dinghy World Championship, Lyme Regis, UK © Robert Deaves

The biggest OK Dinghy world championship to ever be held in Australia starts in Brisbane in just over a week's time, preceded by the Australian National Championship, which starts on Monday.

The Tan Lines Distilling 2024 OK Dinghy World Championship is being hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, with the racing taking place on Waterloo Bay from 24 February to 3 March. The Australian championship runs from 19-21 February.

However, with the European boats still to be delivered it might be tempting fate to make this bold statement. While the majority of the fleet will be taken by Australian and New Zealand boats, there are 18 Europeans taking part. It is the first event since before the pandemic that any nation has sent containers. Two containers from New Zealand have already arrived. The two from Europe were diverted and then delayed but will hopefully be there just in time. The Scandinavian container arrived in Brisbane on Wednesday. The British container was stuck in Sydney for a while and is due Brisbane any day now.

Notwithstanding any potential disruption, with 110 entries from seven nations, it is the largest entry by some way for an OK Dinghy World Championship in Australia. It was last held in Australia in 2014, in Melbourne, and this is the first time it has been held outside the southern states.

This championship will also mark the fifth time in a row that the OK Dinghy world championship has attracted more than 100 boats. 110 entries for an Australian event was more than was originally hoped for, but is rapidly becoming the norm for the class. The last pre-pandemic worlds in 2019, attracted 111 entries to Auckland, New Zealand. Overall, the class continues to see an upward trend and with the 2025 World Championship heading to Garda for the first time, many are predicting 200 boats on the lake.

Winning a down-under worlds by a European sailor has never been easy and has only happened on three occasions over the last 60 years. The last person to do that was Nick Craig in 2006, when he won the second of his five world titles.

He is the leading sailor in Brisbane from last year, where he placed sixth at the worlds, and second at Europeans. Having already won more OK Dinghy world titles than anyone else, he is still hungry for more, and will be among the favourites in Brisbane. The small British contingent also includes last year's Spring Cup winner, Andy Davis as well as Chris Turner.

The large Kiwi team includes multiple national champion Steve McDowell, who placed eighth last year in Lyme Regis. He is joined by most of the top sailors from the recent nationals including the evergreen Rod Davis, Gordon Sims and Mark Perrow. Past world champion Greg Wilcox has also travelled in from Germany.

A home turf worlds has attracted the largest Australian fleet in memory. Last year Rob McMillan won both the OK Dinghy and Finn nationals in successive weeks on Waterloo Bay, and he has been seen training in earnest for this championship. If it's breezy he could prove hard to beat. The Australian team also includes two-time world champion Roger Blasse, as well as Tim Davies and Mark Jackson.

There are 86 entries for the Australian National championship. This runs over three days from 19-21 February, followed by three days of equipment inspection and registration for the world championship. Racing gets under way on 26 February with a series of 10 races scheduled to, and including, 2 March. A lay day is planned on 29 February, assuming at least four races have been completed by then.

All the details to follow the event are HERE. All that is needed now is for the European boats to turn up...

Related Articles

New OK Dinghy website launched
82 boats at Kieler Woche, the largest fleet the class has had there that anyone remembers It's a big week for the OK Dinghy class. After a lot of work, the new OKDIA website has been launched to modernise the platform, branding and visual content. Posted today at 2:06 pm
Overy Staithe OK Open Meeting Preview
A change from tradition For more years than I care to remember a visit to Overy Staithe for the OK open has either meant a Friday evening drive or a very early start on Saturday. Posted on 15 Jun
Racing ramping up for the OK dinghy class
A plethora of upcoming events in the UK The OK class are ramping up for a very busy summer, with their Scottish Championship being held at East Lothian YC this weekend, sponsored by Allen, and the National Championship being hosted by Brixham YC from 18 to 21 July. Posted on 31 May
OK class Scottish Championship Preview
Being sailed for during the East Lothian Regatta next weekend The OK class are looking forward to competing for their Scottish Championship and the second part of their Border Trophy, both of which will be sailed for at East Lothian Yacht Club as part of their regatta, which is being held 1 and 2 June. Posted on 26 May
Overy Staithe Sailing Club Goakes Trophy Races
Including three generations of the Goakes family Nine competitors came to the start line for the first race, held on Saturday 11 May, including three generations of the Goakes family. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a gentle north easterly wind blowing. Posted on 12 May
Wet & wild end to huge Sail Port Stephens regatta
11 huge days of sailing, spanning three weeks and involving 215 boats Sail Port Stephens 2024 has wrapped up after 11 huge days of sailing, spanning three weeks and involving 215 boats. It culminated yesterday with the inshore Bay Series comprising J70s, sports boats and off-the-beach classes. Posted on 6 May
Ullswater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta
A record entry of over 90 boats from as far afield as Dorset and Ireland A record entry of over 90 boats from as far afield as Dorset and Ireland took part in Ullswater Yacht Club's Daffodil Regatta over the weekend of the 27th and 28th April. Posted on 4 May
Nick Craig back on top of OK Dinghy World Rankings
For the first time in 14 years after winning the 2024 Worlds in Brisbane Britain's Nick Craig is back on top of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List for the first time in 14 years, moving up four places. Posted on 11 Apr
OK Dinghy UK News
Demo Boats, Venue Guides and Events With the increased interest in the OK Dinghy in recent years and an awesome World Championship under their wing, the UK association is aiming to make the class more accessible to sailors and to increase turn out at key events through several initiatives. Posted on 5 Apr
Ovington Inlands 2024 at Grafham Water
Over 70 boats racing in what felt at times like the start of spring Over the weekend of March 16/17 GWSC welcomed over 70 boats to what felt like at times the start of spring. Posted on 20 Mar
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERArmstrong 728x90 - MA Foil Range - BOTTOMLloyd Stevenson - SYA3 728x90px BOTTOM