With most of the fleet still aching after yesterday's three races in strong winds, today, Thursday, three more races were sailed in slightly lighter winds. Race four got underway in a solid 15-16 knots with the left side again favoured. Karl PURDIE (NZL) made the best of the first beat to lead round the top mark while top two overnight, Nick CRAIG (GBR) and Mark PERROW (NZL) were further to the right. CRAIG spent most of the race in fourth place, but climbed to third on the final beat. Jorgen LINDHARDTSEN (DEN) sailed his best race so far this week to place second, while PURDIE took the race win.
Race five was sailed in slightly less breeze, which on the second round dropped to around 7-8 knots for a while. CRAIG started near the pin and soon crossed the fleet to the left to lead round and record his second win of the championship. On the second upwind, when the wind went very light for a while it heavily favoured those on the right hand side. Andre BLASSE (AUS) made steady progress through the race to place second while PERROW recovered from an average first beat to place third.
The wind picked up again to about 12-14 knots for the final race, and a big left hand shift on the first beat brought Gunter ARNDT (GER) and Jon FISH (GBR) round the first mark in the lead. However CRAIG was not far behind and was soon in the lead to win his third race. Karsten HITZ (GER) finally found the form that won him two world championships to move up to second, while Terry CURTIS (GBR) who led round the second upwind mark placed third.
Going into the final day, there are three more races planned, with a wind forecast similar to today. CRAIG is looking good to win the title for the third year in row, although there are several sailors behind him determined not to let this happen. Realistically CRAIG only needs two top three places to assure himself of the title, and with his worst result so far as fourth, the odds are in his favour. But tomorrow is another day.
Full results are on the event website.
The 2007 OK Dinghy World Championships is taking place in Leba, Poland from 21-27 July. 118 OK Dinghies from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Poland and Sweden are taking part in the ten race series. The defending Champion is Nick CRAIG (GBR).