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17 February 2006, 09:22 am
Second World Title For CRAIG
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TOSHIBA OK Dinghy World Championship 2006
Belmont, Australia

Nick CRAIG (GBR) has retained his title at the Toshiba 2006 OK Dinghy World Championship in Belmont, Lake Macquarie, Australia. Jorgen LINDHARDTSEN (DEN) scored a bullet in the penultimate race to move him to within one point of the Brit, but the expected final race showdown never materialized as an uncharacteristic error from LINDHARDTSEN left him chasing the fleet.
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The brilliant Australian sunshine returned for the final day on Lake Macquarie, but the wind was a bit late turning up. When it finally arrived two hours late, things started to get interesting.

Early Delay

The fleet went afloat at 1000 hours local time for a scheduled 1100 start, drifted around for an hour in no wind and came ashore again. At 1300 out they went again and this race nine was started in about ten knots. LINDHARDTSEN started at the pin and hit the left hand corner before leading into the first mark followed by Jon FISH (GBR), Roger BLASSE (AUS) and CRAIG, who had had a bad started and bailed out to the right side of the course. LINDHARDTSEN led all the way to win the race. CRAIG pulled through FISH and BLASSE on the final beat to secure second.

CRAIG Wins In Style

After a general recall, race ten got underway in similar conditions. Again LINDHARDTSEN started at the pin and headed left while CRAIG started at the committee boat and also headed left. At the top mark CRAIG had a narrow lead over FISH and Robert DEAVES (GBR). LINDHARDTSEN had trouble finding the windward mark, overstood and rounded about twelfth. The ever cool CRAIG led all the way to win the race and the championship with Greg WILCOX (NZL) moving up to second and Karl PURDIE (NZL) to third. This was the first time since the race format was changed to ten races that the final race had been sailed - and with 40 minutes to spare.

LINDHARDTSEN credited CRAIG saying, 'Nick sailed fantastically this week. Early on I thought he was having problems with his speed but the last three days he has sailed exceptionally well.'

CRAIG also spoke of LINDHARDTSEN. 'Jorgen is a legend. It's like racing against a 25 year old sometimes. He's so fit and focused and really hard to beat. I think what is really awesome is that he went for it 100 per cent every race, sailing extremely hard and was obviously here to win. I really hope he will be back next year in Poland, as I will be.'

For the second year running the bronze medal goes this year to WILCOX, who is also President of the International OK Dinghy Association. His second place in the last race was enough to pull ahead of team mate PURDIE who had started the day in third place.

Next year's OK World Championship will be sailed in the sunny Baltic resort of Leba in Poland.

Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Pts
1 GBR Nick CRAIG (9) 7 3 6 3 2 2 1 2 1 27
2 DEN Jorgen LINDHARDTSEN 1 3 7 8 2 3 8 2 1 (10) 35
3 NZL Greg WILCOX (13) 6 1 1 12 6 6 9 8 2 51
4 AUS Roger BLASSE 6 4 12 5 1 9 (25) 7 4 6 54
5 NZL Karl PURDIE 7 9 2 3 4 4 7 (21) 19 3 58
6 AUS Mike WILLIAMS 10 2 (28) 15 5 5 1 10 10 4 62
7 AUS Peter HORNE 15 13 (17) 14 8 8 4 4 6 12 84
8 AUS Andre BLASSE 3 1 (39) 10 7 12 37 5 25 14 114
9 NZL Adrian MANNAERING 4 11 4 16 6 16 (39) 8 33 18 116
10 NZL525 Steve MCDOWELL 11 8 15 11 17 10 (24) 14 20 16 122
Robert DEAVES (As Amended By ISAF). Image, World Champion for the second year running - Nick CRAIG:© Lynne BURTON
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