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27 July 2005, 10:04 am
CRAIG Extends His Lead
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OK Dinghy World Championship 2005
Skaelskor, Denmark

Conditions once again proved tricky for day two of the OK Dinghy World Championship in Skælskør, Denmark with wins going to Jonas QUIST (SWE) and Nick CRAIG (GBR).
With another change in the weather, the fleet was greeted by warm sunshine and a light northwesterly wind from the direction of the Storebælt Bridge. The fleet got away first time with most sailors favouring the left hand side of the course where the stronger current and greater pressure allowed CRAIG to round first followed by QUIST and Jesper PETERSEN (DEN).

On the reaches CRAIG sailed low and was rolled by both QUIST and PETERSEN, but these three broke away from the pack. On the next beat the pressure died even more to leave a very patchy and fitful wind. Oliver GRONHOLTZ (GER) banged in a right hand corner to lead briefly and at the next mark it was QUIST followed by GRONHOLTZ and CRAIG.

The final beat was even worse with barely enough wind to fill the sails. QUIST extended his lead to win, but CRAIG just failed to overtake GRONHOLTZ near to the line. PETERSEN sailed hard right and nearly got to the front, but just missed the bus.

QUIST has returned to competitive sailing after nearly ten years doing other things. After following the Optimist, Europe, Laser route - and getting into the top five Lasers in Sweden - he turned to coaching, but is really enjoying sailing the OK, with this Championship being only his third regatta in the class. He started with a 'not very good' result at the first Swedish qualifier in April, returned to win the Nodic Championship in May and now has won a race at the World Championship. He said, 'My rig was a bit too stiff in the breeze today, as I have lost some weight since starting. However if the wind stays at around four to six metres per second, then I think I can do OK. I am happy with my downwind technique but am having some upwind boatspeed problems. Also I was having trouble getting a good start, and yesterday's [Monday's] black flag did not help, but today [yesterday] was better. Otherwise I am pretty pleased with my performance so far.'

After a wait of over an hour for the wind to fill in the fleet started race four on a heavily port biased line that made the pin end boat crew wished they had brought some artillery along to repel boarders! However Jørgen LINDHARDTSEN (DEN), CRAIG, QUIST and Jon FISH (GBR) tacked out of the carnage to lead up the first beat into a large shift. CRAIG just led from LINDHARDTSEN round the top mark followed by QUIST and FISH. CRAIG again sailed some first class offwind legs to let both QUIST and LINDHARDTSEN through.

By now the breeze had increased to force three3 and was still building. CRAIG passed LINDHARDTSEN and set off in pursuit of QUIST. However on the run, QUIST showed his potential by pulling away with CRAIG fending off LINDHARDTSEN. Meanwhile Hans ELKJÆR (SWE) had an amazing leg to move up to fourth.

The final beat proved decisive for CRAIG as the breeze increased to force four he overtook QUIST with a combination of superior boatspeed and correctly nailing the final few shifts to take his second race win of the week. LINDHARDTSEN finsihed third with FISH recovering well to fourth - but a later disqualification gave fourth place to ELKJÆR.

After four races, CRAIG is the clear leader, although with the discard taking effect after race five today, his lead may not be so large.

Top Ten After Four Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 GBR Nick CRAIG 1 3 3 1 8
2 AUS Roger BLASSE 3 6 6 11 26
3 DEN Mogens JOHANSEN 5 4 15 10 34
4 NZL Greg WILCOX 16 1 8 12 37
5 GER Martin VON ZIMMERMANN 15 8 9 5 37
6 DEN Jørgen LINDHARDTSEN 7 18 12 3 40
7 DEN Ulf BRANDT 8 12 25 8 53
8 POL Pawel PAWLACZYK 12 5 19 21 57
9 SWE Thomas HANSSON-MILD 14 15 11 19 59
10 NZL Steve MCDOWELL 2 17 18 23 60
Robert Deaves. Image, Nick CRAIG wins his second race:© Per Heegaard/heegaardfotografi.dk
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