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3 April 2013, 03:30 pm
Budzien Bites Back On Day Three
Blasse at the gate
Blasse at the gate

International OK Dinghy World Championship
Pattaya, Thailand

As racing resumed at the Singha OK Dinghy world championship in Pattaya, Thailand, defending champion Andre Budzien (GER) won the day with a first and second to move up to second overall.
Roger Blasse (AUS) remains in second after a second and a third while the winner of the second race today, Mike Williams (AUS) moves up to third.

The forecast showed the lightest winds of week of 10-12 knots though the fleet also had to contend with a strong ebb tide running up the course. However as usual the wind built to around 15 knots with nice surfing aves downwind. After his OCS on Monday Budzien was looking to regain control and he did just that.

Race five finally got away after two general recalls as the strong ebb pushed the fleet over the line. A big shift out of the start favoured those at the pin who tacked and almost laid the top mark in one tack. Budzien gained the most from this to lead round with a good margin on the fleet. He sailed away unhindered to win his second race of the week. The chasing pack included Paul Rhodes, Nick Craig (GBR), Greg Wilcox (NZL), Roger Blasse (AUS), Bo Petersen (DEN) and Jorgen Svenden (DEN).

Rhodes took the early advantage in the chasing pack, but Petersen and Blasse were not far behind. At the final gate Blasse trailed Petersen while Wilcox and Rhodes were not far behind. Blasse made gains on the final upwind to place second, while Wilcox took third as Petersen was black flagged at the start. Another high profile victim of the black flag was race three winner Craig.

The tide was reducing in strength during race six but still played an important factor. Mike Williams, Blasse and Rhodes started near the committee boat while Budzien escaped down the line for a clear start near the pin. A quarter way up the beat Budzien crossed back and looked to have a good lead but Rhodes emerged ahead to lead round from Budzien, Blasse, Craig and Williams.

Williams then sailed past Blasse and Craig on the first reach and then Rhodes on the second to put the pressure on Budzien up the second beat as he closed the distance between them. At the gaste they split tacks and on the final beat, Budzien crossed ahead and carried on to the left, letting Williams away to the right. But the wind shifted in Williams' favour and when Budzien tacked for the line, Williams got lifted up to cross in first and snatch the victory from the defending champion.

For many here it was moving day, though Blasse has extended his lead to four points with the discard coming into effect. Only two points separate second to fourth, to Thursday's racing will be crucial, with many in the top 10 already posting their discard with several OCS or BFDs on the board.

The forecast for Thursday is for the strongest winds yet with a solid 18 knots expected to be boosted by local thermals. There are four more races to go to decide the 2013 Singha OK Dinghy World Champion.

Results (top 3 from 74)
1. Roger Blasse (AUS) - 10pts
2. Andre Budzien (GER) - 14pts
3. Michael Williams (AUS) - 15pts

Full Results
Robert Deaves
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