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28 March 2003, 03:27 pm
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OK World Championship

The OK Worlds starts this coming Monday in Goa, India. Whilst the turnout is down from the usual limited entry 80 boats, quality remains high. There are 30 boats from 9 countries competing with the top 3 from the last Worlds in New Zealand sailing.
The Indian Nationals was sailed here last weekend and from that Nitin Mongia (IND) looks like the man to beat. He won 6 of the 7 races walking all over the Kiwi team which includes current World Champion Greg Wilcox and last years runner-up Paul Rhodes. With solid upwind speed & new found blistering pace downwind he is going to be hard to beat. Mongia has been sailing every day for a month at the venue with a full-time coach so is pretty into the tricky conditions (big chop & holes in the wind). Wilcox seemed pretty unphased though when asked about last weekends drubbing, he said in typical laid back Kiwi style "yeah, we'd just got in and were kinda getting used to the conditions". </>

The Kiwi team have been out for 4 hours a day since then so won't be giving away this title as easily as they gave away the AC!

Current conditions are force 3-4 with a steep chop and brilliant sunshine, some sailors are practicing in just a pair of hiking shorts, beats the British winter! This should suit the power sailors, 95kg Mongia has a big grin on!

The Europeans will also be putting in a strong challenge, with European Champion Nick Craig (GBR) just arrived and tuning up today with Robert Deaves (GBR).

Should the wind go light as expected, there are several very fast light wind European sailors looking to use their <80kg weight to their advantage - Hans Elkjear (SWE), Sonke Behrens (GER) and Mary Redyhoff (GBR) will all be quick in the light.

Boat measuring takes place over the next couple of days, practice race Sunday and Race 1 on Monday.
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