Sunday, 13 July 2008

Wellingtonian, Karl Purdie, wins OK Worlds in Warnemuende, Germany

Report from Jodie Bakewell-White and Robert Deaves

New Zealand has a new World Champion sailor with Karl Purdie of Wellington crowned 2008 OK Dinghy World Champion. The regatta contested by 91 sailors from seven nations, concluded overnight in Warnemünde, Germany.

Consistently strong throughout the five day regatta the final day was not Purdie’s best with a 16th place on the water, however his leading margin going into what was to be the final race was enough to secure him the world title by four points.

Time and the schedule allowed for one more final race however the weather prevented it from taking place. “The potential was there for a final race showdown," reported Deaves, “with any of five boats still in with a chance of taking the title, however it was not to be. Soon after race nine finished, the skies started to darken and the wind increased. With reports coming through of Force 8 winds further up the coast, the race officer decided to abandon racing for the day and the send the fleet home. By the time the storm had passed so had the time limit for starting a race."

Three times and defeding world champion Nick Criag of Great Britain had to settle for the silver medal spot.

“For Purdie, winning the title is a dream come true," said Deaves. “This year was his third attempt. In 2006 in Belmont, Australia he finished 5th. In Leba, Poland last year he finished third, so having specifically requested sail number NZL 531 for his new Icebreaker boat, it is very fitting that he should finish first this year. Craig says he will be back next year to try again. He was realistic about his chances today, but clearly would have liked to sail the last race, having reduced the points gap on Purdie to within striking range."

A number of Purdie’s team-mates from New Zealand also placed high up in the 91 boat fleet with Mark Perrow finishing 6th, Greg Wilcox 10th, Matthew Steven 11th and Steve McDowell 13th.

2008 OK Dinghy Worlds, Warnemuende, Germany
New Zealand’s Final Results

1st – Karl Purdie
6th – Mark Perrow
10th – Greg Wilcox
11th – Matthew Steven
13th - Steve McDowell
16th – Luke O’Connell
17th – Alistair Deaves
29th – Trent Pryce
43rd – Grant Pedersen

OK Worlds website

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