Wednesday, 29 July 2009

OK Presidential handover from New Zealand to Australia

Greg Wilcox from Wellington: out-going OK international class president. Image copyright Mary Reddyhoff.

by Mary Reddyhoff

Greg Wilcox retired as President of the OK Dinghy International Association last night, handing over to Andre Blasse, who will be in post for four years. He finished in fitting style by winning race 5.

Wilcox reflected upon his success today. "I had a good start and sailed up the middle of the course with Craig. We were equally matched for speed on the first reach, but as inside boat, I had the advantage and managed to sail away from him. On the second beat we again were playing the shifts in the middle of the course, with Craig gaining on me initially. I felt I was faster on the run and pulled away from Craig. I opted to turn on the starboard leeward gate mark and covered Hansson-Mild up the beat. This side paid as Craig, who tacked on the port buoy could only manage 4th at the finish".

"It has been a privilege to be President of OKDIA. During my four year term we have introduced the 'Hall of Fame', which recognises the input of those who developed the class in its early days and celebrates the successes of all the great sailors who have and are still sailing the OK Dinghy today".

"We have seen a significant increase in the number of new boats being built in the last four years, which has stimulated the second hand boat market and encouraged many new faces to experience the joys of sailing an OK Dinghy".

Andre Blasse: new OK international class president from Australia. Image copyright Mary Reddyhoff.

Current World Champion, Karl Purdie, said "It was the reason I moved into OKs, as Wilcox, World Champion in 2002, was the role model I was looking for to improve my sailing."

Wilcox added "The Committee has also undertaken a thorough review of the rules to make sure the OK Dinghy keeps up with modern trends. I am now handing over the Presidency to Andre Blasse, who, I know, will make an excellent President as he is as keen as me to see the continuing success of the OK Dinghy worldwide."

The OK Dinghy World Championship continues to Thursday, with four more races scheduled to complete the series.

OK Dinghy International Class Association

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