Thursday, 11 February 2010

OK Worlds: Purdie Regains His Crown

Six Kiwis in top ten overall

New OK World Champion, Wellingtonian Karl Purdie is taken for a victory ride. Image copyright Adrian Rumney.

by Mary Reddyhoff

The final day of racing has dawned: grey and still with a thick mist obscuring the surrounding hills. The forecast is for a 15 knot northerly to build during the morning. Paul Rhodes (NZL), who was leading over the first three days of the regatta, was philosophical about his drop to second position behind Karl Purdie (NZL). In fact he said “it is a relief not being in the lead – what will be will be”. Purdie leads by 8 points from Rhodes; Michael Williams (AUS) is just 3 points behind. Matt Steven, a Junior enjoying his first Worlds regatta in the OK Dinghy, is also showing a very consistent set of results, scoring 47, just one point behind Williams. We will need a calculator on the water to work out the permutations arising from the racing today.

Race 9

66 sailors headed out to the course area for race 9 which started at the second attempt under a black flag. The majority of the fleet held their starboard tack for much of the first half of the beat. As the wind dropped from 8 to 5 knots, they migrated to the corners looking for more pressure. A clear leader at the windward mark was three times World Champion, Nick Craig (GBR) with the junior Matt Steven (NZL) leading the pack, and Kagan Weeks (NZL) 3rd and Brad Douglas (NZL) 4th. At this point World Championship contenders Karl Purdie (NZL) and Paul Rhodes (NZL) were lying 9th and 31st respectively. At the wing mark Craig had increased his lead which he held to the leeward mark.

The second beat was shortened, but the first 4 positions remained unchanged. Craig had a 40 second lead on the next two and they had a 40 seconds lead on the rest. Greg Wilcox (NZL) pulled up to 5th from 10th place with Purdie in 6th. Alistair Deaves (NZL) was also having a good race – this his second result in the top ten in consecutive races. As the sailors worked their way up the final beat the wind increased to 8 knots and more as tired legs hiked to maximise boat speed and safeguard positions. At the finish Craig had a comfortable lead over Steven and Weeks who celebrated his first top ten result. Five different nations were represented in the top ten in race 9.


1st Nick Craig (GBR)
2nd Matt Steven (NZL)
3rd Kagan Weeks (NZL)
4th Karl Purdie (NZL)
5th Greg Wilcox (NZL)
6th Brad Douglas (NZL)
7th Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE)
8th Alistair Deaves (NZL)
9th Soenke Behrens (GER)
10th Roger Blasse (AUS)

OK World Champion Karl Purdie is lifted out of the water in his boat. Image copyright Chris Coad.

Race 10

Race 10 started swiftly after completion of race 9 in 11 knots of breeze. The contest was by no means decided as the competitors lined up on the start line. After a clear start, the competitors were evenly distributed over the course, the main contenders choosing a central route. As the fleet neared the windward mark, the competitors on the right of the course had the edge over those on the left. Leading the fleet was World Championship contender Paul Rhodes (NZL) with Nigel Mannering (NZL) lying in second place. A past World Champion Nick Craig (GBR) was 3rd and current World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) 4th, with Greg Wilcox (NZL) another past Champion lying in 5th place.

As the fleet headed down to the gybe mark, lighter airs caused the fleet to bunch up but Rhodes was still in the lead, with Douglas hot on his heels. Wilcox caught a good wave and surfed past both to take the lead. Craig and Hansson-Mild remained ahead of the chasing pack. As the fleet headed up the second beat, Wilcox increased his lead and rounded at 14:19 with Douglas still second and Rhodes had dropped to 3rd. The entire fleet completed the rounding in 6 minutes, as they headed down to the leeward mark on their final run of the Championship.

Wilcox held the lead on the final beat, but was being chased hard by Craig who had risen to 2nd place. Michael Williams (AUS) had worked his way through the fleet to climb to 4th position behind Hansson-Mild. Both Mannering and Rhodes dropped places, but Luke O’Connell (NZL) climbed to 7th from an early 12th. Despite finishing 10th in the final race, this was good enough for Karl Purdie (NZL) to take the World Championship in 2010 at his home town with 49 points, clear ahead of 2nd place Williams who finished on 62 points. Junior Matt Steven had a disappointing race, but a fantastic regatta, finishing in 3rd place on 68 points.


1st Greg Wilcox (NZL)
2nd Nick Craig (GBR)
3rd Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE)
4th Michael Williams (AUS)
5th Nigel Mannering (NZL)
6th Paul Rhodes (NZL)
7th Luke O’Connell (NZL)
8th Brad Douglas (NZL)
9th Steve McDowell (NZL)
10th Karl Purdie (NZL)

Overall results

1st World Champion and Veteran Champion Karl Purdie (NZL)
2nd Michael Williams (AUS)
3rd Junior Champion Matt Steven (NZL)
4th Paul Rhodes (NZL)
5th Nick Craig (GBR)
6th Brad Douglas (NZL)
7th Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE)
8th Steve McDowell (NZL)
9th Andre Blasse (NZL)
10th Ben Morrison (NZL)

Ties, medals and trophies will be presented at the prize giving dinner on Friday night. In the meantime the fleet will be celebrating completion of the regatta at an Indian restaurant tonight.

OK Worlds 2010

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