OK Dinghy Magazine - July 2021

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OK DINGHY www.okdia.org


viken fleet growth

JuLY 2021 full circle for michael nissen


OK DINGHY INTERNATIONAL Issue 7 - July 2021 The official magazine of the OK Dinghy International Association www.okdia.org Editor:

Robert Deaves, 2 Exeter Road, Ipswich, IP3 8JL, UK Tel: +44 7936 356 663 Email: publicity@okdia.org

OKDIA COMMITTEE 2020-21 President Mark Jackson, AUS

Webmaster Peter Scheuerl, GER

Vice president Jonas Börjesson, SWE

Chairman Marketing Committee Robert Deaves, GBR



Vice president Mike Wilde, NZL


Secretary Robert Deaves, GBR



Chairman Technical Committee Alistair Deaves, NZL technical@okdia.org


Treasurer Peter Robinson, AUS okdia@vigil.tech treasurer@okdia.org

The OK Dinghy International Association (OKDIA) is the world governing body for the OK Dinghy class. Its members consist of the National OK Dinghy Associations in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, The Netherlands and USA. Official website: www.okdia.org Worlds website: YEAR.okworlds.org Europeans website: YEAR.okeuropeans.org Class Rules website: rules.okdinghy.org Postal address: OKDIA, 2 Exeter Road, Ipswich, IP3 8JL, UK We are also on: You can also read this magazine online at: issuu.com/okdinghy Advertising: Advertising opportunities are available in this magazine, on okdia.org and in the email newsletters. A Media Pack can be downloaded from okdia.org. Book a package to get coverage of your products across all OKDIA platforms and reach all registered OK Dinghy sailors worldwide. Content: Please send all content to publicity@okdia.org for the next issue. Published occasionally and some issues may only be published online. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the editor or OKDIA. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, no liability can be accepted for inaccuracies or omissions. JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org

President’s Letter Dear OK Dinghy Sailors and Friends


little over 12 months ago I wrote an introduction to our OKDIA Newsletter that we were experiencing a year like no other. It has been a really tough 12 months since I wrote those words and while a few of us have been able to get in some sailing and regattas between lockdowns and cancellations, it has been incredibly difficult.

The most difficult decision of all was to cancel the World Championships in Arco, Lake Garda, Italy. This was a call none of us wanted to make. Our very reason for existence is to get together as friends from across the world and sail our OK Dinghies against each other. I am incredibly proud of our OKDIA Committee for undertaking this thankless task. It was a decision that was never going to be popular, either way. At the end of the day, it was a decision based on objective criteria, followed by an assessment of the situation as late and as close to the date as possible. Ultimately the assessment against the criteria was that the event should not proceed. I sincerely thank the Committee and all national associations for your courage and leadership to continue to make difficult decisions in the best interests of the class and members as a whole. It means we get stronger as a class. Despite 18 months of pandemic, the OK Dinghy class continues to prosper. We will emerge from this global crisis as strong as we have ever been. I am personally looking forward to sailing an Australian National Championships on Sydney Harbour in January and then preparing for the rescheduled World Championship in Mastrand, Sweden. When I was first elected President back in Barbados 2017, I undertook a ‘check in’ on progress of the 2015 – 2024 OKDIA Strategic Road Map. It is obvious we have made a lot of progress across all areas of the Road Map, however the Road Map is now approaching 8 years old and it is time again to review progress and start developing a new one to take us through the next 10 years. Stay tuned as we start this important piece of work. Finally, 12 months ago I thanked all of our sponsors and suppliers for their continuing support for the class and urged everyone to support them back. So, I took my own advice and I have upgraded with a new C-Tech mast from New Zealand, a new Synergy Evolution hull from the UK, new Turtle sail and have just ordered a new Paragon mast, also from New Zealand. All I need now is a new AOR boom, which will come with the new boat when it arrives in Australia. The whole kit will be seen shortly with a new Personal Sail Number AUS 8. AUS 768 is not far away with its very proud new owner in Geelong, near Melbourne. How fortunate we are to have such great manufacturers and suppliers. Good luck to everyone sailing in the various OK Dinghy events for the remainder of the northern hemisphere summer. Yours in sailing, Mark

Mark Jackson President OKDIA 3

Boat repairs/rebuilds • Fit out • Mast fit out • Gear supply SUPPLIER for AoR • MacKay • Harken • Ronstan

Contact: Alistair Deaves alistair@icebreakerboats.co.nz • Tel: +64 (0)21 423 504


NEWS Rules changes

Following the Postal Vote in November 2020, all the Class Rule changes were approved by World Sailing (with a few minor clarifications) and are now published on the World Sailing website. They came into effect on February 1. You can find them here, along with the list of changes: https://www.sailing. org/28246.php.


It is intended to hold the 2021 OKDIA AGM later in the year using a live Zoom call. The Committee is working out the details to allow all Members to be able to vote, while also allowing sailors to also attend. This will likely be in September, but could be later depending on everyone’s schedules. A notice and Agenda will be published eight weeks ahead of the meeting.


After Nick Craig retired as OKDIA Treasurer last year, we had a slight gap, but now Peter Robinson has volunteered to take on the job as he has in depth experience of our Xero accounting software. Thus he moves away from the position of Vice President, and the position will be confirmed at the next AGM.

New members

Over the past year The OKDIA Committee has been delighted to welcome three new members to OKDIA as a result of the rule changes passed at last year’s AGM regarding minimum membership levels. Bulgaria joined in late 2020 with two sailors buying used boats, and they are now looking at the possibility of building some new boats. Photos above and below, show Stefan Raev and Ivan Gueorguiev sailing on Iskar Lake. Luca Guerra, from Fano, built an OK Dinghy in Italy several years ago and now a second construction is underway. Earlier this year Italy re-joined as a member after being a member of OKDIA in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally Brazil has also joined as a member. Fabiano Vivacqua is based

in Miami but is now sailing BRA 44. There is also news of a newbuild underway in Brazil. Construction of new boats is also underway is Russia and Spain (by Irish sailors). In the USA, out of the seven boats that came from Denmark only three are Florida sailors and one owner from Canada has not seen his boat yet. Fabiano writes: “We have our weekend OK series together with the Finns at Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and we plan to have our first ‘Florida Championship’ later in the year, probably November, as most of the OK owners are Star sailors that will be here for the Star Winter series from November on.” Meanwhile Arthur Anosov at the Star Boat Shop is planning to build the first boats from the Strandberg mould, that was sent out last year, in July-August.

New builds

The class continues to expand worldwide. In 2020 OKDIA sold 82 Building Fee Receipts. That represents the most boats built in a year since 1980. In fact, more new boats were built in each of the last four years than in any year between 1980 and 2017.

Euro league

Due to cancellations and travel problems, the Euro League was again cancelled, but assuming everything starts to return to normal, we will attempt to run it during 2022.


The World Ranking List has also been on hold since the start of the pandemic. The provisional intention is to restart it in 2022, subject to normal conditions resuming.

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


The Ovington OK Dinghy The first few years have been very successful for the Ovington OK. With over 95 boats built and more build runs planned, it is the popular choice amongst the international fleet with top OK sailors such as Olympic gold medallist Freddy Loof (SWE), Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE – no.1 in OK world rankings), Jim Hunt (GBR), Andre Budzein (GER), Nick Craig (GBR) & Charlie Cumbley (GBR) racing Ovingtons. Hulls can be fitted out to various stages of completion from bare hull to ready to sail. Our refined, ready to sail package comes complete with the best products available on the market including Ceilidh & Paragon masts, Allen Brothers & Art of Racing booms and North & HD sails. Our OKs are proving to be competitive straight out of the factory taking 1st at Kiel week, the Australian Championship, Medemblik Spring Cup and the UK Nationals in the first year, followed by the World and European Championships and many other victories. Our new additions to the OK line up include Paragon/Ovington masts, padded boom bags along with a brand new, lifting rudder from CNC aluminium moulds now available. Email or call the office with any enquiries.

Ovington Boats Ltd | Tanners Bank North Shields | Tyne & Wear NE30 1JH | United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)191 257 6011 Email: mail@ovingtonboats.co.uk www.ovingtonboats.com

news Tiki winner

The Tiki is a Kiwi only prize, awarded to the winner of the last race of the day (or top Kiwi at international events). It made mainstream news last year when, after saying a only few weeks before “the Tiki is harder to win than an Olympic Medal or the America’s Cup...trust me...just say’n!”, Rod Davis won his first ever Tiki at the 2020 Rotorua Sprints.

finances were in a sorry state. But she persuaded Ron Parkin to stand as treasurer and from then on they ran a tight ship. Without a doubt the current success of the class owes a lot of Brenda’s hard work in keeping the class both solvent and international at a time when the right to hold a world championship was under threat from ISAF. In 2003 The British association presented a trophy for race eight at the World Championship, ‘The Don and Brenda Andrews Trophy’ to acknowledge their combined influence on the success of the class over two decades.

Hembygdsförening (Marstrand Local Heritage Society) published his story in Swedish, including many OK Dinghy stories, but it has now been translated into English and is available both as a printed book and for Kindle. The book is available from Amazon, at mybook.to/ goranandersson, and many booksellers from €8.50

RIP brenda, gÖran, glenn

The class lost three ardent supporters over the past year.

For anyone who sailed OK Dinghies in the 1980s and 1990s, the name Brenda Andrews was synonymous with the class management. As well as sailing the boat for many years, she spent 10 years as Secretary of the British class association, before moving on to become Secretary of OKDIA from 1990 to 2002. Brenda died on November 27, 2020, aged 87 years. When she took on the role of OKDIA Secretary in 1990, the association’s

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org

Göran Andersson, OK Dinghy world champion in 1965 and 1966, passed away at the age of 81. After moving to Marstrand at the age of 10 in 1949, Göran started sailing the Finn in 1955 and represented Sweden in the 1960 Olympic Games. He dominated the Swedish Finn fleet for many years. He also started sailing the OK Dinghy in 1965 and achieved immediate success, winning the worlds in 1965 and 1966. Göran also established the famous Marinex company in 1959, one of the most dominants brands of masts, sails and boats in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2019 he was inducted into the Swedish Sailing Hall of Fame and then in 2020 the OK Dinghy Hall of Fame. It was intended to induct him into the OKDIA Hall of Fame during the World Championship in Marstrand in 2020, but after that was cancelled because of COVID, he was presented with the award in a private ceremony, and he was immensely proud of this. There is a much longer appreciation of Göran Andersson in the 2020 issue of OK Dinghy Magazine. In 2019, Marstrands

Also in November news reached us that Australian OK Dinghy sailor Glenn Yates – aka Yatesy, Yoda, Bilbo – had been lost at sea on a yacht delivery trip from Tasmania. Glenn was an avid OK Dinghy sailor and was one of the most friendly and kindhearted sailors in the fleet and his loss shocked the whole fleet around the world. Glenn was well travelled in the OK Dinghy class, making friends worldwide. His many overseas adventures included Poland 2007, Germany 2008, Sweden 2009, Largs 2011, Barbados 2017 and Warnemunde again in 2018, as well as Worlds in Australia. He was well travelled and much loved.



A never ending source of fun

ens Lauge has been sailing OK Dinghies for around 12 years and is regularly in the front group in Danish fleets. Now sailing out of Hellerup, which boasts one of the largest fleets of OKs in the world, he is the perfect example of the demographic that the Danish expansion has attracted, middle aged, looking for relatively cheap, easily accessible and strong competition. He has also sat on the Danish committee for many years. Here he speaks about the attraction of the OK, equipment choice and where the class should go next.

Q: What’s your background in sailing and how and when did you get into the OK? A: Like many of my fellow sailors, I was introduced to sailing in the Optimist, at around eight years of age. At that time my parents were active sailors, and as far as I can remember, I wasn’t given much of a choice really. I really couldn’t swim either, but the YC required you to manage 200 metres, fully dressed, which I accomplished backstroking. My last year in the Optimist must have been around 1983-84, but at that time I was too light to do any transition to the Europe dinghy, which at that time was the only real alternative. I bought a windsurfer instead, and sailed division two and later on wave. I’ve done some keelboat campaigns along the way, x-79, Int. 806, 606 and so on but really had quite a break from sailing, until 2009. A sailing buddy of mine from the keelboat days, had bought an older OK Dinghy, and persuaded me to

go along. I found an old Henriksen OK, DEN 1267, with a red top Needlespar aluminium mast and was really hooked from there on. Q: What was the attraction? A: It’s really a mix of the simplicity of sailing on your own time, and the complexity of the gear that’s intrigued me. I think I must have sailed locally for just a year, before I moved my dinghy to Hellerup. On a bad day, we’re no less than 5-6 dinghies on ‘Stormy Bay’ and on good days we have 15. Asking people if they want to sail, isn’t really necessary because there are always people out there. It’s not like you need to schedule your sailing; if you have a few meetings cancelled at work - you go. Gear wise it’s just a puzzle, and experimenting with sail, mast, foil and hull designs is a never ending source of fun. We can spend hours discussing mast bends, and hull designs in Hellerup, and when somebody enters with a new brand of sail, there is quite a buzz. Q: What are the standout moments for you at international and Danish events? A: To start with, the first Danish event I ever entered was the Nationals back in 2009, in Bramsnæs. I remember only entering the regatta for one day, although it was sailed over three. But on that particular Saturday, it blew a gale over Bramsnæs. I hiked and capsized myself to death that day, and it really turned


ok dinghy international magazine

jens lauge interview

out to be a turning point in my approach to the OK. After being cheered over the finishing line dead last (downwind after my fourth capsize) by Troels Wester, I made an oath with myself, never to perform so poorly due to lack of physique and skills. In 2012 Denmark hosted the World Championships. I’d actually set the event as a goal of my OK campaign, but as it turned out I kept at it. By this time Jørgen Svendsen had re-entered the class, and as I had not having prepared for any event of this magnitude before, I followed in his footsteps and moved my boat to Vallensbæk, the host sailing club. At that time Jørgen Lindhardtsen sailed out of the neighbouring YC Hvidovre, but he too moved his boat to Vallensbæk. We sailed upwind for miles, before they turned around and gathered me in for a re-start. I recall being yelled at for not hiking (they still do that) and receiving trim advice when conditions changed. Getting the chance to sail with Jørgen and Jørgen REALLY lifted my game. The worlds in Vallensbæk turned out to be a record breaking event with 145 entries, and still stands out as being the pinnacle, especially taking second place in Race 2 behind Jørgen S. I believe it’s still my best international result, ending up 14th.

I’d have to add, that I gradually also learned and understood better, how to cuddle the OK, and make it go fast. Since I’m a light sailor (82 kg) the narrow design of the Icebreaker also helped me gain more speed upwind. The next major move was joining the SOTA train from Strandberg Marine, and the Green 4CC from Jørgen Holm bringing home my first medal at the 2015 Nordic Championships. The Green sail suits me very well as a light sailor, since it’s really easy to depower in the breeze, and although I’ve tried other combinations of mast and sails, I’m most comfortable with the C-tech/Green 4CC combo. At this moment I’m sailing an Ovington OK, and so are six of us in Hellerup. It’s a really rigid and sturdy hull. It’s probably a tad slower reaching than my old SOTA Strandberg hull, but a really fast upwind boat. Left: 2018 World Championship in Warnemunde • Above left: 2017 Europeans in Faaborg • Above Right: 2012 World Championship in Vallensbæk • Below: The face you make with traditional Danish weather - Faaborg in 2017 • Over: The OK Dinghy fleet in Hellerup at the 2015 Lindhardtsen classic

Q: What about your gear? A: I started out with the old Henriksen, which I believe was the mother of all the “club” builds for a while in the eighties. I had it for a few weeks only, and bought a Hein with a prototype JP carbon rig. The Hein is like sailing a log. I mean, if you can stay upright in a Hein downwind, you’ll stay up in anything. After around a year I guess, I bought a Swedish design of Mats Hylander out of Kalmar. The Hylander, combined with a C-tech and a Quantum (now Turtle) sail, was the first real leap into any significant speed, and I actually managed to win my first regatta with that set-up. From there on I really understood the importance of a good mast and sail combination. After the Hylander, I bought Greg Wilcox’s blue Icebreaker, and plugged the mast sail set into it and experienced yet another big leap forward. JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


jens lauge interview Q: What do you think about the larger than normal number of new boats being imported into Denmark, especially from the UK? Do you think this is the sign of a healthy class, or just a phase everyone is going through trying to find more speed? A: Importing boats to Denmark, is essential to maintaining the growth of the fleet here. The demand for new boats isn’t met by Strandberg Marine alone, and although Jesper is doing what he can, there is still an 6-8 months delivery time at this stage. New boats release used ones, which is really important in order to keep momentum. That said and speaking on behalf of the Hellerup fleet, it’s certainly also about trying something new, and chasing that 0.2 knots. At this stage we also have three new sail brands in the Hellerup fleet, including UK Sailmakers, developed by Bo Petersen, Fritz sails by Jørgen Svendsen, and BM by Christian Rasmussen. It really proves the fact that the class is still expanding, and we haven’t seen the peak yet. Q: What about the sailing club scene in Denmark, and why the class has been so successful in building huge numbers at a few locations? A: I have to give full credit to the people that came up with the concept of club owned dinghies. Having a fleet of used but still competitive dinghies, at different locations in Denmark is key to bringing new sailors on board. It only takes one person at a local sailing club to get momentum going, but whenever that one person has been identified, the support from the Danish OK association has been tremendously strong. Of course some fleets eventually die out, but only to see new ones emerge. Over the last few years we’ve seen new locations like Køge and Korsør surface, and supporting them with clinics and local regattas only adds to the strength and even more people joining. It’s a proven concept, and could be copied worldwide. Q: Do you see the growth continuing or is there a limiter? A: Really good question actually, and highly relevant. The COVID pandemic, has really vacuumed the market for anything singlehanded. There isn’t any good gear for sale out there. Combined with the British lockdown, it has certainly slowed the momentum we could have had over the last year. Crowds somehow attracts, and it’s putting a strain on the availability of space at the slipway. Locally we need to look into moving the boats around, prioritizing the active sailors, and finding alternatives for the ones that aren’t spending a much time at the sailing club. Besides the two biggest fleets in Herslev and Hellerup, there is plenty of room out there, it’s really more about finding a boat. Q: What do you think the OK class offers the wider sailing community? A: The OK Dinghy Class gives you a chance to sail internationally and competitively at a relatively low cost, and

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at low cost I mean compared to other campaigns whether it would be double, multi or single handed. It’s still possible to build your own dinghy, and be competitive. It’s flexible time wise, and that attracts busy working parents, like myself, And ultimately it gives you lots of pure sailing fun. Q: Where would you like to see the OK fleet look to host more exotic events and why? A: I’m really not the right person to answer that question. Although I see what these venues like Barbados and Thailand offers besides warm sailing, I’m really more interested in gathering large fleets, meeting up somewhere easily accessible for most, or perhaps visit venues with a large potential of new OK sailors. France, Italy and USA have great potential, and some might even call them exotic at some locations. Personally, I’d love to sail the worlds on the US west coast at some stage. Q: How do we balance that against more traditional venues where there are existing fleets? A: I believe we need to focus on new venues with potential of attracting new OK sailors. But whenever we move off the European continent, it will not attract the large numbers of sailors competing in the event. Every other worlds should be held with the goal of large fleet, and every other with the goal of building fleet locally. Q: Why do you think the class is experiencing such popularity worldwide? A: Sailing the OK can be done on several levels, whether it’s local club racing or at international events. It’s never been Olympic, meaning boats and gear are affordable, and it’s even possible to build your own. It attracts professionals as well as amateurs, because of the variety of sailors across the class. And last but not the least, the social level is the best in the sailing community. Q: Are there any initiatives you’d like to see OKDIA take in the coming years? A: Keep focusing on building numbers and keeping the Class Rules clean and simple, but evolving with time, tech and materials, without adding to the cost of sailing to remain competitive. Q: And finally, what is your take on the current crisis? A: That is such a hard question. I believe we should focus on what we can do, instead of what we can’t. The worlds on Lake Garda is a perfect example of this, where travelling from the southern hemisphere and the UK makes it hard to play internationally. Locally we’ve focused on playing the fields we can, with restrictions ashore, maximum entries and such, but we need to adapt and not stop activities altogether. Hopefully we’ll be back on schedule in 2022. I’m personally looking forward to sailing in Marstrand, Sweden, which might not be exotic, but beautiful none the less.


SWE The OKWiken Story Pontus Gäbel talks about the fastest growing OK Dinghy fleet in Sweden


uring my childhood, I admired a great number of iconic Swedish athletes including the tennis legend Björn Borg, groundbreaking slalom skier Ingemar Stenmark and the most inspiring of all for me personally, Pelle Petterson, whose many merits include winning the San Diego Star worlds in 1969 and building the 12 Metre ‘Sverige’ to sail for the America’s Cup in 1977 and 1980.

During the late 1970s, most Swedish children adored the football players and had to be dragged away from the luscious green football pitch whilst I was drawn to a different world - one of the great never ending blue waves and a constant salty breeze. The Swedish west coast had caught my attention and I was hooked on youth sailing. Just as today, the traditional way to get into sailing was through the Optimist dinghy in the local yacht club. Most of the Optimist dinghies at that time were built by a relative in a garage and handed down from one sibling to the next. As I outgrew the Optimist, I began to envy the older boys who were practicing and racing in all conditions, come rain or shine.

The OK Dinghies looked like real boats with their wave piercing bows. I bought my first OK Dinghy in 1978. It was a Henriksen with a white GRP hull and a wooden deck. It came with a wooden mast, which I quickly replaced with black LJ spar and a matching set of sails. At that time the upgrade looked very high tech and made all the difference in boat handling. After a few years of sailing the OK, I was persuaded to crew on a Snipe, which widened my horizon and opened up international racing. The OK class had come under fierce competition from the Laser dinghy which captivated the next generation of one design dinghy sailors with its brutal simplicity. Coming home Fast forward to the spring of 2019. Throughout my adult life, I had sailed a wide variety of exciting boats, each with its own unique challenges, the last serious one being a Star, which I co-owned with a dear friend. But I was itching to get back into a oneman dinghy. They have a unique selling point that intrigued me and suited my current situation, namely their easy way to get sailing without organising a crew and close engaging competitions. From left to right: Göran Örtegren, Fredrik Ottermo, Per Lindvall, Benjamin Hammerö, Peter Klingberg, Claes Thomasson, Pontus Gäbel, Jonas Langner


ok dinghy international magazine

Photos by Anders Bjurö & Sara Gäbel

Fastest growing OK dinghy fleet in Sweden

On Easter weekend, I happened to run into an old friend in the quaint village of Viken where we both had our vacation homes. Benjamin Hammerö told me that he had sold his Laser, which he had successfully toured with on the master circuit, and had ordered a new Ovington from Båths in Gothenburg with expected delivery in June. I was intrigued by his decision to switch, and I kick started my research, eventually localising all available boats within a two hour radius of Viken. After careful consideration I bought the best boat I could find whilst still allowing me to hit water the same season and get ready for the Worlds in Marstrand around the corner; a Delfs hull from Vejle, and Jørgen Holm from Green helped with a lightly used mast and matching sail. Ironically, I took delivery of my new OK Dinghy a few days before Benjamin got his and I enjoyed his coaching when I first set out to sail. From the first tack in my new boat, it felt like coming home. I realised how much I had missed the freedom of being able to sail anytime conditions allowed; my first summer back in the OK class was a mix of pure joy and excitement trying to stay upright on the downwind legs. The upgraded mast and a few other tweaks had made it a truly lovely one-design dinghy. During the summer of 2019 you could see two boats on the water outside Viken almost

Quick questions What is the dynamics of club sailing in Sweden? One design racing has been on the decline for some time. Boats have gotten bigger and fewer race them. The big boats require big crews and it’s difficult to get the full crew together to do some serious practice. I hope that one design dinghy racing will make a comeback. It’s easy to get out on the water and with only a few boats it’s possible to arrange a couple quick races and the adrenaline rush is never far away. Explain the success of the growth in Viken? We have an absolutely wonderful location. From when you get down to the harbour until you are on the ‘race course’ is 15 minutes maximum. Two hours is enough for a couple races filled with tight competition and exhilarating sailing. Even if you only have a few hours to spare in our hectic

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org

every day. The new OK fleet was a fact although still small. Every day when we launched or pulled up the boats someone came by and talked of fond memories from their own youth spent in an OK Dinghy or other similar boats. The word spread quickly. Growth By Christmas 2019 the two original boats had been joined by two new sailors. Tomas Franzén and Pelle Weimenhög were happy owners of used OK Dinghies. Our ice-breaker Christmas day sailing was the talk of the village. “Those sailors are absolutely mad, they must be frozen solid!” If you have ever been to Sweden around Christmas you know there is little daylight and you need to strategically choose your sailing days to enjoy temperatures above freezing. By the summer of 2020 the fleet had grown and on a good day you could spot 7-8 boats on a late spring evening. Unfortunately the Covid pandemic had taken its harsh grip on the world of sailing, even in our serene part of southern Sweden. With most regattas cancelled we were forced to make the most of the situation. The OK sailors of Viken were not discouraged, but instead more motivated, subsequently training harder than ever before, constantly battling the shifting weather, winds and current in the sound between

lives there is always time to improve and have fun. The OK class has something to offer all sailors of varying levels of skill and financial means. You can always start with an older boat, allowing for learning as you go and get back on the water quickly. We have been able to create a great and inclusive community with tight and invigorating racing, a cold beer and a good chat of what actually happened on the water. The latest count is 24 boats, and growing. What is the OK class offering the wider sailing community? Good camaraderie, tight racing and many local events. If it was not for the Covid-19 pandemic we would have many great races close by. In addition to the Swedish circuit we are close to Denmark and northern Germany is only a few hours drive away. Whomever from the class you meet you always get good ideas on how to improve your boat or your on the water technique.


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Fastest growing OK dinghy fleet in Sweden

Sweden and Denmark. To combat the regatta drought, we arranged our own - WM, aka Wiken Worlds. A few sailors from Gothenburg joined and we had 11 boats on the starting line, including the No. 1 ranked Tomas Hansson-Mild, who finished first. The racing was, as always in the OK class, tight and everyone found their own battles thus continuously motivating all the sailors. Three sailors with OKWiken.se as their home fleet signed up for the postponed Kieler Woche and made the cut of 50 boats. The regatta took place in September with professional

more Quick questions What brings people to the class and how do you make it interesting? The key to our success lies with the simplicity of the set up; we use a simple social media app and a home page to share our schedule and drum up enough interest to go out. Sometimes only two or three boats and sometimes more than ten on a week night. Each week, everyone usually gets an opportunity to do at least one session with a couple of friends, keeping the motivation and interest up. Once on the water we try to run short races, two loops with gate starts that take no more than 20 minutes. The third boat to finish gets to be the gate boat in the next race. The race mode makes the learning much more intense, simple and super fun. What is the OK class offering the wider sailing community? Good camaraderie, tight racing and many local events. If it was not for the Covid-19 pandemic we would have many great races close by. In addition to the Swedish circuit we are close to Denmark and northern Germany is only a few hours drive away. Whomever from the class you meet you

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Covid restrictions in place. This was the defining moment in my new OK dinghy career, back on classic sailing water that I had visited in so many classes, now in my OK Dinghy. It was also a true test of grit with winds hitting 30 knots and we were sailing on the course furthest away from the regatta base, as always. Sailors from OKWiken had successfully completed the first international regatta and the fleet was officially inaugurated. Follow the fleet at OKWiken.se

always get good ideas on how to improve your boat or your on the water technique. What challenges do you see for the class? From the OKWiken.se fleet perspective the challenge is to attract younger sailors to get the base to grow. The average age will only increase if we cannot attract younger sailors and potentially also women. The supply of used boats is drying up and the cost of new boats will be prohibitive for many sailors wanting to step into the class without knowing if they will like it. What do you want to see from OKDIA in the future? Keep developing the boat and the class, in a gentle way. Whatever the development is, there always needs to be a way to make older boats adapt to the innovations. Of course good marketing and good events will be a must. I’m sure that many sailors will find that the OK class has a lot to offer. Any last words? Simplicity and no fuss will attract many sailors to join, the more the merrier. You are always welcome to Viken as a destination for your trip or whenever you are passing by.


GBR Lyme Regis 2023 Lyme Regis already preparing to welcome class – a look ahead to the 2023 World Championship


n what feels like an ever-changing world at the moment, one constant is the determination of the UK Class Association and Lyme Regis SC to make the 2023 Worlds an event to remember on and off the water.

Already regarded as one of the UK’s top competition venues with easy, sheltered launching and long rolling south-westerly swells outside the harbour walls, this historic, picture-postcard resort is a gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site and has plenty to offer competitors’ families. Sailors can begin arriving at the club from Thursday, 22nd June, with five days of racing beginning on Monday 26th and ending on Friday 30th. There is no lay day. UK Class chairman Rodney Tidd said: “Obviously, the pandemic has delayed the Lyme Regis Worlds by a year, but we’re making the most of the extra time.” “Those dates for June 2023 will not change and I think the closeness of the clubhouse, the boat park and the race area is going to give the Lyme Regis Worlds a special, very friendly atmosphere with world class sailing conditions outside the harbour wall.” The event is planned to coincide with high tides, allowing easy, sheltered launching in the harbour from a wide slipway. The large dinghy park is next to the slipway and LRSC’s events team is well practised in launching large fleets, storing trolleys and producing them in the right order as sailors come ashore. The clubhouse is a few metres from the slipway and, thanks to sponsors, there will be a beer awaiting sailors’ return for that essential post-racing discussion with friends, before

heading for the on-site showers. LRSC’s galley and bar will be open throughout the event for drinks, food and cakes, while sponsorship deals are already being arranged to supply free snacks and drink as sailors come ashore.


Just along the Channel coast from Weymouth, Lyme Regis benefits from the same great sailing conditions as the UK’s Olympic venue. Five-time OK Dinghy World Champion, Nick Craig, loves the conditions off the Dorset coast, describing them as “fantastic, with long rolling waves ideal for surfing an OK.” And he’s not alone in his appreciation, with multiple dinghy classes regularly choosing Lyme Regis for their showpiece events, including Nationals, Europeans and World events. In recent years, LRSC has successfully staged the Fireball Europeans in 2017, Merlin Rocket Nationals in 2018 and the Firefly Nationals in 2019, while the Phantom class is coming to town in 2022. David Beer, OK Dinghy Regatta Chairman of Lyme Regis Sailing Club, said: “With the pandemic across the world it meant we had to re-schedule to a new date of June 2023. We hope by then we will be able to travel safely. Key planning is continuing with the local authorities and Class and our race officer Allan Tyler will be getting the team some pre-event practice with the Phantom nationals in 2022. “Rumour has it we may see Allan out in an OK getting a feel for the class, as he is a Fireball sailor. “We look forward to welcoming OK sailors coming to Lyme to get some early practice and I’m sure Chris will be out there honing his skills, back from success in the Flying 15 Nationals. “Wishing you all good sailing and keep safe.”


If you’ve already been looking at the site on Google maps and ‘street view’, you’ll see there’s a narrow road down the hill to the busy quayside, so shipping containers will be stored nearby at the top of Cobb Road and volunteers will deliver dinghies to the boat park – and return them to their containers at the end of the event. Lyme Regis itself is a popular family seaside resort, with


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lyme regis worlds 2023

an historic past. The harbour that dinghies will be launching from is known as The Cobb and dates from the 1300s. The long sandy beach, now loved by families in summer, and dog walkers in winter, was used to land the Duke of Monmouth’s troops in 1685 when he tried, and failed, to seize the throne. And in the early 1800s, one of the town’s most celebrated residents, Mary Anning, began discovering a series of fossils close to the town which changed our understanding of the prehistoric world; they can still be seen to this day in the Natural History Museum in London and lead to this part of the world being christened the ‘Jurassic Coast’. Mary’s success despite humble beginnings and the sexism of the time, has inspired the film Ammonite starring Kate Winslet and the town has also been the backdrop for films such as The French Lieutenant’s Woman, with Meryl Streep, and Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson and due for release in 2022. As a popular seaside resort, Lyme Regis has plenty of accommodation choices. LRSC member and OK sailor Chris Turner, of Ovington Boats, is providing free camping on his farm and even promises to keep his inquisitive pigs in a separate field… but can’t make any guarantees for his bees. There will be toilets and showers there, but it is a 40 minute downhill walk alongside a stream to the coast, which, of course, means uphill in the evening. The organisers are looking at providing a shuttle service, so look out for updates, and there will be another ‘pop-up’ alternative campsite closer to the harbour at Haye Farm.


The good news is that the event dates are outside the English school holidays, so there should be better availability for hotels, Bed & Breakfast, self-catering and Airbnb - all

within easy walk of the club – and the resort shouldn’t be overcrowded. The best locations are the Cobb, Monmouth beach, Marine Parade and Coombe Street and it’s probably better to book sooner rather than later. Other family activities for non-competitors include fishing trips, RIB rides and paddle boarding on the water, while ashore there is fossil hunting and fossil workshops to help you make your own discoveries – and fossil and heritage museums if you want to see what others have already found. There are also many pubs, bars and restaurants to choose from, as well as local shops and supermarkets for those doing their own cooking. Much more can be found on the Lyme Regis website: http://www.lymeregis.org/ Last, and by no means least, the organisers are keeping a close eye on travel arrangements for visitors to the UK. As the event is two years away, like everyone else we’re hoping that the world will have learned to live safely with COVID-19 by then. At the time of writing if you’re an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen you can still visit the UK without a visa and, usually, stay for up to six months – and there is no problem bringing your dinghy into the country. The position for Commonwealth visitors such as Australia and New Zealand is unchanged. Valid European Health Insurance Cards can be used by EU visitors if they fall ill, or have an emergency, to access health care, but the UK Government strongly advises that visitors have travel or health insurance in place. As details are confirmed, we will update the event website at http://2023.okworlds.org or you can email Mary at secretary@okdinghy.co.uk for advice. More photographs of the venue can be found at http://2023.okworlds.org/gallery.

Photo: Simon Emmett

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


MATS CAAP interview



Explaining the paperwork for measurement and certification

ith the increasing number of one or two boat member nations joining OKDIA, the need arose to clarify and explain many of the pertinent rules surrounding certification and sail number registration. The following will be published on the rules.okdinghy.org website and will be used as guidelines for new members and small members.

This document provides details of the process for certification and registration of new and used boats, the issuing of sail numbers, and the services that OKDIA can provide for associations with a small number of members. MNA = Member National Authority (national federation) NCA = National Class Association OKDIA = OK Dinghy International Association

1. Class Management 1.1 National Class Associations It is strongly encouraged that all countries that have active OK Dinghy sailors should form a National Class Association (NCA). The process is outlined in the OKDIA Constitution. The current minimum membership is for two members (though it can consist of just one sailor) and will cost a minimum of £20 a year (2021). It is recommended that one person from a small NCA take on the responsibility as national secretary to communicate with OKDIA. As mentioned below, OKDIA may act as administering authority and as certification authority for any small NCA that requests this service.



Functions of the Administering Authority a) Maintain a register of members b) Issue Personal Sail Numbers (PSN) and PSN certificates c) Distribute World Sailing Building Plaques NOTE: This is normally the NCA, but can be delegated to OKDIA on the decision of the NCA.


Functions of the Certification Authority a) Issue sequential sail numbers b) Record and issue Measurement Certificates NOTE: This is normally the MNA. On agreement of the MNA this role can be delegated to the NCA, which in turn can delegate it to OKDIA. Any or all of the functions of the Certification Authority may be delegated to the Administering Authority.

1.4 Relevant Rules The relevant Class Rule that designates the responsibilities for registering and certifying a new boat is A.4. A.4 ADMINISTRATION OF THE CLASS A.4.1 The international administering authority is the OKDIA. A.4.2 The certification authority shall be the MNA, except that, in countries where there is no MNA or the MNA does not wish to act as certification authority, this function may be delegated to a NCA. If there is no NCA or the NCA does not wish to act as certification authority this function shall be carried out by OKDIA. A.4.3 The national administering authority shall be the NCA. Where the NCA does not wish to administer the class in that country this function shall be carried out by the OKDIA. The duties and responsibilities of NCAs are listed in the OKDIA Constitution 2. Building Fee/Plaque For every OK Dinghy that is built, the class rules require that the builder shall pay a building fee. In return, the builder will receive a building plaque (blue World Sailing sticker) and a building fee receipt. The plaque is the owner’s proof that the building fee has been paid. The payment is split between World Sailing and OKDIA and helps run both organisations. It is the responsibility of the builder to purchase the plaque. Any boat purchased from a builder should come with a building plaque attached. The builder should also hand over a building fee receipt to prove that the Building Fee has been paid. If you build your own boat you need to purchase and attach the building plaque yourself. Plaques should be attached to the aft cockpit bulkhead on the starboard side. All builders should purchase plaques from their National Class Associations, or in cases where the NCA does not sell them, OKDIA. The current fee (2021) is £66.30. If an existing plaque is lost or damaged, replacement (R) plaques can be purchased from OKDIA. These will have an R-XXX plaque number, not the original Plaque Number. The current fee (2021) is £25.50

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certification 3. Sail Numbers 3.1 Registered Sail Number Once the building fee has been paid, the builder or owner should apply to the certification authority for a registered sail number. All new boats should be issued with a unique registered sail number and these numbers should be issued sequentially in each country from the last boat registered. The certification authority is normally the MNA, but in cases where the MNA does not wish to administer a class, it is very common for this task to be delegated to the NCA. If there is no NCA, then the first step is to create an NCA and join OKDIA. The NCA may then request permission from their MNA to either act as the certification authority itself, or request that OKDIA becomes the certification authority. OKDIA can then issue a sail number based on the latest information on sail numbers in that country. If details of the last registered sail number are not available, the owner/NCA should contact OKDIA. Registered sail numbers can only be issued to owners that are members of an NCA. The registered sail number should be placed on the boat in accordance with Class Rule. D.2.4 (b). 3.2 Boats that move between countries. If a boat that has previously been issued with a registered sail number moves to a different country under a new MNA, then a new registered sail number should be issued in that country and placed in the boat in accordance with Rule D.2.4(b) and by removal of the old number. 3.3 Personal Sail Numbers Personal sail numbers are issued to the sailor. If the boat is sold, the PSN stays with the sailor. A PSN should only be shown on a sail and not engraved into a boat or shown on the measurement certificate. Personal sail numbers can only be issued by NCAs (or OKDIA if so delegated) after a decision by that NCA to adopt them. The administering authority (NCA or OKDIA) should also issue the sailor with an official PSN certificate. The template is available on http://rules. okdinghy.org/personal-sail-number-certificate 3.4 To clarify The registered sail number is the number issued to the boat by the certification authority, or their delegates, and is the number that is printed on the measurement certificate and engraved into the hull. The personal sail number is the number issued to the sailor by their NCA and should only be displayed on the sail. 4.

Measurement and Certification Each new boat needs to be measured to make sure it is in compliance with the class rules. The Measurement Form should be completed by an OK Dinghy official measurer. The class rules and measurement form can be obtained from the OKDIA or the World Sailing websites. OKDIA has also published a Measurement Manual that can be found on http://rules.okdinghy.org The completed and signed measurement form should be returned to the certification authority, which will issue a certificate.

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


In countries where neither the MNA or the NCA do not wish to carry out certification, OKDIA can issue a certificate on receipt of the completed measurement form, and the building fee receipt. The cost of this process, including return of the certificate and documents is £30 (2021). Registered post charged extra. In countries where there is no OK Dinghy official measurer (OM), there are two options. The first is to take the boat to another country that has an OK Dinghy OM. The second is to ask a measurer, or competent person, from another class to carry out measurement (in this case permission will need to be obtained from the MNA) Either is acceptable. Advice should be requested from OKDIA in the event of the latter. To obtain a certificate, the boat owner must be a member of an OKDIA recognised NCA. It is strongly recommended that manufacturers supply boats with a fully completed and signed measurement form, especially when there are no official measurers in the country of the sailor. Small National Class Associations New rules introduced in 2021 have reduced the minimum size of an NCA to one owner and allows for the possibility of an NCA to be formed when there are very few owners. While OKDIA hopes that these NCA will grow over time and that the NCA will be able to self-administer, OKDIA can provide the administrative and certification services while the class in that country grows. However, the NCA must also request permission from their MNA to delegate responsibility for the certification authority to either itself or OKDIA. OKDIA can offer the following services: • Issuing of sail numbers. • Issuing of Measurement Certificates on receipt of a completed Measurement Form • Issuing of Personal Sail Numbers These small NCA must first join OKDIA and must pay the fees outlined in this document. OKDIA cannot offer these services to non-members of OKDIA. All owners must either join an existing NCA or create a new NCA with OKDIA as its Administering Authority.

6. Boat registration 6.1 Process for new boats for ‘small’ National Class Associations • Order a Building Plaque from OKDIA, if new boat. Cost is £66.30 (2021) • Request a sail number from OKDIA – free of charge • Organise an OM to measure the boat – fee payable to OM • Send measurement form to OKDIA and receive measurement certificate – fee £30. 6.2 Process for relocation of existing boats for ‘small’ National Class Associations • Request a new sail number from OKDIA – free of charge • Send original measurement form to OKDIA and receive measurement certificate – fee £30.



Full Circle I

Michael Nissen on his return to the class and building a boat

n ‘The best OK Dinghy sailors of all time’ chapter in Completely OK, Michael Nissen is number 34. He sailed the OK Dinghy from 1966 to 1977, picking up bronze medals at the 1976 Worlds in Nykøping, Denmark, and the 1977 Worlds in Takapuna, New Zealand. Now, after a 44-year break from the class he is back with a home built Dan Leach Mk 4.

He hadn’t really followed the class in the intervening years, but “My interest started again with using Youtube and watching videos.” “I looked at every photo or video (some New Zealanders make good videos) so I could get an impression of what had happened in the class since 1977. Before I started, I drove to Potsdam and had a four-hour discussion with Greg Wilcox about everything I should do and not do. (Incredible willingness to help others by the way.) But nevertheless it was a jump into cold water. Not surprisingly many things have changed.” “I think the main reason [I came back] was the possibility to build it myself relatively easily from CNC cut parts.”

“In 1966 I started to sail OK Dinghy and stopped in 1977 when I moved to the Finn. Before that I sailed Flying Junior together with my elder brother, a boat similar to a 420. But I wanted to sail alone and at first looked at the Europe. But when the first OK Dinghies started to show up in our sailing club (north of Kiel), and in the neighbourhood, the decision for this boat was as clear as a 15 year old can get.” “We were a group of young men in Hamburg – where I started and finished my studies – all sailing OK Dinghies. During that time we managed our boats and our travels to races with very simple and cost effective means, working together as friends. The fun of racing and travelling is one part of the memories of those days.” “I had some nice results in OK Worlds and Europeans. But I never won a big event and when you come close and fail this is not the nicest thing to remember.” “My best result therefore was winning the Pater Noster Race in Marstrand in the spring of 1972 with approximately 105 boats participating. It was the first big international regatta that I won.” “Without the chance of sailing and racing a relatively cheap boat within a group of friends, a sailing career would have been financially impossible for me.”


But in 1977, “I felt very old at 26 years and thought I should completely move to an Olympic class. So I started to sail the Finn, weighing about 80 kg. Those were the days of hiking vests and pants.” He had sailed the Finn occasionally from 1971 and stayed in the class up until 1984. “At that time I was the sparring partner of Thomas Jungblut in his Finn campaign for the Olympics in 1972. I learned a lot in those days and was in good shape. As I started to work for North Sails in 1977 I also sailed other classes and races including the Admiral’s Cup in 1983 and 1985 and the Three Quarter Ton Cup in 1984.” From 1984 to 1992 he sailed the Star, where he achieved his biggest accomplishment. “Overall in my life I value the win in the Europeans in the Star in 1990 as my highest achievement. When I quit North Sails in 1988 the Star gradually became too expensive and was converted into the heating system of our new home in Tutzing.” Then from 1993 to 2002, “We part owned a Dragon, but I found out I was lacking the maturity and patience to race such a style of boat. From 2002 to 2003 I sailed as a 20

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michael nissen INTERVIEW

Dragon crew with a friend of mine and sometimes as Star Above: Star and Finn sailing • G 124 at the Worlds in Bendor 1969 • G 171 at the Worlds in Kiel 1971 • Below: G 329 at the boat crew.” “Since 1966 I have never stopped racing and have sailed Worlds in Takapuna 1977 (with Peter Lester) • Opposite top and about 20 to 40 events each and every year, with the exception next page: Launching GER 852 in 2021 • Far left: G 59 was his first OK. Homebuilt in 1966 of last year though.” Since 2004 he has also sailed the Laser before deciding to In the end I found one and from thereon the ball was rolling.” get back into the OK Dinghy. “In hindsight it all went very well. During the process I had Building an OK my moments of doubt and pain. For two and a half months I In the beginning he considered borrowing a boat and sailing was completely separated from housework and spent all my one regatta. time in the workshop being sometimes completely exhausted “But then I know I am ambitious and rather technical and sometimes totally unnerved. That needs a wife with a lot minded and want my boats as easy working and as close to of love and understanding.” what I believe is best as possible.” “Sometimes I had a little help from my friends. Without Also, “In general, I am a mean guy and want to spend as them the boat would not be so good, would not be ready in little money as possible.” the same time but would be finished somehow too.” The next step was that he read an article by Thorsten “One reason why it is challenging is the lack of Schmidt on the German OK website – ‘Cold reason should a construction manual. What you get are files for a never prevail’. CNC cutter and a lot of photos of an OK Dinghy under “In that article Torsten wrote about all the possibilities to construction (and they are of an older design boat with obtain a new OK including building one yourself with the help lot more reinforcements). Maybe the OK Dinghy class of a CNC cut. CNC cuts of OKs were new to me at that time. should overcome that. It is sometimes guesswork to find My first OK Dinghy was home built by my father and myself, out which parts belong together. Also a warning guideline when I was 16 years old. That was also a building kit but it was more a collection of materials than a construction kit with almost all the bevels. So I light-heartedly thought this would be an experience. The third thought was that a composite structure with pre-cut panels, without stringers but only epoxy joints covered with woven fibreglass should be manageable. (Even though I had never done this before.)” “There was room enough in the garage when everything else was removed. The boatyard was close by. That was the point when I started to make lists of tools I needed, where to buy and where to borrow. What fittings I needed, where to purchase and how much are they...trailer, sail and mast suppliers…mast bending characteristics – the list of questions that I wanted to ask Greg. In the end it was not a decision; everything was ready to start. I am not really spontaneous.”


As he started the project, it was a bit ‘wobbly’. “For some reason I could not find a carpenter whose CNC cutter was able to work with the files delivered. I guess the reason is that European carpenters use cutters with much less computer power and therefore cannot handle the size of data. JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


michael nissen INTERVIEW

would be good: here the boat is at minimum, do not go lower. Or: the boat is at maximum length, do not lengthen it by overlapping the woven glass coat too often around the bow”

He remembers some of the sailors from his time in the class and some are still sailing today. “I have only just started to sail OK again, so I have not met many people yet. But of course I know Peit (Norbert Petrausch) and Jörgen Lindhartdsen and I had a very friendly contact to H.P. Hylander.” “I want to race the boat as much as possible. This year I shall race in Arco, Kiel Week, and the German Championship and maybe smaller weekend races. Next year’s worlds is in Marstrand. I took part in last worlds there in 1972. So did Jörgen Lindhardtsen. I am looking forward to meeting him. That will make a nice anniversary. And as for expectations on the water…“Overestimation of myself is also something I usually do. With age and the usual weaker forces and abilities that has not become better. So please do not ask me to put my expectations in writing…”

Mk 4

The boat is a Dan Leech design Mk 4. “After talking to some people who saw a tendency to fuller, rounder shapes in the Ovington, Synergy and Delfs, I asked Dan Leech whether he would make the bow a little fuller too. Currently it is very sharp, much like the Icebreaker. But he refused to do so, which I can understand: who am I to ask for a change of a world’s winning design on the basis of no experience at all. So I added a little more fullness in the bow myself. That is the fun of making your own boat.” “Another smaller change was the sidedecks because I want to hike with a wider knee angle. That change was no problem at all.”

GERickeSEGEL Dirk Gericke Fritze-Bollmann-Weg 29 14772 Brandenburg an der Havel Germany Tel. +49 (0)3381 707474 Fax +49 (0)3381 707472 Cell: +49(0)1728 467410 Email: info@gericke-segel.de www.gericke-segel.de


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NZL Another Covid Resolution


Olympic medalist and coach, and pro sailor John Cutler describes how and why he recently got into OK Dinghy sailing in New Zealand

few months after COVID cancelled the TP52 circuit in 2020 and after all the long ignored jobs around the house and garden had been completed, I started to think about sailing a dinghy for fun again. My last regatta in a dinghy was in 1988, and the last time in a dinghy was helping out Craig Monk before the 1992 Olympics. So, despite sailing hundreds of days per year, I hadn’t sailed a boat just for fun for 28 years, especially one that could capsize.

After making the decision to try and sail a dinghy again, it came down to which class… The decision to sail an OK was actually pretty easy. There is a great fleet of 20+ boats at the Wakatere Boating Club, and it’s close to home, and the class has a reputation for being competitive, but also social and welcoming. I know plenty of current and ex OK Dinghy sailors, so it was the simple test to see if my knees and back could handle hiking again. I called Rod Davis and said I was interested in the class and asked if there was a boat I could borrow, just to see if I remembered how to sail. That was organised instantly. I called Josh and Andy (NZ Olympic Finn Sailors) and asked for recommendations of what sailing kit I needed and promptly I had all the gear, with no idea what awaited me. The first sail was a real shock – I was a complete beginner, but managed to stay upright and not hit my head on the boom. I expected to be at the back of the fleet and extremely tired, but was further back and completely stuffed. A couple of weekends like this and I decided that it was time to purchase a boat and take things slightly more seriously. Unfortunately in NZL, it’s tough to find boats to purchase, which I think a good sign, as no one is leaving the class. Matthew Mason and Dan Slater were both planning to build a new Dan Leech design boat, but differing construction methods so after lots of thought, I decided to purchase new. Matty kindly lent me his Icebreaker while he had knee surgery, he then spent the summer moving marks around for the America’s Cup. Finally all of those distractions for Matty ended and he was full time building new OKs. The first boat NZL 608 was launched beginning of June and I sailed it in Napier at the Brass Monkey regatta, my best result to date at 5th out of 20 competitors. After being in a huge rush to get my boat complete, things have quickly changed. I head to Valencia for a training session on the TP52 Provezza, then the Olympics helping the NZL Sailing team, back to Palma for JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org

the first of the TP regattas and finally home for two weeks in a Government managed isolation hotel mid September. This is then followed up with the remaining TP regattas in Europe, or isolation and finally back home ready to go OK sailing late November. There will be a new OK waiting in my garage when I get home. I have been fortunate to have the time to help Matty with building the first two boats, which was mostly lots of picking up and dropping off parts. Matty decided to have all the control lines run under the deck for the first few boats despite the extra complexity and time, but we are happy with the results so far with a very clean looking layout. Rod Davis and I have been looking at rigs and trying to understand how the bend numbers relate to body weight and performance upwind and downwind. I have been fortunate to have access to a mast bend jig, so we can compare directly between different manufacturers. I also have been using Sail Scan software, which one feature enables me to measure mast bends on our fleet while at the yacht club. So far, we have collected lots of data and found that Rod goes well regardless of which rig he uses. To summarise my time in the OK Dinghy class in New Zealand; the fleet is incredibly welcoming, they are really generous with information and equipment and I look forward to being as helpful to the next new member. The class has a series of regattas throughout the North Island and I am looking forward to spending the New Zealand summer touring and sailing my OK.


SWE Marstrand Return The class is eagerly awaiting a return to world competition at the 2022 worlds in Marstrand


he 2022 OK Dinghy World Championship is scheduled to be held from August 5–13, in Marstrand, Sweden, hosted by the Marstrand Sailing Association (MSS).

Originally planned for 2020, the delay because of the pandemic to 2022 means it will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last time the World Championship was held in Marstrand, in 1972, when it was won by Kjell Axerot. Marstrand is often described as Sweden’s sailing capital. Far out to the west, where the archipelago ends and the open sea starts, it is a haven for sailing and swimming, with quaint neighbourhoods, car free streets and amazing scenery. The OK Dinghy has a long history in Marstrand with many boats and sails made there in the 1960s and 1970s, most notably through the Marinex company, created by double world champion Göran Andersson. At that time Sweden had the biggest fleet in the world with sailors having to qualify for the national championship because of the demand for places. Those glory days are a long while ago, but Sweden is seeing growing numbers again, which will hopefully further increase with a home worlds. Marstrand is a ridiculously beautiful place, both for visiting and for sailing. Visitors get a hint of this beauty on the drive in with fjords, bridges, inlets, islands and vistas galore. But

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org

the town itself and the waterways that have made it famous take that beauty to another level. Though an overused cliché, stunning is an apt description, both the shoreside, but also the sailing waters, which are famous worldwide. Due to the pandemic, it will be the first world championship for 29 months, so a large entry is expected. The Notice of Race will be published later in 2021, with online entry opening soon after. The event website is at http://2022.okworlds.org.


NZL Feeling the need... Matt Mason describes building the new Mk5 Maverick in New Zealand


t’s pretty crazy to think it’s been two years since the Worlds were here in Auckland. Wow. Time flies.

The OK Dinghy fleet is still holding really strong in New Zealand and we are still getting 15-20 boats every fortnight at Wakatere, even in the middle of winter right now. We have finally launched the new Maverick Mk5 after building female moulds for every part. The moulds are all set up for infusing, which is a clean controllable method. Here is a short brief of the boat and build.


“The Mk5 Maverick Leech design is an evolution of the 2014 and 2019 World Championship winning boats, using hull refinements from the very successful Leech Mk 1 and Mk 2 hull shape. The volume has been moved aft to increase better all-round performance for a wide range of crew weight.” Dan Leech. After sailing Maverick in Napier for the Brass Monkey June 2021, John Cutler commented, “The boat feels great, fast upwind and super fast downwind.”


The build-female moulded-epoxy Infused

The construction of the dinghy is epoxy ADR270 from Adhesive Technology with PVC 10mm/100kg foam in the hull and topsides with PVC 8mm/80kg foam in the deck. The cockpit liner, which is also female moulded with the forward and aft bulkhead, is PVC 10mm/100kg foam. We have used epoxy compatible gelcoat on the hull and deck. The hull plug has the centreboard case built as part of the hull lamination, so when the hull comes out of the mould the centreboard case aluminium plant gets removed. The centreboard plant is CNC machined and modeled off the Kiwi Foils built by MacKay Boats, with minimal board tolerances which results in minimal drag. The cockpit liner has flanges to glue down onto the hull floor which allows the CNC U-Dek 6mm foam cut floors to fit in perfectly. The weight of the OK Dinghy is very generous and these boats could easily be 1012kg underweight with our building techniques We feel it is key to get the weight into the ok dinghy international magazine

mk5 maverick boat in the right areas like the hull, using the heavier foam. We also didn’t want a boat that dings easily if you rub together at a wing mark or something. Our goal is to end up with 2-3 kg in correctors.

Deck Layout

Under deck and conventional on deck layouts are available. Under deck has the main three controls consisting of the outhaul, Cunningham and tack. These all come underdeck down the centreline. They come down each side of the centreline then turn-in sheaves turning outboard to their cleats. The vang and centreboard uphaul come back to swivelling Ronstan RF70, and this allows the board rake to be adjustable upwind for different modes. The centreboard shock cord system is all under deck running to the bow and adjustable to tension in the forward hatch. We are still working on a few final tweaks and the latest is a 3D printed control panel for the sheaves, vang and board control cleats where they come out of the dashboard. The first three boats all have under-deck systems.

Structural Stiffness

We have worked hard to make the boat stiff and eliminate twisting created from the hiking sailor and the rig side load. This is achieved by using uni-directional strapping diagonally across the deck from the forward cockpit corner through to the mast gate. It’s also important to tie in the cockpit coaming to the hull topsides; this locks in the whole cockpit liner together structurally to reduce twisting, a key factor structurally. I have been lucky to have had plenty of amazing advice from the likes of Adhesive Technologies director Grant Beck who I am on the phone to nearly every day and my great friend Giovanni Belgravno who is one of the world’s best composite structural engineers.

going to be a money making venture. I wouldn’t want to add up the hours that have gone into building these moulds. The hundreds and hundreds of hours justifies why the last set of moulds was built 25 years ago. If I had known what a mission this was going to be I probably would have never taken it on. However, we are now into the fun time and it’s time to go sailing. I have sailed the boat several times now. After not sailing for 18 months and with the small amount of racing I have done, the boat feels really, really nice. As they always say, ‘speed is your friend’. We are finishing boat #3 now which is for John Cutler and are ready to build some boats. We have had a young boat builder that has joined us and come straight out of Emirates Team NZ and he has brought the build standard to a new level, so the boats are going to be built to a very high finish spec. Hopefully we’ll see you soon somewhere around the world for a regatta. Go the OK Dinghy If you are interested please email or call Matt on mkmason88@gmail.com + 6421 507444 and he can send more photos and pricing. He is planning on setting up a simple website in the near future.


The first three boats are for John Cutler, John Cobb and myself. John Cobb was the main sponsor of the 2019 Symonite World championship in Auckland, and he has now joined the class. We are now able to go into production and streamline construction, which is key. The cost of the OK is very competitive which I feel helps with the success of the class. This is definitely not JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org



Contact Chris Turner at Ovington Boats for European supply • Chris.Turner@ovingtonboats.co.uk

GER Face off The changing emotions in making it round a mark in strong wind, starring Ralf Tietje in Kiel in 2020

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org


Results French Championship 2020 27–29 August • Lacanau

1 FRA 1859 Yann Vilein

2 FRA 8

Timothée Petetin

3 FRA 1835 Yvan Beckius

4 FRA 1820 Julien Dejugnat 5 FRA 4

Jean-Michel Roux

6 FRA 1824 Alain Renoux 7 FRA 1829 Pierre Arrighi 8 FRA 86

Patrick Debaere

10 BEL 15

Marc Vande Ghinste

9 FRA 1852 Philippe Chelle

German Championship 2020 7

22 33 38 39 45 46

5 DEN 12

Jens Eckardt

7 DEN 10

Jens Laugesen

6 GER 77 8 GER 72

9 DEN 142 10 DEN 700

Sönke Behrens Oliver Gronholz

Jørgen Lindhardtsen Jesper Bendix

5 GER 20

6 GER 773 7 GER 3

8 GER 823


Andreas Pich


Sebastian Kaule Ralf Mackmann

Wolfgang Höfener Klaus Reffelmann

9 DEN 1407 Malte Pedersen 10 GER 75


Oliver Gronholz

Dirk Dame

46 63 70 79 90 91 92

Kieler Woche 2020


4 DEN 1450 Anders Andersen

Ulli Kurfeld

4 GER 7

3 DEN 3

Jørgen Svendsen

3 GER 19




Bo Petersen

André Budzien

2 GER 72

1 DEN 1552 Mads Bendix 2 DEN 21

1 GER 71


Danish Championship 2020 28-30 August • Nyborg

3-6 September • Dümmer

10-13 September • Kiel, Germany 1 DEN 1552 Mads Bendix



2 GER 71

André Budzien



4 DEN 21

Bo Petersen


6 DEN 700

Jesper Bendix


8 GER 72

Oliver Gronholz

40 41 41 45 56 63

3 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 26 5 DEN 1527 Steen Christensen 7 NZL 599

Greg Wilcox

9 SWE 2871 Patric Mure 10 DEN 22

Ask Askholm

40 50 53 63 67

Mediterranean Championship 2020 14–18 September • Bandol, France 1 FRA 8

Timothe Petetin


3 FRA 150

Pascal Tetard


2 FRA 1820 Julien Dejugnat 4 FRA 1836 Gilles Berenger

5 FRA 1823 Jean Louis Petetin 6 FRA 86

Patrick Debaere

8 FRA 17

Henri Berenger

7 DEN 112

Pierre Arrighi

23 36 55 59 63 74

9 FRA 1837 Jean Christophe Morin 87 10 FRA 1824 Alain Renoux



26-27 Sept • Schwieochsee, Germany 1 GER 225

Robert Deaves

3 GER 11

Rainer Pospeich

2 GER 125 4 GER 695 5 GER 5

6 POL 777

7 GER 767 8 POL 735

9 GER 838 10 GER 22


Axel Fischer


Erik Bork


Ralf Tietje

Michal Strumnik

Juliane Hofmann Jaraslaw Soltys Falk Haemann Dirk Gericke

14 19 20 23 30 31 32

UK Inland Championship

26-27 September • Burton SC 1 GBR 2232 Nick Craig

Andy Davis


4 GBR 8

Richard Burton


3 GBR 6

John Greenwood

5 GBR 2185 Ed Bradburn 6 GBR 69

Terry Curtis

8 GBR 20

Roger Tushingham

7 GBR 2134 Fergus Barnham 9 GBR 99

Ben Pickering

10 GBR 2179 Tony Woods



2 GBR 11

21 28 30 30 36 37 41


Northland Championship 2020

26 - 27 September • Oakura, NZL 1 NZL 592

Rod Davis


7 AUS 776

Grant Wakefield


3 NZL 578

Luke O’Connell


9 AUS 78

John Condie


5 NZL 592

John Cutler


8 AUS 778

James Bevis

2 NZL 526

Mark Perrow


4 NZL 546

Thomas Olds


Summer Regatta 2020


1 NZL 562 Dan Slater

3 NZL 565 5 NZL 563 6 NZL 478 7 NZL 568 8 NZL 574 9 NZL 536 10 NZL 586

Simon Probert Dave Hoogenboom Sean Cleary

Dean Coleman Phil Rzepecky

Michael Shannon Martin Douglas

14 25 36 36 37 51

Rum Bucket 2020

31 Oct. - 1 Nov, Wakatere BC, NZL Luke O’Connell


3 NZL 583

Eric Rone


4 NZL 587 5 NZL 584 6 NZL 563 7 NZL 592 8 NZL 54

9 NZL 565 10 NZL 567

Ben Morrison Gordon Sims

Greg Salthouse

David Hoogenboom Rod Davis

Josh Newman

Simon Probert Chris Fenwich


28-29 November • Napier, New Zealand 2 NZL 578 Luke O’Connell

1 NZL 559

6 NZL 567 Chris Fenwick

8 NZL 588 Adrian Coulthard 9 NZL 570 John Cutler

10 NZL 504 Grant Pedersen

14 19 30 33 33 37

5-6 June • Napier, New Zealand Andy Phillips

2 NZL 578

Luke O’Connell

4 NZL 592

Rod Davis

3 NZL 579 5 NZL 609 6 NZL 587 7 NZL 601

Sean Cleary


Steinhude Halbmodell 2021


1 GER 5

Ralf Tietje

3 GER 787

Peter Lakshmanan

46 54 54

2 NZL 579 Steve McDowell 4 NZL 562 Rohan Lord 5 NZL 592 Rod Davis 6 NZL 583 Eric Rone

7 NZL 577 Paul Rhodes

8 NZL 587 Gordon Sims 8

9 NZL 549 Jono Clough

Mark Rutherford


1 NZL 579


15 22

10 NZL 570 John Cutler

13-14 March • Turangi YC, NZL 2 NZL 583

Steve McDowell Eric Rone

30 40 70 72 75 77 79

4 GER 773 5 GER 77

6 NZL 599

7 GER 823 8 GER 125



Chris Fenwick

Simon Probert Thomas Olds

June 5–6 • Steinhude, Germany 2 GER 7

9 GER 81

10 POL 735

39 46



16 28 29 31 32 36


Andreas Pich


Ralf Mackmann


Sönke Behrens Greg Wilcox

Klaus Reffelmann Axel Fischer

Jan-Dietmar Dellas Jaroslaw Soltys

17 18 21 34 39 39 45

Fästningsskölden 2021

12-13 June • Varbergs SS, Sweden 1 SWE 797 Mats Caap

2 NZL 599

3 SWE 72

Greg Wilcox

Benjamin Hammerö

4 SWE 139 Hans Börjesson

5 DEN 1577 Jörgen Holm

6 SWE 722 Stefan Jaenson 7 SWE 20

8 SWE 14

9 SWE 61

10 SWE 15

JULY 2021 • www.okdia.org



Gordon Sims

3 NZL 559 Andrew Phillips


10 NZL 546


John Cutler


9 NZL 565



1 NZL 578 LukeO’Connell

4-7 February • Napier

8 NZL 567


Steve McDowell



Turangi Championship 2021

Kelvin Holdt

Brett Daniel



6 AUS 708

10 NZL 561

Alistair Deaves

5 NZL 584 Greg Salthouse

Paul Foster

5 AUS 757

9 NZL 542

Sean Cleary

Brass Monkey 2021

3 AUS 784

David Clarke

8 NZL 601

Jono Clough


4 NZL 592 Rod Davis

Mark Skelton

4 AUS 7


7 NZL 549

Simon Probent

3 NZL 579 Steve McDowell

1 AUS 790

Tim Davies


6 NZL 565

Andy Phillips

New Zealand Championship 2021

7–8 November • Wangi RSL Amateur

2 AUS 791


4 NZL 559


NSW State Championships 2020

Sailing Club, Lake Macquarie, AUS

Anthony Galante

7 NZL 587 Gordon Sims

1 NZL 578 2 NZL 580

10 AUS 785


Stefan Pavia

Håkan Söderberg

Olle Albrektsson

Mats Hovde









23 24


Art of Racing Booms stronger • stiffer • faster Auckland • Melbourne • Stockholm • Miami • San Diego Potsdam • Ipswich • Harderwijk • North Shields • La Rochelle www.artofracing.co.nz • aor@artofracing.co.nz european agent • greg@artofracing.co.nz