Brits dominate penultimate day

Nick Craig and Andy Davis traded race wins on the penultimate day at the 2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship, hosted by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, in Brisbane, Australia. They top the leader board, separated by just six points, with Australia’s Roger Blasse – who had the joint best day with Davis – another four points behind. Just two races remain on Saturday.

For the first time this week the wind had set in from the north-east and brought quite shifty conditions with wind from 8-12 knots as the fleet resumed racing after the lay day in gold and silver groups. While many sailors scored some deep results, the top five overall remained unchanged.

The first upwind of race 7 provided quite a challenge in a quite light and shifty breeze. Both Craig and Davis started near each other mid-line but Davis then kept more to the middle while Craig went further right. Davis rounded first from Simon Davis and Australia’s Matt Johnson. Craig rounded deep. Andy Davis then extended on every leg for a huge win from Australia’s Roger Blasse and Mark Jackson. Craig crossed in 20th.

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship, RQYS, Brisbane

The wind started to strengthen for race 8 and would top out at 12-14 knots by the end. This time the left side paid with Australia’s Lachlan Hornsby rounding first from David Meehan and New Zealand’s Gordon Sims. Craig rounded from the right in fourth after a huge shift came in at the right time and gradually worked his way through the fleet to take the lead on the final run and win his fifth race from eight starts. Last week’s Australian champion, David Clark crossed second with New Zealand’s Steve McDowell in third. Andy Davis crossed in fifth to maintain second place and keep the pressure on Craig.

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship, RQYS, Brisbane

Australia’s Mark Jackson, the President of OKDIA, reflected on a successful event, “The event has been fantastic with all races in so far with one day to go. The weather has been brilliant. It’s been hot, sunny and we’ve had great breeze every day and the competition has been really tough. We’re having a lot of fun.”

On his own performance, “I have had a lot of ups and downs. The first race each day I have a good one and the second I fall back to about mid fleet. It was much the same again today with a third and about a 30th. It’s a typical pattern for me.”

A home worlds has given the fleet in Australian a boost. He continued “The Australian fleet is really booming at the moment. We have boats in every state. We have a new fleet in Perth and a decent fleet here in Queensland and we got over 70 boats to our Australian championship and here for the worlds, so the class is really growing and going well here in Australia.”

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship, RQYS, Brisbane

Tomas Franzén from Sweden is in 17th, “We have had a wonderful time here so far. We haven’t been sailing since October, so we were a little bit rusty, but our boats finally arrived in time for the worlds and now I feel we’re getting better and better.”

On the venue, “This is a fantastic place to go sailing. Over 30 degrees, and even if you get splashed it’s like sailing in the shower. There is great camaraderie in the fleet and a lot of really great sailors, so I am enjoying it.

“Today was really shifty with the puffs coming from right, then left and it was really crazy for a while, but I’m happy anyway.”

In the silver fleet Brett Daniel from New Zealand leads after a fourth and a first. The first race was won by Australia’s Anthony Galante.

The top of the fleet remains tight going into the final day. It would be a brave man to bet against Craig winning his sixth OK Dinghy world title, but with a 20th on the board, and with the way Davis and Blasse are sailing, he cannot afford another slip up. Davis is sailing exceptionally well and while he won the British championship last year, he is a relative newcomer to the class. Meanwhile Blasse is a double world champion and is within striking distance. It is a long way from over.

So just two races remain on Saturday to decide the 2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Champion. Who will it be?

Results after 8 races
1 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 10
2 GBR 11 Andy Davis 16
3 AUS 1 Roger Blasse 20
4 NZL 11 Steve McDowell 27
5 AUS 825 Mike Williams 45
6 AUS 15 David Clark 49
7 DEN 6 Johan Bjoerling 50
8 DEN 22 Ask Askholm 62
9 DEN 61 Henrik Kofoed-Larsen 64
10 NZL 592 Rod Davis 64

Full results here:

Full Gallery here:

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship, RQYS, Brisbane