Five-time OK Dinghy world champion Nick Craig opens 2024 World Championship with two bullets

Nick Craig led a British clean sweep of race wins on the opening day of the 2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, in Brisbane, Australia. Craig won both his group races, while Andy Davis and Chris Turner won the other group races to sit in the top three places after the first day of racing.

It was a blisteringly hot day on Waterloo Bay, off Manly, Brisbane, and the light winds in the opening race made for a fiery start to the day with just 6-8 knots of breeze for most of the race. Turner led at the first mark and extended on every leg for a huge win from Davis and Australia’s Gary McLennan. Craig also led his group from start to finish, winning from New Zealand’s Steve McDowell and Denmark’s Henrik Kofoed.

A shifting and increasing wind produced a lot of restarts for Race 5 with 10 boats pulled out under the blag flag. New Zealand’s Rod Davis led the first group from Craig. The Brit moved ahead downwind, only for Davis to regain the lead on the second upwind, but as the breeze increased to 12-13 knots, Craig retook the lead on the second downwind and held to the finish, with Australia’s Rob McMillan recovering well to snatch second from Davis on the line. In the second group Andy Davis was second at the top, but then extended on the fleet to take the win from Australia’s Mike Williams and David Clark.

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy Australian Championship, RQYS, Brisbane

Craig, “Very tricky day with the wind all over the place. We had tide under us upwind so I think we had some good starting practice with probably 7 or 8 starts, but actually it was a little bit like sailing at home on Burghfield with the wind all over the place so I think the Brits all did well today. We do a lot of that sort of sailing.

“It was tricky upwind because there was convergence on the left and a generally a lift as you got towards the windward mark, but more tide on the right so I was generally reckoning to get right early and get in the tide and then get out left but that didn’t always work and you had to play the shifts as well. Very tricky day to call the upwind.

“Couldn’t be a better start, but a long way to go.”

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy Australian Championship, RQYS, Brisbane

Davis said, “My best day in the OK ever with a two and one. Nice to start the week off like that.

“It was a bit shifty and tricky trying to tie up the tide against the pressure and today all seemed to be about pressure and shifts. In the first race a lot of the fleet went for the tide and the pressure, and the shift came in on the left, so I ended up a bit deep but crawled back to second. Then the second race was quite shifty, perfect pond sailing, and I took the shifts up the middle and worked to the left and came out well and then extended downwind, which was nice.”

On the venue, “It’s gorgeous here, I mean what a venue. It’s sunny, hot, a bit too hot for me you know but we have to whinge about something, but cracking facilities.”

The opening series continues Tuesday with slightly more wind forecast. Racing continues until Saturday.

Results after 2 races
1 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 1
2 GBR 11 Andy Davis 1
3 GBR 44 Chris Turner 1
4 AUS 825 Mike Williams 2
5 AUS 2 Rob McMillan 2
6 NZL 11 Steve McDowell 2
7 AUS 15 David Clark 3
8 NZL 592 Rod Davis 3
9 AUS 694 Gary McLennan 3
10 DEN 61 Henrik Kofoed-Larsen 3

Full results here:

Full Gallery here:

2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy Australian Championship, RQYS, Brisbane