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Bo Petersen wins OK Dinghy Nordic Championship in Praesto
Bo Petersen (DEN), the 2013 European Champion, has added the Nordic Championship to his growing list of achievements in the OK Dinghy class. He led a strong Danish team on home waters in a fleet of 66 OK Dinghies, over the weekend of 13-14 June. The silver went to Rene Sarabia Johannsen (DEN) and the bronze to Jens Lauge (DEN).

Praesto Fjord is situated in the southern part of Zealand, well protected behind the Feddet peninsula in the bay of Fakse. Lauge commented on the venue, “I used to visit Prastoe every year, camping together with the junior Optimist sailors from Sletten Yachtclub. I always remembered the fjord as being gusty and shifty, especially in western wind conditions. The fjord is very shallow, and builds short breaking chops in the breeze. It didn’t let us down this year either.”

Saturday offered the first real summer’s day in Denmark, with a light breeze from 5-10 knot north-easterly twisting slightly to the right when closing in on the windward mark.

After a couple of re starts with the pin end favoured, current European Champion Jørgen Svendsen (DEN) got away well in race 1 crossing most of the fleet on port tack. Struggling to go right, most of the fleet choose the windward end of the start line and gained from the right shift, and rounded well ahead of Svendsen who had overstood the mark from the left. Jonas Börjesson (SWE) was first round and kept the lead all the way to the finish, followed by Lennart Hansson (SWE) and Mats Caap (SWE)

Börjesson said, “I had my focus on the right side, although the pin end was favoured. I boxed out on the weather side on the line and immediately tacked to the right. The puffs and right twist proved to be paying off and first three Swedes leading around the top mark. I repeated the recipe on the second beat and just gained all the way to the finish line. It felt great to secure the win of the first race, being chased by 64 fellow OK sailors.”

In race 2, the right side was still favoured so most of the fleet ignored the pin end bias in order to secure an early move to the right. Lauge, Stefan Myralf (DEN) 6 and Petersen soon tacked and went hard right all the way to layline…and most overstood it when the right shift came. Myralf and Lauge rounded first and second, followed by Petersen and Svendsen. Positions remain until the last downwind, when some gusts opened up passing lanes. Lauge overtook Myralf and secured the win followed by Svendsen.

Lauge says: “No real rocket science to this one. The right side just looked better, and getting a perfect start really didn’t complicate things either. I never tried the Green sail in less than 20 knots, but it delivered a perfect match to my C-Tech mast. I finally broke the code of my new SOTA hull, and got some very good upwind, as well as downwind speed. My downwind speed secured me the win overtaking Stefan right at the bottom, and from there it was in the bag.”

The final race of the day went to Johannsen from Petersen and Bengt Larsson (SWE).

Day 2 brought a game changer. The wind turned 180 degrees overnight, and increased to 16-20 knots. However, the land effect would still prove to turn the wind to the right when closing up to the windward mark. The major shifts needed to be played to get there, but recipe was to approach from the right in both races completed on Sunday. The day produced wins for Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) and Petersen, who again showed strength when the hiking got tough.

Lindhardtsen said, “In both races on Sunday I started from the pin end, and tacked on the first shift. Then I played them well all the way to the top, but lost ground on the runs and downwind. But what I lacked downwind, I gained upwind. I kept the lead to the end in race 4, but was unable to keep Bo Petersen and Christian Olsen [DEN] behind me in the final race. The wind was stronger than the forecast. Had I known about the 20 knots, I would have chosen another sail.”

Lindhardtsen was fourth overall only three points from the podium.

The two jury boats on the water did a good job. The same boats were penalised under rule 42, several times during the two days securing a fair competition for all.

So Petersen wrapped up the 2015 Nordics with a race win. With the World Championship in Puck, Poland in just over five weeks, this could be a vital confidence boost in what is expected to be a very open and competitive series, with around 100 entries so far registered.

Results (top 10 from 66 entries)
1 DEN 1431 Bo Petersen 11
2 DEN 1442 Rene Sarabia Johannsen 17
3 DEN 10 Jens Lauge 20
4 DEN 1420 Jørgen Lindhardtsen 23
5 SWE 2797 Mats Caap 25
6 DEN 3 Jørgen Svendsen 30
7 SWE 99 Hans Elkjaer 35
8 DEN 1340 Christian Olsen 36
9 SWE 2791 Lennart Hansson 43
10 DEN 22 Ask Askholm 48

Full results.

Photo : FischerPhoto.com
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