Another victory for Craig
The OK German Nationals once again demonastrated the international strength of the OK class with 58 boats entered from 8 countries at Steinhude, a large lake near Hanover.
With generous sponsorship from Hanover Airport, there was free beer every evening and all you can eat dinners (going some in the OK fleet!) each day.
Day 1 started in perfect force 3 with brilliant sunshine. The wind died & got shiftier throughout the day. Former Olympian Jorgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) rolled back the years to lead the opening race from start to finish but unusually for him struggled in the light shifty races to score 1,19,23. Team Gill ' s Nick Craig (GBR) had good speed with his new Scoles boat & Purple Sail to score 2,2,1. European Champion Martin Von Zimmerman showed great light wind pace to pull through in each race to 5,3,3. Former World Champion Greg Wilcox (NZL) picked the big shifts well to score 9,1,2. Jon Fish had also make the long trip from the UK in his new Scoles boat and showed good speed at times.
After a long day on the water with several general recalls and a big course, the fleet welcomed the great food & free beer!
In Race 4, Von Zimmerman won the pin end and found new wind out left to lead at the windward mark. With Craig 7th & Wilcox buried this had the potential to open the event up but the race officer abandoned the race as the wind disappeared to nothing. After several aborted attempts to start another race due to massive windshifts, the fleet were not too disappointed to be sent ashore to yet more free beer!
The wind came back to play on day 3 albeit with some shifts of up to 70 degrees in the force 2-4. Craig sealed the event with 1,1,3 for the day. However, racing was tight with Wilcox nearly stealing race 4 up the last beat to score 2,3,5 to secure 2nd overall. Linhardtsen won the final race to take 5th overall. Von Zimmerman and Oliver Gronholz (GER) maintained their consistency to be the top German boats in 3rd & 4th overall. Fish was fighting for top 10 most of the day, very pleased with his new boat, just a little rusty after wedding duties.
With very well run racing, free food & beer for 3 days and an entry fee of just 60Euros, there will likely be even more travellers to the OK German Nationals next year!
1st Nick Craig (GBR) 7 pts
2nd Greg Wilcox (NZL) 13
3rd Martin von Zimmerman (GER) 20
4th Oliver Gronholz (GER) 24
5th Jorgen Lindharsten (DEN) 29
6th Sonke Behrens (GER) 35
7th Ralf Tietje (GER) 38
8th Rene Johansen (DEN) 39
9th Ingo Steizer (GER) 50
10th Ralf Mackmann (GER) 54