Roger Blasse (AUS) has taken a commanding lead on day four at the Singha OK Dinghy World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. Race wins went to Andre Budzien (GER) and Mike Williams (AUS), while Blasse extended his lead to nine points from Nick Craig (GBR) and 11 points from Williams.
It was also a day of drama. The day afloat began with some spectacular launching through heavy surf that had built as a result of the strengthening wind, and without the help of the club’s boatmen this would have been an impossible task. The day ended with drama as defending champion Budzien picked up his second yellow flag to effectively end his championship chances. Blasse is now in pole position to take his second world title, 15 years after he first won it in 1998.
The wind was around the strongest of the week, up to 18-20 knots, with bigger waves making the downwind lots of fun, though the wind eased during the second race to 12-14 knots.
Andre Budzien continued his good form from Wednesday into race seven taking the lead on the first upwind and maintaining it throughout. Bo Pettersen (DEN) spent most of the race in second as did Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) in third. Championship leader Roger Blasse crossed in fifth behind Nick Craig (GBR), while Blasse’s main competition Mike Williams (AUS) was struggling way back in 50th after his rudder fell off.
Bad luck followed Jonathan Fish (GBR) yet again. After having an OCS in race one and winning a protest for redress against a BFD in race four, and having to come ashore on Wednesday to replace a broken mast before the first race, he thought he had had his fair share of problems. But they continued today as the mast he borrowed from Craig snapped at the deck as he rounded the leeward mark in the first race of the day. He got ashore to replace with his first repaired mast but now has lost all hope of a coveted top ten finish.
Williams returned to the front in race eight leading Budzien into the top mark and sailed away to win his third race of the week. Blasse rounded further back but fought through to the front and it was here while he was fighting hard downwind with Budzien that the German got his second yellow flag from the jury and had to retire from the race. Blasse couldn’t catch Williams but crossed second while Svendsen picked up his second third place of the day to move up to eighth overall.
The racing today was sponsored by the Pattaya Mail and was incorporated in to the Peter Cummins Classic, an annual sailing event at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. The Pattaya Mail generously provided food, refreshments and entertainments as part of the day.
The final two races will be sailed Friday at the earlier time of 11.00. So far this week the winds at 11.00 have been considerable lighter so the championship is by no means over.
Full results here: varuna.org/day-four-overall/
Report – as usual – by Robert Deaves.