After a couple of weekends sailing Finns it was time to get back into an OK Dinghy. Time to try out an alternate (P&B) sail since MBK’s long serving North seems to be really on its last legs and time to try the new GoPro mounting position.
With the wind AGAIN forecast at levels that made Beastie’s return to service inadvisable, MBK headed out alone while the Frostbites went on around. The wind was up and down during the day, as low as Force 2 and as high as 25 knots. Once the races get going the easiest way to stay out of the fleets’ way is to sail around the course too, easing out of the way if faster boats come through. It’s not the best practice session, but it’ll have to do.
The day was interesting on a couple of levels.
First, the P&B – acquired with Beastie – actually fits the Ceilidh mast on MBK pretty well and feels quite like the North to use. The other alternate, an older Gale & Rimington, feels completely different with a much “softer” feel. Probably a more open leech. The P&B may be familiar to some of the UK fleet, and it still carries GBR 2144.
Second, after two trips in a Finn it was interesting to sit back in the OK. Just tricky to remember where to step during tacks and gybes. Really amazing how quickly the moves get mixed up!
Third, the new GoPro mount gives a hugely better view of the boat, the surrounding water and the rig. Probably worth tilting it upwards to get a better view of the mainsail, but it’s pretty good. And it shows that I still need to shorten the footstraps a little so that I don’t droop hike. And that I need to put Rain-X on the GoPro lens.
Finally, we met another OK Dinghy sailor and must get in touch.
Here’s the vid of the day – again too long. We need to get more practice at editing out the superfluous moments.
One of the unusual things about the OK Dinghy is the diversity of hull builders that build winning boats. Add to that the fact that homebuilt wooden boats can win a world championships and you have a unique situation. An ISAF International Class where you could build your own boat and expect it to be fast enough to win the worlds.
We’ve been watching the story for a few years now. A few years ago the Aussies started with a CNC kit, then the Danes, and now the New Zealanders. And perhaps not-surprisingly, it’s the New Zealanders that have done most with the DIY approach. A great story! Read and enjoy this tale from the International OK Dinghy Association, written by Robert Deaves.
Well, it looks like that was exciting!
OK Dinghy Worlds are often interesting affairs, but this one had everything. Sun, too much wind and not enough, the tightest finish ever (?), disqualifications, home made boats winning the event, measurement drama, world champions of the past turning up and showing they’re not over the hill, Olympians turning up with high expectations. You name it, this had it.
In the end there was a winner, just barely. Matt Stechmann took the title on 18 points just ahead of Luke O’Connell (19 points), with Roger Blasse (19 points) taking third just ahead of Greg Wilcox (also on 19 points). WOW doesn’t cover it.
Three NZL boats in the top 4, ages from youngish to quite oldish, and the event dominated by the Southern Hemisphere.
And there’s another story. With few of the top Euro boats attending it wasn’t completely surprising to see only one Euro boat in the top 10. But the circumstances seem to have left a bad taste. Jorgen Svendsen’s charge to the top of the fleet was interrupted by a measurement DSQ in Race 3. Excessively heavy toestrap reinforcements were deemed to be an attempt at weight concentration and out he went having won the race. The momentum never returned.
The Danes were not amused and there are indications that they thought many of the Aussie and NZL boats had exactly the same measurement problem as Svendsen, but weren’t being measured in the same way. The New Zealanders in particular are adamant that their boats passed muster from the international measurer – himself a long time OK Dinghy sailor. A debate will rumble on, with the details of the weight rules in the hull likely to be the main point.
On the equipment side, there was a new feature in the top 10. The Top 2 boats were homebuilt (in plywood, we believe) to a design by Dan Leech, a NZL boat designer. Perhaps there is something new in OK Dinghy design after all…though we retain some doubt on that front.
And wood? Well…who would have thought? To be fair there’s never really been any indication that the epoxy foam sandwich boats were faster, although the perceived maintenance needs of wood put some people off. But with epoxy over the top the wooden boats are maintenance free too and have the potential for even longer competitive lives than glass boats. As if 30+ years wasn’t enough.
After that came a not-untypical mix of Icebreaker, Delfs, Strandberg (now legal), and Jason Kings. Masts have become a C-Tech whitewash. Without the Brits and their Aardvarks and Synergy masts it was all C-Tech. And with few Europeans present the top 10 sails were dominated by North, by Turtle (Greg Wilcox’s sail loft, formerly Quantum, but now independent), and the lone Danish Green sail of Jorgen Svendsen. As before, no indication that there’s really any dominant design or brand in any area except in masts. And the Brits will tell you their masts are every bit as good as the Kiwi C-Techs.
Other than all that, the racing, the race organization and the social aspects were all as good as usual. With Black Rock hosting its 3rd Worlds it was all likely to go well, and it did. Initially excessive wind was replaced by unpredictable breezes and the event only completed the required 5 races on the last day, but they were all good ones and the racers had a good time.
It was also interesting to see that the two recent Finn Olympians, Matt Coutts and Anthony Nossiter, showed that they had the speed to compete but still found the level in the fleet really high. Coutts finished 6th, with Nossiter (a 3 time Olympian) in 16th. Alongside them were two OK Dinghy World Champions from long ago. Collings (1984?) and Milne (1999?) finished in 14th and 22nd. Milne was in his old boat, updated with a carbon mast. No better illustration of the merits of the OK Dinghy.
The full results are below, along with the equipment details of the top 10 boats. (the format’s a bit wonky…sorry)
And Robert Deaves wrote up his usual excellent reports, which are on the OKDIA site here.
Pictures from OKDIA’s Flikr account, leechboats.com and the event galleries on Facebook. All rights are theirs!
As before, there’s lots of variety in the winning gear in the OK Dinghy and 100% consistency in that fact. This year Icebreaker, C-Tech and Green each took 6 spots in the top 10, but it’s never so simple.
Three different hulls in the top 10…and this doesn’t include the hull type that won the 2013 Worlds (Delfs). Three different mast builders, one more than the 2013 Worlds. And there are three different sailmakers too.
Sails is the only area that there are fewer makers in the top 10 than before but that looks more like national preference than anything else. Green, Turtle and HD sails filled the top 10 this time, but don’t forget that North and UK Sails took 3 of the top 5 positions in the 2013 Worlds, with Gericke, Bojsen-Moller and P&B rounding out the top 10 then.
So, no slow sails, masts or hulls…..just slow sailors with no good excuse!
|1||Jørgen Svendsen||DEN 1427||Icebreaker||Icebreaker Boats (NZ)||C Tech||Green|
|2||André Budzien||GER 789||SOTA||Strandberg (DEN)||Pata||Green|
|3||Bo Petersen||DEN 1431||SOTA||Strandberg (DEN)||C Tech||Green|
|4||Oliver Gronholz||GER 772||Kraus||Kraus (GER)||C Tech||Green|
|5||Paweł Pawlowski||POL 14||Icebreaker||Bumblebee (POL)||C Tech||Green|
|6||Greg Wilcox||NZL 544||Icebreaker||Icebreaker Boats (NZ)||C Tech||Turtle|
|7||Jim Hunt||GBR 2162||Icebreaker||Idol (UK)||Aardspar||HD|
|8||Jørgen Lindhardsen||DEN 1420||SOTA||Hedlund (DEN)||C Tech||Green|
|9||René Sarabia Johansen||DEN 1393||Icebreaker||Icebreaker Boats NZ||C Tech||Green|
|10||Will Turner||GBR 2169||Icebreaker||Idol (UK)||C Tech||HD|
Note the original version showed Jorgen Svendsen with Turtle sails but we were subsequently told he actually used Green.
OK Dinghies probably isn’t the place for the fashion conscious. While fashions keep changing, they come back around too quickly for you to know if there’s really a new fashion or just a fad.
A couple of years ago it was all Icebreaker and Quantum. Then we saw Delfs and UK sails, with strong North. Now, looking at the Europeans you’d swear that Strandberg Marine had invented a faster hull.
But – at least for now – it’s too soon to get excited. Icebreaker is still there in numbers. Delfs, a quite different shape, has two in the top 10. The Synergy hulls performed very well. And despite another strong showing from Green and Quantum you have the interlopers from Cicada and Hunt/Davis….plus the memory of the Worlds where UK and North were so fast.
Masts still seem to be a C-Tech whitewash, with more variety than ever in the world of Booms. Booms, of all things. Now a softer boom for sore heads….that’d be something!
Last year we observed that – despite the Icebreaker shape being the most fashionable – a variety of hull shapes seemed to be fast. But the mast of choice was the C-Tech and the sail of choice was Quantum or Green.
This year we see much more variety. In hulls the Delfs shape – which didn’t feature at all last year – takes four of the top ten places. The Icebreaker five of the top 10 and the Rushworth the remaining slot. These are all well established shapes, long on the circuit. The British Synergy hulls, based on the Skipper shape, were also going fast, and there were many Heins flying around too. No surprises here…many shapes are fast.
In masts there was still a C-Tech clean sweep except for Nick Craig’s Aardvark mast. This is now becoming a proven and popular mast in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the UK.
Sails saw the domination of Quantum and Green rather thoroughly broken. Seven different sailmakers in the top 10. UK Sails (modern home of the well known Gale and Rimington shape), HD Sails of England, North, Quantum, Germany’s Gericke, Denmark’s Bojsen-Moller and England’s Pinnell&Bax.
Moral of the story? Lots of gear is fast.
Full table below
The OK Dinghy hull-shape was designed as a compromise. Easy to build from ply or sheet material, hydrodynamically interesting.
The Aussie forum recently published an article showing several of the hullshapes that different builders have used. Different rocker, different chine heights, different panel curvature. Interesting stuff.
More interesting to this ex-engineer is the ease with which this can all be modelled on modern (and free) software.
If you were feeling very diligent you can even generate hull drag curves at various weights, heel angles and displacements. Off you go…optimize the OK Dinghy design.
Mind you, we’d guess you’re not going to improve on the designs that are already out there. Better to spend more time sailing!
There’s a Rushworth OK Dinghy for sale at the moment over in England. Here’s the spiel.
GBR 2107 Rushworth OK for sale. In good condition. Ceilidh carbon mast. Excellent Milanes foils. Very good condition Jim Hunt sail and well loved North sail. Under/over covers. No leaks. Sovereign combi, trailer professionally repainted, new wheel/tyres. Recent re-rope. Quick competitive well sorted boat.
Built in 2002, the boat ought to be in good condition and seems well equipped. Rushworths were noted as quick boats. The asking price is GBP3000.
The boat was 12th in the 2012 UK Nationals, but easily had the speed to finish well inside the top 10.(pics from an event at Ardleigh a few years ago, taken from the UK site, by Jonathan Reubin and Shaun Seear. We’ll ask the owner for newer pics) It’s sold to Germany. A major lost opportunity for Ireland and even the UK. A good boat gone far away.
Apart from the Strandberg Marine boat and the new Synergy Marine mould, we’d also seen the very successful Karsten Kraus boats.
Now we have a little more information.
Here’s the detail on pricing and specification.
If you can’t read the image on screen, here’s the full pdf.