Jim Hunt (GBR) has taken the lead at the 2016 OK Dinghy World Championship after two more tricky and shifty races in Quiberon, France. He won the first race by a comfortable margin, before Charlie Cumbley (GBR) then overtook him in the second race to take the win. Hunt now leads by nine points from Cumbley, with Bo Petersen (DEN) in third.
The day began unusually grey and cloudy with a patchy wind over the race course. However the first race of the day was started on time, with Eric Rone (NZL) breaking away from the fleet on the first big shift after the start to hold an impressive lead at the top mark. Hunt was soon close behind and as the breeze died to almost nothing for a while down the reaches, the gaps in the fleet increased.
Hunt took the lead on the second upwind to control the race until the finish. By then the clouds had cleared, and with the sea breeze starting to fill in the left side was favoured. Stefan Myralf (DEN) crossed second with defending champion Andre Budzien (GER) third. Regatta leader, Jørgen Svendsen (DEN) got stuck on the left on the first upwind and could only finish 20th.
Hunt again led the second race of the day, held in a gradually building sea breeze. Starting at the pin he soon tacked into the left hand pressure and maintained his advantage at the top. Cumbley followed him downwind and then took the lead on the second beat to hold it to the finish, with Pawel Pawlaczyk (POL) sailing his best race so far to cross third.
The left side was again popular, as the wind bands came off the nearby shore and lifted everyone up to the top mark. Staying in the band was critical, falling out and tacking off meant taking a loss until you sailed into the next band.
Cumbley summed up his day, “Tricky conditions with the course quite close to the mainland shore, so it was quite shifty, especially at the top. I managed to rescue the first race after sailing myself down the fleet. I got a lucky right hander to get back into the top ten.”
“And then I got my best start in the second race, which make things easier. Jim led round the first mark and I got past him on the second beat, basically just by edging left, and I led round the rest of the race which was lovely.”
“I have been starting a bit too close to the middle but with the heavy biased lines I was more punchy down at the pin. Jim and I just tacked straight out and were on a 20 degree left hander for the first third of the beat.”
He says the competition here is as tough as he has seen in the class. “The competition is hard here, probably the hardest OK event I have ever done. You can tell the Scandinavians have done a few days and they are quite slick. I don’t really feel I have done enough days in the boat. Sometimes I am fast and sometimes I am slow at changing gears, but each day I am getting better.”
New championship leader, Hunt, said, “It was shifty, difficult, patchy, lots of pressure lanes. And the breeze came from the left, but didn’t cross the course so it was filling in in stripes. You couldn’t just take a small hit to go across. As soon as someone got some leverage on you, you just had to put up with it and hope.”
“I got lucky both times. I wasn’t really patting myself on the back today. I knew I was lucky to get out both times. The competition is good here and I think I need to do some more practice. The standard is very high.”
Racing is scheduled to continue at 13.00 on Wednesday with two races scheduled each day until Friday.
Results after 4 races
1 GBR 11 Jim HUNT 10
2 GBR 1 Charlie CUMBLEY 19
3 DEN 21 Bo PETERSEN 20
4 DEN 3 Jorgen SVENDSEN 27
5 DEN 6 Stefan MYRALF 32
6 SWE 2797 Mats CAAP 34
7 POL 14 Pawel PAWLACZYK 39
8 NZL 544 Greg WILCOX 45
9 GER 803 Martin v ZIMMERMANN 52
10 GBR 17 David BOURNE 55