Jan Kurfeld leads OK Dinghy Europeans on Garda at halfway stage

Jan Kurfeld, from Germany, leads the 112 boat OK Dinghy fleet at the 2023 European Championship on Lake Garda, hosted by Circolo Vela Arco. Three more races, with six group races, were sailed on Tuesday in a range of generally awesome conditions though the last race was trickier with a dying breeze.

Kurfeld scored a 1-1-32 in his group, while fellow German, Andre Budzien fared better with a 1-4-1. Britain’s Nick Craig was the best of the blue group however with a 3-2-1.

Overall, there are just two points between the top six with Budzien second, Britain’s Charlie Cumbley and Matt Howard third and fourth, with Craig fifth and Sweden’s Thomas Hansson-Mild in sixth. The race on Tuesday wins went to Kurfeld, Budizen, Craig, and Hansson-Mild.

For many here, this event represents a first trip to Garda, a bucket list venue for the class for many years, and the dream so far has met with reality with great sailing conditions, superb hospitality, and fantastic weather. There are smiles from all corners of the dinghy park and from the top to bottom of the results list. This is a very special event in many ways and for many reasons.

2023 OK Dinghy European Championship, Circolo Vela Arco

Christian Kirchner from Germany summed up the feelings of many when he said, “This is the best OK race I ever attended. It’s absolutely fantastic here. The weather, the landscape, you feel relaxed, it’s fantastic.”

Andy Davis, from Britain is in 15th after a 7-10-3 today. “We’ve had champagne conditions once again. Good 15 knots, sunshine, and three cracking races and we’ve had an excellent turnaround by the race committee. The sun’s been shining all day and can’t complain. The club has been putting on a good due with free beer and pasta. What more could you want?”

Charlie Cumbley added, “The Ora came in on schedule at 1 pm and nice breeze, though the last race got a bit wacky, but it’s been super close and got a bit fresh at times and my legs are hurting after three races. 

“Andre [Budzien] was quick, with two bullets, and Matthew [Howard] was quite quick and I think it’s going to be super close going into the next two days, so fingers crossed the thunderstorms go away and we get some more races in.”

From Wednesday the fleet is split into gold and silver with five races left to sail.

Results after 5 races
1 GER 18 Jan Kurfeld 8
2 GER 71 André Budzien 8
3 GBR 6 Charlie Cumbley 9
4 GBR 2279 Matt Howard 9
5 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 9
6 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 10
7 DEN 21 Bo Petersen 12
8 ESP111 Tim Goodbody 15
9 DEN 12 Jens Eckardt 17
10 FRA 11 Valerian Lebrun 18

Full results so far here: https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/documents/5135/event

Full gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/okdia/albums/72177720311140620

2023 OK Dinghy European Championship, Circolo Vela Arco