Nick Craig takes lead on third day of OK Dinghy Europeans on Garda

Britain’s Nick Craig has taken the lead at the 2023 European Championship on Lake Garda, hosted by Circolo Vela Arco, with Charlie Cumbley in second and Germany’s Jan Kurfeld in third, with just one day left to sail.

The third day started with light rain, cloud cover and little hope of racing, but by 10.00 conditions had improved and in the end it was the best day of racing so far with three more fantastic races in 10-18 knots, sunshine and beautiful conditions.

While many of the leaders struggled in the first race after a big right shift, Craig took the next two race wins in the gold group to lead into the final day by three points. Cumbley scored 3-9-4 to move up to second, while a 2-6-8 from Kurfeld dropped him to third.

2023 OK Dinghy European Championship, Circolo Vela Arco

In the silver fleet the race wins went to Britain’s Simon Cox, Germany Niels Timm and Sweden’s Thomas Uziel.

The championship concludes Thursday with a maximum of two races scheduled, though the forecast is again uncertain with some rain forecast.

Bo Petersen is in seventh overall. “It’s always special here. The wind comes after lunch and then we go sailing. It’s nice to have a regatta when you have the morning and take it calm and be ready. Garda is a nice place for sailing.

“I just turned 60 and Garda is windy and I am small. I can feel my age. I am still a horse when I am out here but in the evening need some pils.”

On the racing, “Ups and downs. The first three races were easy and then I had a bad one. Sometimes it is tricky out there. Today my watch stopped, and I had a bad start and went left. It’s been tough day but a lot of guys also had a bad race so looking forward seeing the results.”

Craig said, “Good overall. First race was poor. The windward mark was left was so I thought left would pay so I got out left and rounded the first mark fifth from last.

“So the day didn’t start well but then I won the next two so didn’t make that mistake again and went right in the next two races.”

Craig has sailed on Garda in a number of classes but, “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. It’s great to sail in a huge fleet and great the sail in the OK against a really high standard fleet. All the things I know about Garda were useful apart from the first race today.

“I think this in one of the best places to sail in the world, and then the shoreside is amazing as well, the restaurants, the bars, it’s a fantastic holiday as well. We wouldn’t be surprised if we get 200+ boats for the worlds in 2025.”

Tim Goodbody scored a 27-3-2 and is in fourth overall.

“In Race 1 I started near the pin but no one wanted to tack so we went left and it never really came back. About seven of us in the top ten were almost last but we climbed back up to mid fleet. Next race I was third, a bit tricky but kept working the right, and in the last Nick and I had a god battle and I had a second.

“It’s always amazing here. I didn’t think the wind would be that good, but it just came out of nowhere, but it was perfect Garda conditions.”

The championship concludes on Thursday with two more races scheduled.

Results after 8 races
1 GBR 2261 Nick Craig 16
2 GBR 6 Charlie Cumbley 19
3 GER 18 Jan Kurfeld 24
4 ESP111 Tim Goodbody 28
5 GBR 2279 Matt Howard 28
6 DEN 12 Jens Eckardt 36
7 DEN 21 Bo Petersen 45
8 GER 71 André Budzien 46
9 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 50
10 DEN 24 Steen Christensen 53

Results here:

Gallery here:

2023 OK Dinghy European Championship, Circolo Vela Arco