The 2021 New Years eve morning presented it self with a dramatically different weather than Christmas day. When the alarm clock went off there was a deafening sound of a torrential downpour. Miraculously the rain held up as we we made our way to the harbour and seven OK dinghies launched in a short window with no rain. Once on the water no one cared if we got wet from below or from above. Claes Thomasson and Tomas Franzén dropped two markers from the club RIB and the red outer channel marker was used as one end of the starting line.
Photos by Cleas Thomasson
We managed four quick races with 2 minute starting sequences and little time to spare in between. Tight racing kept everyone warm and on their toes. From a position further back it looked like Benjamin Hammerö came out on top closely followed by Patric Mure and Christian Scharup. Thomas Uziel, Jonas Langner, Johan Magnusson and Pontus Gäbel made the most of the the last day of 2021 on the water outside Viken. A welcome send of into the new year where we all look forward to more OK dinghy racing and camaraderie.
We all woke up to a a beautiful Christmas day morning with crisp dry air and a forecast indicating sun. At ten o´clock we could see the bleak December sun rising above the horizon, but not strong enough to have an impact on the temperature. The thermometer was parked at -7 C. The launching ramp was slippery with frost and there was a thin layer if thin overnight ice in the inner harbour.
A few strong and able men could not beat the elements, we all remained on land and enjoyed them sun, which somehow managed to radiate some warmth.
After two warm winters in Viken the first snow covered the village in a soft white blanket. It looks like a picture perfect post card, but sailing is becoming more difficult. As we are all looking forward to our now traditional Christmas day regatta, we will follow the weather patterns closely as it develops.
A year ago three sailors from Viken stood on the dock in the home the 1972 Kiel Olympic sailing and promised our selves not to sign up for the next years Kieler Woche! We had experienced heavy winds with gusts in the area of 15 m/s and a race course that was at least 6 nm from where launched our boats. At the same time we all agreed that we had experienced something special. By taking part in Kiel we had learnt more than we could possibly do in Viken over several weeks. The competition keeps you on your toes and the organisation of the racing is nothing but world class!
On 3 September in the afternoon we were five sailors from Viken unloading our boats and getting ready for four days of close racing. The troop from last had been extended with Håkan Söderberg and Lard Bergfeldt. Benjamin Hammerö, Patric Mure and Pontus Gäbel returned for the second year running! This year we were in the same group as the Contenders and 5o5s in the most northern part of the harbour, with quick access to the slip to launch as soon as the race committee sounded the horn indicating the start of the day!
We rounded off the first day in Kiel with an Italian dinner to get into race spirit. Benjamin had already booked a table in the restaurant that would become something of a favourite evening hangout during our stay. Good food and quick service made everyone feel at home!
Day 1 – Saturday
Registration was possible until lunch and the racing was planned to start at 13:00. With little wind out of the NW it took well over an hour to get to race area KILO. When we got there the wind had stabilised and there was a slight chop that made it challenging to keep the pace going upwind. The OK was the third class in the start sequence. The 5o5 and the Contenders were ahead of us and we got a clear start in the second attempt. By this time the wind had started to drop and it took close to an hour to complete one lap. Unfortunately the race was cancelled at the bottom mark and no one got a score. We entered a holding patterns while we waited for the wind to pick up, but at 17:00 the race committee hoisted the AP signal and everyone headed for the shore. By this time the wind had died and we were towed by all available boats.
Day 2 – Sunday
The wind that the forecast had promised had built over night and there was a steady 8 m/s out of the E to NE. The chase to race area ECHO was a breeze under clear blue skies, warm water and mild winds. As we were racing on fairly shallow water the easterly winds quickly resulted in a good size swell which promised exciting and quick down wind legs. A few of the boats called it the day before racing started and a few did not leave the dock making the total starting boats on the second day 34. The wind was stable between 8 and 10 m/s with gusts of 12 m/s. Boat handling and good all round speed paid off, two sailors stood out from the rest. Bo Petersen and André Budzien were battling for the two first spots during the three races on this beautiful Sunday. Benjamin Hammerö was a strong runner up with outstanding upwind speed and solid tactics. The other Swedish sailors did well and Patric Mure was in a strong second, followed by Lars, Håkan and Pontus. There were a few boats turned upside down during the day but all the Swedes did great and kept the boats upright in the heaviest gusts, and through the downwind gybes on the steep waves. An added challenge, especially at the leeward mark, was the planing 5o5s with big spinnakers plowing through the field and “stealing” the wind when you least expected it. I’m sure there were a few close encounters with the Contenders as well but it was all sorted out in sportsmanlike fashion on the race course – of course!
In the evening the Kiel Yacht club and the German OK sailors invited us all for a good BBQ and cold beer. A nice way to meet up with OK sailors from all over northern Europe and New Zealand. It was great to hit the bed after a long day hiking in perfect conditions, warm water and splendid sunshine!
Day 3 – Monday
When we arrived at the boats around nine there was little or no wind and soon the race committee hoisted the AP signal flag. This signal would become a signum for the rest of the Kiel days. The horn would sound and we all looked at the flag pole only to see the AP signal flag be hoisted again instructing us to wait ashore. Benjamin in 3:rd place was eagerly awaiting to get a chance and race in the bright pink bib worn by the 3:rd placed sailor going into day 3. By late afternoon the race committee called an end to the day and we all re-focused on the social agenda. We ended the evening at out favourite Italian restaurant together with Greg Wilcox and Robert Deaves. Many good stories and memories from sailing and a bit of collaborative planning for the next year and crowning event – OK Worlds on the classic waters outside Marstrand.
Day 4 – Tuesday
On the forth day of Kieler Woche the start of the first race was planned for 10:00. A few sailors set out to try to reach the race area but what little wind had been blowing in the early hours of they day had soon vanished. The Kiel bay soon looked like a mirror with a few scratches made by powerboats pulling wakes boards and water-skiers. It was time to pack up the boats and hand in the RFID bracelets used to check in and out. We all agreed that it was a shame that we did not get more than three races but we promised to back again next year. If all plans materialise and the pandemic does not pose new sanctions we will be back already in mid of June 2022.
A big thanks to all the organisers and all volunteers that made it possible for all sailors to enjoy a professional regatta on and off the water!
Three sailors from the OKWiken fleet packed up their boats and headed for the Danish championship in Kerteminde on 27 – 29 August. They were met by traditional Danish hospitality and great arrangements on land and water. After a fairly warm and calm summer the wind had picked up substantially with a NE wind and waves to make the downwind legs both fast and very exciting.
The three sailors showed that a summer of intense practice paid off by all making it into the top 15. A great success and an impressive three days of racing on long courses with a race time of approx 70 min.
Short input from Benjamin after the regatta: – Uuff, long races, tough and very close racing – We all (OKWiken) will have to get out and sail more when it blows 8 m/s and above – The Neapel course include reaching which we normally do not practice
Results from the 67 boat strong lineup
Big congratulations to all and especially to Lars Bergfeldt who only started sailing the OK in August this year. Welcome to OKWiken.se and WBS!
The were many speculations on how the weather would turn out on the day of the Club Championship for the OK dingy class. This was the second year running and Benjamin had drummed up a massive interest with a record breaking number of boats. The weather and especially the wind turned out to be the biggest challenge. With windspeed in the range of 8-11 m/s it was decided that the racing be done on a triangular course and that the gybe to be replaced by a tack to equalise the difficulty and provide a fair day on the water for all sailors, seasoned and beginners alike.
The heavy winds and the sea took its toll with a few boats capsizing and withdrawing already during the first race. After a summer of sunshine, clear blue skies and light winds it felt as if the fall had brutally been forced on Viken this Saturday morning.
The winner of the club championship was for the second year in a row Patric Mure. Well done and big congratulations from the whole OKWiken community!
These are the top 15 finisher in the Club Championships
Patric Mure – 4p
Benjamin Hammerö – 5p
Mats Clarsund – 7 p
Håkan Söderberg – 9p
Thomas Uziel – 18p
Jonas Langner – 18p
Per Thorin – 20p
Per Weimenhög – 22p
Peter Hörwing – 22p
Christian Scharup – 23p
Peter Klingberg – 27p
Fredrik Rege – 31p
Fredrik Ottermo – 35p
Cleas Thomasson – 46p
Göran Örtegren – 53p
A big thanks to the crew that made the racing possible! Michael Hammerö, Joachim Hammerö, Lars Lind, Peter Been and Tomas Nimmervoll did an outstanding job on the water. Photos are courtesy of Mats Håkansson.
The day was rounded off with a grand regatta dinner at Hamnplan 9 where Ola and his staff treated all the sailors and their partners to great food and an amazing atmosphere. There was a lot to celebrate, a great year with many new sailors joining OKWiken and the club championship, but this is a different story!
The local yacht club, Wikens Båtselskap (WBS) and OKWiken.se organised a day of racing for the OK class. We piggybacked on the local youth cup “Kullen Cup” to share the crew of volunteers on land and on the water.
Eight visiting sailors join the 11 locals that made up the 19 boat strong fleet lunching swiftly after the skippers meeting at 09:45. The weather was amazing and we had a nice and steady breeze of 5-7 m/s from the north east. The air and water temperature was Mediterranean due to a heatwave over the Scandinavian countries. It was simply a smashing day to go OK racing!
During the course of the day we manged four tight races, each approximately 30 min long and full of tight situations and fun racing for everyone. We had the pleasure of having the seasoned OK sailors Thomas Hansson-Mild joined by Niklas Elder. They proved to be the pair to beat with Benjamin Hammerö to finish of the top 3.
We had intended to run a training camp on Sunday but decided to call if off when a weather front moved in and pushed the wind gusts to 12-13 m/s. Thomas Hansson-Mild held an on the land session with many eager participants.
A big thank to all volunteers that made this weekend fun and memorable, especially Michael Hammerö, Lars Lind and Per Thorin for the great course and running the on water show with perfection in every detail!
Warm appreciations for our sponsors, Per i Viken for the prices, UP Hallen for the after race hot dogs and condiments and Benjamin for the cold beers.
We hope to see and even bigger turn out in a years time and until then wish everyone a great summer and happy OK racing!
The local yacht club, Wikens Båtselskap, is arranging a local one day regatta as part of the cup between local clubs. We have manage to get an individual start for OK class and a longer course. On popular demand we also arrange a training camp on Sunday, 18 July.
Skippers meeting for the OK class will take place at 09:45 on 17 July. Registration opens at 09:00. The cost to start is only SEK 50. First start of planned three is at 10:55. Please indicate your interest by sending and email with full name and sail number you will be racing with to OKWiken.
After a full day on Öresund we plan a social get together immediately after the price giving ceremony. More details will follow.
If you need a place to stay during the weekend in Viken, Pelle will be able to support with suitable lodging. Please email Pelle
Practice Weather permitting we have on the water practice Wednesdays 18:00 and Saturdays 10:00. During the summer we try to sail as much as possible. If yir want WhatsApp notifications please leu us know.
Racing [NEW] Sailor from the OKWiken fleet plan to race the following regattas:
17 July – WBS Kullen Cup. One day home regatta in Viken hosted by Vikens Båselskap. [link]