In its first jubilee season, the German sailing league will extend the events up to the final in Berlin in November, attract more clubs and expand the format of league sailing. However, some innovations still have to mature, in order to let more than 36 clubs really participate lastingly in the league.
Start of the German Sailing Bundesliga 2017
Fifth Season is packed with excitement - small jubilee, big changes
The German Sailing League (Bundesliga) will start its fifth season on the Chiemsee during the weekend 28th to 30th April, including a number of innovations. Three crews without prior league experience will attempt to rock the successful format for the first time following their qualification for the second league. Four new event locations have been included in the league's schedule. And the regional and junior leagues will provide a new base layer for the format of league sailing. A Sailing League Cup is intended to allow for competition across the different leagues to let newcomers and younf teams compete with the big names, and rules for qualification and relegation have been revised.
Training impressions promise exciting season The fact that, so far, there have been only two champions, namely NRV Hamburg and DTYC Tutzing, in the previous four seasons of the Sailing Bundesliga does not at all mean that the Sailing Bundesliga is merely a two-teams competition. On the contrary: the preparation of the teams promises tight competition and a great season. Whether in Malta, Monaco or Monnickendam, the teams laid the basis for the coming season already during the winter months. And the first regattas on the Alster in Hamburg and on Lake Constance proved how close the competition is in both first and second league.
Which team will make it in the finals in Berlin? Apart from the two former champions, the teams from Berlin are considered prospective dark horses in the competition. And it would, of course, make a great story if either VSaW Berlin or Berlin YC celebrated victory after the finals on their home waters in Berlin in November. Particularly as 2017 marks their 150th anniversary. VSaW left a lasting impression with their victory in the last event of the 2016 season.
Among favorites However, the Berlin YC already had to experience how difficult it is to repeat past successes. Surprising runner-up in 2015, the club only narrowly escaped relegation to the second league last year. While the BYC has therefore only formulated the goal to avoid relegation this season, all other teams, including double champion DTYC, consider BYC to be among the favorites. However, most teams see the defending champion DTYC as their top favorite, closely followed by VSaW Berlin.
Newcomers & rookies in the league However, a large number of teams have great individual sailors in their crews. Co-operation and boat handling as a team will be a crucial element for success. And surely, some of the newcomers will still have to be integrated fully into their team's performance. What is striking is the urge of young sailors to become part of league sailing. So now, for example, two former German world champions in the Optimist class, Tina Lutz (Opti World Champion 2005) and Julian Authenried (Opti World Champion 2006), have joined Sailing Bundesliga teams, Chiemsee YC and Bavarian YC respectively. Also, Marvin Frisch (5th at Opti World Championships 2011) will be on board Württemberg YC.
Famous sailors & experinced Olympic athletes in the DBSL Also, some former Olympic sailors are competing in the Sailing Bundesliga. For example, the former 49er sailors Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (Austria) are listed at the Chiemsee YC, ex-470s ace Patrick Follmann is in the crew of defending German champion DTYC, and the Olympic 6th of the Laser class, Simon Grotelüschen, will sail for his home club Lübeck YC. Three-time Olympic surfer Toni Wilhelm has joined his home club, the Wuerttemberg YC, and the NRV even has an Olympic trio on board with Johannes Polgar, Tobias Schadewaldt and Florian Spaltholz. In addition, the team from Hamburg includes Florian Haufe, winner of the silver medal at the first Youth Olympic Games of 2010 in Singapore.
Tight competition for the title There will be a tough struggle for the title and the four qualifying places for the Sailing Champions League, if from next weekend (28th April to 1st May), the teams will compete for league points. Traditionally, the kick off is in the south of Germany. This time it is not Lake Starnberg but Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria. Subsequently, the fleet moves to Lake Constance, where the Lindauer SC acts as host for the first time. After moving north, the events of first amd second league will be held separately.
Racing in front of big audiences at big sailing events The First League will be part of Kiel Week for the first time this year and will be racing on the outer Firth of Kiel just off the former Olympic centre in Schilksee, while the Second League will hold their races at the Warnemünde Week in Rostock-Warnemünde. Both will then compete again at the Travemünde Week in Lübeck, where Bundesliga sailing can be watched live on shore at the SAP Sail Cube directly at the beach. An already well-established event of the Sailing Bundesliga is Glücksburg near Flensburg where the qualifiers where sailed in the past three years. This year it will be the first official league races taking place on Flensburg Fjord. For the Second League this will be the final event, while the teams of the First League go on to their finals in Berlin.
For the first time this season, the four last team of the First League (ranks 15 to 18) will be relegated directly to make room for the top four teams of the Second League. The will be no relegation regatta as in former years.