Young sailor from Kiel becomes youngest Kiel Week winner
Caribbean feeling: 29 degrees over land and 26 degrees over water seemed to catapult the athletes of the Kieler Woche on the fourth day into foreign territories. Only the wind weakened a bit at the end of the regattas in the international classes.
Nevertheless, two more races in the eleven classes were held. Three times German teams celebrated Kieler-Woche-Gold. A total of eight nations entered their names on the winners list. The youngest winner in 2019 is a young sailor from Kiel in Laser 4.7.
The sun smiled down on Wolfgang Hunger in particular. The record world champion in the 505 and the record Kieler week winner celebrated his 22nd Kieler week victory. Again with Holger Jess on board. The duo, which had appeared together again last winter at the World Championship in Australia after a long separation, had already secured victory one race before the end. Although it was only enough to finish sixth in the light breeze in the first race of the day, the British challengers, Penny and Russell Clark, could not shorten the gap enough to attack first place once again.
Nothing new in the 505 - Hunger / Jess win again
"The first race today was already exciting. We started in the middle and only reached the top in twelfth place, after all we finished sixth. So everything was clear. Then we were able to test our speed for the European Championship," explained Wolfgang Hunger. With the second placed Britons and Danish brothers Jörgen and Jacob Bojsen-Möller the absolute world leaders were at the start off Kiel. But Holger Jess also wished for more mass in the future: "When some people stop fooling around in the league and want to really compete again, the fields grow again", the Eckernförde native teased in the direction of the German Sailing League.
boot Düsseldorf goes Kieler Woche
White vest for the winners in Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman sailed on the same track as the 505s. And here the Hungarians Szabolcs Majthényi/András Domokos managed an absolute rarity: After eleven races they even had to cancel a first place, because in all races they left the complete competition behind them. The FD record world champions thus filled half a dozen victories off Kiel. Even more often, however, the Hungarians won the World Championships: Majthényi/Domokos won the title twelve times - most recently in February off New Zealand. Off Kiel, the Czechs Jiri Hruby/Roman Houdek and Kai Schäfers/Andreas Happich (Arnsberg/Germany) had to admit defeat in second and third place respectively.
With this impressive result the Flying Dutchman surpassed all other series winners of the Kieler Woche in the international classes. Nevertheless, the winners of the Europe, the 2.4mR, Laser 4.7 and the Skiffs were crowned Kieler Woche winners with highly impressive performances.
Anna Livbjerg had the mixed competition of men and women in the Europe class under control at all times. The Dane was always in the top three and landed eight day victories in the eleven races. Thus she led a Scandinavian trio. Carl Ljunggren (Sweden) defended second place against Kristian Medina-Praest (Denmark) by winning the last race.
At the Musto Skiffs, the Brit Rick Peacock defended his top position ahead of the Dutchman Paul Dijkstra. Iver Ahlmann (Büdelsdorf) narrowly won the bronze medal. At the Foiling Dinghys there were two Germans on the podium. But the Swiss Adriano Petrino relegated Max Lutz (Kiel) and Julian Ramm (Itzehoe) to the following places.
In the other classes there were still some shifts and falls from the top on the final day. With an early start disqualification on record, the leaders of the 29er until Monday, Jonas Schupp/Moritz Hagenmeyer (Ammersee), had to act cautiously. But then they lost their rhythm completely in the three day races. The duo slipped down to tenth place. So the path was clear for the Scandinavian competition. The Norwegians Mathias Berthet/Alexander Franks-Penty jumped to first place with the best performance curve of the final day and sent Ville Korhonen/Edvard Bremer (Finland) and Marius Westerlind/Olle Aronsson (Sweden) to the other podium places.
Another German also fell from the top in the final. Christoph Homeier (Bremen) was not able to defend his Contenders position, which had been achieved in the strong wind, through the weak breeze. European Champion Sören Andreasen (Denmark) and German Champion Max Billerbeck (Kollmar) passed by. "Unfortunately, I'm not known as a super light wind crack, so it was clear that it would be difficult. I lacked speed in these conditions. Sören and Max managed that better", said Homeier, but also announced his attack on his fourth Kieler-Woche victory next year.
Ole Schweckendiek from Kiel at 14 years youngest winner 2019
At just 14 years of age, Ole Schweckendiek is the youngest Kiel Week Winner of the year to date. After the Kiel native had finished third in the U16 age group at the European Championships in Southern France three weeks ago, he now topped his previous performance. Only last year he switched from the Opti to the Laser, now he was already far superior to the competition. With the victory in the penultimate race he made everything clear and now has plans for the next class: "In summer the German Championship is still on the agenda for Travemünde Week, after that I will switch to the Laser Radial at some point". He obviously had fun on the podium at the winner's press conference: "Maybe I can be here again next year".
In the Laser Radial, the Germans had nothing to do with the awards ceremony. Malte Winkel was the best GER sailor in tenth place. A remarkable result, as he switched from the 470 to the laser only for training and fun reasons. At the top of the field, the international field once again mixed thoroughly. Wonn Kye Lee (Singapore) won the final sprint ahead of Emma Savelon (Netherlands) and Otto Henry (Australia).
Returnees to the Contender Throne
In the 2.4mR the last scheduled race was not sailed anymore and the fleet of the inclusive class of sailors with and without handicap was sent to the port. The result of the eleventh race would not have changed anyway, Heiko Kröger sailed ahead of the competition. After five victories in the second half of the race, the Hamburg native had a "dent in the results", but with a total of seven victories, two second and one third place, there was no doubt about his twelfth Kieler-Woche-success.
Kalle Dehler also made a strong appearance. The newcomer to this mini yacht has found his way perfectly into the class and finished the series off Kiel with two day victories. In short: The future belongs to this 63-year-old. The third placed Finn Antti Kokkala is six years older. "It's always nice to win in Kiel. I was very happy that it worked out," said Kröger, explaining the end of sailing at the Paralympics: "We are over that. We no longer need the Paralympics. We managed to change into normal life in a way that is probably not possible in any other sport".
EM title in OK dinghy goes to Sweden
At the only championship of the 125th Kieler Woche, the European Championship of OK dinghies, superstar Fredrik Lööf demonstrated his superiority. With his victory in the first day's race, the Swede had already defended his title from last year and was then able to sail ashore in a relaxed manner. Valerian Lebrun (France) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (Sweden) followed on the podium. Jan Kurfeld (Wismar), who had been fighting for medals, experienced a black day. After he had to give up a race already on Monday because of pumping, the jury thwarted his plans also on the last day. When he came back on the track after dropping off, the jury considered his body movement as a pump. With the renewed yellow flag not only the race was finished, but Kurfeld was also through with the championship. "Some evaluate an action this way, others differently", the Wismar native was annoyed and did not start at the final race anymore. With three times full points he slipped down to 23rd place.