International sailing elite meets at 125th Kieler Woche
For its 125th anniversary from 22nd to 30th June, Kieler Woche is growing ever more international, expecting over 4000 sailors from over 50 nations.
This year, once again, the whole range of sailing will be featured at Kieler Woche, coupled with plenty of social and cultural highlights on shore.
"Kieler Woche feels young, even on its 125th anniversary. Over the years, we have contributed to keeping Kieler Woche young and thus relevant to the worldwide line-up of sailing events by constantly addressing new ideas and innovations. This will also be true for the anniversary edition," says Dirk Ramhorst, head of the Kieler Woche regatta management team, looking forward to the anniversary event.
Kieler Woche 2019 stands on three pillars
Together with DSV team director Nadine Stegenwalner, the German 49er crew Justus Schmidt/ Max Boehme, ORC skipper Kai Mares and the chairman of the Kiel Yacht Club, Carsten Krage, Ramhorst presented the event programme in the historic Kaisersaal of Kiel Yacht Club. "Our strategic international orientation is based on three pillars and close cooperation with the World Sailing Federation," explains Ramhorst. The Marselisborg Yacht-Club/Sailing Århus is the first Danish club to join the Kieler Woche organisation team.
Team spirit in sailing
Active participants from so-called "emerging nations" are especially invited to Kieler Woche. Costs for flights are covered by World Shilling, Kiel provides charter boats, registration fees and accommodation. With Mariel Nikolova from Bulgaria and Deisy Nhaquile (Mozambique) two female sailors were invited this year. The two Laser Radial sailors will compete for the entire nine days of the competition. In the first part until Tuesday Nicolova and Nhaquile will start in the open series, afterwards, from Wednesday to Sunday, in the Olympic part in the Laser Radial class. "The goal is to support the athletes of the emerging nations. It's about helping, not about complete financing", says Nadine Stegenwalner, who as Vice President of World Sailing is responsible for strengthening sailing worldwide. The aim is to promote talents and to intensify the cooperation with the European association EUROSAF in the field of jury and race management.
Great fights expected in the 49er class
In the 49er class, the 2016 duel has long since turned into a triclash for the German Olympic ticket. Tim Fischer/Fabian Graf (NRV) will join the bronze medallists of 2016 and current World Cup winners in Miami, Erik Heil/Thomas Plößel, and Justus Schmidt/Max Boehme (Kiel/European Champion 2015). The Hamburg team won bronze at the World Championships at Århus (Denmark) in the German Nations' Cup, one place ahead of Heil/Plößel. The other two crews, who just finished fifth and 10th at the European Championships, will meet last year's winners Jonas Warrer/Jacob Jensen. The Danes only sailed their third regatta together in Kiel in 2018. Meanwhile, Warrer, the 2008 Olympic champion, and his 20-year-old crew at the jib sheets harmonize well. The previous year's third in Kiel and the current sixth in the European Championship, Lukasz Przybytek/Pawel Kolodzinski (Poland), have also entered for the races. Hot podium candidates in Kiel are the current World Champions Sime and Mihovil Fantela (Croatia), who won the World Championship title at the Worlds off Århus.
Welcome Race is the traditional starter
The beginning of Kieler Woche remains unchanged. On 22nd June, the offshore sailors meet just in front of "Kiellinie", Kiel's inner city waterfront promenade, for the first starts of the big boat races: Aalregatta, Welcome Race and, for the first time this year, for the Kiel Cup. While the yardstick yachts, the ORC Club fleet, the catamarans, one-design classes and the double handed crews sail towards Eckernförde, the ORCi yachts start their medium range race as part of the Kiel Cup, which continues with up & down races from Sunday to Tuesday. "We have developed this new format in cooperation with the German association of offshore sailors. The aim is to integrate the ORC Int. fleet more closely", says Offshore Race Officer Eckart Reinke. The Kiel Cup is part of a series of four regattas in the RVS Cup. "We interviewed the members and involved them in the planning for 2019," says RVS Chairman Bertil Balser. The schedule of social events will also be upgraded.
Kieler Woche (22. to 30. june):
Part 1: (22. to 25. june):
Saturday 22nd, until Monday 24th June: Youth Sailing Champions League
Saturday 22nd, until Tuesday 25th June: 505, FD, Laser Rad. (open), 29er, Musto Skiff, 2.4mR, Laser 4.7, Europe, Contender, Foiling Open (including Waszp and Moth)
OK- European Championship
Part 2: (26./27. to 30. june):
Laser Std. M, Laser Rad. W, Finn M, 470 M/W, 49er M, 49erFX W, Nacra17 Mix.
hursday 27 to Sunday 30 June: 420, J/24, J/80 and J/70.
Kieler Woche sets an example for inclusion
The cooperation between Kieler Woche and the former Paralympic boat class 2.4mR is as close as ever. Already in 2002, this class was included into the Kieler Woche racing schedule for the first time, since 2008 it has been an official class at Kieler Woche open. Internationally, the integration of the Para World Sailing Championships into the Kieler Woche 2017 was a big success and there was a lot of praise from the international sailing world. "It is one of our biggest goals to get sailing back into the Paralympic programme again. There is no other sport that is so suitable for inclusion," said Kim Andersen, President of the World Sailing Federation, with a view to the Paralympic Games.
Saturday, 22nd June: Rendezvous of the classics.
Saturday/Sunday (22/23 June): Welcome Race (ORC Club, Albin Express, Albin Ballad and Multihull). Eel race: (Yardstick, OD, Folk boat).
Saturday, 22nd June, until Tuesday, 25 June: Kiel Cup (ORC Int.)
Sunday (23rd June): Start of the Nord Stream Race (Swan 50)
Wednesday to Sunday (June 26-30): Mixed Double Hand Offshore (ORC Club).
Thursday, June 27th: Senate Award (ORC Club)
Friday/Saturday, 28/29 June: The Silver Ribbon (ORC Club).
The strong signal from Kiel towards the IPC could not have been overheard, said the highest representative of sailing: "Many thanks to Germany, many thanks to Kiel. We need an inclusive society with completely barrier-free environments that enable people with disabilities to engage in sporting activities and to experience safe and fair participation". Kiel can offer all this in the barrier-free Schilksee marina, Andersen explained.
Every morning the boot.club Lounge is the first meeting point of the sailors for their daily weather briefing. During the day, as in the Sailing Center at boot Düsseldorf, there is a range of interviews with well-known sailors on the stage. In the evening the lounge turns into a concert hall!