Exciting 49erFX fleet – More than 170 entries for 29er Euro
More than 4500 sailors from more than 50 nations with 1800 boats will be racing off Schilksee from 21 to 29 June at the 132nd Kieler Woche, and they will be fighting for titles and medals in 42 Olympic, paralympic, international and offshore classes. Among the Kieler Woche highlights will be the races of the two paralympic silver medallists, Heiko Kröger (2.4 Metre) and Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka (Sonar), the final event of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup in the Olympic classes, the 29er European Championship with more than 175 skiffs at the starting line, and the International German Offshore Championships. From naval cutter to windjammer parade, from Classic Race to youth skiff Euro – Kiel will offer the sailing sport’s full spectrum. At the press conference on Tuesday, 17 June at the Kieler Yacht-Club, organisers Peter Ramcke and H.-Eckhard von der Mosel presented an event programme coined by tradition and innovation alike.
From 21 to 25 June, the Olympic classes will kick off the racing activities of Kieler Woche. This so called Olympic part is also the final event of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup, which will end in Kiel after stages in Riva/Italy, Medemblik/The Netherlands and Weymouth/U.K.
Not only with a view to the 2016 Olympics off Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil, Philipp Buhl is one of the big hopes in the German team in Kiel. Placed 13th at the World Cup off Palma/Spain and 11th off Hyères/France, he did not live up to the expectations. “And not to my own, either. My preparations for this season didn’t go all that well, but then I was satisfied with my initial performances at the two world cup regattas in Palma and Hyères. In the end, though, they both ended with a clear miss of the medal races with place 14 in Palma and 13 in Hyères,” said Buhl.
The Laser sailor from Sonthofen in Bavaria had come third at the World Championships in Oman. “This is the kind of result I want to repeat. And I want another medal at the worlds. But looking at last year’s worlds results, where I would have ended sixth with only two more points on my score, I know things will be far from easy,” explained Buhl at the Kieler Yacht-Club.
Brazilian Robert Scheidt had once again won gold at the 2012 worlds. The exceptional sailor with German ancestry is a five-time Olympic medal winner (twice gold, twice silver, once bronze) and loyal Kieler Woche athlete. Last year though, Philipp Buhl had cut his hopes for another win and dismissed Scheidt to rank two.
The 40-year old Brazilian paid the young rival from Germany his respect and said that next generation sailors like Buhl would take the game to the next level. From 21 to 25 June, Buhl stands a big chance of completing his hat-trick of three Kieler Woche victories. And Kieler Woche victories to him have a very special quality. “Kieler Woche is the world’s biggest sailing festival, and it has the best media coverage in the Olympic sailing circuit worldwide. Winning on my home waters is absolutely great. In Kiel, sailing never feels like a marginal sport,” said Buhl.
A strong women fleet in the 49er FX with last year’s Kieler Woche winners and team six in Hyères, Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Bergen/Kiel), the sixth-placed of the worlds, Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz (Kiel), and twins Jule and Lotta Görge from Kiel. There will also be Leonie Meyer (Osnabrück) and Elena Stoffers (Kiel), who climbed back into the trapeze after tearing her ligament in 2013 and immediately came 14th in Hyères. So with all this women power, the Audi Sailing Team Germany rightfully seems to nurture hopes for winning Kieler Woche gold.
“Of course it’s extra fun to win on home waters,” says Susann Beucke (Strande). She and her crew Tina Lutz do their best to repeat their Kieler Woche win, even though their focus this season is on other events. “Our highlights are again the worlds and the Euro, and the pre-pre-Olympics in Rio are a special motivation,” explained Susann Beucke at the press conference in Kiel. Their plan is to secure the nation seat at the worlds in Santander/Spain, and get an optimal result. For the fourth time now, the world championships in all Olympic classes are concentrated in one event. After Cadiz/Spain (2003), Cascais/Portugal (2007), Perth/Australia (2001), it will be Santander this year from 8 to 15 September.
Their latest results and successes have boosted the Beucke/Lutz team’s self-confidence. “We have established ourselves among the top ten in the world, and we’re quite happy with our consistent results. But now we‘re all set to get out of our comfort zone and take a leap forward,“ said helmswoman Tina Lutz. And even though Kieler Woche is not at the very top of their sportive ranking this year, it is still a very special event for these two sailors from the German national team. “Winning Kieler Woche is extra special, because we have families and friends around. And the media approach of Audi and SAP make the medal races an absolute highlight – even more so, when you’re winning it,” explained the current 49er FX title holder why Kiel is so special to her.
Another Kieler Woche top favourite is multiple Olympic medallist Heiko Kröger (Hamburg) in the paralympic 2.4 Metre class. With his latest victory at the world cup in France, the 2000 Paralympic Champion and silver medal winner of 2012 is an excellent proof of the fact that 48-year old athletes are fit for winning medals. A six-time Kieler Woche winner in the 2.4 Metre, Kröger is definitely a contender for another victory on his home waters off Kiel.
At the Kieler Woche debut of the Sonar class, the silver crew from Weymouth in 2012 with Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka, are the favourites.
From 26 June, the 15 international classes will take up racing – with one exception: The 29ers will start one day early and in parallel to the Olympic classes on Wednesday, 25 June. The organisers (Kieler Yacht-Club, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee and Hamburger Segel-Club) will provide two race courses for more than 175 youth skiffs racing for the European Championship. The Euro at Kieler Woche is both the conclusion and climax of a North European series which has attracted many international and even overseas crews. This year’s Kieler Woche dates are also early enough to allow on-time container shipment to the World Championships in Kingston/Canada at the end of July. The best German 29er team of the previous years, Jasper Steffens/Tom-Lennart Brauckmann (KYC), are convinced of the enormous significance of the Euro off Kiel: “It will be even tougher than the worlds, as more teams will be racing,” said Steffens. The two plan to conclude their 29er career with a top result in their final regatta by getting among the top five in a strong fleet with teams from 20 nations, including the U.K., Spain, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and even Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
“The Euro on our home waters is the most important event this season. We hope the world championship will be a nice conclusion of our time in the 29er, as we will switch to the 49er after this summer,” reported Brauckmann. Another sportive class will be the Musto skiffs on race course Golf with a fleet of around 50 boats.
The German offshore scene will not only be racing Kieler Woche for winning Kieler Woche, but hold their International German Offshore Championships (IDM). Titles will be chased in the ORCI to ORC III classes in this 19th edition of the offshore IDM, which will this year turn into an offshore pre-Worlds event. “The up-coming worlds definitely have an impact on Kieler Woche. Some crews have set up camp here in Kiel for more or less the whole season, from the first training session to the various ranking list regattas MAIOR, Kieler Woche and IDM, and up to the worlds at the beginning of August in Kiel. So far we have IDM entries from six nations, which make Kieler Woche even more international. It’s quite a nice up-grade of the Kieler Woche offshore races,” said H.-Eckhard von der Mosel, the Kieler Woche offshore race director.
Kieler Woche always attracts many visitors, and even those who cannot be on site may participate in the fun of the races thanks to Audi’s and SAP’s media commitment to Kieler Woche. Be it in the newly designed Audi and SAP Sailing Arena in Schilksee, on television or on the Internet - Audi and SAP bring the excitement of sailing ashore.
“The big stage and the public screens in the new Audi and SAP Sailing Arena in Schilksee will be even more encompassing than before. Kieler Woche.TV powered by Audi with live broadcasting from the races with interesting analyses and reports presented by host André Keil and expert Markus Koy daily from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.,” said Johannes Polgar, project manager sailing with AUDI AG’s Event and Sport Marketing.
Kieler Woche.TV will be complemented by SAP live-streams in German and English, which will allow Kieler Woche enthusiasts to enjoy the racing atmosphere live at the Schilksee beaches and at home. “It’s our aim to constantly improve distribution and quality,” explained Stefan Lacher, Head of Sponsorship Technology, SAP.
Race calendar of Kieler Woche 2014 (21 to 29 June)
Olympic classes, EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup: 21 to 25 June:
Charly: 470er - M + W
Echo: Laser Standard
Golf: 2.4mR/open, Sonar/open
Hotel: 49er - M
Juliett: Nacra 17 – Mix, 49er FX - W
Kilo: Laser Radial - W, Finn - M
International classes, 26 to 29 June:
Charly: Formula 18, Hobie 16
Delta: 505er, FD
Foxtrott: J 24, Folkeboat, B/one
Golf: Musto Performance Skiff (Euro-Cup)
Hotel: 29er / from Wednesday, 25 June
India: 29er / from Wednesday, 25 June
Juliett: Europe, Laser Radial open, Laser 4.7
Kilo: Contender, OK
Offshore, 21 to 28 June:
21. – 22. Juni: Welcome Race*: (ORC-Club I –III, ORC-Int. I-III, Albin Ballad, X-79, Multihull)
21. – 24. Juni: Kiel-Cup Foxtrott (Melges 24, J/70, Platu 25, J/80, SB 20, Albin Express)
23. – 25. Juni: Kiel-Cup Alpha (ORC-Int. I-III)*
26. – 27. Juni: Silbernes Band (ORC-Club I-III)
28. Juni: Senatspreis (ORC-Club I-III)
* IDM Offshore, 21 to 25 June: 21 to 25 June: IDM ORCi I to III