Friday, 24 June 2011
X99 Jungersen. Image copyright Kieler Woche 2011.
by Hermann Hell
The international part of Kieler Woche startet with tricky windshifts and dark clouds above course area Alpha for the European Championship in the Farr30 class and the X99 Gold-Cup. Strong gusts with about 30 knots threatened the fleets but did not made their way to the sailing areas.
Martin Strandberg from Sweden startet the first Race in the Farr30 class with a bullet. The German Martin Christiansen (Strande) on „Xive“ is leading the 36 boat fleet in the X99 class with two second place finishes.
Farr30 - Martin Strandberg. Image copyright Kieler Woche 2011.
In the first race he got beaten by the four times World Champion Christian Soyka and his team on „ImmacX“ „We found perfectly the way around the shifts and pressure fields“, said Soyka one of the hottest favorites. But in the second race he was not too happy. After a moderate start „ImmacX“ raced the first race siede by side with „Xive“ but manoeuvred himself on the wrong side of the course. „Me and my tactician had a different view about the next move. We were not sure if the wind would shift more to the left or oscillate back. We made the wrong decision.“ But he was not keen to clarify, who was wrong. „It was a team decision“, he said with a smile.
Christiansen took the lead but gave it away to Johnny Jensen. The Dane sailed starboot in the last couple of years but has also lots of experience with X99 yachts. He is happy to sail in the strong fleet of 36 yachts like Olaf Bohl from Strande who phoned a lot to get the boats on the starting line. A couple of month the X99 lost ist ISAF status and is not allowed to sail for a proper World championship. And this did not help to attract a big number of competitors. But Bohl announced: „We will talk with ISAF about getting the status back because the fleet in Kiel is very impressive.“ This did not work for the Farr30 class. Just eight boats are competing. „The class has changed“, said Harald Brüning from Germany. „People in Italy and France are sailing different classes now. But many boats are sold to Scandinavia. There might be some young crews in the future.“
The 505 class is one of the 17 other international classes which is in the focus for Kieler Woche in the second part of the week. The world champion Wolfgang Hunger is expected to win his 18th Kieler Woche title together with Julien Kleiner. But this will be not easy. Last weekend he finished the Kieler Woche Pre Regatta just as number for watching Holger Jess his former crew winning with helmswoman Meike Schomäker. And after the first day and three races in Kiel he sees himself again in a hunt behind Schomäker/Jess. With 2/1/1 they might frighten the experienced Hunger who sits on second with 1/4/3. But the game in the 43 boats fleet which includes again SAP founder Hasso Plattner (24.) is still wide open.