Thursday, 30 June 2011

Warnemünder Woche Preview

- Franziska Goltz brings Olympic spirit to Warnemuende
- Laser Europa Cup a highlight of the international sailing week

by Nadja Arp

The best sailors from all over the world own the sea area offshore Warnemuende again from the 2nd to the 10th of July. Around 1,500 active participants from over 20 nations compete in 17 boat classes. Additionally, the offshore program in Warnemuende offers the ultimate sailing experience to the 500 participants. The This year's center of the sportive part is the recently renovated marina Mittelmole, locations with special highlights are the marina Hohe Düne and the beach, where spectators can watch the International German Junior Championship of the BIC Techno Surfer as well as the sailors of the paralympic boat class 2.4mR.

Being in top form and after a successful completion of the Kieler Woche, the second elimination regatta in the battle for the Olympia tickets determined by the German Sailing Association (DSV), Laser Radial sailor Franziska Goltz starts in Warnemuende. Franziska, who is originally from Schwerin, asserted herself against other top-class competitors during the Kieler Woche and ended up in fourth place in the overall ranking – only three points were missing to get bronze. In addition, she is the best German female sailor of her class and the Olympia ticket is just one step away, now. Her current top form can be witnessed in Warnemuende from the 2nd to the 5th of July during the Laser Europa Cup in the Laser Radial - which is Olympic for women. She competes against 120 other Laser Radial sailors. "A lot of my competitors are participating in the European Championship in Helsinki, which takes place simultaneously to the WARNEMÜNDER WOCHE. But I rather want to start here, because it's just so much fun and something very special to me.", the 25-year old athlete explains. Also, the Laser Standard and 4.7 mobilizes a lot of participants. In total 250 Laser sailors compete against each other, this year on three tracks.

Another sportive highlight right at the beginning of the event is the International German Junior Championship of the surfer newcomer class BIC Techno. Around 30 board stars are competing for winning this Championship. Their base camp is at Warnemuende's beach just right at the lighthouse.

The paralympic keel boat 2.4mR has been recently included to the program in the rather familiar sailing event. This ranking list regatta with open rating system - meaning athletes with or without a disability compete with each other equally – starts on Friday, the 8th of July, and finishes on Sunday, the 10th of July in 2011. In order to get to know the class and the very exciting races, sailing takes place close to the audience directly at the beach. The marina Hohe Düne with its barrier-free swimming jetties and sanitary facilities is the main base of the 2.4mR sailors. Interested spectators or wheelchair users can get active in a further handicapped accessible boat: a capsized-proof trimaran can be used for a trial sailing tour.

Skippi 650

is also a newcomer class this year. A top event initiates this premiere at the WARNEMÜNDER WOCHE. Eleven teams measure themselves in the 3-4 men keelboat class and fight for the Europa Cup. There are five teams from Poland amongst others.

They're back - three years after their first German Open: the Platu 25. From the 7th to the 10th of July, the Platu 25 class invites the audience to the German Open in Warnemuende. Sven-Erik Horsch from Hamburg and his crew attend the event right after winning the Kieler Woche 2011. The One Design class, which is very popular in Europe, is sailed by four to six male or female sailors in a regatta; the boat is 7,50 meters long.

Traditionally, the offshore highlight is the "hanseboot Rund Bornholm" regatta. 55 ships attend this year's 270 sea miles long regatta track – including the Volvo Ocean Racer "Illbruck", which also has the byname "Glashäger" nowadays due to their sponsor's name. It remains to be seen, if skipper Matthias Huhn and his crew are able to be faster than 28 hours and 37 minutes, the record which was set in 2001.

"We wanted to improve the service for the sailors ashore and achieved this with the new concept of space.", Lennart Klemp, the new chairman of the organization committee (OK), states. He is voluntarily dealing with the issues of the international sports event since July 2010. For instance, the courtyard of the sports school is reserved for the sailors this year, cars are banned from the direct port area to arrange more space for loading and unloading the ships. The jury, the race office and the infopoint are located directly under the pent roof, vis à vis the sports school. There is also an innovation in the park and camping area – which is organized by the Hanseatic City of Rostock. Areas will be allocated by the WIRO.

The top sailing place to be this year is the hanseboot Event Area on the marina Mittelmole. While having a cool drink here, the regatta results of the day can be discussed. At the same time it is also the central point for all sailors to meet with other sailors and to celebrate! The big hanseboot party takes place on the second Saturday. But the hanseboot Event Area is not just about partying, laughter and chatting – the festival tent on the area of the Warnemuende Sailing Club at the Alter Strom is also the place of the prize giving ceremonies.

But not all that glitters is gold this year – the winners are awaiting a new, very attractive prize made of glass. Even the best six are awarded in the bigger classes, not only the best three of the ranking list regattas. The new glass prizes are given to the group winners of the sea regattas as well as numerous challenge cups in the different classes and consolation prizes. The majority of the award ceremonies take place in the hanseboot Event Area. However, the winners of the 2.4mR class are awarded right at the jetty of the marina Hohe Düne. The surfers get their prizes in the media tent. Traditionally, the participants of the long distance regatta Rund Bornholm accept their awards on the stage at the lighthouse in front of the cheering audience.

Warnemüunder Woche