Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Kieler Woche : Pure Excitement

Surfboard and Megayacht – Public Viewing and Kieler Woche.TV

Image copyright Landeshauptstadt Kiel

by Hermann Hell

There will be no tactical games, but just outright racing and pure excitement until the very last, as only the finals will bring the decision: The Kieler Woche (22 to 30 June) victory and medal ranks will be decided on the very last race day when the top six athletes race against each other in the finals. Many short races will make for excitement throughout the course of the 2013 Kieler Woche. The 131st edition of the event will again feature a number of innovations and a unique sportive variety of sailing. A new set of rules applies with the premiere of the EUROSAF Sailing Champions Cup (ECSC), in the creation of which Kieler Woche has been one of the driving forces. In its first edition, one of the events of this new series will be hosted by Kieler Woche. The biggest sailing yacht ever racing at Kieler Woche will be up-close to the audience at the starting line off the Hindenburgufer shore of Inner Kiel Fjord. Complete medialization will take place, ranging from public viewing in the Audi Sailing Arena to Kieler Woche.TV via DVB-T. And last but not least, it will be the thrilling race action of 4,500 athletes from more than 50 nations that makes for the exciting mix of 2013 Kieler Woche.

49er sailing at Kieler Woche. This is the fourth event for Olympic classes in the newly created EUROSAF sailing series. Image copyright Hasso Plattner/www.segel-bilder.de

All of the ten Olympic sailing disciplines comprising the new Olympic classes, the women‘s 49erFX and the Nacra 17 for mixed crews, the paralympic 2.4mR, and 17 international classes including the swift Musto skiffs and the B/one one-design class by Bavaria, Germany’s biggest boat yard, as well as 18 offshore categories (ORC/ORC Club classes/one-design classes and multihulls) will be racing in the world’s biggest sailing regatta.

With premium partners Audi, HSH Nordbank, SAP, Veolia and sailing sport partner boot Düsseldorf, the Kieler Woche organizers will present the extensive sailing programme of 2013 Kieler Woche on Tuesday, 14 May at Hamburg‘s Elbpanorama. The sportive action out on the water will again excite sailors and spectators alike, both on site as well as in front of TV monitors and computer screens.

Jochen Schümann sailed on All4One in the offshore racing most recently, but returns on Esimit Europa 2 this year. Image copyright Hasso Plattner/www.segel-bilder.de

“The impressive dimensions of Kieler Woche are made possible thanks to our partners‘ financial commitment, their ideas and initiatives”, pointed out Nikolaus Rickers of Kieler Woche marketing agency Point of Sailing.

“Traditionally, we feel more at home on the tarmac, but have become true sailing fans in the previous years,” said Markus Siebrecht, Marketing Director Germany of AUDI AG. Audi has been a Kieler Woche premium partner since 2010 and supplies the automobiles used for the shuttle and trailer services. “This year, we have again developed a number of new ideas for the benefit of visitors and athletes,” promised Siebrecht.

Racing is close and intense at Kieler Woche. Image copyright Hasso Plattner/www.segel-bilder.de

Flying the Audi flag on Kiel Fjord for the first time this year will be the six Bavaria B/one boats, thus bringing a fresh breeze to Kiel- Schilksee: The Audi Sailing Experience of the premium automobile producer will invite partners, customers and guests to experience exciting races under the guidance of qualified top sailors. At Kieler Woche, Audi links the innovative boats with the company’s nation-wide sailing campaign “Audi Club Offensive Segelsport”.

Sailing fans on shore will be able to experience the full thrill of sailing not only at the Audi stage: “Kieler Woche.TV powered by Audi “ will use modern cameras, GPS live tracking and dedicated studio facilities to broadcast pictures via the Internet to be viewed on countless monitors and computer screens.

In terms of the medialization of Kieler Woche, Audi and SAP work hand in hand. “As we wanted to give spectators, race managers and athletes true added value, we work on continuously improving our solutions and offers for the sailing sport,“ says Stefan Lacher, who is responsible for the SAP sailing programme. Beyond the analyses used in the athletes’ de-briefings, SAP in 2013 provides world-wide live broadcasts in English. SAP had already confirmed the prolongation of its Kieler Woche partnership until 2015 at the Düsseldorf boat fair this January.

The huge windjammer parade at Kieler Woche is extremely impressive. Image copyright Landeshauptstadt Kiel

Long-standing partner HSH Nordbank will once again focus on the two aspects of charity and first-hand help for the sailors on the water. The premium Kieler Woche partner for many years will for the third time put forward its “Gut für Kids” (Good for kids) campaign. “We have committed ourselves for this year and next. Our target is to make donations reach the 100,000 Euro benchmark,“ said Ellen Stoessinger, press officer of HSH Nordbank. The idea is to enable children from socially disadvantaged families to become member of sports clubs and cover their club fees by funds raised by selling campaign wrist bands. And for yet another Kieler Woche, the HSH Nordbank RaceRepairService will be at hand to help sailors quickly recover damage out on the water.

The 2013 Kieler Woche will also be host to the fourth event of the brand new EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup (ECSC) series. Following Lake Garda (Italy), Medemblik (The Netherlands) and Weymouth (U.K.), the Olympic part of Kieler Woche (22 to 26 June) is the last-but-one event before the ECSC finishes in La Rochelle (France) in October. The concept behind these five sailing events is to establish a big regatta series which allows international top sailors to take part in major European regattas at minimal expenses for travel and transport.

Kieler Woche by night. Image copyright Landeshauptstadt Kiel

The scoring system is a novelty: After a fleet racing series (from fleet sizes of 60 boats, groups will be formed) and races of the Gold fleet (25 boats), the first six will carry forward their overall position to the final race (one to six bullet points).

Given the simple scoring of the final race (one to six points), each of the final participants is in the position to become winner overall as there is no room for tactical games. “Everyone must try and go for victory in the finals, so it will be very exciting racing,” said Peter Ramcke, Kieler Woche race director for both the Olympic and international classes and one drivers in developing the ECSC. Ties after the finals will be decided on the better final score.

Esimit Europa 2 - the largest yacht to race at Kieler Woche. Image copyright Esimit Europa/Vicent Bosch

Schümann to race on board Esimit Europa 2

Germany’s living sailing legend Jochen Schümann will be racing at Kieler Woche with the Esimit Sailing Team. Professional sailors from eight European nations will be racing on Esimit Europa 2. At a length of 30.5 metres and with a top speed of 35 knots, she is one of the fastest sailing yachts of the world. She will certainly be an imposing sight at the starting line of the Welcome Race off the Hindenburgufer shore. “She is the biggest yacht to have so far raced at Kieler Woche”, said Eckhard von der Mosel. As offshore race director, he looks forward to presenting this most exceptional boat.

Kieler Woche.TV 

Kieler Woche will be even more interactive this year with “Kieler Woche.TV powered by Audi” broadcasting live pictures of races, analyses and regatta highlights. Sailing news, portraits of athletes and background stories will round off the daily TV programmes. All contents will be accessible via the Kieler Woche media site www.kielerwoche.tv, and an integrated web player will even make for live accessibility. Both TV and online contents will be produced in English to cater for the international audiences and will be available live at the SAP Live Center.These attractive media formats will feature online contents on Kieler Woche make sailing even more exciting.

Kieler Woche