Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Kieler Woche : Kieler Woche welcomes disabled sailors

by Herman Hell

German silver medallists Kroker/Prem/Mainka at the starting line

Another barrier was removed, so this year Kieler Woche looks forward to the debut of the paralympic Sonar class. Two German silver crews of the Weymouth Paralympics will be racing: Heiko Kröger (2.4 Metre) and Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka (Sonar). Federal President Joachim Gauck will officially open the event. The finish of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cups is in Kiel. German sailors will fight for tickets to the Finn Worlds. The 29er Europeans, the International German Offshore Championships – the  132nd edition of Kieler Woche will once again feature a unique variety of highlights.

Federal President Joachim Gauck will set off a fireworks of sailing events when officially opening Kieler Woche on Saturday, 21 June.  From Laser dinghy to windjammer, from high-tech skiff to naval cutter – Kieler Woche will again showcase sailing in all its many facets.

The ten Olympic classes as well as two paralympic classes – the 2.4 Metre and  the Sonar - will be racing. Apart from many international sailing stars, the German national team will be in Kiel: the Audi Sailing Team Germany. During the second part of Kieler Woche, 15 international classes race on nine courses, among them the Musto skiffs with their Euro Cup. A 150-boat strong 29er fleet hold their European Championship. The big boats will compete in the International German Offshore Championships – and only five weeks later, this will be followed by the World Championship on exactly the same race area. The naval cutters will celebrate their 125th anniversary on the Inner Fjord right off the Kiellinie promenade.

Kiel brings sailing ashore

These dimensions of Kieler Woche would be impossible without the financial support of partners who also bring in their respective knowhow and expertise. Fair partner boat show boot Düsseldorf knows all there is to know about first-class service. In  Kiel, they will set up the boot Düsseldorf Club, provide the Wetterwelt weather forecast and WiFi for all athletes after racing. Veolia invites sailors and visitors to enjoy the atmosphere of the big marquee at the Olympic Marina, and will present the Veolia fireworks on Wednesday evening, which mark the turning point between Olympic and international classes.  Veolia also invites the athletes to fish rubbish out of the water and take it to a collecting point on shore. Here an artist will turn it into a piece of art. “Veolia and Nabu (a national society for the protection of the natural environment) want to bring attention to the fact that the oceans need protection from pollution,” says Matthias Kolbeck, Head of Communications at Veolia Water in Hamburg. A beach clean-up before Kieler Woche complements the environment protection activities of the service company.

HSH Nordbank provides instant help out on the water for boats in need of repairs - the HSH Nordbank Blue Race Repair Service which has kept many desolate sailors in the race during the past couple of years.

The commitment of Audi and SAP puts a strong focus on the media. The new design of the Audi and SAP Sailing Arena in Schilksee, television broadcasting and Internet presence are the three pillars on which Audi and SAP build to bring sailing ashore.  “The public screening in the new Audi and SAP Sailing Arena in Schilksee with the large Audi stage and big screen will be even more extensive. There will be Kieler Woche TV powered by Audi with daily live reports from the race courses as well as interesting analyses and reports presented by André Keil and expert Markus Koy daily from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.,” says Johannes Polgar, event and sport marketing, project manager sailing, AUDI AG.

Kieler Woche.TV will be complemented by the SAP live-stream in German and English, so Kieler Woche enthusiasts will be able to follow the racing activities not only live at Schilksee, but also at home. “We are constantly improving distribution and quality,” explains Stefan Lacher, Head of Sponsorship Technology, SAP.

Young talents in the Nacra

The racing activities of Kieler Woche will start off with the Olympic classes from 21 to 25 June which are also part of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup, which finishes in Kiel after a series of events in Riva (Italy), Medemblik (The Netherlands) and Weymouth (U.K.). With a view to the 2016 Olympics in  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Philipp Buhl is one of the great hopes for Kiel in the German team, even though with his performance at the World Cup of Palma (rank 13) and rank 11 off Hyères, he had not quite lived up to the expectations.  And even though Erik Heil/Thomas Plössel missed the medal races off Hyères, German hopes are also pinned on the two 49er sailors from Kiel.

With strong women in the German 49er FX fleet with last year’s  Kieler Woche winners and sixth in Hyères, Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Bergen/Kiel), Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz (Kiel, sixth at the Worlds), the twin-sisters Jule and Lotta Görge (Kiel) as well as Leonie Meyer (Osnabrück) and Elena Stoffers (Kiel), who is now back in the trapeze after tearing her ligament in 2013 and immediately raced to rank 14, the Audi Sailing Team Germany reckons on gold at Kieler Woche.

One of the German favourites at Kieler Woche is once again Heiko Kröger (Hamburg),  multiple paralympic medallist in the 2.4 Metre class. With his latest victory at the World Cup in France, the 48-year old paralympic Champion of 2000 and 2012 silver medallist has underlined his strength. On his home waters off Kiel and as a six-time Kieler Woche champion in the 2.4 Metre, Kröger is naturally one of the favourites.

Another paralympic class will have their debut in Kiel, too, as the Olympic Marina Kiel-Schilksee has recently implemented a new ramp to allow wheelchair access to the pontoon: the Sonar. One of the entries was a most prominent one: The Sonar silver medal crew ofWeymouth2012, Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka, will race at Kieler Woche.

But Kiel is much more than Olympic and paralympic sailing. From Thursday, 26 June, the 15 international classes will take up racing – with the exception of the 29ers, who will start racing a day earlier on Wednesday, 25 June, parallel to the medal races of the Olympic classes. The youth skiff s will determine their European Champion. As more than 150 skiffs are expected to race, the race organisers (Kieler Yacht-Club, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee and Hamburger SC) allocated two courses. The  Musto skiffs, another sportive class will be racing on course India. “The 29er and the Musto high performance skiffs are two modern and very attractive classes which perfectly match the sportive concept of Kieler Woche. Kieler Woche is as innovative as ever and welcomes these sportive classes by providing specific courses right off Schilksee, “ explains race director Peter Ramcke. The 29ers will take up racing to determine their European Champions from Wednesday (25 June) in four groups on two courses. The Musto Skiffs will follow on Thursday on course India with the Euro Cup with strong crews from Kiel.  The  B/one class will switch to race course Foxtrott off Marina Wendtorf  and join the  Folkeboats and the J/24  - the H boats had to make room due to lack of entries.

ORC Worlds to promise excitement 

The German big boat scene will not just be targeting Kieler Woche victories, but will also chase titles in the ORC I to ORC III/IV classes in the 19th edition of their International German Offshore Championship (IDM). Eckhard von der Mosel (Kieler Yacht-Club), offshore race director of Kieler Woche, is happy to have the IDM in Kiel, which in his view underlines the event’s reputation. Kieler Woche also seems to turn into a pre-worlds meeting of the big boat scene. “This already has a number of positive effects on Kieler Woche. Some crews have set up camp in Kiel for more or less the whole season from the first training to the ranking list regatta MAIOR, Kieler Woche and IDM up to the worlds at the beginning of August. So far we’ve had requests from Sweden, Poland and Denmark, and they all make Kieler Woche that extra little bit more international. It’s quite a nice up-grading of the Kieler Woche offshore races,” says von der Mosel. With respect to the record-breaking ORC World Championships (165 yachts from 17 nations) five weeks later, there will be no separate inshore and offshore championships, but one joint event. The prize-giving of the national championship titles in the ORC I, ORC II and ORC III/IV classes is scheduled on Wednesday, 25 June.

Racing Schedule of Kieler Woche 2014 (21 to 29 June)

Olympic Classes, EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup: 21 to 25 June:
Charly: 470 - M + W
Echo: Laser Standard
Golf: 2.4 Metre/open, Sonar/open
Hotel: 49er - M
India: RS:X - M+W,
Juliett: Nacra 17 – Mix, 49er FX
Kilo: Laser Radial - W, Finn

International Classes,  26 to29 June: 
Charly: Formula 18, Hobie 16
Delta: 505, FD
Echo: Contender, OK
Foxtrott: J/24, Folkeboat, B/one
Golf: Europe, Laser Radial open, Laser 4.7
Hotel: 29er (2 groups)/from Wednesday, 25 June
India: Musto Skiff (Euro-Cup)
Juliett: 29er (2 groups)/from Wednesday, 25 June
Kilo: 420

Offshore Courses, 21 to 28 June:
21 to 22 June: Welcome Race (ORC-Club I -IV, Albin Ballad, Multihull)
21 to 24 June: Course Delta: Kiel-Cup (Melges 24, J/70, Platu 25)
21 to 24 June: Course Foxtrott:  Kiel-Cup (J/80, SB 20, Albin Express)
23 to 25 June: Kiel-Cup Alpha (ORC-Int. I-IV)
26 to 27 June: Silver Ribbon (ORC-Club I-IV)
28 June: Senate Prize (ORC-Club I-IV)

International German Offshore Championships, 21 – 25 June:

21 to 25 June: IDM ORCi I to IV

Kieler Woche