At the Kieler Woche 2014 traditional regatta dinner at the Kiel Yacht Club it was the unofficial starting signal for the state capital’s application for the Olympic sailing competitions in 2024 or 2028.
That is at least what Lord Mayor Ulf Kaempfer’s answer was to announced as a heated speech of the chairman of the KYC Ulrich W. Ellerbeck, who made it clear in front of more than 200 notabilities 'if it won’t be us, who else?' Now that the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) did officially approve and initiate an application for the Olympics, a lively debate started regarding the question of the sailing area.
Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel, 49er Class. - OK Press Kieler Woche
For once with an hour delay, after Germany made it into the quarter finals of the football Worlds after winning against USA by 1:0, Ellerbeck was talking straight after a brief formal welcome. 'We have an appropriate history, are a downright sports town and offer an audience that is enthusiastic about sailing', specified the KYC chairman the three crucial criteria for Kiel, which were already requested for the applications for the Olympics in 2012.
'Whoever has doubts about the last point, should take the public water taxi on the fjord in Kiel in a zigzag course from the train station to Schilksee during Kiel Week.' The only national Olympic centre at the moment is a shining example for sustainability, added Ellerbeck, 'the facilities from 1972 have been modernised and brought to a top level.'
Ulf Kaempfer did not want much asking. He put down his prepared script and took the 'high level that you, Mr. Ellerbeck, have set' in the first go. 'We cannot demonstrate early enough that there is no way around Kiel', said the new Lord Mayor, 'the regatta dinner was supposed to be the kick start for a convincing, even unbeatable Olympic campaign, which scares off all other potential rivals right away.' The Lord Mayor did not really want to talk about the national rivals, but rather would have liked to go on with giving the directions to the supposed partner city. Kaempfer: 'Hamburg has to realise really fast, who calls the shots.'
Regarding Berlin’s application demanding an answer, Ellerbeck asked himself frankly, 'whether it really makes sense at all to send again five sailing locations into the fray.' Apart from Kiel, Cuxhaven Flensburg, Travemuende and Warnemuende also applied in 2012 for the Olympics and were mainly associated with different main applicants. 'We are not afraid of the competition, but about 90 percent of the German top sailors are training here not without reason', continued the head of the KYC. In Kiel there is also no danger of the occasionally feared gigantism, 'we do not need any concrete monsters or sealing off.'
Prime Minister Torsten Albig, who had stopped that day on his trip around Schleswig-Holstein with the diplomatic corps in Travemuende of all stations, a fact that made most guests in the room hold their breath for a second, was promising his support for every applicant from the most northern state. 'But if someone is making the people as enthusiastic with his speech as Uli Ellerbeck does, not just a few people but a lot, the most important prerequisite for a success is already given', said Albig, who is expecting huge investments for his state from the application for the Olympics.
Ulf Kaempfer had no doubts 'regarding his former activity' (Lord Mayor of Kiel, ed.) to also win the Prime Minister over to his side. The new member of the KYC would love to be head 'of the possibly first city with the third Olympic games in the modern age'. In the 'best sailing area altogether', he had even asked sailors, who did not know, who he was. Kaempfer is even hoping for gold medals in the sailing sport. In their local sailing area, the Germans could even win. Kaempfer wants to make a sailing course with his eight year old son Johann soon, because 'Kiel can have a Lord Mayor, who does not play handball, and one, who does not know how to sail, but not one, who does not do any of the two sports.' Whether he will still be in office in 2024 or 2028, 'is not my decision alone', and whether his son could take part, is just about his talent.