Kieler Woche 2014 - Kiel and the Olympic games: After 1963 and 1972 this 'wonderful story' might be continued.
At least if they follow the city officials’ advice and that of the recently elected Lord Mayor Ulf Kaempfer. At the sailors’ breakfast of the sports journalists of Schleswig-Holstein and the clubs organising the Kieler Woche, the head of administration of the state capital announced that Hamburg is in close contact with Schleswig-Holstein to develop the possibilities of an application for the Olympic Games. Kiel would be prepared to take over the sailing part, said the Lord Mayor.
According to Kaempfer Hamburg’s commitment to Schleswig-Holstein regarding the Olympics means that Rostock would be left outside. And in comparison with Travemuende, the state capital Kiel would also look better, since it has the national training centre for professional athletes (BLZ) and also a better working infrastructure: 'To know the sailing area means an advantage for the athletes, that you would not want to give away.' But officially Kiel did not yet make up its mind: 'It would be not very clever to be faster in the decision than Hamburg. But we will not forget about it. It has already been discussed in the council, and they asked me to raise my hand for the Olympics', said Kaempfer.
With the Olympics, they would also host the Paralympic competitions. For these, the state capital already brought itself into position. With the new wheelchair ramp at the jetty at this year’s Kieler Woche, the event became more appealing to the Paralympic starters. 'Being in a wheelchair, we did not want to start at regattas in Kiel until now, because we did not like to be lifted onto the jetty', said Robert Prem, two-time Paralympic medalist on board of Jens Kroker’s Sonar. Now they have got a showpiece. 'The only disadvantage of the ramp is that I can get down there without having to think about it. Ramps at other places are so steep, that you can use it as a warmup program', said crew colleague Siegmund Mainka with a smile.
For a decade the driving force to finally setup this construction has been Paralympic winner in the 2.4mR in 2000 and former Athlete of the Year in Kiel Heiko Kroeger. 'I have been a bit a pain in the neck regarding this topic. It goes without saying, that the handicapped and non-handicapped must be treated on equal basis. It should not be a matter of the finances', said Kroeger.
But that is exactly what mayor Hans-Werner Tovar had confirmed. Once the decision was made and the money from the federal government, state and city was available, everything went very quick, praised Kroeger. But the wish list of the Paralympic sailors is not yet completely processed. 'If we want the Skud18 sailors also to come to the next Kieler Woche, we need one to two manual cranes on the jetty. Because there is also one person with severe disabilities on the boat', said Jens Kroker.
The city of Kiel seems to be open for the issue. 'As far I as I know the cranes are not too expensive. I am very positive', states Tovar. That might also bring the chance to host the World Championships of the 2.4mR, Sonar or Skud18. 'Paralympic Worlds are possible, either during the Kieler Woche or some other time - you have to talk with the classes about this', said Peter Ramcke, head of the race committee.
Race calendar of Kieler Woche 2014 (21 to 29 June)
Olympic classes, EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup: 21 to 25 June:
Charly: 470er - M + W
Echo: Laser Standard
Golf: 2.4mR-open, Sonar-open
Hotel: 49er - M
Juliett: Nacra 17 – Mix, 49er FX - W
Kilo: Laser Radial - W, Finn - M
International classes, 26 to 29 June:
Charly: Formula 18, Hobie 16
Delta: 505er, FD
Foxtrott: J 24, Folkeboat, B/one
Golf: Musto Performance Skiff (Euro-Cup)
Hotel: 29er - from Wednesday, 25 June
India: 29er - from Wednesday, 25 June
Juliett: Europe, Laser Radial open, Laser 4.7
Kilo: Contender, Ok
Offshore, 21 to 28 June:
21. – 22. Juni: Welcome Race*: (ORC-Club I –III, ORC-Int. I-III, Albin Ballad, X-79, Multihull)
21. – 24. Juni: Kiel-Cup Foxtrott (Melges 24, J/70, Platu 25, J/80, SB 20, Albin Express)
23. – 25. Juni: Kiel-Cup Alpha (ORC-Int. I-III)*
26. – 27. Juni: Silbernes Band (ORC-Club I-III)
28. Juni: Senatspreis (ORC-Club I-III)
* IDM Offshore, 21 to 25 June: 21 to 25 June: IDM ORCi I to III Event website