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Over 90 crews from 15 nations register for J/70 European Championship

by on 10 Jun 2016
J/70 in front of the Olympic Center at Kiel Schilksee
The J/70 European Championship in Kiel is above all expectations: More than 90 crews from 15 nations did register for the Europeans, which will take place during Kiel Week (18. until 26. June). 'We are pleased that advertising the Europeans in Kiel had such a great effect', the German and international head of the class Juergen Waldheim (Berlin) is happy.

The organisers and the head of organisation Dirk Ramhorst (Kiel Yacht Club) see it as a sign of appreciation of the organisers' performance on the water and ashore. 'We were hoping to get 80 registrations and were surprised positively', says Ramhorst. At the first European Championship of the international class 2015 in Monaco 64 teams from eleven nations were at the starting line.

The European Championship will start with the parade of the nations on Wednesday, 22. June at 7:30pm and the following opening ceremony in the Kiel Week Lounge in Kiel-Schilksee, before the more than 90 boats will be fighting to gain the title from Thursday, 23. June, until Sunday, 26. June, on race course Delta.

The keel boat class J/70 is more and more popular, people are even talking about a real boom as a one design class in the national sailing league. 'That's what we as sailors have been hoping for for years. The J/70 is the first boat for a long time offering relevant fleets in Germany. That is extremely attractive. Thus the quality is extremely high', says the nine-time German Champion of different boat classes Carsten Kemmling (Hamburg). The winner of the Kiel Maior regatta is sailing one of the 47 boats, that were registered from Germany. Twenty teams of them are from sailing league clubs.

It will be extremely interesting to watch Pit Finis from Duesseldorf, who has a real experienced sailor on board, the ten-time World Champion in ice-sailing and America's Cup winner Karol Jablonski (54), and also the former Tornado World Champion and current STG managing director Oliver Schwall and his brother René (mostly starting in the F18 at the Kiel Week). It will be the first time, the managing director of the Bundesliga GmbH from Hamburg and the doctor from Kiel are starting together in this sailing league class.

The married couple Kohlhoff from Strande will be competing against each other. While Peter Kohlhoff (KYC and SKWB) will be sailing with Bodo Mall, Lutz Orgelmann and Maximilian Kleinsorg, his wife Melanie Kohlhoff-Horstmann is at the helm of an all female crew with Antje Gosch, Maren Gadischke and Sybille Ilgenstein. At least a place among the top three is safe for the women's ranking, since there is only one other all female crew with Stephanie Koepcke (Muehlenberger SC).

Among the German participants are also the second and third ranked of the J/70 German Open Championship 2015, Hubert Merkelbach (BYC Ueberlingen) and Claas Lehmann (BSC Hamburg), who are both sailing in the national sailing league. The two sailors will meet the winner of the Monaco J/70 Sportsboat Winter Series, Jacopo Carrain (Yacht Club of Monaco) in Kiel, who is also one of the favourites as well as the Vice World Champion from the previous year, Carlo Albertini (Italy).

Claudia Rossi did register from Italy. The small sign of the boat name 'Petite Terrible' already points at something big. Her father Alberto Rossi did win the ORC Worlds with 'Enfant Terrible' 2014 in Kiel. The all-time competitor of the DSV offshore director Wolfang Schaefer in the Farr 40 did win the huge ORC International World Championship in Kiel with his TP52 and is enthusiastic about Kiel. And after Schaefer had reported about the booming boat class in Germany and the European Championship in Kiel at a meeting in the South, the registration was pure formality.

Altogether elven races are scheduled on four race days (with the first start on Thursday at 12pm). Next to the European Champion's title and the Kiel Week victory, the winner can look forward to a very special prize: The watch manufacturer Tutima from Glashuette (the official Kiel Week time keeper) is awarding the winning skipper a Saxon One automatic watch and the whole crew receives a gennaker, which is clearly showing the winner.

The second and third ranked of the J/70 Europeans will get high quality prizes from LIROS GmbH. As a long-time sponsor of the Kiel Week, the rope manufacturer will hand over a voucher of 500 Euros to the second placed at the J/70 Europeans. The third-placed will get a voucher of 200 Euros value.

'All J/70 boats, that were delivered in Germany, are equipped with Liros ropes in general. So it was obvious to us to extend our commitment as sponsor at the European Championship in our own country. The Kiel Week and the company Liros have a long-term partnership. As a company with the registered office in Germany we are happy to support the Kiel Week as the most important sailing event in Germany and at the same time one of the biggest sailing events in the world', states the managing director of Liros Sven Rosenberger. Liros furthermore has a small surprise for each boat at the check-in.
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