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Kieler Woche 2018 - Day 3

by Andy Rice 18 Jun 2018 12:34 PDT 16-24 June 2018
Wolfgang Hunger on the way to his 22nd Kiel Week victory with his crew Julien Kleiner © Kiel Week /

In the dinghy fleets, a familiar name has moved to the front of the 505 class, as Dr Wolfgang Hunger with crew Julien Kleiner takes over the lead. If Hunger wins this week, it will be the multiple World Champion's 22nd victory at Kieler Woche.

Hunger won three of his 505 world titles with Holger Jess, who this week is crewing for Australian Michael Quirk. However Jess is putting up some fighting talk. "We have the fastest boat in the field, which makes Wolfgang nervous. At the first mark we were first three times." It's going to be a battle all the way between the Aussie and German helmsmen.

In the Contender, Christoph Homeier continues to hold the lead but cannot afford any slip-ups because he has already used his discard. Behind him is the Dane Jesper Nielsen and the 2005 World Champion Jan von der Bank from Germany.

In the Flying Dutchman class, former World Champions Kilian King and John Brack hold the lead over the 1988 Olympic Champion Jorgen Bojsen-Moeller crewed by brother Jacob.

The Danes dominated the first ever event of the Women's Sailing Champions League which concluded after day three of Kieler Woche in north Germany. The Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) won 14 of their 20 heats in the J/70s to win the regatta ahead of fellow Danes, Hellerup Sejlklub. Strangely, the winners' final race was also their worst when they dropped from an early lead to fourth across the line in a photo finish. Ever the perfectionist, skipper Henriette Koch - who represented Denmark in the 470 class at the London 2012 Olympic Games - commented: "We had a small technical error. We not only want to win the regatta, but also the race. When we compete, we want to win every time."

But for the small slip-up, it was about as close to a perfect three days that you could hope for. "We stayed focused and had a lot of fun," said Koch. They attributed their success to keeping things simple, and also to the fact that a few of the crew have raced together for many, many years. "It's not just about boatspeed, it's about communication," said Koch.

The Danes were not so dominant in the ClubSwan 50s taking part in the big boat racing at Kiel, as they prepare for the start of the 1,000-mile Nord Stream Race this Sunday. Frederikshavn Sejlklub only completed the first of three races. In the second heat they lost the gennaker over the side during a manoeuvre, resulting in the sail getting caught under the boat and ripping in a number of places.

It was a perfect start for the German team Norddeutscher Regatta Verein who won all three heats in today's 11 to 16 knot breezes, as their skipper explained. "We had a very good day with three first places. The first race was straightforward because we led from start to finish but we didn't have such a good start in the next one. We were third but we managed to sail a clean race and gradually we took our chances. The Russians overstood the layline and that gave us the chance to move into the lead."

There are many other fleets in the midst of their competitions right now. You can check out all the results here:

Kieler Woche, which takes place from 16 to 24 June, divides into two halves. The first half is all about the international classes and is mostly about keen amateur sailors competing against each other. The second half of the regatta begins on Wednesday with the Olympic fleets beginning their competition. Across the whole nine days, Kieler Woche will host more than 4,000 sailors from 60 nations, competing in more than 1,900 sailing boats.

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