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Kiel Week is getting wings

by Hermann Hell 2 Nov 2018 05:08 PDT 22-30 June 2019
Noble Allen 2018 International Moth UK Championship at Thorpe Bay day 4 © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

In its 137th year, this traditional sailing event is once more demonstrating that it is up-to-date and taking off. From 22 until 30 June 2019 there will be also kiters as well as foilers at the start - next to the Olympic classes, 17 international classes, the 2.4mR and offshore classes.

For the foiling category, there will be competitions for the one-design classes - Waszp and International Moth - and an 'open' class at the Kiel Week. The kiters can sail in the foiling kites and the traditional non-foiling kites (Lowrider). "Our goal was always to have competitions for all Olympic and attractive classes. Kiting is on the Olympic program for 2024, and foiling is one of the most spectacular forms of sailing," stated the Head of Organization of the Kiel Week regattas, Dirk Ramhorst.

The foilers will have one race course. Next to the one design classes Waszp and Moth, the third group on the race course is an "open" one. The organizers are thinking about new foilers such as the Foiling Dinghy, F101 or Skeeta.

The Waszp has one design class potential. Since 2010, the designer Andrew McDougall has worked on the Waszp. Bird wings on the T-foils and adjustable hiking wings (from horizontal at the beginning to diagonal for the maximum fun) are two features of the foilers. The Hamburg boat dealer Ferdinant Ziegelmayer has included this fun foiler into the program and presented it for the first time this year at the trade fair boot Duesseldorf. The Waszp is the more economical (12,500 Euro) and robust variant of the foiling moths, who will be starting on the same race course in Kiel.

The Moths did first show up at the Kiel Week in 2008. Now there will be a reunion. The International Moth class is a single-handed sailing boat class with a length of 3.35m and a maximum width of 2.25m. There are two hydrofoils attached underneath the hull. The only single-handed dinghy construction class, that is approved from World Sailing, is especially popular among the 49er sailors. The Moths reach top speeds of over 35 knots (65km/h).

Also kiting will have a revival at the Kiel Week after a long break (2008 until 2012). In the Olympic year 2012, the Kiel Week did offer the kiters the possibility to present themselves during the Sailing World Cup. Now the Kiel Week is setting the kiters again onto the program looking at the Olympics 2024. Whether it will be the Foiling Kite or non-foiling TwinTip will also depend on the decision from World Sailing this year. In May, the discipline Kite-Mix was nominated by World Sailing as an Olympic discipline for 2024. Thus the kiters, who already had an Olympic status for six months for the Games in Rio and then had to step aside again, will now be fighting for medals at the Olympics in France (Marseille will be the venue for the sailing competitions).

"Of course, we care about the cooperation with World Sailing, and we would like to give the Olympic classes of the future the possibility to present themselves during the Kiel Week regattas", said Head of Organization Ramhorst.

The kite regattas will be in the first part of the Kiel Week: Saturday 22 June, until Monday 24 June. The foilers will be starting in the second half from Wednesday 26 June until Sunday 30 June.

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