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Kiel Week 2019 - Day 4: Hunger quenches his thirst for a 22nd title

by Andy Rice 25 Jun 2019 10:20 PDT 22-30 June 2019
Five time 505 world champion Wolfgang Hunger wins his 22nd title at Kiel Week with his crew Holger Jess © Kiel Week / Sascha Klahn

The international classes concluded the first half of Kiel Week today, with a German legend winning the 505 title after a few years in the wilderness. It was searingly hot in Kiel-Schilksee today, with temperatures touching over 30 degrees. The weather on the Kiel Fjord was hotter than the Caribbean today, a rare event which is turning 2019 into a particularly special edition of Kiel Week.

The final races for the international classes took place in light winds today. Since Saturday, more than 1800 sailors have been competing in 11 small-boat classes.

505 Veterans back on top

In the 505 class, five-time World Champion Wolfgang Hunger - back together with his old crew Holger Jess - returned to his winning ways in Kiel after a six-year period without a win. Across the 470 and 505 classes, the former Olympian had won 21 times at Kiel Week, and 2019 becomes his 22nd victory on home waters. There's a telepathic understanding between the two sailors, as Hunger explained: "If you have been sailing together for such a long time, it is easier to adapt again to each other. But the last title at Kiel Week was a long time ago, so we were working very hard this week. It's great to have got the victory again."

Perfect score for the Flying Hungarians

In another high-performance doublehanded trapeze class, Hungary's Szabolcs Majthényi and András Domokos absolutely dominated, winning all 11 races in the Flying Dutchman fleet.

The final day of the 29er EuroCup was a high-pressure scenario with four crews locked together virtually on equal points. Norway's Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty rose to the occasion and won the final two races to win by nine points from Finland's Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer.

Freddy does more than just OK

Freddy Lööf got into the OK singlehanded dinghy last year as a way of reconnecting with the grass roots of the sport after a highly decorated Olympic and America's Cup career. "I sailed the OK when I was about 16, then I did all my Finn and Star sailing, but it's nice to be back in the OK again. It suits me well and it's a very friendly class with really good people, including a few of my old friends from the Finn. This has been a fantastic Kiel Week, great organisation, a friendly welcome and incredible weather." Runner-up behind the winning Swede was France's Valerian Lebrun.

Danes bring home the bacon

In the Europe hiking singlehander, Denmark's Anna Livbjerg showed a clean pair of heels to the men and the other women in this mixed fleet, never finishing out of the top three and beating runner-up, Sweden's Carl Ljunggren by 29 points.

Another Dane did well in the Contender trapeze singlehander. At the start of the day, many-time winner Christoph Homeier was wearing the yellow jersey but he didn't enjoy the lighter breezes so much, slipping to third behind fellow German Max Billerbeck who scored 1,2 on the final day. However, overall winner was Soren Andreasen from Denmark who clinched the final race ahead of Billerbeck to claim the top of the podium ahead of the two Germans.

Foiling all the way to the finish

Adriano Petrino managed to get on the hydrofoils more than any of his rivals in the Foiling fleet in marginal conditions for the boats that prefer to fly rather than float on the water. "I foiled for maybe 80 per cent of the time, and the guy chasing me maybe 50 per cent, so he still pushed me hard. It has been an amazing week in Kiel, and I hope the Moths get their own start next year. The flat water and strong winds we had earlier this week was so much fun."

At the other end of the speed spectrum was the 2.4mR sit-in singlehanded keelboat and Germany's Paralympic hero Heiko Kröger ran away with the competition, counting all his scores in the top two.

Strutting Peacock

The Musto Skiff high-performance trapeze singlehander made a welcome return to Kiel Week and it was British sailor Rick Peacock who won the regatta with a worst score of fourth place across the 12 races. Peacock was also a Kiel Week winner back in 2010, although on that occasion it was in the 49er Olympic skiff.

Tomorrow - the young legends from New Zealand

After the prizegiving on the big stage, tonight the first half of Kieler Woche concludes with a big fireworks display in Schilksee. Tomorrow we expect to see more fireworks on the water. A world-class fleet of 49er skiffs goes racing on the TV track. Among the many international starts, the biggest of all are America's Cup winners and Olympic Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from New Zealand.

Kieler Woche, which takes place from 22 to 30 June, divides into two halves. The first half which began today is all about the international classes and is mostly about keen amateur sailors competing against each other. 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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