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Kiel Week - International medal shine, final for Olympic tickets and regional hygiene regulations

by Kiel Week 31 Aug 07:00 PDT 5-13 September 2020
Erik Heil/Thomas Plößel (NRV) have already solved the German Olympic ticket in the 49er. For them the Kieler Woche is a free competition and an assessment of their position. © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche

Olympic medal brilliance, top-class international fields, the German Olympic elimination in four disciplines as well as an enormous popularity in all 19 classes on the "triangular tracks" and the offshore courses: The Kieler Woche (September 5 to 13, 2020) is desired by the active athletes.

The sailors all agree: Kiel is the goal! After a long regatta break, which begun after the world championships in January and February, the world's top sailors in the Olympic classes will meet again at the Kieler Woche for the first time.

"We are also delighted that the DSV (German Sailing Association) has decided to include Kieler Woche in the national Olympic qualification in four Olympic disciplines. And of course, we are pleased about the worldwide response and the fact that other nations are also including Kiel in their Olympic qualification series," said Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of the Kieler Woche regattas. Nevertheless, the safety of the active participants, volunteers and organizers is paramount, he continues.

"We cannot and will not make any compromises by planning the sailing competitions. Maximum limits of participants in each class, hygiene regulations, distance rules, a complete sailing-free change over day, compulsory masks on the event area and entry regulations ultimately determine the regatta fields. Our big goal is to offer safe sailing after the lockdown during Kieler Woche," emphasized the Head of Organization at the Kieler Woche press conference on Monday in Kiel Schilksee. In addition, it is determined where which boat is moored, there are prescribed event areas and equalized, staggered starting times, while visitors are not allowed.

Almost live: TV and Social Media

Nevertheless, those who are interested can follow the Kieler Woche digitally. "We have already developed a worldwide standard for digital coverage of Kieler Woche in recent years and will expand it this year thanks to the great support of the city of Kiel. On we offer a daily changing program with explanations and moderation by proven sailing experts and additionally many contributions in the social media channels", says Ramhorst. On large screens in the Schlossgarten and the Rathausplatz, the sailing events (in consideration of the audience restrictions) can be followed in Kiel's city center. With the Windjammer parade for everyone and the Sailor-Cinema (instead of drive-in cinema) in front of the coastal power plant, Kiel underlines its creativity in special times.

The world's top of the sailing sport as guests in Kiel

Despite all the extraordinary conditions: The world's top sailors are coming to Kiel. Thus, the Top Ten of the recent world championships and the three Olympic medal winners of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in the Laser Radial, the Olympic one-handed class for women, are to be found in the list of participants. The gold medal winners in the 49er FX and Nacra 17, the silver medal winner in the Laser Standard and the bronze crews in the 49er and Nacra 17 have also entered. They are joined by World and European champions and Kieler Woche winners.

"Kiel is an important milestone for many top sailors who are aiming for the Olympic Games as a sporting highlight," says Dirk Ramhorst, who has been preparing the Kieler Woche 2020 "Sailing plus X" with a large volunteer staff since the beginning of the pandemic.

The fight for the Olympic tickets

In the 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 and Laser Radial, there is a lot at stake for the German Olympic candidates. In these four disciplines, the regattas is included in the national ranking during Kieler Woche. In the 49er and 49er FX it is the final event. After Kieler Woche it will be clear who will be nominated. In Nacra 17 and Laser Radial, the Kieler Woche is the second event of the three-elimination series.

"We deliberately chose Kieler Woche in those cases where it was possible and where internationally strong fields can be anticipated in order not to postpone the continuation of the qualification unnecessarily. Kiel offers a world-class level in these classes", said Nadine Stegenwalner, Sports Director of the DSV, at the press conference.

To score for the national Olympic qualification, at least one place among the top twenty must be achieved. For the first place there are 25 points, for second place 22 points, the third place receives 20 points, then from fourth place (17) to 20th place (1 point) the number of points decreases linearly.

"We are all delighted that races are taking place again - and the Kieler Woche can take place on our doorstep of the national training center in Schilksee. The German Sailing Team used the last weeks very well and it remains to be seen how it will be implemented by the sailors", says Stegenwalner. With a view to the international top field, the sports director adds: "The entry lists promise extremely good fields, and the Kieler Woche can certainly serve to determine the current situation. Even though it is difficult to evaluate what was possible in each country and how other teams have used or have been able to use the situation/the last months".

The race in the 49er FX between the leaders Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Chiemsee/Strande/12 points ahead) and the Kieler Woche title defender Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz (Berlin) should be especially exciting for the German Olympic elimination.

"The KiWo is the decisive event for the Olympic ticket for Tokyo 2021! We are looking forward to it and are definitely giving our best. We've worked hard over the last few months, and we want to show that," says Anika Lorenz, looking forward to the countdown in Kiel. "After all, defending the title and qualifying for the Olympics are not mutually exclusive, perhaps quite the opposite. But if I had to choose one, it would of course be the Olympic ticket," says Lorenz, who finished ninth ahead of Rio with helmswoman Victoria Jurczok at the 2016 Games.

"The field of participants is huge. We haven't had that for a long time. This is mainly due to the many young teams, and it is cool to see that the enthusiasm for FX is so high. Many international teams have also confirmed their participation, so the level of the Kieler Woche is rising," explained the defending champion, who trained in Aarhus (Denmark) until the Kieler Woche starts.

Also the opponents for the one German Olympic ticket in the 49erFX, Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Chiemsee/Strande), got the final touch in Aarhus after the training months in Kiel, because the Kieler Woche is all about everything. In their third attempt Lutz/Beucke want to secure their Olympic ticket. "It is a great field of participants. The World Champions Tamara Echegoyen/Paula Barcelo from Spain and the Olympic Champions Martine Grael/Kahena Kunze from Brazil have entered and are at the start thanks to the wildcard. The interest in the Kieler Woche is huge. And for us it is an endurance test after the summer. Kiel is our season highlight. That's how we prepare ourselves and we have nothing else on the regatta calendar," said Beucke.

In the 49er, Erik Heil/Thomas Plößel (Kiel) shook off the national competition with their bronze and silver medals at the last World Championships in December and January and secured their ticket before the final qualification.

Paul Kohlhoff/Alica Stuhlemmer (Kiel) in the Nacra 17 are, with two qualification regattas still to go, without competition and uncatchable. They will prospectively join the German Laser star and reigning world champion Philipp Buhl (Sonthofen), who will also be competing at Kiel against 129 rivals, to Tokio.

"The Kieler Woche is an endurance test for us. On our home ground we want to recommend ourselves for the Olympic Games and a medal in September," says Paul Kohlhoff confidently. But the competition in the field of the foiling two-handed catamaran with double trapeze is on a world class level. Among others, the reigning world champions from Great Britain John Gimson/Anna Burnet and the gold medal winners from Brazil Santiago Lange/Cecilia Carranza Saroli (Wildcard) have entered. The Olympic bronze medallists Thomas Zach/Barbara Mats (Austria) will compete to defend their Kieler Woche title.

"There is a top-class field at the start and a first important position determination after a long break. Because of the pandemic, this applies to everyone," says 26-year-old Kohlhoff, who wants to take the podium in his home district.

Svenja Weger (Potsdam) already has one hand on the Olympic ticket in the Laser Radial with eight points in the national qualification. Bust it will be difficult to make a big score for all Laser sailors in Kiel. After the Kieler Woche the qualification ends in October at the European Championship in Greece.

Title collectors are at the start

Also in the non-Olympic classes there are interesting duels. Wolfgang Hunger is aiming for his 23rd Kieler Woche victory. The medical doctor from Strande leads the eternal Kieler Woche title list unchallenged. This year, the former 470 Olympic participant will again compete with crew member Holger Jess (Wittensee). Together they have already won eight joint victories in the 505 class, the last one they won only last year 2019. Hunger achieved another six victories in the 505 with Julien Kleiner, while Jess won three more titles at Kieler Woche with various helmsmen.

The 29ers are experiencing the biggest rush in a non-Olympic class. The junior skiff is considered the preliminary stage for the Olympic 49er FX for women and the 49er for men. In 2020 the sailing stars of tomorrow will not only sail for the Kieler Woche victory, but also for their Eurocup. A total of 110 young crews will start in two groups.

In the junior class 420, 100 teams will fight for the Kieler Woche title and the victory at the Eurosaf Circuit 2020. The Kieler Woche is the final series of the European competition.

Two IDM titles in one week?

The International German Championship (IDM) ORCi and ORC Double Hand is the highlight in the regatta calender for almost every Offshore sailors! Kieler Woche offers regattas from family fun to professional sailing, from weekend trip to sailing during the entire Week, the range of activities is extensive.

At the International German Championship, all known names in the german offshore scene are listed, including the defending champions from last year, "Intermezzo" (Jens Kuphal, Berlin, ORCi I/II), "Immac Fram" (Kai Mares/Dänischenhagen/ORCi III), "Nemo" (Uwe Kleinvogel/Rostock/ORCi IV) and the first German champion in Offshore Houble Hand, "Halbtrocken" (Knut Freudenberg/Nils Reichert/Flensburg).

The defender of the German championship in the ORCi III class, Kai Mares, is looking forward to the first regatta start in 2020, as the skipper of the "Immac Fram" describes: "Our crew is already scraping their feet and is looking forward to finally getting started". Of course, defending the IDM title is right at the top of the Hamburg-based company's sailing team's agenda. Last year the "Immac Fram" won all IDM races in front of Travemünde.

Jens Kuphal, owner and skipper of the "Intermezzo", is also aiming to defend the title: "First and foremost, we are delighted that it is at all possible to host Kieler Woche and the IDM. In addition to tactician Robert Stanjek (Olympic champion of London 2012 in the Star) and yacht optimizer Max Gurgel on the trimmer position, two-time British circumnavigator and Olympic participant Annie Lush will also join the team.

Two crew members of the "Intermezzo" are working a double shift in Kiel: Max Gurgel and Robert Stanjek. In the second half of the race, they will be competing in the German Offshore Championship Double Hand, which is held from Thursday to Saturday.

Max Gurgel will be sailing with Lena Weißkichel on the L30 "Sharifa". Together they also have their eyes on the Olympic Games in Japan. "We are already tackling it very seriously and with commitment," says Gurgel. The 34-year-old sailor from Hamburg is now at home in Kiel. "With this possibility of offshore sailing becoming an Olympic event, I couldn't say no," says the sailing professional, who met his sailing partner Lena Weißkichel (20) two years ago while surveying a 49er. The Baltic 500 Regatta, the Kieler Woche and the DSV training sessions were and are on the training schedule.

At present, Gurgel/Weißkichel sails an L30, "which class boss Rasmus Töpsch, who is extremely supportive of us, has made available to us," says Gurgel. A reason for the choice of a L30: In this boat class the European and World Championships of the new olympic discipline will take place in the next years. "After that, we will also sail other boats, a Dehler 30od is on the agenda," explains Gurgel, who is happy that there are different options for boat types until 2023 to become the Olympic boat for Paris 2024. "In match races I am also used to quickly adjusting and trimming to other boat types," Gurgel describes the appeal of the new possibility. Under the company name "Vmax", the former physics student is in demand as a trim expert and trims the yachts to maximum speed (Vmax) in a short time. Probably an advantage if the final Olympic boat is chosen only one year before the 2024 Games. Then it will be up to Max Gurgel, who has already hoarded offshore titles with the "X-Day", to implement his professional mission "making boats fast" in his Olympic dream.

Robert Stanjek will launch the new Dehler 30od of the Offshore Team Germany together with the Mini-Transat hero Morten Bogacki in Kiel and compete against his "Intermezzo" crew member Max Gurgel. In contrast to the Olympic competitions in 2024, the International German Championship will not only be offered in mixed form. They will also meet the defending champions Knut Freudenberg/Nils Reichert (SV Flensburg), who will also be working a double shift with their First 36.7. On Thursday, the two-hand crews will start on a 60 nautical mile course just before the Senatspreis. On Friday, 150 nautical miles are on the agenda. The Dehler 30od class will be aiming for its own scoring, which will also be started parallel to the Senatspreis and the Silbernes Band.

The Kieler Woche starts on Saturday, September 5, with the Offshore boats in front of the Kieler Yacht-Club in Düsternbrook once again. Starting at 9 a.m., the multihulls, the yardstick measured yachts for the Aalregatta, the ORC-Club participants in the Welcome Race and the crews in the IDM ORCi will start with a time delay.

German Olympic Qualification at the Kieler Woche

Finals in 49er and 49er FX: The scoring already includes the World Championships in 2020 and 2019. Heil/Plößel are not endangered in the 49er. In the 49erFX Lutz/Beucke will start with a 12 point advantage over Jurczok/Lorenz. Points awarded: 1. Place: 25 points; 2. Place: 22 points; 3. Place 20 points; 4. Place: 17 points;...; 20. Place: one point.

Nacra 17: Kieler Woche (points scoring as above) and the European Championships from September 28 to October 4, 2020 in Attersee (Austria). Points scoring at the European Championship: Points awarded: 1. Place: 30 points; 2. Place: 25 points; 3. Place 22 points; 4. Place: 17 points;...; 20. Place: one point.The scoring already includes the World Championship 2020.

Laser Radial: Kieler Woche and the European Championship from October 9th to 16th, 2020 in Kalamata (Greece). The points for the national ranking are the same as the Nacra 17. The ranking already includes the World Championship 2020

Laser: In the Laser Standard, all three regattas have already taken place for the national classification. Philipp Buhl has fulfilled the Olympic norm and has to be nominated for the Olympic Games by the DOSB (German Olympic Sports Confederation) now.

In the Finn-Dinghy Max Kohlhoff is still fighting for a ticket for Tokyo. However, Kiel is not part of the qualification series. The decision will be made at the World Cup in October and at the Princess Sofia Trophy at the end of March 2021.

The disciplines 470 women and men as well as RS:X women and men are not sailing at the Kieler Woche. In the disciplines RS:X women and men, Finn and 470 men the German Sailing Association has not yet been able to secure ticket for the nation. In which events it will be possible to fight for the last ticket for the nation is still open.

Kieler Woche - Part I: (5 to 8 September): 420, 505, Europe, J/80, J/70, J/24, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial (open), Contender, Musto Skiff.

Kieler Woche - Part II: (10 to 13 September): 49er, 49erFX, Laser Radial, Laser Std, OK-dinghy, Finn, Nacra 17, Formula 18, 29er.

Kieler Woche - Offshore: (5 to 13 September)
IDM: ORC I-IV, IDM: Double Hand.
Aalregatta, Welcome Race, Senatspreis, Silbernes Band.

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