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Kieler Woche 2020 - Day 6: Consistency and persistence pay off in variable breeze

by Hermann Hell 11 Sep 14:15 PDT 5-13 September 2020
The Pole Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski are currently in second place in the 49er field. © www.segel-bilder.de

On Friday the organizers of the Kieler Woche took full advantage of the opportunities for maximising the amount of good sailing for the Olympic classes. There were four races for the majority of the field, which was presented with typically challenging conditions on the courses ranged across the outer fjord.

"Actually the wind was more constant than yesterday," said regatta organization manager Dirk Ramhorst, who was pleased to see that the system of medical care is also running smoothly in Kiel.

A 29er sailor suffered an ankle injury on the water and was brought swiftly ashore. While he was on his way to the hospital, a motorboat brought skiff sailors from the organization team to the 29er to sail the boat back into the harbor.

49er

After a messy first day the German World Championship medalists Erik Heil/Thomas Plößel (Silver 2019, Bronze 2020) have increased the pressure on themselves. By their own admission, they sail better under pressure. Consequently, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallists started the Friday with a victory. After that, however, things went downhill again, so they are in seventh place in the overall ranking before the final round. The benchmark in this fleet continues to be the 2008 Olympic champion Jonas Warrer with crew member Jakob Precht Jensen.

The Danes lead ahead of the Poles Lukasz Przybytek/Pawel Kolodzinski and Tim Fischer/Fabian Graf from Germany. In fourth place is the young crew Bart Lambriex/Pim van Vugt. The Dutch have been steering a successful course since last year, qualified their country for the Olympics and sailed to the 2019 World Championships in eighth place. The duo has a proven track record of top successes on separate tracks in the past. Lambriex became junior world champion in 2016 in 49erFX, van Vugt won the world championship title of the RS500 in the same year.

49erFX

Looking well placed for German Olympic participation in Tokyo is the team of Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke. The duo, who are fighting for a first-time place at the Games in their third Olympic campaign, continue to perform consistently in the leading group and after the seven races of the preliminary round are in second place behind the current world champions Tamara Echegoyen/Paula Barcelo (Spain) and ahead of the Italians Jana Germani/Giorgia Bertuzzi. But the top rivals for German selection, Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz, never give up in their battle with Lutz/Beucke for Tokyo selection. With a victory at the end of the day the Berlin duo pushed themselves into the top ten. Starting on Saturday, the top crews will meet directly on the same race track. Six races are scheduled through to Sunday.

"We're tightening up our routines, and it's working very well so far," reports Susann Beucke who believes she and Lutz can step up their game again if they find themselves challenged in the coming days: "So far we've been defensive, we can still tighten the reins. But in the coming days there will be enough wind for everyone, there's no need to make things complicated." In terms of Olympic qualification, helmswoman Tina Lutz is counting on the fact that it pays off to have stayed focused in the past years despite plenty of setbacks along the way: "Persistence beats talent and genius. That is what we hope for. We have fought our way through. But there are still two days to go."

Nacra 17

Ever changing races and places for the co-pilots of these flying, hydrofoiling catamarans, the Nacra 17. The wind changed in strength and direction as well as the athletes' positions on the results board. At first the Kiel residents Paul Kohlhoff/Alica Stuhlemmer seemed to be able to enjoy home-team advantage on these tricky waters. After finishing fifth, they followed up with a race victory, and briefly took the overall lead. But then they fell out of step, started too conservatively and capsized on the downwind leg. A 19th place was the result in the third race of the day, before they recovered and with fourth place in the fourth race they held on to second place in the overall standings. The Italians Ruggeri Tita/Caterina Banti successfully defended the lead ahead of Kohlhoff/ Stuhlemmer and John Gimson/Anna Burnet (Great Britain).

Paul Kohlhoff was self-critical of his varied performance: "We are only partially satisfied. For us the series counts, that's why we would rather be fifth twice than first once and 19th once." For the coming days the Kiel sailor remains confident: "We can compensate for that." None of the other teams came away from the day unscathed. After a wild ride to their victory in the third day's race, Anna Burnet, the crew in the British team with John Gimson, summed up the day's motto: "The winds are not easy. And it's never over until it's over."

Finn

The top trio of heavyweight athletes remains on track for podium success. But the Swiss Nils Theuninck is putting pressure on the top spot. With two wins and a second place, he drew level with Nicholas Heiner on points. The Dutchman countered with a victory in the last race of the day and thus maintained his overall lead.

Laser Standard

The Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard easily discarded his Black Flag disqualification at the end of the first day. With scores of 1, 6, 1, 2, the sixth-place finisher in this year's World Championship sixth fought his way to the top of the field and thus also had his training partner and World Champion Philipp Buhl firmly under control. The German has slipped to sixth place at his home event with the series 6, 9, 3, 16. The other podium places in the intermediate ranking are taken by the British Michael Beckett and the Italian Giovanni Coccoluto going into the start of the final round.

Laser Radial

Consistency is often said to be the key to success. In the Radial fleet, this consistency is currently being demonstrated by the 22-year-old Hungarian Maria Erdi. The former U21 World Champion competed at the 2016 Olympic Games as an 18-year-old, but missed the medal race in Rio and is now striving for more.

Erdi is showing great form with scores of 2, 8, 8, 7, 6, 3 and is starting to put pressure on the series leader, the reigning Olympic Champion Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands).

Erdi commented: "It is important to have consistent results. The conditions were not easy. You never knew what would happen. Therefore you had to be patient and wait for your chance. This has worked well so far." Her goals for Kieler Woche and the Olympic Games are the same: "I want to be in the top three. We are working for a medal in Tokyo. The 2020 World Champion Marit Bouwmeester (1, 3, 6, 6, 12, 9) is only one point ahead and took a deep breath after a long day at sea: "Four races were a decent amount of work. But it is good to finally be able to sail races again. It is the first regatta since the World Championship in February." The Dutch athlete is not yet sure about her current form: "Kiel Week is the warm-up for the European Championship in October. I hope for a medal there, but of course we are lacking in preparation." At the moment the Danish sailor Anne-Marie Rindom is in third place.

Formula 18

The combination of two Hobie 16 helmsmen seems to make a good Formula 18 team. Cedric Bader (France), Hobie 16 European Champion in 2016, and Nicolaj Björnholt (Denmark), current Vice World Champion in the Hobie 16, are usually tough rivals in their regular class. Before Kiel they tried out sailing together and prove that they can handle two feet more of boat length as well as a big gennaker. Six victories and a second place in seven races tells you all you need to know about the strength of this Franco-Danish duo. Further back is a battle for second place between Dirk Bleiker/Kilian Feindt of Germany with the Finns Mikko and Kirsikka Räisänen.

OK

A new star is on the rise in the firmament of the OK dinghy fleet. The Dane Mads Bendix, former Finn and Laser sailor, sailed to sixth place in the European Championships during the Kieler Woche last year. This year four victories and two second places suggest Bendix is now truly world class. Three-time world champion André Budzien from Germany is still in the running with only two points gap to the top Dane, while Thomas Hansson-Mild of Sweden, world champion of 2009, is doing his best to shake off a bad discard incurred after an early-start disqualification.

29er

The Maltese Schultheis family is making a strong impression at Kieler Woche. Richard Schultheis defends his lead in the 29er with crew Max Kröner from Germany. After two days, Antonia Schultheis with her German crew Ole Ulrich is the closest threat for the lead. Behind them follow the Danes Jens-Christian and Jens-Philip Dehn-Toftehöj. Victoria Schultheis shows where the path of the Schultheis sailors tends to lead. She has already moved on to the Olympic circuit with the Norwegian Maren Edland, and sits in 28th place in the 49erFX skiff class.

www.kieler-woche.de/en

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