Please select your home edition
Pineapple Cup 2022 LEADERBOARD

Kieler Woche 2020 - Day 7: Formula One on the bumpy Baltic sea

by Hermann Hell 13 Sep 2020 00:39 PDT 5-13 September 2020
The 2016 Olympic champion and reigning world champion Marit Bouwmeester leads in the Laser Radial before the final day and is almost impossible to catch for overall victory ©

Day three for the Olympic classes at Kieler Woche offered sailors and spectators a thrilling spectacle. While traditional sailors and recreational skippers cruised out of the inner fjord for the windjammer parade, the catamaran, skiff and dinghy sailors fought for victory on the windward-leeward courses of the outer fjord in shifting winds, strong gusts and rough waves.

"It started moderately, then became very challenging with gusts of over 30 knots. But we managed to complete almost all the races according to plan," reported regatta organizer Dirk Ramhorst. A challenge for the race organizers was the sail-past of the windjammer parade. "Some ships went through the regatta course and found out for themselves just how fast a 49er or Nacra17 can be in these conditions. Fortunately nothing happened. But this has to be communicated better in future," said Ramhorst. For the final day he expects a sunny day with even more wind, which will probably keep some participants from starting.


Bumpy as a potato field, the course on the inshore track for the 49erFX was challenging to say the least. In changeable winds with short waves, the skiff women delivered a Formula One show at high speed, including plenty of capsizes. Good scores were hard to come by, with only a few teams showing consistent top results. Above all were the local team of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke. Racing on their home turf, they have not had a single slip in the entire series of eleven races.

Victory in the last race catapulted the Germans into first place overall. So they can go into the final day with complete peace of mind, with the champagne on ice. In terms of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, they can no longer be caught up by the twelfth-placed competitors Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz.

"We are lost for words," said an elated Susann Beucke. "We are super happy with the day, we have exceeded our possibilities. From the outside it looked easy. But from the inside, it didn't feel like that at all. We have been quivering with nerves. We have been under tension for months. Tonight we are celebrating something special in our circle of friends and family."

Tina Lutz added: "I am completely exhausted. After fulfilling the Olympic criteria, a Kieler Woche victory would be the icing on the cake." Their pursuers Stephanie Roble/Maggie Shea (USA) are, however, only one point behind, ready to pounce on any error. On the other hand, the points cushion on the third-placed British team of Charlotte Dobson/Saskia Tidey is already quite comfortable.


The longer the day lasted, the more violent the conditions became. The skiff men experienced the full fury of the Baltic weather as starters of the late shift. Nevertheless the gold fleet with the 26 best teams completed four races. The German World Championship second-place finishers, Erik Heil/Thomas Plößel, showed that they know how to deal with strong winds despite a lack of training time. With two wins, but also a 16th and a 13th place, they climbed to fifth place overall. While the previous runners-up, the Poles Lukasz Przybytek/Pawel Kolodzinski, were hit hard and washed back to tenth place, the Danes Jonas Warrer/Jakob Precht Jensen remain in first place despite moderate results - now followed by Bart Lambriex/Pim van Vugt (Netherlands) and Lucas Rual/Emile Amoros (France).


After the early start disqualification of the Swiss Nils Theuninck in the first day's race, Nicholas Heiner (Netherlands) is heading for a seemingly certain Kieler Woche victory. The Finn World Championship bronze medallist of 2017 and former Laser World Champion (2014) completed his top series by finishing in 2nd, 1st, 1st place and now only has to finish a solid race in the two remaining races on the final day to keep Nils Theuninck and the Argentinean Facundo Olezza at a distance.

Laser Radial

The young Hungarian Maria Erdi found herself struggling in the difficult conditions of Saturday, but held on to her podium place going into the final day. Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands) seems to be unchallenged in the top position, because the second placed Danish Anne-Marie Rindom is already 12 points behind. Further back in the Radial fleet, the best Germans will be competing for important points in the Olympic qualification process. Tomorrow's racing will be critical before they go to the European Championship in Poland in October, which will finally decide on the German nomination for Tokyo. Now in 7th place, Hannah Anderssohn (Warnemünde) has almost caught up in the qualification battle with Svenja Weger (Kiel) in 13th place.

Laser Standard

In the strong wind and choppy waves of Melbourne, Philipp Buhl crowned his career in February by winning the World Championship title. During Kieler Woche he showed that he is still able to handle strong gusts, even if he does not feel in world championship shape at the moment, according to his own assessment. Scores of 3, 5, 1 lift the German to second place, sandwiched between the British sailors Michael Beckett and Elliot Hanson.

Nacra 17

The Nacra 17 fleet was pushed to its limits in the challenging conditions of Saturday. But the Italians Ruggero Tita/Caterina Banti seem not to know this limit, and flew to three victories. They showed a consistency that no other team from the leading group could match. And so the Italians can only beat themselves before the final on Sunday. Even the World Champions John Gimson/Anna Burnet (Great Britain) have only a tiny mathematical chance of winning. The German home team, Paul Kohlhoff/ Alica Stuhlemmer, hold third place with a five-point buffer on the Austrian team in fourth.

Formula 18

Any hope of victory at Kieler Woche was lost for previous winners Helge and Christian Sach (Zarnekau) before the day's races even started. While sailing out to the course, the gennaker fell into the water and put so much pressure on the gennaker bowsprit that it snapped off. With a lot of effort the brothers managed to get all the equipment back ashore, but finished the day without a result.

At the top of the F18 ranking, the catamaran kings, Cedric Bader/Nicolaj Björnholt, are winning race after race. With another three victories, the French-Danish duo has already won Kieler Woche before the two final races. The top contenders for the other podium places are Mikko and Kirsikka Räisänen (Finland) and Robert Schütz/Rea Kühl (Germany).

OK dinghy

A capsize in the last day's race does not seem to be able to prevent Mads Bendix from earning his first Kieler Woche victory, although he is on a tight time budget. The Dane has already packed his boat and is on his way back home: "I have to work. That was planned in advance. But from what I heard, the top five all don't want to go out on the water anymore," said Bendix.

The Laser and Finn sailor has put his Olympic ambitions on ice for the time being and is keeping fit in the OK dinghy: "It's fun and a good level." The overall result after three days puts him in first place ahead of Andre Budzien (Schwerin) and the Swede Thomas Hansson-Mild.


The Maltese double lead in the junior skiffs is still going strong, and the awarding of gold and silver on the Kiel Fjord will probably become a family affair. Richard Schultheis/Max Körner hold top spot ahead of Antonia Schultheis/Ole Ulrich with the Danes Jens-Christian and Jens-Philip Dehn-Toftehöj in third place.

Related Articles

Young sailing talents are rushing to Kiel Week
Organisers optimistic for September's event Even though the pandemic still has an impact on events, things are looking much better than the year before. Thus, many program activities are planned in the city and Schilksee also onshore. Posted on 23 Jul
Star Class World Championship returns to Kiel
Yacht designer, Ocean Race Europe winner and Olympians to line-up The Star Class World Championship returns to Kiel. After 1939, 1966, 1977 and 1993, the world's best keelboat sailors will compete in the state capital of Schleswig-Holstein to crown their world champions. Posted on 14 Jul
Star World Championship to be held at Kiel Week
No less than 80 of the two-man keelboats are expected The Star World Championship returns to Kiel. And this September, two events are on the schedule at once. For the Junior Star Worlds, 40 boats are expected and for the Star World Championship no less than 80 of the two-man keelboats are expected. Posted on 5 May
Solidarity for the united Kiel Week
Everything will be done in compliance with the pandemic rules Also in 2021 there will be no Kiel Week in the usual format. While the 2020 edition was based on the principle of "sailing first", the main focus in 2021 will be on a united Kiel Week for sailing and festivals. Posted on 20 Apr
Kiel Week 2021 postponed to September
The logical decision in view of the current situation Free, outside and for everyone - that's how Kiel Week wants to present itself again this year. Therefore, it will not take place at the end of June again, but will be postponed to the date 4 to 12 September. Posted on 19 Mar
Waszp fly at Kiel Week
30 of the foilers expected at the event Once again, Kiel combines tradition and innovation. Up to 30 Waszp are expected in June. There were already registrations from Denmark, Germany and Great Britain at the end of February. Posted on 22 Feb
Kiel Week 2021: In good times as in bad
Planning for the event is in full swing Planning for Kiel Week 2021 is in full swing - and on several tracks at once, because the pandemic demands flexibility even in the planning of major events. Posted on 25 Jan
Kiel Week 2021: A world class event
Preparations are already in full swing The postponement to September and the implementation of the regatta under the most demanding conditions will be positively remembered by athletes, organizers and the entire sailing community as a very special event. Posted on 22 Dec 2020
Kieler Woche 2020 organisation admired
Variety of methods guard against COVID-19 including new 5 second test "Do it like in Kiel!" This statement of the former president of the World Sailing Association has become a famous statement in the state capital and has drawn the eyes of the whole sailing world to the organizational abilities of the people of Kiel. Posted on 9 Sep 2020
Kieler Woche 2020: Back to its roots
The motto for this year's event With the postponement of Kieler Woche from the end of June to September, the organizers of the state capital Kiel and the Kieler Yacht-Club sent a signal in mid-March. Posted on 23 Apr 2020
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERC-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOMLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOM