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Kiel Week set for a light winds start Saturday

by Andreas Kling 16 Jun 11:54 PDT 17-25 June 2023
52 flags of the participating nations are hoisted for Kiel Week 2023 © Kieler Woche / ChristianBeeck.de

With high pressure still dominating northern Europe light winds are expected for the first few days of Germany's giant 129th edition of Kiel Week which opens on Saturday (17 June) with racing for the eight Olympic classes - ILCA 6 and ILCA 7, 49er, 49er FX, 470 mixed, Nacra 17, iQFoil men and women and three international fleets, 2.4-metre, 420 and OK Dinghies.

At just over one year before the Paris 2024 Olympics and less than one month before the Paris 2024 Sailing Test Event in Marseille, Kiel Week's Olympic classes racing is very much focused on home German sailors tempering their skills, emerging young sailors and teams gaining big fleet international experience at one of the world's showcase Olympic multi class events as well as a smattering of Olympic medallists and stars looking to stay sharp.

The ILCA 7 fleet has attracted a capacity fleet of 130 men, in the absence of Germany's 2020 world champion Philipp Buhl top seed is probably Germany's young Nik Aaron Willim who was fourth here in 2021. As expected the fleet has a strong entry from Scandinavian ILCA strongholds and the Netherlands but also up and coming names from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain

The strength and depth of Germany's 470 Olympic team is enviable, and all three top duos will be in action during the coming days on the Schilksee. Malte and Anastasia Winkel already have had the nod to represent Germany at the upcoming Marseille test event. Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth are the 2022 world champions and Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort recently finished runners up at the 470 Europeans in Italy.

The 49er Men's skiff fleet will be tight but has no out and out favourite. Among the leading contenders will be Austria's Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl ranked 2 in the world, who have a world championships 8th to their credit, Poland's Lukasz Przybytek and Jacek Piasecki who were fourth at Mallorca's Trofeo Princesa Sofia, and the USA's Andrew Mollerus and Ian Macdiarmid who are world ranked 5 and who finished tenth in Hyeres.

Among Germany's world champions and Olympic medallist racing at Kiel Week will be iQFOiL world champion Sebastien K├Ârdel and in the Nacra 17, 2020 Olympic bronze medallists Paul Kohlhoff and Alicia Stuhlemmer.

Racing for the Olympic classes is due to start from 1300hrs Saturday with a qualifying series leading into Finals Monday and Tuesday before Medal races Wednesday.

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