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Meet the fleet #15 - Peter Lubeck, International 29er Class President

by International 29er Class 9 Nov 2023 04:13 PST
29er European Championship at Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) © Mogens Hansen

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

In my professional career I am a scientist working as Associate Professor at a Danish University with focus on the green transition in agricultural and food biotechnology. Besides that I have co-founded several start-up companies working with different kinds of development of alternative proteins for human consumption.

I began sailing more than 40 years ago and have sailed many different keelboats and participated in different regattas in a Danish keelboat, X79. I am a National and International Race Officer and have enjoyed being a Race Officer for the 29er class for the last 16 years.

I am married to Mette and have 3 kids, a girl and 2 boys. The 2 boys, Christian Peter (CP) and Mads Emil (SMIL) started sailing optimists 22 years ago. 16 years ago they decided to sail the 29er together for 4 years, and then moved to the 49er to embark on an Olympic campaign together. CP went on to the Olympics in Rio 2016, in the 49er and in the Nacra 17 for Tokyo 2021 - after that joining the Danish Sail GP team and coaching 29er/49er/Nacra17. SMIL went into professional sailing in the Extreme Sailing series in 40 feet catamarans and later the foiling 32 foot catamaran on the Danish SAP team alongside coaching.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself..?

I don't know if it is an interesting fact, but I always have found it a fantastic life experience to work with young people together with other people that have the same passion. As a professional (teacher) and as a volunteer in clubs, for me sailing is the place I belong because of the water in combination with the people. I especially enjoy working as a volunteer in teams that give meaning to other people, doing my best to meet expectations and needs of the user.

Why 29er?

The 29er is a fantastic boat for developing skills in sailing. It is a boat which supports both sailing for fun and enjoyment with a partner and all round skill development towards more professional sailing futures - Olympic sailing and beyond. No matter what, it is a class where there are great opportunities for learning and developing in a fast boat, preparing sailors to bring all the skills into another class whilst having great fun!

What do you love about the 29er Class?

29er is a youth class meaning that is a class for teenagers that are at an exponential developing phase of their lives. So, the combination of serious development into talented sailors and having fun at the same time is important, and in my opinion the 29er uniquely offers both these aspects to our young sailors.

What do you hope to bring to the 29er Class, how can your experience benefit the class?

I will try to continue the work that has been done by Joan Mollerus, Pippa Kenton-Page and the committee in the past years. I have worked with youth sailors at different levels for the last 20 years, especially the Optimist class, the 29er class and as chairman for one of the Danish elite sport centres for Olympic sailors. So, based on my experience from being part of these communities, I hope I can bring ideas on how to develop the class and sailors to a higher level in a way where their journey through the class will be fruitful with respect to developing as sailors and making new friendships across countries.

What areas of the 29er Class do you think are exceptional?

Several things; one thing I really like is that it is a fast boat where you learn to make fast decisions all the time when racing. You are 2 sailors and to have the chance to race well it is extremely important to collaborate at a high level - listen to each other and help each other when racing. You can only win if you work well as a team, and the way to do that is to have a respectful tight collaboration!

Where do you see the future of the International 29er Class?

The 29er class is an important class for developing talented teenage sailors into well rounded sailors that for many can move into careers as Olympic sailors and professional sailors. I would like to see the class support sailors from Junior classes e.g. the Optimist and Feva classes to integrate into the 29er class and when they are ready to continue onwards, help them into their future sailing.

How can we improve as a Class?

There are always ways to improve and I maybe only mention a few here:

  • International training camps where the crews train collaboratively with each other across countries.
  • Continuing to build on the community of the class creating open-minded communication and behaviour among sailors, coaches and parents.
  • Train the trainers - we have very good coaches, but many can be even better with the right input and support to create international growth.
  • Supporting countries that have no, or few 29er sailors, to establish ways to introduce the class and improve growth and skill level.

In your opinion and from experience, do you think the 29er prepares you for a lifetime of sailing and why?

Yes, absolutely! As an example, my 2 sons were happy sailing Optimist, but when they started sailing together in the 29er they got an enormous lift and very quickly developed into talented sailors. They made a lot of friends both National and International, and when they moved into the 49er they continued to grow into elite sailors. The main step in their career began in the 29er! Now that they have stopped their sailing careers and finished their education I am confident they will always be sailors and enjoy racing and cruising. CP has decided to help train 29er sailors and coaches in the future and all of these opportunities were due to the environment in the sailing clubs and the 29er class, including all of the friendships they made along the way. Support from clubs, sailing centres, coaches and from home are also ingredients for being happy in sailing, so yes you can learn so much in the 29er that will set you up for a lifetime both inside and outside of sailing.

Do you think sustainability is an important part of our sport and why?

Sustainability is important everywhere, including within our sport of sailing. We will continue with the work we are doing to improve e.g. making regattas we are involved with more sustainable. There are many areas we are working on including collaborating with the organisation "Sailors for the Sea". This is imperative because the global warming has to be stopped or at least limited in future for us to continue to enjoy life and our sport as we do.

Any other thoughts/comments/things you'd like to share?

For the Class to improve it is something we shall do together - the class, the coaches, the parents and the sailors all together. We have to have a society and environment that everybody likes to be a part of and is valued - then it will be easier to develop and improve the class.

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