Kiel Week record: More than 1.900 boats registered
From Kiel to Aarhus and Enoshima - German Sailing Team at the start - more trimarans, more safety, digital innovations
Highlights - one after another, meeting of the sailing world, melting pot Kiel Schilksee: The Kiel Week once more offers the whole spectrum of the sailing sport from 16. until 24. June. Moorings are reaching their capacity limits. "All in all we are talking about a record number of 1900 registered boats from about 60 nations. This is great", said the Head of Organization of the Kiel Week Regattas, Dirk Ramhorst, on Monday at the third press conference before the event in the imperial hall ("Kaisersaal") of the Kiel Yacht Club. Registration numbers are on the one hand a feedback for the good work in the previous years, "but we also are aware of the tail wind we are receiving from the Worlds in Aarhus", stated Ramhorst.
More than 4000 active sailors want to prove their abilities in Kiel. The Olympic classes are set up with international and top-level sailors. Above all the teams from overseas, from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA also use Kiel as a general trial for the Worlds in Aarhus taking place five weeks later. For the German National Team it is in the end about qualifying to participate in Denmark. With the World Championship of the Laser Radial Men, the Eurosaf European Para Sailing Championship, the big boat regatta "Aalregatta", the worldwide first event of the Women’s Campions League and the start of the Nord Stream Race, the Kiel Week again has many high-level sailing events on the program agenda in its 136. year. "The completion of the Kiel Week with one to two special events is our clear strategy. We are making up our mind to bring the right highlights to Kiel", explained Ramhorst the integration of World Championships for a further upgrade of the Kiel Week.
More than 4,000 regatta participants, 1900 boats, more than 400 starts, active sailors from about 60 nations, 42 classes/disciplines, ten race courses on nine days - those are the numbers of the Kiel Week 2018, where 3.5 million visitors are expected, among them 400,000 visiting the sailing games in Kiel Schilksee.
The innovations in the surroundings and ashore also fit to this huge event which is happening on the water during the Kiel Week. The new RFID system (radio frequency identification) will provide more safety. Each crew checks out, when going on the water, and checks in, when they are back ashore. And the cooperation with the new supporter Remonds will improve the sustainability. No straws, waste separation, fast degradable coffee cups and on-site information about waste avoidance are the first steps this year.
The Kiel Week is above all pure sailing. Even before Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be giving the official starting signal with the typhoon for the biggest sailing event in the world on 16. June, fireworks will begin on Saturday morning in Kiel Schilksee and at the water front "Kiellinie" together with the "Aalregatta" and the Welcome Race.
The acting European Champions Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Strande/Chiemsee) would like to get their third Kiel Week victory in the 49erFX. Picture: www.segel-bilder.de
"We are happy, that the German Sailors Association DSV is setting up the qualification races at the Kiel Week. It demonstrates the close alliance between Kiel and the DSV", said Dirk Ramhorst.
Since the occurrence of the 49er FX, the Olympic skiff class has a strong fleet in Germany. The Olympic team from the DSV brings two strong teams to Kiel with Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz (VSaW/Berlin), who finished on rank nine at the Olympics in Rio, and the reigning European Champions Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Chiemsee YC/Kiel). The fight of the German teams for rank three and four promises to be an exciting one.
But first of all it is about the Kiel Week victory. The competitors fighting to win the title are stronger than in the previous years. "The fleet will be stronger than at the Europeans. Many are coming to the Kiel Week and then continue on to Aarhus, where the Worlds will take place at the beginning of August. This year we have a Kiel Week, that is just as strong as the Worlds", Susann Beck is looking at the Kiel Week regattas. Lutz/Beucke could already win the Kiel Week twice. Will the third victory follow? "That would of course be awesome, especially at home! It is always great to win the Kiel Week. The interest of the media is huge, and then it makes just twice as much fun to be on the top", said the sailor from Strande.
For the international position check in this class, silver medal winners from Rio and third at the World Championship, Alex Maloney/Molly Meech (New Zealand), and Annemiek Bekkering/AnnetteDuetz (the Netherlands), who finished the Olympics on rank seven, will also show up. The schedule for Lutz/Beucke is already set: Win the Kiel Week, get the national ticket for Enoshima (Japan/ eight out of 21 will be going) in Aarhus, and then win the German knock-out race against Jurczok/Lorenz to be able to go to the Olympics in their third attempt. All other successes would be an extra.
In the 49er fleet, the bronze medal winners from Rio, Erik Heil/Thomas Ploessel (NRV), are the number one in Germany. And together with their training partners and friends Justus Schmidt/Max Boehme (KYC/Kiel), they are a perfect quartet, which is already for Aarhus. Unfortunately the university studies are preventing Justus Schmidt and Max Boheme from fully concentrating on the Olympic campaign. Max Boehme cannot start due to an important exam for his medical studies in Poland. But since five German 49er crews will be allowed to start in Aarhus, the two crews from the Olympic team are already set. The German junior sailors will be fighting for the places three to five for the Worlds.
Jonas Warrer/Christian Peter Luebeck (Denmark), who became fourth at the Olympics ,Yano and Klaus Lange (Argentina), rank seven at the Olympics, as well as Ryan Seaton/Matt McGrovern (Ireland), who were on rank ten, are among the favourites in Kiel. Altogether 89 crews from 27 nations will be starting in Kiel.
Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort (Kiel) want to repeat their victory in the 470. The two 24 year old sailors did win Gold in Kiel in the Olympic two-man dinghy last year. With a victory in Kiel the ticket for the Sailing Worlds in Aarhus would be guaranteed. Four German female crews will be allowed to start in Aarhus to maybe get one of the eight (out of 21) nation’s ticket. Last year, the pharmacy student and her crew, who did become a professional soldier after finishing her studies, were leading the fleet. And at the Europeans a few days ago, they were in front of Nadine Boehm/Ann-Christin Goliass (DTYC/living in Kiel). The German crews from the DSV team are setting a clear sign with the silver and bronze medals at the Europeans.
The men are also looking at participating in the Olympics in 2020. Eight of the 19 nation’s tickets for Japan will be also granted at the Worlds in Aarhus. Two favourite crews starting at the qualifier races for the Worlds in Kiel can be easily found looking at Simon Diesch/Philipp Autenrieth (Wuerttembergischer YC/Bayerischer YC) as well as the bronze medal winners at the Europeans Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (Schweriner Yacht-Club/Plauer Wassersport Verein).
But the German top sailors will be looking at strong competitors. None other than silver medal winner from Rio and multiple World Champion Mathew Belcher will be showing up again with his crew Will Ryan (Australia), almost a tradition already. And on top, Stuart MacNay/David Hughes (USA), who finished on rank four at the Olympic Games, as well as Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstroem (Schweden), who recently won the European Championship and became sixth at the Olympics. Altogether 55 crews from 20nations will be starting in Kiel.
In the Nacra17, there will be granted three tickets for the Worlds after the Kiel Week, in the Laser Standard four, five in the Finn and six in the Laser Radial. Philipp Buhl (Sonthofen), Olympic participant, who became fourth at the Worlds, is already set in the Laser. Buhl can compete in Kiel against the Croatian sailor Tonci Stipanovic (Silver in Rio) and 129 further sailors.
In the Finn, Max Salminen (Schweden/sixth at the Olympics) and the new European Champion Edward Wright (GBR) are probably setting the mark, where Phillip Kasueske and Max Kohlhoff (both living in Kiel) have to prove their abilities.
In the Laser Radial, Svenja Wegner is the German number one. But the European Champion from 2014 has a row of German talents chasing her. The third at the Olympics, Anna-Marie Rindom (Denmark), and the second at the European Championship, Maxime Joker (the Netherlands) are among the strongest competitors at the Kiel Week.
Johannes Polgar/Carolina Werner (Audi e-tron team) and Paul Kohlhoff/Alice Stuhlemmer (Kiel Yacht Club) are fighting for the top of the German Nacra17 fleet. The common goal: get the nation’s ticket in Aarhus for the Games in Japan.
Both crews will very likely qualify for Aarhus in Kiel. In comparison with the international sailors, Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Darmanin (Australia / second at the Olympics), Olympic bronze medal winner Thomas Zajac from Austria with his new crew Barbara Math and JasonSaunders/Gemma Jonas from New Zealand (rank four at the Olympics) are the measuring stick. Even Nathan Outteridge (Australia) will be starting at the Kiel Week. But the six-time World Champion (Moth and 49er, gold medal winner in London and silver in Rio) will be changing from the skiff into the foiling cat. Together with his younger sister Haylee, the exceptional sailor will be competing against 44 crews from 19 nations.
They will be starting first: The multihulls at the Welcome Race. Picture: www.segel-bilder.de
Multi-hull on the rise
Apart from three-digit registration numbers for the "Aalregatta", the number of 13 multihulls at the Welcome Race sounds more humble. But it shows a trend. After eight trimarans in 2016 and only four last year, it is the first time, there will be 13 multi-hulls participating. The registration record has a name: Christiane Waldmann. The former wind surfer, who has worked several years as a surf coach on Sylt and lived a long time in the South of Spain, in California and Hawaii, continuously looking for the best waves to surf down, now is a Dragonfly sailor. "At the trade fair Boot Duesseldorf 2014, we were standing in front of a Dragonfly 28 and have immediately decided: this is our solution! A multihull, that is fast and very sporty and at the same time suitable for ’camping on the water’", explained the sailor from Kiel-Gettorf, who is sailing the trimaran "Flotten 3er" together with her husband Kai Seemann and Thomas Kunze.
Asking Christiane Waldmann about the advantages of a trimaran and precisely about those of the Dragonfly, you can expect long exciting speeches. "A trimaran is not heeling over, will be lying with five degrees on the leeward hull, is using the whole pressure for speed and accelerating at lightning speed. Our maximum speed is around 18.7 kn. With ten knots of wind or above, we always did overtake each 40 feet yacht. Those are just some of the endless arguments. So no wonder, that Christiane Waldmann has managed to get twelve trimarans from Germany, Denmark and Switzerland to Kiel to participate at the Kiel Week.
For the sailor from Gettorf it was clear, that she wanted to sail the Kiel Week. "I have already sailed the Welcome Race on an Albin Ballad just to be part of the Kiel Week. So it was clear, that we would register for the multihull class", said Waldmann. And the trimaran also brings the married couple together in the regattas. While Kai Seemann has successfully sailed many Kiel Weeks in the Formula18, Waldmann was on the monohull. "We both always enjoyed the speed, and my husband easily gets sick on a monohull", Waldmann is happy about the Kiel Week participation together with the "Flotten 3er".
Twelve trimarans and the foiling cat "intelligence" of the brothers Sach (Zarnekau) will be opening the Welcome Race on Saturday.
This is how the RFID bracelets, that will be used for the Kiel Week and the Warnemuende Week as well as the Travemuende Week, will look like. Photo: iDTRONIC
RFID bracelet to sign in and out
Hold the bracelet in front of the reading station and the active sailor has checked in and out for the races. The organizers know, whether the athlete is participating in the race or safe back ashore. The so-called RFID system (radio-frequency identification) consists of a transponder, which the sailors are carrying, and a reading station ashore. The first time, this technology has been used, was at the Young Europeans Sailing in Kiel, now it will be used at the Kiel Week (16. until 24. June) and the Warnemuende Week (7. until 15. July) as well as the Travemuende Week (20. until 29. July).
The technology for sender-receiver systems for automatic and contactless identification and localization via radio waves is not new, but not yet spread in the sailing sport. "In the end we want to achieve, that every active sailor has an RFID bracelet, which can be used to register for the regattas. It is above all a matter of security, because every participant has to sign in and out for a race", explained Jobst Richter (Kiel Yacht Club), who is responsible for the regatta management system manage2sail.de at the DSV. And it increases the safety a lot: If all have reported back, they are all back ashore. So signing in and out in person is a fixed part of the sailing regulations.
Every number of each RFID bracelet will be saved in manage2sail during the check-in process. With this bracelet, the active sailors goes to the reading station and can register electronically for the race ("Sign-out" - I register for the race./I am going out on the water.). If he comes back ashore, he will again place the bracelet on the reading station to sign back in as having returned from the water ("Sign-in" - I am back from the water./I am ashore again.). The reading station confirms having read the number, and the organizers know, who is participating in a race and is on the water - who has returned back ashore. In the race office, they will create lists to inform about the status of the boats. "Three stations to sign in and out are planned, one in the North marina, one at the slipping area and another one at the flagpole", said Richter.
The bracelets, produced from iDTRONIC, will be provided by the organizer in Kiel, the DSV and the SVG Service Verlag did bear the costs for production. The active sailor has to pay a deposit fee. It does not matter, whether the sailor returns the bracelet or is keeping it for the Warnemuende Week, the Travemuende Week or the future. It can there be shown at the check-in to be registered again. Who does not have one yet, will get one.
"The goal is to have every German sailor equipped with such a RFID bracelet to be able to log on and off at all German regattas", said Richter. The European or world-wide distribution of this idea and these systems seems to be the logical next step.
The RFID bracelets are an example of many to demonstrate the innovations in Kiel. "Since 1972 it has been said: Do it like in Kiel. And exactly this is pushing us. Apart from the possibility to participate at the Kiel Week via eSailing, we will be providing an app for participants and the organization team, providing individual details about the daily program including information about possible protests or planned starts. In the next years we will continue to further extend the functionality and digitise further processes and thus for example make it paper-free", explained Ramhorst the digital renewals at the traditional Kiel Week.
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