Via Kiel to Tokyo

 

The Nacra 17 is probably the most spectacular Olympic boat class and in 2021 Olympic Games the only one that is announced as a mixed class. Germany’s hopes are placed on the shoulders of the crew from Kiel Paul Kohlhoff/Alica Stuhlemmer. “The Kieler Woche is an endurance test for us. On our home playground, we want to recommend ourselves for the Olympic Games and a medal in September”, says Paul Kohlhoff confidently.

Germany’s hope in Nacra 17: Paul Kohlhoff/Alica Stuhlemmer (Kiel). Photos: S. Klahn/kieler-woche.de

In 2015 and 2016 Kohlhoff was able to celebrate Kieler Woche victories with Caro Werner (Kieler Yacht-Club) and now he wants to go one better in the new “pre-Olympic” year. But the competition in the field of the foiling two-hand catamaran with double trapeze is world class. The reigning world champions from Great Britain John Gimson/Anna Burnet and the gold medalists from Brazil Santiago Lange/Cecilia Carranza Saroli (Wildcard) are registered.

These two duos are not the only top crews in the Kieler Woche field. They are joined by the French Quentin Delapierre/Manon Audinet (WM-4.), the Italian duo Vittorio Bissaro/Maelle Frascari (Olympics and WM-5.), the Spanish mixed crew Tara Pacheco/Florian Trittel (WM-6.), the World Championship eight-placed Lin Cenholt/Christian Peter Lübeck from Denmark, World Championship ninth-placed Sinem Kurtbay/Akseli Keskinen from Finland as well as the Kieler Woche titleholders and Olympic bronze medalists Thomas Zach/Barbara Mats (Austria). All of them should do their best to put a kink in the plans of the young German crew.

But the 26-year-old sportsman, who was the youngest member of the German Olympic team in 2016, is not afraid of big names. With his new crew, Alica Stuhlemmer, he secured Germany’s place at the World Championships in New Zealand at the end of last year, finishing twelfth, and is now making his second Olympic attempt. There is currently no German competition for the still ongoing German elimination.

But for now, Kiel is on the way to Tokyo. “There is a top-class field at the start and a first important position determination after a long break. Because of the pandemic, this applies to everyone,” says Kohlhoff. It is nice to experience the first endurance test on the Kiel Fjord. “We always feel particularly comfortable in our home ground and have almost always been able to call up top performances in recent years,” says the helmsman, who has been training in Kiel since mid-April together with his crew member Alica Stuhlemmer and will continue to do so until Kieler Woche. They would leave nothing to chance. A lot is possible with this world championship-worthy field in Kiel and a place on the podium is the goal. (hel)

The Kiel Week champions 2019 in Nacra 17: Thomas Zach/Barbara Mats (Austria).

Sailing plus X with hygiene and distance

In addition to sailing at the highest level, the Kieler Woche has traditionally been characterized by a colorful event area in Schilksee. But this year is different. The focus of the event is exclusively on sailing. Schilksee is becoming a closed society without an event area. As the total number of people in the event venue at the Olympic Sailing Centre is limited, the area must be closed to the public. The participants are among themselves with trainers and organizers. Event tents, the Sponsors’ Mile and sales stands will be omitted. The Race Office at the Regattahouse, the boot-Düsseldorf-Club as check-in tent, the Vaasahalle and the area around the Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC) in Düsternbrook are the contact points on land. If necessary the boat hall of the KYC in Strande will be integrated. Participants, organizers and trainers receive accreditations that are only valid for certain areas.

“These are enormous challenges that we are facing to give the sailors the opportunity to sail a regattas this year as well. The health of all participants is clearly in the foreground. Hygiene regulations and the distance rules would have to be observed”, says Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of the Kieler Woche regattas. Furthermore, the travel regulations to Germany will influence the final starting lists.

Due to the fact that the analogue Kieler Woche in Schilksee with its colourful programme unfortunately cannot take place this year based on the pandemic and the local viewers are excluded, the organizers are placing even more focus on digital public relations work. The presence in the social media networks is being expanded and the regattas will be made available to sailing fans all over the world via Kieler-Woche-TV. The state capital of Kiel is responsible for the TV and bears the corresponding costs.


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Kerstin Graupner, Pressesprecherin
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Arne Gloy
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