"We know which way the wind blows here!"
Tina Lutz from Chiemsee was invited as two-time Opti World Champion for the 420 class, Susann Beucke from Strande for the 29er class. "During the press conference, we noticed that we are on the same page. Tina was cool and I liked her immediately", said Susann Beucke. She got on board with Lutz and won the European 420 Championship straight away. Until today the two sailors sail together and compete in the Kieler Woche 2020 (September 5-13) in the Olympic women’s skiff, the 49erFX.
In their third Olympic campaign after two of three elimination series, the Bavarian-Schleswig-Holstein combination leads by 12 points over the Kieler Woche titleholders Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz from Berlin. They lost to them in the German qualification for the 2016 Games.
After the long summer break and lockdown, the first test of their skills against their German and international rivals will now follow. "It’s a great field of participants. The World Champions as well as the Olympic Champions have entered and are at the start thanks to the wildcard. The interest in the Kieler Woche is huge. And for us, it is an endurance test after the summer. Kiel is our season highlight. This is how we prepare ourselves and we have nothing else on the regatta calendar", says Beucke. Also, the sports director of the German Sailing Federation, Nadine Stegenwalner, raves about the starting field of the Kieler Woche: "The field of participants is top class, on a world championship level".
Whenever they compete they are among the favorites: The reigning world champions Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo from Spain.
Tamara Echegoyen and her former crew member Berta Betanzos had missed out on a bronze medal by two points in Rio. Together with the Rio gold medallists Martine Grael/Kahena Kunze from Brazil and the World Championship bronze medallists Stephanie Roble/Maggie Shea (USA), they will benefit from the wild card.
Furthermore, they will have to compete with the Kieler Woche titleholders Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz from Berlin (World Championship 5th) and last year’s World Champions Annemieke Bekkering/Annette Duetz. The team from the Netherlands had to accept their eighth place at this year’s World Championship. Additional favorites are the French Lili Sebesi/Albane Dubois, who finished fourth at the World Championships in spring.
But on their home grounds, Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (both 29 years old) are always good for titles or medals. They were able to win the Kieler Woche in 2013 and 2016 and became European Champions in 2017 in Kiel. "We like Kiel very much. Kiel is an area where we have adjusted our skiff superfast. We know which way the wind blows here. Even without a lot of training, there is a home advantage. Hopefully, we will be able to make use of it," says Beucke. In the meantime she has cured her broken leg, which she had contracted during training at the end of last year, Tina Lutz is writing her master thesis. But the focus is on the Olympic Games in Japan. "For Japan, I have dropped out of my studies and live in the van. Of course, we are, probably like almost everyone else, a bit out of shape because of the Corona break, but we have a very big goal," explains the 29-year-old.
Together with Jurczok/Lorenz, who finished ninth at the 2016 Games and who won international medals by finishing third at the 2016 World Cup and the 2017 European Championships, the Bavarian-North German crew is still fighting for the one ticket to the 2021 Olympic Games. It is their third attempt. For 2012 Lutz/Beucke failed in the 470, for 2016 in the 49er FX. However, all good things come in threes. A crew, which despite two failed campaigns and the setbacks at the beginning of the year is now going into its 15th year together, has to be trusted. The next test of strength is now in Kiel.
"By the way: As a sailor from Strande, I am proud of my Kieler Woche. She has placed herself in the right position in time", Beucke is looking forward to the regattas of the Kieler Woche. The crew will certainly have more to tell at a press conference in Kiel Schilksee. (hel)
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