German Laser stars between tension and relaxation

While Buhl, as the reigning world champion, has fulfilled all the Olympic qualification criteria and can plan relaxedly, the pressure is growing on Weger: Kieler Woche is the second of three national elimination regattas for them, and they need to keep their eight-point cushion ahead of their German competitors for the Tokyo ticket.

Laser world champion Philipp Buhl (Sonthofen) is still in the relaxation phase. Photo: German Sailing Team

Philipp Buhl can laugh really well: After winning the World Cup title in February, he switched to a mode he had never experienced before after ten years of top-class sport. "An Olympic medal or a World Championship title was the goal I set myself. Achieving it was a perfect moment to let everything sink in. Corona suddenly gave us a lot of time. That was good after nine years of going on and on and on," said the sports soldier.

The Kieler Woche is now a big surprise for him after months without a lot of Laser, but more moth sailing. "I don’t know exactly where I stand, I’m not in world championship shape. Actually the Kieler Woche result is only secondary for me. But when I am at the starting line, it will certainly be different again. After his World Championship success, the 30-year-old first switched to battery charging mode to rekindle the fire for the Laser. He will begin concrete preparations for the 2021 games in January. "If I’m at a good fitness level, 200 days of preparation should be enough." 

In any case, the mind is free of too much pressure: "Winning the World Cup means a lot to me. That is a huge advantage. Even if the games do not take place, I can look back on my career with satisfaction. 

Svenja Weger can already present a great international title. She became European Champion in 2014. Nevertheless, her career still needs its crowning glory: Participation in the games is the big goal. In 2016 no German Laser sailor could qualify for the Olympics, now the 27-year-old seems to be on the right track. Already in 2018 Svenja Weger secured the nations ticket for Tokyo, for the World Championships in February she sailed to 13th place and was the only German to collect points for the qualification. 

But now she has to present further top rankings at Kieler Woche and at the beginning of October at the European Championship in Poland. "The Kieler Woche has a similarly high attendance as a world championship. That doesn’t exactly make me more relaxed," she admits. "I will only look at myself and try to get in as best I can." The German squad made intensive use of the Corona regatta break to practice fitness and work on the water. "We spent a lot of time in Kiel, but also went to the North Sea in Büsum to see something different. In the last few weeks we also went to Denmark and Sweden for an international comparison. That gave us confidence. I think we are in good training condition."
However, Svenja Weger also lacks a precise overview of her German competitors. The group has split up. While the national trainer works with Weger, Julia Büsselberg and Laura Schewe, Hannah Anderssohn and Pia Kuhlmann have joined other training groups. 

The rankings of the Laser ladies at Kieler Woche will give a clear direction which German sailor has a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games.


Svenja Weger (Kiel) leads the German Olympic elimination with eight points. Photo:


The starts on Thursday:
13.00 pm: Finn and OK dinghy on race course Kilo
13.00 pm: 49er on race course Hotel and India
14.00 pm: Laser Standard and Laser Radial on race course Charly
14.30 pm: 29er on race course Echo
15.00 pm: 49er FX on race course Hotel and India
15.00 pm: Nacra 17 and F18 on race course Juliett

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