Kiel Week structures and opens up offshore sailing

Entry portal with Notice of Race now online

Eight Olympic disciplines, 15 international classes with World Championship, Gold and Euro Cup as well as the revision of offshore sailing are the highlights of the Kiel Week 2022. From June 18 to 26, the organizers around the Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC) and their partners expect up to 4,500 sailors from more than 50 nations. Since Thursday noon (13 January), the Notice of Race is available, and everyone can register for the races on Manage2Sail with an early bird discount.

The new aspect of Kiel Week is initially to provide the “old” sailing and event feeling last experienced in 2019. After two pandemic-related postponements to September, the Mecca of sailing is back on its traditional date in the summer and hopes for no or as few as possible restrictions and limitations due to COVID-19. “We are running at full sail towards a regatta week of the proven as well as highly sought-after standards,” says head of organization Dirk Ramhorst, “Kiel Week stands for cosmopolitan sporting spirit and this year, more than ever, will once again be an event of get-togethers and diversity.”

On the way to the European Championship in Copenhagen, the organizers of the Kiel Week expect once again many sailors in the 29er class. Photo: Sascha Klahn

From the first, the international part of the Kiel Week (18-21 June), which is co-organized by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein from Hamburg and Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee from Berlin on a total of nine racecourses, the Gold Cup (World Championship) of the Nordic Folkboats and the Euro Cup of the 29ers are outstanding. For the final test of the 29er youngsters before their European Championships in Copenhagen, 200 boats are expected on two dedicated courses.

In addition, the classes 2.4 metre, Contender, Europe, Finn, FD, ILCA 4 and ILCA 6 (open m/w) as well as OK dinghy and after 2021 again the spectacular flying Waszp are announced. In the second part (from 23 June) the 420s, J/24 and J/70 will start.

Starting on Wednesday (22 June), the Olympic sailors are in demand, whose medal races will be broadcast live on the final day (26 June) on the TV track close to the shore in front of the Kiel-Schilksee Olympic Sailing Center. “Due to the protection of date by World Sailing, we expect a strong international response,” said Ramhorst. World or continental championships do not clash in the calendar with Kiel Week.

The iQ-Foilers are expected to deliver spectacular images again for Kiel Week 2022 (top photo: Sascha Klahn). The Gold Cup of the Nordic Folkeboats will also be integrated into the regatta week (bottom photo: Christian Beeck).

For the first time, mixed crews present themselves in the 470 ahead of their 2024 Olympic premier in France. After a successful debut in September with much praise from local overall winners Lena Erdil and Sebastian Kördel, the women’s and men’s iQ Foils remain seeded. In addition to the ILCA 6 (women) and ILCA 7 (men) individuals, the focus will be on the competitions of the three German medal classes from Tokyo in 49erFX, 49er and Nacra 17. A surprise of the extra class: At the same time the international Musto Skiffs come to Kiel for their 11th World Championship.

Kiel will also host the 11th Musto Skiff World Championship, which will compete in the second part of the week. Photo: Sascha Klahn

There are several targeted changes to revive the offshore races. With a few exceptions, the number of registrations in the entire Baltic Sea region has recently been declining, although the so-called Clubhouse regattas (often held on Wednesday afternoon or evening) are very popular in many places. “Several of these potential participant crews do not yet have a measurement certificate for their boats,” says Eckart Reinke, Head of Offshore, “and have been sailing according to yardstick up to now. This is now possible on a trial basis for the next two years, in addition to the official ORC measurement, for the entire Kiel Week.”

The Offshore section of Kiel Week is restructuring for the future. Photo: Christian Beeck

This starts for the offshore boats again with the Aalregatta (and is no longer called Welcome Race). The decades-old trademark starts on Saturday morning in the Inner Fjord of Kiel and is rewarded at the finish by the Sailing Club Eckernfoerde with a smoked eel. After the return regatta on Sunday, the three-day Kiel Cup will feature only two races per day instead of three. The first will be an up-and-down course over about two hours; the second will take three and a half hours around the cans (fixed sea marks) on Kiel Bay and will require smart navigation.

“New formats were requested in surveys as well as more challenge, adventure and net race time per day,” Reinke says, in line with a majority identified by both the national offshore regatta association (Regattavereinigung Seesegeln/RVS) and the Offshore committee of the German Sailing Association (DSV), of which Eckart Reinke became the new chairman, as well as the KYC. It is mutually about trying out, showing a different side, and broadening the horizon, he says.

Sailing for everyone: Offshore sailing at Kiel Week 2022. Photo: Christian Beeck

Another trend is considered by Kiel Week on Thursday, when the Senatspreis is double handed, which means exclusively for teams of two. After a race that is also navigationally appealing, there will be an overnight stay at the mouth of the Schlei North of Kiel Fjord before returning to Kiel on Friday morning. Because there starts at 1900 hrs. the Silbernes Band, the classic overnight race with a course around Langeland, Denmark, which is just as open for teams with full crew strength.

Also, these offshore races will be offered according to Yardstick and both ORC handicaps, each with its own prizes for the best. Even more, because all races will also be scored mixed, which means there will be additional results of the yardstick boats together with ORC Club as well as the latter also in a ranking with ORC international.

“We offer these comparisons as a service to enliven and unite the offshore sailing scene, which should sooner or later get more teams excited about ORC measurement,” explains Reinke, who also has this in mind for Kiel Week 2023.

The aim is to create a sense of community around the offshore racecourses. The multifaceted regatta in four parts will become a “WE Week”. “Recreational fun was named at the top of the surveys, along with sporting value,” reports Reinke. This includes the “third half” with festivities around the event area in Schilksee, which was frequented by around 80,000 guests and sailing fans last year even with the soft Corona rules. This is to be no less joyful in the 140th year of Kiel Week, 50 years after the 1972 Olympic sailing competitions in Schilksee.

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