High-flyers, classics and Olympic campaigns

Traditional Kiel Week with innovative elements, National German Team at the start, Double Hand Mixed, flying boat classes, OK Dinghy EC, sustainable and loyal partner.

From the left: Hans-Werner Tovar (Stadtpräsident Kiel), Michael  Degen (Messe Düsseldorf), Nadine Stegenwalner (DSV), Thorben Weber (Rewe), Dirk Ramhorst (KYC), Christian Peer (Goslings), Roland und Nahid Gäbler, Ferdinand Ziegelmayer (Laser Deutschland). Photo: segel-bilder.de


The 125. Kiel Week is linking tradition and innovation. "After a year of records in 2018, the 125. edition of the Kiel Week will be a year with new elements. It is the event’s nature to constantly reinvent itself and unite new elements with traditional classes", said the Head of Organization of the Kiel Week Regattas, Dirk Ramhorst, at the Kiel meeting at the 50. edition of the trade fair boot Duesseldorf.  

With around 250 guests from economy, politics and sports, the organizers were looking at the Kiel Week 2019 (22. until 30. June) - together with their partners and active athletes.  

The spectrum of sports of the Kiel Week ranges from the competitions of the National German Sailing Team to the European Championship of the traditional and booming OK Dinghy, from the classics to the foiling Moths and Wazsps, from the proud Swan 50 to the 4.06 meter Laser 4.7, from the races for the new Olympic discipline "Double Hand Offshore" to the 2.4mR competitions and the Youth Sailing Champions League, and at the same time offering a huge variety of social and cultural highlights.

And for the 125. Kiel Week in its 138 year, people will probably be celebrating even more. „Who does not know that from home: A milestone birthday is of course a reason to celebrate even more. The Kiel Week will be shining in all its glory with all its facets for its 125. anniversary. At the moment we are still receiving the ’presents’", said City President Hans-Werner Tovar, who was speaking up for the continuation of the close relationship of the city and the sailing sport at the meeting in Duesseldorf. "In 2018 we could bring the sailing live and directly to the city center. This approach is very modern and will be continued", said Kiel’s highest representative for the broadcasting of regattas on LED screens in the city center. Apart from that, sustainability is a very important topic for the state capital Kiel. "We are working in the areas of waste avoidance, waste separation and a system for deposits on cups", said Tovar.

But it will not be just the anniversary of the Kiel Week, also the trade fair boot Duesseldorf is celebrating in June. "We will be celebrating the 50. anniversary of the boot the whole year 2019. It is indeed not turning 50 until November. So we have almost a whole year to celebrate these wonderful 50 years. The spirit of the 50 boot years can of course also be felt in summer in Kiel", said Werner Dornscheidt, Chairman of the Management of Messe Duesseldorf. In addition the boot is presenting the Kiel Week weather with Meeno Schrader’s "Wetterwelt" (weather world) and inviting the active sailors into the boot Lounge.  

"It makes us proud to be allowed to show our colors in Schilksee. Every year we are again looking forward to our partnership", stated the Head of the Trade Fairs. REWE and Goslings are going into their second year of premium partnership.

Dirk Ramhorst did summarize the sailing highlights of the 125. Kiel Week as follows: "In the foiling classes, the Kiel Week is offering races for the One Design Waszp, the construction class Moth and also ’open" competitions. With our boat class portfolio, we want to address new active sailors, but also the core guests of the Kiel Week like the OK Dinghies with their European Championship."

"In the discussion about the Sailing World Cup, World Sailing always was criticizing our mixture of Olympic, international and offshore events, but especially the last ones now prove to be also perfect for World Sailing. Since we are the only ’classical’ event, who can now directly react on the double-hand offshore format", added Ramhorst. Apart from the new Olympic disciplines for 2024 in France, the current Olympic classes will also be starting in Kiel.

The National German Sailing Team will be lining up preferably in a body and complete in Kiel. "The Kiel Week is of course on the regatta schedule for all. Everyone loves to sail at home. And everyone wants to be on the podium in their home territory", said Sports Director of the DSV, Nadine Stegenwalner. According to Stegenwalner, the interaction with the young sailors, friends, sponsors and the whole DSV team is always a special highlight in the race calendar. Nadine Stegenwander also has been the Vice President at World Sailing for more than two years.

Someone, who is experienced when it comes to the topic of the Olympics, is Roland Gaebler. In 2024 the bronze medal winner from 2000 in the Tornado wants to start his seventh Olympic campaign. "We wanted to do more double-hand offshore sailing anyway and had already chosen some races. That Mixed now became Olympic, fits perfect into our plan. It would be my seventh Olympic campaign. We are following our big model Paul Elvstroem. And as long as we are winning championships with the double-trapeze in the Tornado, we can also sail any yacht", said Gaebler about his campaign with his wife Nahid, with whom the 54-year old is sailing regattas since 2009. The new offshore career shall start in April.

First flying, than Olympic


And on top of that, the Kiel Week is getting wings. In the 138. year of its existence, the traditional event proves ones more that it is up to date and heading off. Next to the Olympic and 17 international classes, the 2.4mR and the offshore classes, foiling classes will also be at the start line.

For the foiling classes, there will be competitions for the One Design Waszp, Moth and "open" competitions. The foilers will have their own race course.

The first time, the Moths were sailing at the Kiel Week was in 2008. Now they are coming back. The international Moth class is a single-handed sailing boat class with a length of 3.35m and a maximum width of 2.25m. It has two hydrofoils mounted underneath the hull. Especially the 49er sailors love the only single-handed dinghy construction class, that is approved from World Sailing. The Moths reach top speeds of over 35 knots (65km/h).

49er bronze medal winner Erik Heil (Kiel), 49er European Champion Justus Schmidt (Schoenwalde) as well as the third at the Worlds and multiple Kiel Week winner in the Laser, Philipp Buhl (Sonthofen), did show interest to fly in the Moth before their competitions in the Olympic classes.

Ferdinand Ziegelmayer is also a real foiling fan. The primary Laser importer from Hamburg also has the Waszp to offer and is raving about flying. "The Waszp is the introduction to foiling. You can call the Waszp the small sister of the Moth, a more simple concept for less than half the price of a Moth", Ziegelmayer explained. In Germany the fleet is growing fast, the fastest in Europe. "Now the first regattas like the Kiel Week are offering the competition", Ziegelmayer describes the new trend on wings.

OK: The booming class


But not only the Olympic classes and the "high-flyers" are the focus of interest at the Kiel Week. It will be also exciting in the traditional and international classes. The OK Dinghy is a special example, sailing its European Championship during the Kiel Week (Saturday, 22. June, until Tuesday, 25. June). The World Championship 2018 at Warnemuende did show the current growth of the class. Even from Olympic boat classes, big names are changing to the OK Dinghy, whose sailors are known for their team spirit and social gathering. "The class is really booming at the moment", said Jan Kurfeld (Wismar), Kiel Week Winner and third at the World Championship 2018.

Even if the European Championship will not have as many starters as the World Championship (142 sailors from ten nations did show up in Warnemuende), the Kiel Week organizers are nevertheless hoping for a strong fleet. In 2018 at the EC in France, there were 76 active sailors from ten nations. A friend of Jan Kurfeld is at the same time also a competitor: André Budzien. The three-time World Champion did get the title last year in front of well-known Frederik Loeoef. The six-time Olympic participant and three-time medal winner (Gold in 2012) from Sweden is sailing the OK for fun.

Big names such as Mats Caap (OK World Champion and Olympic participant in the Finn 1988) and Thomas Hansson-Mild (OK World Champion/both from Sweden), that of the leading sailor in the world ranking and European Champion in the OK Dinghy Bo Petersen (Denmark), the former European Champion Jorgen Svendsen, the three-time Kiel Week winner and former OK World Champion Greg Wilcox (New Zealand), the two-time World Champion Jim Hunt (Great Britain), the European Champion Richard Burton as well as the current European Champion Lars Johan Brodtkorb from Norway are among the list of participants for the European and World Championships in the four meter long and 1.42 meter wide OK Dinghy.

Early start of the Kiel Cup


The picture for the start of the Kiel Week remains unchanged. On Saturday, 22. June, the offshore sailing community is catching up in Kiel next to the promenade in the city. The big boats will be meeting here for the Aalregatta, the Welcome Race and for the first time also for the Kiel Cup. While the yachts with a yardstick measurement, the ORC club fleet, catamarans, one design classes and double-hand crews will be sailing towards Eckernfoerde, the yachts with ORCi measurement will be starting to sail the medium distance race of the Kiel Cup, which will continue with up & down racing from Sunday until Tuesday. "Together with the regatta association ’Seesegeln’ we have developed a new format. The goal is to integrate the ORCi fleet more", said Offshore Race Director Eckart Reinke. The Kiel Cup belongs to a series of four of the RVS Cup. "We have asked the members and included them in the planning for 2019", said the RVS Chairman Bertil Balser. With parties in the evenings in Schilksee and the prize giving ceremony on Tuesday, the social part of the sport will also grow.

The admission of the new Olympic discipline (from 2024 on in Paris/Marseille) "Double Hand Offshore Challenge" is part of the Kiel Week program for Wednesday until Sunday. Short, medium and long distance races are according to the planned Olympic program. They will be sailing on yachts with ORC Club measurement. Also the married couple Roland and Nahid Gaebler are among the starting crews.

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