Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Strong J/24 & J/80 Classes @ Kiel Week

Kiel Week classic traditional schooner (Kiel, Germany)- Kieler Woche is promoted as the greatest sailing event in the world and the largest summer waterfront festival in northern Europe. With a nine-day program packed with over 2,000 events (including many music stages of Germany's longest open-air festival with folk, pop, rock and classical music on offer) to entertain three million guests from all over the globe, their claim may not be far off the mark.

This year's 131st Kieler Woche, amongst the oldest sailing weeks in the world, enabled millions to experience the maritime atmosphere of "KIEL.SAILING.CITY"-- the theme for an entire city! 5,000 yachtsmen and women, 50 countries, 2,000 yachts, dinghies and surfboards, almost 40 sailing events, and more than 400 planned regatta starts on eleven race courses. The "Who's who" of sailing in Europe (if not top Olympic sailors) lined up at the starting lines for this year's events.

Kiel Week creative arts kids contestPlus, all the sailors and visitors experienced an endless forest of masts on the banks of the bay, with over one hundred windjammers and traditional sailing boats moored on the quayside. The fascination of tall ships resulted in the windjammer parade with more than 100 ships taking part, including the European Navy destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and minesweepers from a whole host of countries that came together in Tirpitz Harbour for the meeting of the Navy fleets.

Within that armada of ships and windjammers were one-design fleets of J/24s and J/80s enjoying the festivities, camaraderie and great sailing.

The J/24s saw a fleet of forty-three boats participating with the German team of Peer Kock taking the gold with a consistent 1-6-6-1-4-12-2 series for 20 pts net after toss race.  Second was Jan Kahler's team taking a scoreline of 6-12-1-3-2-4-7 for 23 pts net.  Third was a combination of American J/24 champion Mike Ingham and a British and German crew, including class leader Marianne Schoke; their scoreline was 5-7-2-2-13-9-1 for 26 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Frithjof Schade in fourth and Tobia Feuerherdt in fifth.  Top Hungarian boat was Farkas Litkey in 8th; top Monaco boat was Dennis Frederiksen in 9th; top Swedish boat was Per-Hakan Persson in 14th; top Netherlands boat was Erik Jeuring in 9th; and top women skipper was Germany's Stephanie Kopcke in 16th.

The eighteen boat J/80 fleet experienced a bit of an "old-fashioned schooling" of how to sail a J/80 fast and smart.  After twelve 1sts in thirteen races, Martin Menzner's team from Germany did have to sail the last two races due to a double-throw out series.  A mile behind in second place was Hauke Kruss and friends and in third Flemming Dejernes (top Netherlands team).  The balance of the top five were Matthias Herzberg in fourth and Niklas Ohling in fifth.   For more Kieler Woche sailing information