Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Challenging Kiel Week for J/70s, J/80s & J/24s

J/70s sailing Kieler Woche (Kiel, Germany)- This year’s Kiel Week was marked by a variety of weather fronts that came rolling through, producing strong winds some days and light winds on others.  There was no question the Kieler YC had its hands full managing the fleets and getting in a full slate of races. In the end, the J/70s and J/80s got the short end of that stick, only sailing six races of the scheduled eleven total.  Meanwhile, the J/24s started earlier in the week and were fortunate enough to sail in good winds and complete ten races.

The biggest fleet of one-design keelboats at Kiel Week 2017 was no less than the J/70 Class, with forty-three boats registered to hit the starting line; virtually all German with a few Dutch crews.  Considering that 110+ J/70 teams from across Europe were sailing in Sweden, Norway and at the ALCATEL J/70 Cup in Italy, that is a fantastic turnout for the famous Kieler Woche regatta!

J/70s at Kiel WeekAfter starting out with a 27th, it was self-evident that Jens Marten’s crew on GER 1062 (Terje Klockemann, Justus Braatz, & Tobias Strenge) figured out how to navigate the fleet and the race-track, posting a closing 1-3-2-1-1 to finish with just 8 pts net and the title of Kiel Week J/70 Champion!  The most consistent team was Philipp Bruhns’ GER 252 team (Moritz Bruhns, Valentin Gebhardt & Sven Ruggesiek) from Bayerischer YC, posting a 3-9-1-6-14-4 for 23 pts net to take the silver.  Rounding off the podium just one point back was Bjorn Beilken’s GER 929 with crew of Alex Beilken, Tobias Teichmann, and Jork Homeyer; their record was 31-10-2-4-3-5 for 24 pts net.  The balance of the top five included Gordon Nickel’s GER 797 in 4th and Martin Fahr’s GER 1011 in 5th place.

The twenty boat J/80 class knew that Martin Menzner’s crew on GER 614 (Frank Lichte, Mika Rolfs, & Nils Beltermann) were “autobahn fast” and might run away with class honors.  However, no one expected them to run the table after the first race, posting a 4th and five 1sts to win by the widest margin in class history at Kieler Woche.  Behind Menzner, it was a dogfight for the balance of the podium, with Ulf Plebmann’s GER 1424 crew (Carsten Vollmer, Katrin Jahncke, & Andreas Benkert) posting a 2-3-24-2-3 tally for 12 pts net to secure the silver.  Meanwhile, Hauke Kruss’ team on GER 853 (Ole Sartori, Bemd Ehler, & Fritz Wabner) nearly pulled it off, but their record of 3-2-3-2-3-4 for 13 pts net was just not good enough to best their friends and had to settle for the third step on the podium.  The rest of the top five included Olav Jansen’s GER 1183 in 4th and Torsten Voss’ GER 1032 in 5th.

J/24s sailing Kiel WeekAt twenty-six boats, the J/24 class showed up in force and had fantastic competition for their event.  The only problem for the German, Swedish, British and Dutch crews was that the Americans showed up!  As a result, past North American and World Champions in the J/24 class dominated the regatta.  Basically, it was a battle for the top two slots on the leaderboard between two Americans from upstate New York; Mike Ingham and Travis Odenbach.  In the end, Ingham’s USA 5443 team (Max Holzer, Quinn Schwenker, Marianne Schoke, & Paul Abdullah) won with 29 pts net.  The bride’s maid this time was Odenbach’s USA 5432 crew (Ian Coleman, Hugh Ward, Annabel Cuttermole, & Jack Sharland) with 38 pts net.  The British crew on GBR 4222 made the podium an all-Anglo-American affair; Andrew Taylor’s crew (Izzy Savage, Robert Clark, Paul Williams, & Zoe Dunne) took the bronze with 43 pts net.  Filling out the top five were the top two German teams; Frank Schonfeld’s GER 5412 in 4th and Stefan Karsunke’s GER 5381 in 5th place.  For more Kiel Week sailing information