The world tour of Olympic sailing as well as three high-class international Championships will leave their mark on Kieler Woche 2009, held from 20-28 June.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup
started in December at Sail Melbourne in Australia and continues this month in Miami, USA. After three other international regattas it will make a stop in Kiel, the penultimate event of the 2008-2009 series, before heading to the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition venue at Weymouth for the season finale.
Besides the ISAF Sailing World Cup, other highlights of the 127 year old Kieler Woche are the 505 European Championship, the X-35 World Championship and the first European Championship of the X-41 class which has only recently been officially recognized as International One Design class (all held from 24-28 June).
Jobst RICHTER, Chairman of the Kieler Woche Race Committee, presented these highlights at the traditional Kiel-Treff at boot Düsseldorf, the biggest international boat show worldwide which takes place until 25 January. Together with the Mayoress of Kiel, Angelika VOLQUARTZ, and the President of the City Council, Cathy KIETZER, RICHTER welcomed more than 300 guests at the Kiel-Treff. Among them the highest representative of German sailing Rolf BÄHR, the DSV-President, and the Mayor of Düsseldorf Dirk ELBERS.
"Our engagement at boot is usually the beginning of the countdown for Kieler Woche. Apart from being the largest sailing event in the world at this year's Kieler Woche we will also celebrate the premiere of the ISAF World Sailing World Cup in KIEL.SAILING CITY. It is a great thing and a recognition of the Kieler Yacht-Club and its partner associations"
, explained VOLQUARTZ. The summer festival of Kieler Woche 2009 is also awaiting scores of visitors with numerous attractions promised VOLQUARTZ.
CEO of the boot, Matthias DORNSCHEIDT and boot project manager, Goetz-Ulf JUNGMICHEL reaffirmed the loyal cooperation of boot and the city Kiel and were pleased with Kiel's strong appearance in Düsseldorf.
The strong competition surrounding Kieler Woche medals and points towards the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings has resulted in the early arrival of Olympic sailors, training for the competition this June. That is why Kieler Woche will again begin with the Olympic classes in order to grant the sailors an undisturbed arrival. "We will even begin one day earlier",
said RICHTER. For the ten Olympic events, this year's Kieler Woche begins with a practise race on Friday 19 June. The first start on Saturday will then be at 11:00 in the morning. The Olympic events are racing for five days from Saturday to Wednesday (20-24 June). The 13 International Classes will be on the starting line from Thursday to Sunday (25-28 June).
"The ISAF Sailing World Cup will bring a new focus to Olympic sailing, demonstrating the excitement, skill and passion of the sport",
says Göran PETERSSON, ISAF President.
"It is an appreciation/as a tribute of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). ISAF pays tribute to the six participating events for their previous contribution to sailing nationally and internationally",
said the organizer of the Kieler Woche RICHTER on the event's inclusion in the 2008-2009 season.
To offer and assure high quality and fairness, the direct judging will be intensified at Kieler Woche. "We want to offer high quality with quick decisions on the water",
explains RICHTER. Instead of long protest hearings after the races a stronger presence of umpires on the spot will ensure that breaches of the rules can be penalized on the spot. "Then the first one passing the finish line will also be the winner of the race without reservation",
Besides the desirable Kieler Woche titles, Olympic sailors will this year also be competing for ISAF Sailing World Cup points. The world tour which has already begun in December with the Sail Melbourne (Australia) followed by the Rolex Miami Regatta (USA) this month, will be continued with the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía - MAPFRE (Palma, Spain in April), the Semaine Olympique Francaise (Hyeres, France in April), the Delta Lloyd Regatta (Medemblik, The Netherlands in May), in June Kieler Woche until the final event Skandia Sail for Gold (Weymouth, Great Britain) takes place in September.
Part of the international fire of Kieler Woche will also be the German juniors of the RS:X class. In order to compete on a professional level the offspring surfers will hold their German Junior Championship in the RS:X class during Kieler Woche. This was decided by the Committee for Promotion of Young Talents of the German Sailing Federation.
Also the International Part (25-28 June) of Kieler Woche has undergone some changes. One highlight is the SAP 505 European Championship which begins on Wednesday while the other 13 International Classes will be starting on Thursday at 12:00. "We reckon with at least 100 boats",
said Jürgen WALDHEIM (Berlin), Chairman of the 505 class association.
"The 505 class brings a lot of energy and with that lures many young and active sailors into the two-hand dinghy",
said RICHTER looking forward to their Championship. The combination of sporting and social events is well managed by the 505 class and many well-known sailors are represented including Wolfgang HUNGER (once 470 Olympic athlete), the Danish brothers BOJSEN-MOELLER (multiple Kieler Woche winner in FD and 505), Dietrich SCHEDER-BIESCHIN and Klaus STAMMERJOHANN.
There will also be more space for the aspiring 29er class which along with the 505 and 420 will get their own race area. "We are fulfilling the demands. Together with the 420 where this year's number of entries has to be limited to 160 starters from a record breaking 200 in the past year, more than a hundred 29er were racing in the same area"
, said RICHTER. That is why this year the race area hotel will be cleared for the 29er class. Then, the spectators will be able to follow the skiff class from ashore.
However, while the 505 and 29er class became the centre of interest in the International Part of Kieler Woche the end for the Pirates was decided.
After more than a decade the Pirate class and the Kieler Woche part company. "The Pirates will now have their home at the Young Europeans Sailing (YES) at Whitsun. During Kieler Woche we have to stick to the concept and can only admit Olympic and International Classes in the long run. After 12 years together it was not an easy but consistent decision,"
said RICHTER, Chairman of the Race Committee, who hopes for the Pirates to accept the YES as their new platform. Incidentally, at the YES, keelboats will now be banned. The Stars, Dragons and J/24 do not fit anymore in the concept of a young professional dinghy event.
All ten Olympic disciplines, the Paralympic class 2.4mR (open) as well as 13 international classes will be starting at Kieler Woche 2009.
Besides this the One Design offshore classes X-35, X-41, the four ORC-int classes as well as ORC-Club I-IV, J-80, Albin Express and at the Schabernack Cup the three Yardstick classes as well as Danish Handicap will be waiting for the Kieler Woche starting gun to be fired.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.