A Sailing First at Kieler Woche
It is not the first time Kieler Woche has held a women's match racing event but it is the first time that it has been part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup and Kiel is proud to host the first appearance of the brand new Elliott 6m, the boat selected for the Women's Match Racing event at the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, UK.
The first flights of the women's match race started today. The 21 teams are split into three groups for a Round Robin series and only the first two groups could sail today.
In group A, the #1 team on the ISAF World Cup Standings, Lucy MACGREGOR, Nicole DOUGLASS and Nina CURTIS (GBR) found the best way into the new boats and collected five wins from six races. Only against Anne-claire LE BERRE from France did the British team lose a point. At the top of Group A, MacGregor qualifies for the quarter-final with Nicole SOUTER and her Australian team who also posted five wins and one loss. Asked how she found the new Elliott boats, MacGregor said "Overall our first impression is good. There are a few things that are not what we are used to but overall our first impression is good." "The boats are sporty, fun and comfortable to sail" added German sailor Svenja PULS.
Elliot 6m Designer Greg Elliott himself came to Kiel to see the boats on their debut. "We are very close to the final trim of the boats. We are at the stage that we discuss things like the best place for the jib cleat or the best system for the hiking straps", Elliot stated in the daily press conference. "It has been a long road to get these first boats ready and we are now keen to get feedback from the sailors so that we can make them better. We are working closely with ISAF to finalize the class rules and ensure we have the best product possible."
In the Laser Radial fleet, 2008 Olympic gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) did not start the regatta as she would have liked finishing seventh in the first race: "There was a big wind shift and I was on the wrong side of it", Tunnicliffe explained later. A second in race two puts the leader of the Laser Radial World Cup Standings back on trackin eleventh place overall. With 91 points under her belt already, Tunnicliffe is going to be tough to beat in the 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup, her closest rival is Tina MIHELIC (CRO), currently in fifth place on the Kieler Woche leaderboard. Tunnicliffe has begun her campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games, completing all five of the 2008-09 World Cup events in the Laser Radial, but a change into the women's match race could be a possibility for the American.
German Stars Shine
In the Star class it was the day of the German teams. With only one race on the scoreboard Robert STANJEK and Markus Koy (GER) came in first in front of former Olympic Tornado sailor Johannes POLGAR and Tim KROGER (GER). MARK MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA) finished third.
In the Men's 470 the British team James RUSDEN and Rob PARTRIDGE took the first win of the day in the yellow fleet but came fifth in the second race to end the day in fifth overall. The German team, Lucas ZELLMER and Heiko SEELIG had the best day, posting bullets in both their races to place at the top of the leaderboard.
For full results from all classes, visit the Kieler Woche website The 2.4mR and 49er fleets both completed three races today, with two races sailed by the men's and women's 470, the Laser, the Laser Radial, men's RS:X and the women's RS:X. The Star and Finn fleets both sailed just one race today.
For Sunday light winds below five knots are expected in Kiel.
Besides the ISAF Sailing World Cup competition, Kieler Woche has even more to offer. Three high class international championships (the X-35 Worlds, the X-41 Europeans and the SAP Europeans of the 505) and the virtual Kieler Woche online are other highlights of this year's event, which again brings together all varieties of the sport from cutter sailing to surfboard, dinghy and offshore yachts, disabled sailing events and the famous windjammer parade.
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.