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30 March 2007, 10:11 am
Offshore Sailors Line Up At Helgoland
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Nordseewoche 2007
Helgoland, Germany

In sight of Helgoland´s landmark Tall Anna, this year's Nordseewoche will start its 73rd edition on 25 May. 150 yachts and more then 1,500 sailors are expected on the German island in the North Sea. The highlight in 2007 is the 20th anniversary of the long distance race from Helgoland to Edinburgh which starts on Whit Monday.
The non-stop race between Helgoland and Edinburgh takes place every two years in turn with the Pantaenius-Rund-Skagen regatta, which leads around Skagen towards Kiel. Helgoland-Edinburgh was initiated by Meinhard KOHFAHL in 1968 with a line up of only five yachts. In 2007, 40 years later, his son Jens KOHFAHL, aged 53, race director of the 400 miles challenge, expects more then 30 teams to take part.

The sailors will need two to five days to reach the finish line in the Scottish harbour of Edinburgh. The course leads directly over the Doggerbank towards the 30 miles long, notorious Firth of Forth on the verge of Edinburgh. It is famous for changing weather conditions and the crews have to keep their nerves almost having finished the race. 'Particularly 1986 was a remarkable year and in 1995 two-thirds of the fleet had to give up due to a storm,' said Jens KOHFAHL from Cuxhaven, who has been dedicated to the event since 1976.

Mayor To Welcome Competitors

All teams who make it to Scotland can be proud on their performance. The mayor of Edinburgh will give a warm welcome to all yachts and due to the 20th anniversary, a regatta back to Germany is going to be organized.

There are another ten ambitious regattas besides the long-distance regatta before and during Whitsun. The event begins with several races towards Helgoland, starting from Cuxhaven (to win the Cuxport-Cup) and also from Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven. The race for the BHF-Bank-Cup leads the sailors around the island and also part of the programme is the traditional hanseboot Acht and finally the different races back to the mainland.

The North Sea is a challenging venue with its tides and demands tactical cleverness from the sailors. When the current against the track is stronger than the wind, it even includes anchoring.

All Types Of Sailors

Professionals and non-professionals traditionally meet at the Nordseewoche. Different yachts sail on IMS or ORC Club calculation systems aside one design yachts such as X-99 and Sprinta Sport. Families and sailors with less racing experience challenge each other in the Family-Cruiser-Cup, where the competitors have the chance to try racing without serious ambitions.

'The Nordseewoche is the only offshore event in Germany and became a highlight of every season. We expect more than 150 competing yachts this year,' said Bernd JÖRG, who took over the management of the organizing team four years ago. The harbour of Helgoland will be crowded with more then 1,500 sailors taking part. And for the first time of the race's history there will be an overall winner who will be honoured as the Nordseewochen Champion 2007.

An additional, multifaceted programme ashore such as the opening ceremony and further festivities attract the spectators. The highlight is the hanseboot party on Saturday in Helgoland's Nordseehalle.

The regatta series is organised by the Regattagemeinschaft Nordseewoche, supported by nine sailing clubs: Düsseldorfer Yacht-Club (DYC), Hamburger Segel-Club (HSC), Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), Segelkameradschaft 'Das Wappen von Bremen' (SKWB), Segler-Vereinigung Altona- Oevelgönne (SVAOe), Segler-Vereinigung Cuxhaven (SVC), Wassersportclub Helgoland (WSCH), Weser Yacht-Club Bremen (WYCB), Weser Yacht-Club Bremerhaven (WYC).

Mareike Guhr (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from the start of the BHF-Bank Cup Rund Helgoland last year:© www.nordseewoche.org
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