The race committee had to work extremely hard to swap the courses and re-arrange the schedule, often finishing racing late in the evening.
After five days of racing the medal races were a fitting finale for the 680 crews competing in the classes of the Olympic competition.
"When we saw the forecast this morning we were a bit afraid because it said that the wind will drop again during the day. But suddenly we had the breeze we were looking for and could organise fair races in all classes," chairman of the Kieler Woche Jobst Richter explained.
The home nation, Germany shared the biggest medal haul with the USA, both with four medals but no golds. Great Britain and Australia came out on top, GBR with two golds and one silver and AUS with two golds and a bronze.
Medal races were scheduled to take place on three race courses in the Stranderbucht using the customary short windward/leeward courses. The first to finish was the Men's 470 class on the North course whilst the Finns completed their medal race on the Middle course. The RS:X Men and Women's windsurfers sailed a windward/leeward leg with a slalom finish in front of the crowded spectator fleet.
The Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page finished the job by winning the first of the gold medals at Kiel with a second place in the medal race. Having already bagged four straight bullets they were virtually assured of the gold medal but the Swedes Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling sailed a good medal race to keep the Aussies concentrating and thus claimed the silver. The former world and European champions Sime Fantala and Igor Marenic of Croatia secured the bronze.
The win means the Aussie team, who have sailed every ISAF Sailing World Cup this year, go into the final regatta of the series with an eight point lead over Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling (SWE) who move into the second spot in the World Cup standings.
|Women's Match Race|
The two British blondes Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark capped off an excellent week claiming their first Sailing World Cup win in the 470 class. They finished the medal race with a fourth to secure the gold medal by four points from one of two Swedish crews in the top ten, Lisa Ericson and Astrid Gabrielson. The bronze medal goes to Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer of Denmark.
Koch and Sommer move to third in the overall Standings behind two French teams. Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux lead with 70 points with their team mates Emmanuelle Rol and Helene Defrance just one point behind on 69, just one point ahead of the Danish team.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings - Women's 470
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil squeezed into the gold medal position with a seventh in the medal race, chased hard by the German crew of Johannes Babendererde and Timo Jacobs. The German crew finished second in the medal race and just short of the gold medal by a solitary point. The American crew of Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl closed in on the bronze medal keeping the remaining German crews at bay. There were four German Stars in the medal race.
Norwegians Elvind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen finished down in tenth place overall but maintain an unbeatable position at the top of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings in the Star class with 77 points.
The breeze had just lifted a shade in the early afternoon creating an exciting finale to the 49er regatta. The medal race went down to the wire, literally! Whilst the Austrians Nico Delle Karth and Nikolous Resch won the medal race from German crew Lennart Briesenick-Pudenz and Morten Massmann, the race for third and the gold medal could not be decided by a photo finish for third, which meant the gold medal had to be decided on count back with the British pair of John Pink and Rick Peacock claiming it on a better number of third places, (both teams having the same number of first and second places). "It is our first ISAF Sailing World Cup win" confirmed John,
"It was a tough week, not many races and close on points. It was very light, shifty and variable conditions. It went down the last race." "It's good to replicate medal races and a confidence boost going into the Europeans in a few days time."
This meant the Danish crew of Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang had to settle for silver with Delle Karth and Resch taking the bronze. As a result the Austrians continue to lead the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, eight points ahead of the Danish team. Most of the crews racing in Kiel will now make their way to Sopot in Poland for their European Championships starting in just over a week's time.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings - 49er
|All World Cup Photos|
It was not the plan for Rafael Trujillo (ESP), he started as favourite going into the medal race but with a ninth in the medal race he lost his chance to beat his rival Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and had to settle for bronze place on the podium. The young Croatian sailor Gaspic displayed his peak form again today after recently winning the European championship and the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. Gaspic came in fourth in the medal race to snatch the victory from Olesksiy Borysov of the Ukraine.
Despite not competing in Kiel, Ed Wright (GBR) maintains his overall lead in the Standings as the second discard now kicks in for the points calculation. Trujillo and Lobert tie on 66 points giving the Spanish sailor the silver medal position as he has sailed at five of the six regattas to Lobert's four.
Double world champion Tom Slingsby of Australia only had to sail a conservative medal race to keep his closest rivals at bay to claim the gold in the Laser fleet. Clay Johnson (USA) had steadily improved throughout the regatta and raced a good medal race to jump onto the podium in silver medal position. Johnson also jumps up into the top six in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings in the Laser class in the process. Home nation sailor Phillipp Buhl of Germany has sailed a much improved regatta here in Kiel to grab a well deserved bronze medal.
Javier Hernandez (ESP) leads the overall Standings with one regatta to go with a healthy 18 point lead ahead of Nick Thompson (GBR). Matias del Solar (CHI) is third overall two points behind Thompson and on equal points wthi Jen Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) who lies fourth.
A second Kieler Woche win goes to Paige Railey (USA). From third place after the qualification rounds and lagging two points behind the leader, Paige Railey finished the medal race in fourth place, ahead of Franziska Goltz (GER) and Maiken Foght Schütt (DEN). Paige Railey steps up to the podium for the gold medal. Second place in the medal race and silver on the podium goes to Franziska Goltz (GER) who was more then happy with her result:
"That was my best result ever and I trained very hard for it. Now I am looking forward to the world championship in September in Great Britain. But my main target is the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth."
Despite leading the regatta all week Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) dropped off the podium finishing down in ninth spot in the medal race. Her only consolation is that she has gained enough world cup points to take the overall lead in the Laser Radial fleet with only the finale to come in Weymouth.
Railey's gold medal puts her in second overall in the Standings on equal points with Veronika Fenclova (CZE). Leading the way as they go into the final regatta is Marit Bouweester (NED).
Julien Bontemps of France sailed a faultless regatta of eight races, scoring seven consecutive bullets! The silver medallist from Beijing 2008 won the medal race and as a result, the gold medal and the lead in the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup standings. On his tail all week was Ivan Pastor from Spain who finished fourth in the medal race securing silver at Kieler Woche. Lukasz Grodzicki of Poland beat off his team mate Michal Majewski to claim the bronze.
Pastor and Bontemps are tied on points in the World Cup Standings with 64 apeice while Nimrod Mashich (ISR) is just one point behind in the bronze medal positsion.
A bitter end at Kieler Woche for Olga Maslivets (UKR) who led the whole fleet right from the start on Saturday but failed in the medal race with a ninth place, dropping her to fifth overall. With a second place in the medal race Agata Brygola (POL) catapulted on to the podium with Jessica Crisp of Australia taking the bronze.
Another silver medal for Blanca Manchon (ESP) takes the lead in the World Cup Standings having sailed all but one of the 2009-10 regattas, with the second discard now in play the 2008-09 champion counts either first or second place finishes to make up her overall score. Bryony Shaw (GBR) moves up to second overall with Laura Linares (iTA) in the third.
There is no medal races in the 2.4 mR class but another two fleet races and it became a pursuit race for Heiko Kroeger (GER). Over the last five days of racing with fourteen races, he climbed from sixth place on Saturday to his fifth Kieler Woche win. "This was very tough. I did not believe before this morning I could do it. I am very happy now to be again on the podium," stated Heiko Kroeger (GER) who finished ahead Helena Lucas (GBR) and Thierry Schmitter (NED).
Schmitter leads ther overall Standings on 77 points, seven ahead of Paul Tingley (CAN) in second and Britain's Megan Pascoe in third.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings - 2.4mR
Womens Match Racing
The Women's Match Racing competition become a bit of a marathon with long days on the water, often not returning until sunset. The quarters, semis and finals were all completed on medal race day and the eventual winner was a delighted Ekaterina Skudina from Russia, who triumphed over world number two Claire Leroy of France in the final.
"I am really happy, especially today as we were a little behind the schedule and after a weeks sailing we are very tired." She seemed to revel in the light and shifty conditions, "I was born in Moscow and sailing on the lakes in Moscow, its good for us, it's my favourite conditions. It means a lot to me to win here and especially for my crew."
There is everything left to play for at the final regatta of the 2009-10 series with just one point separating the top three teams in the Standings. Lucy MacGregor leads on 70 points with Anna Tunnicliffe and Claire Leroy hot on here heels with 69 each.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings - Women's Match Racing
The final regatta of the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup is Skandia Sail for Gold Regattta in Weymouth, Great Britain from 9 -14 August.
For the latest news, photos and videos, as well as Standings, event details and more, visit the ISAF Sailing World Cup website at www.sailing.org/worldcup