Excellent wind conditions, plenty of races, match racing for women in the city and a last chance for the Olympic contenders to shine before Beijing... Kiel Week 2008 proved an action-packed final ISAF Grade 1 event before the Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China this August.
The Medal Races at Kiel were held on two parallel courses just outside the Olympic Centre Schilksee. The remaining crews not sailing the Medal Race started on the familiar race courses around Kiel Fjord. Proof of the intensity of competition came with the distribution of the medals. Across the nine Olympic events competing, overall victory went to nine different nations. Sailors from Great Britain, Sweden, France, Japan, Poland, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Australia all leave Kiel with gold medals.
World Champions in 2007, Robert SCHEIDT
and crew Bruno PRADA
(BRA) just missed the overall victory in the Star fleet and finished the series in second overall. The Brazilians lost out to Fredrik LOOF
and Anders EKSTROM
(SWE), who won their first Kiel Week title after finishing the all-important Medal Race in first, both crews sharing 14 points overall. Alexander HAGEN
and Frithjof KLEEN
(GER) were successful in keeping their third place overall.
The consistent scoring of Japanese Ai KONDO
and Naoko KAMATA
in the 470 women fleet proved successful, their victory in the Medal Race secured them their first Kiel Week gold medal. Therese TORGERSSON
and Vendela SANTEN
(SWE), bronze medallists at Athens 2004, missed out on the last three races and finished the series in 11th. In the 470 men's fleet victory went to Tobias ETTER
and Felix STEIGER
(SUI), with Anton DAHLBERG
and Sebastian ÖSTLING
(SWE) in second place.
The Spanish team Iker MARTINEZ
and Xabier FERNANDEZ
appear to be hitting their top form at exactly the right moment. The gold medallists from Athens, they won this year's Kiel Week (57 points) in the 49er Class. Second and third overall went to Denmark, with brothers Peter HANSEN
and Søren HANSEN
on 87 points and Jonas WARRER
and Martin KIRKETERP
third overall on 104 points. The Australians Nathan OUTTERIDGE
and Ben AUSTIN
, the 2008 World Champions scored 149 points to finish in 14th place.
(GBR) claimed gold in the Finn after a victory in the Medal Race. Rafa TRUJILLO
(ESP) came in second overall, with world #1 Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN
(DEN) in third. Gasper VINCEC
(SLO), winner at Kiel last year, was sixth overall.
(FIN) won the Laser Radial Medal Race to finish the series in second place overall behind winner Sophie DE TURCKHEIM
(FRA), who performed strongly over the second half of the series. Lijia XU
of China claimed the bronze medal. Double World Champion Tom SLINGSBY
(AUS) was a run away winner in the Laser fleet, with Gustavo LIMA
(POR) a distant second and Michael LEIGH
(CAN) completing the podium.
In RS:X men's fleet, world #1 Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI
(POL) lost his overall lead to countryman Piotr MYSZKA
(POL), as the latter came good in the Medal Race to win Kiel Week gold. In the women's fleet, Romy KINZL
(GER) won Germany's only gold medal at Kiel. Anna GALECKA
(POL) in second and Marta HLAVATY
(POL) in third completed a strong Polish showing in the windsurfing fleets.
(FRA) repeated his Kiel Week 2006 victory by scoring best (29 points) in the Paralympic 2.4mR class, followed by second Thierry SCHMITTER
(NED) with Heiko KRÖGER
(GER), a triple Kiel Week winner in the past, third overall.
Next year Kiel Week will be incorporated into the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Click here to find out more
Results - click here
Kiel Week - www.kieler-woche.de