If the organisers behind Kieler Woche expected a visit by the crews of the Nilörn and Pontona Youth, they must by now be disappointed. The boys saw hardly anything of the city; kept busy by their skippers, working hard to do well in the Volvo Baltic Race.
All along the waterfront of the Kiel Harbour, the quays are packed with small stands, selling all the best the German kitchen has to offer. Everyone participating in and visiting the Kieler Woche has a great time.
The boys on the Nilörn and the Pontona Youth also had a great time in Kiel, but they did not get to see much of the Kieler Woche. Instead, they worked hard, preparing for and competing in the Volvo Baltic Race.
"It has been very hectic, there has been a lot of work to do. We have never sailed together on a boat this size before, so we have got a lot to learn. But each day we are getting better, and the short course race yesterday (Sunday) was great. We did well and learned a lot",
Jens HERMANSSON of the Nilörn, aged 22, says.
Not only do the young sailors have a lot to learn, they are also surprised by how much maintenance and repair work has to be done on a V.O. 60. "Yesterday we had our first free night, and it was only because nothing broke during the race",
Hermansson continues. "On the day our mainsail broke we just wanted to leave and go home. It was so disappointing; we thought the race was over for us. But luckily we were able to get a new sail, and even though it meant we had to work all night, it was worth it",
Kristian ADERMANN of Nilörn, aged 23, says.
Of course the boys on both the Nilörn and the Pontona Youth have been tempted to look at the Kieler Woche and the city's nightlife, but they have not really been allowed the time to go. "After a leg we have to do several hours of work preparing and fixing the boat, whereas a team like the Challenge of Netsurvey just leave immediately after the race, because their boat does not need the same maintenance as ours. So when we finally finish with the day's work, we are very tired",
Peter Wibroe, aged 18, of the Pontona Youth says.
Both the boys on the Nilörn and on Pontona Youth agree that the Volvo Baltic Race is a great opportunity for the young sailors. They get a better understanding of what it is like competing on a boat as big as the V.O. 60 class."It is a really good experience to compete in the Volvo Baltic Race. We get to compete with some of the best sailors in the world, and I actually think that we have given them something to think about",
Hermansson of the Nilörn says.
"After this race you can ask me if I want to sail the Volvo Ocean Race",
Adermann of the Nilörn finishes.