It was a challenging first day on Kiel Fjord for competitors at the ISAF Grade 1 Kieler Wocher for Olympic classes. Competitors from over 35 nations have gathered and were treated to gusty SW winds over 25 knots, rain and thunderstorms.
Nevertheless, the race management succeeded to start one race on each course; only on course B the Tornados were sent back home because of the wind speed reaching over 30 knots at times. The women's keelboat fleet, sailing the Yngling unfortunately has only three entries and they decided not to risk their gear and will start their first race tomorrow. The class lacks participation due to a clash with a Greek regatta which was originally scheduled for this week and postponed at last minute, - to protect the Grade 1 ISAF status of Kiel Week. However, the postponement was too late for most of the Yngling competitors to ship their gear from Athens back to Kiel.
43 competitors started in the Finn class, and Rafael TRUJILLO
(ESP) won the first race, followed by Gasper VINCEC (SLO) in second and Michael MAIER
(CZE) in third. The German Finn sailor Michael FELLMANN,
who will be representing Germany in Athens 2004, finished in 15 place.
A very competitive women's Europe fleet of over 90 boats sailed a tough race against strong winds and waves, and Canadian Jennifer SPALDING
was first crossing the finishing line in Group One. In Group Two Carolijn BROUWER
(NED) lead the fleet, and in Group Three the German Wiebke SCHROEDER
was first at the finish. Second place in each group went to Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA (BLR), Rie CHRISTIANSEN (DEN) and Signe LIVBJERG, also from Denmark. Petra NIEMANN, who won the Olympic qualification slot for Germany, sailed to fifth place in the Group One.
A spectacular sight offered the "flying" 49er fleets, mist and rain together with gusty breeze made them visible and vanishing like in a fairy tale! Two races were completed for both fleets. In race one Pietro and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) won the gold fleet followed by Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) and André FONSECA and Rodrigo DUARTE (BRA) in third. Draper and Hiscocks then took first in the second race with Allan NORREGAARD and Klaus NAUR finishing third and Fonseca and Duarte taking third again. In the silver group Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) got off to a good start taking first, they were followed by Peter and Sören HANSEN (DEN) second, and Rodion LUKA and Georgiy LEONCHUK (UKR) in third. Luka and Leonchuk then went on to win the second race to place them in second overall behind Draper and Hiscocks.
The "Shooting stars" in the Star class were 2004 World Champions Fredrik LÖÖF and Anders EKSTROM, who placed first in the only race sailed. The Bermudian team Peter BROMBY and Lee WHITE followed in second position, and Mark NEELEMAN and Peter Van NIEKERK (NED) who will represent their country in Athens third.
The Australian Olympic Gold-team in 2000 Jenny ARMSTRONG and Belinda STOWELL won the first and only race in the Women's 470 class. In second place were the French team of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX and in third was the US team of Katie MCDOWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING..
The 72 boat Men's 470 fleet sails in two groups and both completed one race. The gold group race was won by 2003 World Champions Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA) with Ireland's Gerald OWENS and Ross KILLIAN second and Javier CONTE and Juan de la FUERTE (ARG) in third. Victory in the silver group went to 2004 World Champions Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE. In second place was Gideon KLIGER and Ehud GAL (ISR) and Vincent GAROS and Pierrre LEBOUCHER, FRA.in third.
More than 160 Lasers, divided into three groups, started for their first race on course Charlie. Taking first place in their groups were Allen JULIE (SEY), Paul GOODISON (GBR) and Roope SOUMALAINEN (FIN).
The 78 boards in the men's Mistral fleet also started in two groups and many competitors opted not to sail. First place finishers were Alexander BARONJAN (GER) and Gusti Made Oka SULAKSANA (INA) with second place going to Ivor Pastor LAFUENTE (ESP) and Richard Stauffacher (SUI). The women's Mistral fleet is rather smaller with 27 entries. Allison SHREEVE (AUS) won the first race followed by Wai Kei CHAN (HKG) in second and Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) in third.
In the Paralympic single-person keelboat class using the 2.4mR, Paralympic gold medallist Heiko KRÖGER from Germany finished first. Kroger was followed by Thierry SCHMITTER (NED) in second and Damien SEGUIN (FRA) in third.
Full results from all classes are available on the event website via the link below.