J/80 World Championship, 2015: J/80s to set up camp in Kiel
Kieler Yacht-Club is using the momentum of the successful ORC worlds last August and for another upcoming keelboat world championship in 2015: In July this year, the J/80s will return to Kiel Fjord where a sizeable fleet already had their world champion seven years ago. 65 boats took part back in 2008, between 60 and 80 are expected to be at the starting line of the 2015 worlds from 4 to 10 July this summer.
The world championship could well mean a substantial upgrade for the preceding J/80 events off Kiel this year. At the start of the season, the Maior regatta will be the first of a number of testing opportunities for crews to check out the sailing grounds. There will then be the WetterWelt Cup off Strande and, of course, Kieler Woche, which has meanwhile been declared the Pre-Worlds. In order to provide crews from outside Kiel feasible regatta logistics, the organisers Thore Hansen and the marketing agency Point of Sailing have agreed with Sporthafen Kiel GmbH to offer long-term berthing for the J/80s at the Schilksee Olympic Marina.
“Thanks to our wealth of 2008 experience, we’ve already come a long way with preparations. We’re promoting the worlds in collaboration with the class association and president Andreas Rose. On top of this, Uli Münker and Peter Hecht are two team members who can draw on their hands-on experience of 2008,” reports Hansen, who is currently forging international contacts throughout the Baltic area, especially in Denmark.
First inquiries have already reached Kiel from the big French and Spanish J/80 fleets. The organisers expect not only owners to take part, but also ‘stand-alone’ crews who may charter boats from Mittelmann`s Werft boatyard in Kappeln.
For German serial winner Martin Menzner from Stein/Laboe, the worlds at his doorstep will be a welcome opportunity to race in a big international fleet: “National events generally draw between 20 and 30 boats, so the worlds will be a quite different dimension.“
Menzner thinks there could be up to 70 boats at the starting line, even though the simultaneously held J/70 world championship in La Rochelle, France, may somewhat reduce the number of French entries. “However, I’m sure that the Spanish top teams, who have been dominating the scene over the last few years, will not miss out on the worlds,” he says. He expects half a dozen boats from Spain, and a dozen or even more from the huge French fleet to come to Kiel. “There are also J/80 fleets in Denmark, the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium and in Italy,” says the boat designer, who attributes only marginal chances to his own crew and the other strong German teams from Bremen. Menzner: “Things may go well if conditions are right. But to be honest – we’d be more than happy with rank 10 like in Copenhagen in 2011. The international level is quite demanding and the top teams happen to be that bit quicker in decisive situations and more adaptable to varying conditions.“
Helly Hansen will be the official clothing sponsor to equip the voluntary and professional helpers of the WM with functional gear to make sure the organisation team will be well clad in summer weather, as well as protected from wind and rain in harsher conditions.
“Wind speeds of forces 5 to 6, heavy rain and waves crashing overboard are conditions our gear masters perfectly to protecting sailors and organisers alike throughout the worlds,“ says Michael Uhl, Marketing Manager of Helly Hansen for Germany, Switzerland and Austria with utter conviction of the Helly Hansen products. Thore Hansen from Point of Sailing adds: “We are happy to have Helly Hansen as our partner. We’ve been making excellent experiences with their gear for more than 16 years at Kieler Woche and other major sailing events such as the ORC Worlds 2014 in Kiel. Together with Helly Hansen our aim is constant improvement. Analysing feedback from our teams helps optimise the gear for outdoor use in offshore conditions“.
Visitors and sailors will be able to choose from the newest products at the Helly Hansen booth in the event area.
Pantaenius Yacht Insurance will be present at the world championship as they have been for decades of Kieler Woche and also last year at the ORC worlds: To all participants, Pantaenius offers yacht third party liability insurance with the required insured sums. A Pantaenius representative will be present during check-in on Saturday, 4 July, and Sunday, 5 July at the race office to answer all questions about the relating to yacht insurance.
Work on the layout of the Schilksee event area is currently still in progress. In any case, all teams will be berthed at a dedicated pier with immediate access to the shore event area. The Schilksee campsite will be open for guests and well before the regional school holidays, adequate capacities of local hotel rooms and apartments should be available in the area.
The world championship starts with check-in and measurement on Saturday, 4 July, to carry on through Sunday, 5 July, when a practice race is scheduled. Up to three daily races will be held from Monday through Friday and the final prize-giving ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon, 10 July.