Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions
With more and more world championships taking place in Kiel, the city emphasizes its application to host the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024 or 2028. Just like in the previous year with a record number of participants for the ORC Worlds and the following SAP 505 Worlds, there will again be two high-class world championships as part of the extensive sailing program on the Kiel Fjord this year. The sailing program in Kiel for 2015 will start with the Maior Regatta (1. to 3. May), followed by the Young Europeans Sailing (23. to 25. May) and the J/80 (4. to 10. July) and F18 World Championships (11. to 18. July). For three months, the focus will be completely on the high-end sailing sport. And the highlight will be once again – since 133 years – the Kieler Woche in the last week of June (20. to 28.).
There has been a traditional meeting called “Kiel-Treff”, which took place at the boot Duesseldorf, the huge trade fair of the boating industry, which is still going on until Sunday, 25. January. 250 guests from the sports industry, economy sector or politics did show up at this unofficial opening of the Kieler Woche 2015, which again will be combining sporting highlights with social happenings as well as a cultural and folk festival. Dr. Ulf Kaempfer, mayor of Kiel, the premium sponsors Audi, SAP, HSH Nordbank, boot Dusseldorf and the organizing clubs KYC (Kiel Yacht Club), NRV (Norddeutscher Regattaverein), HSC (Hamburg Sailing Club) and the VSaW (Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee) did get the guests in the mood for the innovative and traditional Kieler Woche. From the small Laser dinghy up to the tall ship, from the high-tech skiff to the naval cutters – Kiel again offers the whole range of the sailing sport within a week and promotes hosting the Olympic sailing competitions in Kiel. The decision will be made this year, whether Hamburg or Berlin will be applying to host the Olympic games in 2024 or 2028. Kiel is ready to support the application and organize the sailing competitions for the third time – after 1936 and 1972. Two exceptional athletes are supporting Kiel’s application, decathlon Olympic winner from 1964 (Tokyo) Willi Holdorf (75) and Paralympic winner from 2000 (Sydney) in the boat class 2.4mR Heiko Kroeger (48), and also played their part in promoting the capital of Schleswig-Holstein at the event in Duesseldorf.
Eight Olympic classes (only the surfers are excluded) and the Paralympic classes 2.4mR and Sonar were announced for the Kieler Woche. Almost the whole national German sailing team, the Audi Sailing Team Germany, will be at the start line in Kiel, and 17 international classes will sail their competitions in the second part of the Kieler Woche, with exceptionally huge fleets in the junior classes (29er and 420) sailing on eight “triangle courses”. Seven one design, four ORC Int. and four ORC Club classes as well as one multihull class will be completing the Kieler Woche fleets – with the worldwide exceptional number of 43 classes on ten race courses in total.
Altogether there are around 4000 active sailors from more than 50 nations at the Kieler Woche. Furthermore, around three and a half million visitors are expected in the capital of Schleswig-Holstein – with 400,000 visitors at the Sailing Center Kiel-Schilksee. With each Kieler Woche, Kiel promotes its sailing area, and from now on also its possible location for the Olympic sailing competitions, in case Hamburg or Berlin does win the bid to host the Olympic games in 2024 or 2028.
Kiel’s mayor Dr. Ulf Kaempfer is convinced: „Whoever is thinking about Olympic sailing competitions in Germany, is automatically thinking about Kiel. There are several reasons to host the sailing competitions in Kiel: We are the world capital of the sailing sport and the host of the biggest sailing event worldwide – year after year. We are Germany’s only Olympic training center for the sailing sport and home of the nationwide biggest university sailing center.“
In order to keep that high level, which is used as a measurement for the sailing world, and even improve it, the organizers have strong partners at their side.
AUDI AG is a premium partner in Kiel for the sixth time. „Thanks to the channel ‘Kieler Woche.TV powered by Audi’, which started in 2011, we offer sailing sport live in the internet on www.audi-sailing.de and additionally on open-air cinema screens”, said Johannes Polgar, project leader for the sailing sport in the department of trade fairs, events and sport marketing at AUDI AG. So even those not being able to come to Kiel, can follow the Kieler Woche races live.
For premium partner SAP, which has subsidiaries in 180 countries, it is especially important, that the Kieler Woche is such an international event. “With 4000 sailors from more than 50 countries, friends and families all over the world want to follow the races. And SAP does not just offer the live-broadcasting and highlights in English, but also the SAP Sailing Analytics”, explained Stefan Lacher, Head of Technology SAP Sponsorships, to the 250 guests in Duesseldorf.
The HSH Nordbank is the third premium partner and the most continuous one, being part of the event for the twelfth time. „We are pleased to have the longest-lasting partnership as a sponsor of the Kieler Woche. So in 2014 we did sign up for two more years”, explained Frank Kranke at the meeting in Duesseldorf. For the active sailors, there will again be the exceptional HSH Nordbank Race Repair Service on the water, which is worldwide unique.
The cooperation between the boot Duesseldorf and the Kieler Woche is almost traditional. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, chairman of the management of the “Messe Duesseldorf”, emphasized once more, that the partnership goes without saying and will of course continue beyond 2015.
Willi Holdorf is a person especially committed to Kiel. The first German Olympic decathlon winner did demonstrate an incomparable competition 1964 in Tokyo by showing what a human being is capable of if he is able to go beyond his limits.
„The Olympic sailing competitions are a great chance for Kiel. Olympia brings people together. Olympia is a feeling of unity. Olympia inspires. Olympia is actually fun. And Kiel knows how to do Olympia “, stated Holdorf.
Heiko Kroeger followed the same line. Hamburgs gold and silver medalist at the Paralympic games (2000/2012) in the 2.4mR class moreover stands up for paralympic sports. It was also thanks to his commitment, that Kiel did integrate the Paralympic classes into the Kieler Woche at an early stage. „The Kieler Woche has been paralympic since more than ten years. And Kiel even went one step further – sailors with or without disabilities are sailing against each other at the Kieler Woche without a handicap rating” said the 48-year old, who did stick up for years to get a proper wheelchair ramp, which finally was installed last year. So – next to the 2.4mR class – a second Paralympic boat class was integrated, the Sonar, which is also announced for this year’s sailing competitions.
Just the name Kieler Woche itself attracts the sailing community to come to Kiel – year after year. „We did extend the sailors’ services included in the registration fee”, says Nikolaus Rickers, head of Kieler Woche marketing, for the organizing clubs. Apart from the sailors’ dinner for five Euros, the barbecue for class associations, the sailors’ beer (thanks to boot Duesseldorf, North Sails and the Kieler Woche organizer, 500 liters are sold to the sailors for one Euro per glas on three evenings), there will also be extensive sailors’ services like the Audi Trailer-Shuttle Service, HSH Race Repair Service, SAP Sailing Analytics and debriefings and boat repairs done by International Farbenwerke. These four services are free of costs and offer a huge benefit for the participants. But these are only four examples of the services normally offered in Kiel, but still almost worldwide unique.
Even on the water, the aim of the Kieler Woche is to become even more unique and improve the quality.
Vice chairman of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Nino Shmueli will join the Kieler Woche organizing team. The Israeli, who is also head of the 420 class, works worldwide and is an accredited professional.
he Kieler Woche is again also part of the five-part EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup (ECSC).