by Hermann Hell 9 Sep 10:46 UTC 5-13 September 2020 Patryk Kosmalski/Tomasz Lewandowski from Poland in the 420 and won the Kieler Woche. © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche Tweet
Expected triumphs, exciting battles for the title and surprising changes: The final day of the first half of the Kieler Woche once again offered all the variations of decision making in the ten international classes.
In addition there was the new record set by Wolfgang Hunger: the sailor from Strander won a Kieler Woche title for the 23rd time on his home ground – for the ninth time in the meantime at the side of Holger Jess in the 505. A total of six German crews, two Danish and one each from the Netherlands and Poland collected the trophies.
“My smiling face remains,” summarized Head of Organizsations Dirk Ramhorst. “After the morning in the drizzle, the weather developed very well, as predicted by Meeno Schrader. We had a great sailing day. The sailors had fun, but also had to fight with the winds.” After the successful first half of the Kieler Woche, also with regard to the corona situation, Ramhorst is looking hopefully to the coming four sailing days from Thursday to Sunday in six Olympic and three international boat classes: “Afterwards I hope that everything will be fine.”
First in the 470s and since 1997 in the 505s Wolfgang Hunger controlled his home waters on the outer fjord of Kiel in such a way that he collected victory after victory. After 2013, however, the series seemed torn. The hard times lasted six years before Wolfgang Hunger got back on board with Holger Jess. The successful duo had sailed together until 2008, but then went their separate ways. Last year, they won the Kieler Woche together again and now they immediately added the next one. They made it so superior that they did not have to compete in the last race. Stefan Böhm/Gerald Roos (Ville) ensured the German double success, while the Danes Jörgen Bojsen-Möller/Michael Wonterghem, who were coming up strongly, kept their distance.
“In the last race we spared the material because it was handed over to the new owner right after the race. A bit of a pity. I wish I could have sailed the boat again. In the last race we could have gone full throttle completely free,” said Wolfgang Hunger. But his crew and boat dealer Holger Jess supplies the scene with top-quality boat material and the sale of the successful boats is part of the business. “People prefer our boats as new material,” said Jess.
Even an early start disqualification at the end of the series didn’t change the Polish triumph ahead of Kiel in the 420. Patryk Kosmalski/Tomasz Lewandowski had proved to be too strong in the final series for them to be able to get the black flag off the track in the final race. They also managed to cancel the early start and won with a comfortable points advantage over their compatriots Zofia Korsak/Karolina Cendrowska. After a lively interplay in the placements among the German top teams, Florian Büscher/Jacob Lanzinger finally had the better end of the internal competition for themselves. The combination from Düsseldorf and Chiemsee ended up in third place overall.
Defending champion Sören Dulong Andreasen (Denmark) could not be stopped in the Contender. – photo © www.segel-bilder.de
“It’s a comfortable situation,” said Max Billerbeck (Kollmar) even before the start – but with one laughing and one crying eye. “There is room to move backwards, but there is not much left to move forwards either. So the world champion was able to concentrate fully on his third place and on boat handling. Because with the heavy gusts, especially the athletes in the one-man harness dinghies had a lot of work to do to keep their sports equipment upright. At the top, the way was clear for defending champion Sören Dulong Andreasen (Denmark). With an early start disqualification on Monday, his compatriot Jesper Armbrust had stumbled as the toughest pursuer and could no longer endanger the 2013 World Champion and two-time European Champion Andreasen. On the final day they split the victories, Billerbeck came in seventh in two places to finish third overall.
When conditions are difficult for the Contenders, what happens on the Musto Skiff would be like a rodeo ride. Accordingly, the field in the one-man trapeze gennaker skiffs was not sent out on the water at the end of their Kieler Woche, and Iver Ahlmann was the first Kieler Woche winner in 2020 in the dinghy classes. For the man from the Kieler Yacht Club it is the second victory at the world’s biggest regatta week after 2011. Nine years ago, the former class president won the premiere of his class at Kiel, now he is back at the top after a strong series of seven wins and four second places in what is however only a small field of twelve participants. The Dutchman Paul Dijkstra and Jan Busch (Aachen) follow on the other podium places.
Anna Livbjerg was in a class of her own: The Danish won with 36 points ahead of second-placed Simon Christoffersen (Denmark) and Frenchman Cyril Richard. – photo © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche
One woman has kept the predominantly male competition safely in check despite the exhausting finish. Anna Livbjerg was in a very strong position on Tuesday and was in a league of her own. The Dane would not have had to sail the last race at all. But she enjoyed sailing in wind and waves and after another win, the fifth in eleven races, she was 36 points ahead of the second placed Simon Christoffersen (Denmark) and the Frenchman Cyril Richard. The German lightweight Johann Tammen (Kiel) had to pay tribute to the conditions at the end. Still with medal chances in the morning, he slipped down to seventh place.
Smiling, Batbold Gruner picked up his prize. The 16-year-old student had a strong week, sailing to his greatest international success after finishing 24th at the European Championship in Portugal. “Today it went really well once again,” the sailor from Zwischenahner Meer was pleased to report. “I am very happy.” With a victory at the end he sealed the overall victory ahead of the Swede Erik Norlén and the Dane Magnus Heegard. Gruner has not yet decided how his career will continue.
With a consistently strong series at the end of the final series, Anton Nikolai Loeck secured another surprising bronze medal for the German fleet at Laser Radial. The Flensburg based athlete even left the 2018 World Champion, Emma Plasschaert from Belgium, in the wake, who gambled away her chances for a top three place with too much effort. In races six, seven and eight, the Olympic aspirant was punished three times by the jury on the water. The first one because of excessive physical exertion cost her a penalty turn, after the second one because of pumping she had to give up the race, and after the third one because of rigging at the start she received a non-removable disqualification for the race. Thus, despite further top results, she was only able to finish fourth. The Kieler Woche triumph, however, was out of reach. The Dutchman Paul Hameeteman never compromised at any stage with only top two results.
Anna Munch from Denmark in second place overall put her early start disqualification behind her right at the start of the Kieler Woche and now starts into the second half of the Kieler Woche with the recommendation as best woman at the Laser Radial Open. There she will sail – just like Emma Plasschaert – in the women’s Olympic discipline of the Laser Radial.
The Dutchman Paul Hameeteman never compromised at any stage with only top two results and won the Kieler Woche. – photo © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche