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Eurosaf Para Sailing Championship 2018 to be held at Kiel Week

by SVG Verlag 9 Dec 2017 14:17 GMT 16-24 June 2018
Like in 2017 disabled sailors will have the opportunity to sail races at Kiel Week 2018 © Kieler Woche /

The enthusiasm about the perfect integration of the Para World Sailing Championships at Kiel Week 2017 caused quite a stir.

Kim Andersen, President of World Sailing, John Petersson, member of the Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee/IPC, Julius Beucher, Chairman of the German Association for Disabled Sports/DBS as well as representatives of Eurosaf overwhelmed Kiel with compliments. So granting Kiel to host the Eurosaf Para Sailing Championships in 2018 was the logical consequence. Helly Hansen is also again part of the Kiel Week and did sign a partnership until 2022.

The next important step to get sailing reinstalled in the Paralympic program, is leading via the Kiel Week, which will take place from 16. until 24. June 2018. "We will do everything to support World Sailing in getting back the Paralympic status for the sailing sport for the Olympics 2024", said Dirk Ramhorst (Kiel Yacht Club). Inclusion fits into Kiel's concept. "We have ideal prerequisites for that, and inclusion has been a fixed part of the Kiel Week for years", explained the Head of Organisation of the Kiel Week regattas. In 2002, the Paralympic boat classes became part of the Kiel Week, since 2008 the 2.4mR class is an open class.

After the rearrangement of the marina area, the construction of a barrier-free conference site and the installation of a lift, the barrier-free 44m long and 1.80m wide access to pier one and several resting areas for short breaks were finished in 2016. The country, the federal state and the city of Kiel have invested 269,000 Euro for that and prepared Kiel perfectly well for the inclusion in the sailing sport.

With the European Championship in Kiel and the World Championship in the USA, there will be two major events in 2018 to stress the importance and possibilities of the sailing sport. Because the decision, which sport will be represented at the Paralympics 2024, will be made already in October next year. "It is one of our main objectives that sailing will be part again. There is no type of sports, which is similarly suitable for inclusion", stated Kim Andersen. Disabled sailors competing against non-disabled sailors, just sailors competing against sailors, all is possible in the 2.4mR. The strong signal from Kiel in direction of IPC was not missed, said the representative of the sailing sport: "Many thanks to Germany, many thanks to Kiel."

The next step shall take place next year after the Worlds 2017. Thanks to the barrier-free area in Kiel, optimum conditions for disabled sailors and spectators, Kiel is leading worldwide. "We are happy that Kiel and Eurosaf are acting in concert and that both organisations are working together. Thus we will reach out to the European nations. It is ideal for the active sailors to meet strong competitors in a surrounding with the entire sailing community", explained Tomasz Chamera, Vice President of the European Sailors' Association. Chamera, who is from Poland, was on site during the Worlds this year, and was thrilled: "It was just fantastic." And Bernard Destrubé, member of the Para-Committee at World Sailing took the same line: "I was worried at first, that the Para World Sailing Championships would not be really visible during the Kiel Week. But I was absolutely thrilled. "

"We are hoping to follow up on this", said Chamera, who is hoping for participants from more than 30 nations due to the good cooperation of World Sailing, Eurosaf, and Kiel Week. They shall be sailing in the 2.4mR and Hansa 303, two strong fleets at the Worlds in Kiel. We will see, whether there will be other boat classes also.

The Europeans are of course a financial challenge for Kiel. "We will try everything to also provide financial support for Kiel. We have not found a sponsor for that yet", Kim Andersen is announcing potential help. With 100,000 Euro as well as the support from logistics and transport partner GAC Pindar, the participants' costs could be reduced this year. Kiel is hoping to offer these reduced costs again for the sailors in 2018 to start in Kiel and show the world, that sailing deserves the Paralympic status.

The Kiel Week is also on a good way regarding its partnerships. Helly Hansen again is the official clothing sponsor of the Kiel Week. Helly Hansen is closely connected with the Kiel Week and the hosting Kiel Yacht Club and is taking part in the international sailing event as the official clothing supplier for the 17. time after a two-year break. The contract is valid for the years 2018 until 2022. "We are very happy to be again part of the Kiel Week and having signed a long-term contract. Water sports is one of our core competencies and we claim to be the leading sailing brand worldwide", said Michael Uhl Marketing Director Europe.

Thanks to the clothes of Helly Hansen, the round about 400 officials, organisers and voluntary helpers of the Kiel Week will be again well equipped for all weather conditions in 2018 - on the water and ashore. The clothing partner will be present with three sales booths, the Helly Hansen container, a tent and in the Vaasa hall.

"We are happy to have Helly Hansen as a reliable and competent partner at our side for the next years. In the past years, we have successfully finished many projects in the sailing sport together and are looking forward to have Helly Hansen again as a sponsor of the Kiel Week", stated Sven Christensen, Managing Director of Point of Sailing Marketing GmbH.

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