Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

J/24s at Kiel Week

by Rob Clark 23 Jun 2017 12:31 BST 17-20 June 2017
Mike Ingham (USA) on day 3 at Kieler Woche © Kieler Woche / segel-bilder.de

If you've never been to Kieler Woche, you should...

A fantastic venue, superb infrastructure, good and cheap food and beer, nice restaurants and hotels or cheap camping and bratwurst, plus 1,500 boats of different shapes and sizes to bring a real festival of sailing to the Baltic shores.

However, above and beyond that is the sailing, with the cream of German talent (and there is lots of it) as well as a raft of international superstars to rub shoulders with on and off the race course. And so it was again in 2017, making the long drive from the UK worth every roadwork delay.

For the J/24 class this years addition featured 10 teams that had previously won a world or continental championship and several more boats that could easily be in the mix towards the latter end of the event. Pro teams, youth teams, all female teams and keen amateurs showed the diverse appeal for a design that is now 40 years old but has lost none of its challenge or competitive edge.

The UK fleet sent 4.5 teams to Kiel, Madeleine, Jolly Roger, Phoenix, George Kennedy's Team Impact youth team and the front half of Il Riccio, complemented by Travis and Ian from USA, who brought with them some very fine new Quantum sails for a few of us as well as some great banter on and off the water.

However as soon as we hit mainland Europe trouble struck. Andy Taylor developed food poisoning from an, as yet, unidentified service station treat and Madeleine found herself, trailer and van perched on a low loader heading to a garage in Belgium. In spite of this we all made it to Germany with a day to spare and high hopes of a great regatta.

That is just what we got. Multiple windward / leeward laps of a fairly short course, which we shared with another 2 fleets, meant that we had over 60 boats tussling for room and being able to pick and hold a lane with clean execution of mark roundings were vital if you weren't to be chewed up by the very quick and slick competition - if you got clear you could get away but one mistake could throw you back deep in the pack.

The following 4 days brought some incredible racing. 10 races in wind from 5 to 18 knot, swell, chop and flat water, clear blue skies and warm days. With the standard of the fleet we all knew that anything inside the top 10 was a keeper score and so it proved.

The first two days belonged to Mike Ingham (USA) and Duncan McCarthy (GBR 4265) who consistently worked their way into the reckoning with great boat speed, solid decisions and impeccable boat handling. However there were a number of teams hot on their heels, with the top 10 all realistically capable of taking the event going into the second half.

Day 3 brought 8 - 12 knots of wind and flat water, in these conditions every J/24 in the fleet had equal pace and height, giving us a game of snakes and ladders to negotiate with every team taking at least one high score and making things very interesting for the final act.

The final day definitely belonged to Andy Taylor (GBR 4222), we finally found our mojo and counted a 1,1,2 for the day to move onto the podium. However this wasn't enough to dislodge the Americans with Mike Ingham claiming the event and Travis Odenbach in 2nd. With 5 nations represented in the top 10, USA, GBR, GER, SWE and NED it demonstrated the true international flavour of the event.

Whilst all this happened the social side wasn't forgotten - America's Cup on the big screen, beers and barbecues courtesy of the German fleet and leaping around in the main tent to United 4 - a band so wrong that makes them so right...!

So what did we learn?

  1. The Germans are fantastic hosts who know how to put on an event for sailors to truly enjoy.
  2. If you want to develop you need to challenge yourself against the best teams and this is a brilliant opportunity to do just that - race craft comes from experience and review with your crew and other teams.
  3. If you want to go quicker then chat to the top teams, they will happily help with set up, observations and methodologies - the more competitive teams we have the better the racing for all of us.

We'll be back in 2018, hopefully see you there...

Full results can be found at www.kielerwoche.de

Related Articles

J/24 Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas overall
Mike Marshall's American Garage secures the title in the final race Mike Marshall's American Garage may have never been in first place overall during races one through nine, but he was after the tenth and final race to claim the title of 2022 J/24 World Champion. Posted on 23 Jul
J/24 Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas day 4
Penultimate day ends with four points separating the top four boats Four points separate the top four boats heading into the final day of the J/24 World Championship hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club in Texas USA. Posted on 21 Jul
J/24 Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas day 3
A gusty middle day After the first race on Wednesday (Race 5) at the J/24 World Championship hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club in Texas USA, Paul Foerster's Grand Slam 2 and Mike Marshall's American Garage were tied for the top position. Posted on 20 Jul
J/24 Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas day 2
Breezy day delights the sailors The standings tightened up on day two of the 2022 J/24 World Championship hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club in Texas USA. Posted on 20 Jul
J/24 Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas day 1
Perfect conditions to open the event The J/24 Class began in 1978, and in 2022 still attracts nine nations to its World Championship. Posted on 19 Jul
J/24 World Championship preview
The 43rd edition is being hosted by Corpus Christi YC First sailed in Newport, RI in 1979, the J/24 World Championship has since taken place on four continents and over two dozen countries around the world. Posted on 13 Jul
Future plans for Kiel Week include kiting
2023 World Cup level with Olympic qualifier After the all-round success of Kiel Week 2022, the organisational team around Dirk Ramhorst is looking ambitiously to the future. In the coming year, the sporting importance will be further increased in order to attract even more top sailors to Kiel. Posted on 27 Jun
128th Kiel Week overall
326 races completed in nine days on nine race courses The final day of Kiel Week once again reflected the past nine days of racing. The conditions varied from calm in the morning - with a corresponding delay in the start - to dream conditions in the last possible Medal Races of the Olympic classes. Posted on 26 Jun
128th Kiel Week Day 8
Light wind, tight fights Thin cloud cover prevented thermals from building up on the penultimate day of Kiel Week (SAT, 25 June). The attempts of starting the races had to be postponed. The wind remained light, so the foil classes (Nacra 17 and iQFoils) were cancelled. Posted on 25 Jun
128th Kiel Week Day 7
Subtropical strong wind on Kiel Week's Friday A show of strength by Olympic champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti dominated the Nacra 17 competition at Kiel Week on Friday (24 June). The mixed duo from Italy followed a single slip-up (13th) with three victories on the day. Posted on 24 Jun