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Happy faces after a record-breaking Kiel Week

by Hermann Hell 30 Jun 2018 10:30 BST 16-24 June 2018

With the start of the Nord Stream Race from Kiel to Kopenhagen, the Kiel Week with their record numbers came to an end.

1870 boats with around 4000 sailors have sailed across the race course in 36 competitions on the nine days. Young sailors and experienced offshore players, people with and without disabilities, America's Cup participants and Olympic winners, World, European and German Champions were at the start line. The weather was from warm and sunny to gusty and autumnal, the days on the water were long for the athletes and organizers. In total, 495 races were sailed, and the atmosphere among the participants from 60 nations at the Olympic marina Schilksee was peaceful and multicultural. 350 voluntary helpers did make it a feel-good atmosphere for the sailors.

"The Kiel Week did bring very nice pictures - directly from the water, ashore, but also on the internet via TV-broadcasting", stated the Head of the Regatta Organization Dirk Ramhorst as a result of the event. With the big screens in the city, a majority of the round about three million visitors of the Kiel Week could get an impression about the sailing sport. Several hundred thousands came directly to Schilksee to the Olympic marina. But the record number of athletes, that could only be handled on the races courses in shifts, did also push the voluntary helpers to the limit of their capacities. Because the days were not just long for the athletes, but also for the helpers on the vessels of the race committee, in the race office, the jury and the whole organization ashore. "We will have to see how we can handle that in the future and what we are probably able to manage with more personnel", said Ramhorst.

The sports part of the Kiel Week had a relaxed end with the successful Medal Races. After the stormy days in the second half of the event, the wind was finally perfect. The criticism from Philipp Buhl, the spokesman of the athletes from the National German Team, that some good sailing conditions were not used due to bad weather forecasts, will be part of direct talks with Buhl, said Ramhorst.

The concept changes in the event layout in Schilksee stood the test, said Sven Christensen, Managing Director of the Marketing Agency Point of Sailing. With the varied offers in the event tents with craftworks, DJ shows and live acts, all visitors and sailors had great opportunities for the evening program. And the sailors did find their area in the tent of the boat class organization and offers of barbecue evenings in the heart of the Olympic marina, which they frequently visited.

"Our new partners and sponsors did contribute well to the event and the layout. We did receive a lot of positive feedback on this", said Christensen, but also was a bit sad, that for example the party band "United 4" did not perform anymore in Schilksee after 20 years. But it is certain, that there will not be any big conceptual changes for the next years. "We will for sure make some adjustments, but in general we will keep it like this. New ideas also need time to breathe", said Christensen. Until next year there will be enough work to do, since the contracts with the premium partners Audi and HSH Nordbank are coming to an end and need to be re-negotiated.

Results of the Kiel Week regatta can be found at www.kieler-woche.de

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