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Kieler Woche 2020: Back to its roots

by Kiel Week 23 Apr 17:19 BST 5-13 September 2020
Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn won the Kiel Week in the 49er © Christian Beeck / www.segel-bilder.de

"Back to the roots" is the motto for this year's Kieler Woche. Kiel's longest week of the year is this time dedicated to sailing only.

From September 5th to 13th, national and international sailors will prove their skills on the regatta courses. The "KiWo" program on land will look significantly different than usual - there will be no event areas and large stages that attract many thousands of people.

With the postponement of Kieler Woche from the end of June to September, the organizers of the state capital Kiel and the Kieler Yacht-Club sent a signal in mid-March. Already at the time of this decision, all parties involved agreed that the sailing and summer festival could not take place in the proven form in times of the Corona pandemic. Which cultural offers and smaller events will be possible will be planned in the course of the coming months and adapted according to the current situation.

"The Corona pandemic will keep us all busy for many months to come. We are convinced that, unfortunately, it will not yet be possible at the beginning of September to celebrate exuberantly with many people," emphasizes Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer. However, there are no plans to cancel Kieler Woche at the moment: "This year it's 'back to the basics' and 'sailing plus X'. We want to put the sport of sailing - and with it the historical foundation of Kieler Woche - into the centre of attention as a signal. And we want to see what we can offer the people of Kiel beyond that."

With regard to the sailing program, the Kieler Yacht-Club and the co-organizing clubs have agreed to offer a platform especially for the boat classes that have contributed to the success of Kieler Woche in the past years.

"We will give an appropriate number of sailors the opportunity to sail the Kieler Woche in the usual scope. The observance of regulations and measures concerning handling and hygiene is a matter of course", explains Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of the Kieler Woche regattas.

Ramhorst emphasizes: "The regatta cannot be held one to one as in June. Flexibility and new ideas are needed now". All planning - for example, with regard to the number of participants - is coordinated with the corona restrictions currently in force until August. "This will probably also lead to maximum registration numbers in various classes," says Ramhorst. In addition, the event area in Schilksee will be geared purely to sailing and not to visitors.

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