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Kiel Week 2020 - Via Kiel to Tokyo

by Kiel Week 7 Aug 14:13 BST 5-13 September 2020
Germany's hope in Nacra 17: Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (Kiel) © S. Klahn /

The Nacra 17 is probably the most spectacular Olympic boat class and in 2021 Olympic Games the only one that is announced as a mixed class. Germany's hopes are placed on the shoulders of the crew from Kiel Paul Kohlhoff/Alica Stuhlemmer.

"The Kieler Woche is an endurance test for us. On our home playground, we want to recommend ourselves for the Olympic Games and a medal in September", says Paul Kohlhoff confidently.

In 2015 and 2016 Kohlhoff was able to celebrate Kieler Woche victories with Caro Werner (Kieler Yacht-Club) and now he wants to go one better in the new "pre-Olympic" year. But the competition in the field of the foiling two-hand catamaran with double trapeze is world class.

The reigning world champions from Great Britain John Gimson/Anna Burnet and the gold medalists from Brazil Santiago Lange/Cecilia Carranza Saroli (Wildcard) are registered. These two duos are not the only top crews in the Kieler Woche field. They are joined by the French Quentin Delapierre/Manon Audinet (WM-4.), the Italian duo Vittorio Bissaro/Maelle Frascari (Olympics and WM-5.), the Spanish mixed crew Tara Pacheco/Florian Trittel (WM-6.), the World Championship eight-placed Lin Cenholt/Christian Peter Lübeck from Denmark, World Championship ninth-placed Sinem Kurtbay/Akseli Keskinen from Finland as well as the Kieler Woche titleholders and Olympic bronze medalists Thomas Zach/Barbara Mats (Austria). All of them should do their best to put a kink in the plans of the young German crew.

But the 26-year-old sportsman, who was the youngest member of the German Olympic team in 2016, is not afraid of big names. With his new crew, Alica Stuhlemmer, he secured Germany's place at the World Championships in New Zealand at the end of last year, finishing twelfth, and is now making his second Olympic attempt. There is currently no German competition for the still ongoing German elimination.

But for now, Kiel is on the way to Tokyo. "There is a top-class field at the start and a first important position determination after a long break. Because of the pandemic, this applies to everyone," says Kohlhoff. It is nice to experience the first endurance test on the Kiel Fjord. "We always feel particularly comfortable in our home ground and have almost always been able to call up top performances in recent years," says the helmsman, who has been training in Kiel since mid-April together with his crew member Alica Stuhlemmer and will continue to do so until Kieler Woche. They would leave nothing to chance. A lot is possible with this world championship-worthy field in Kiel and a place on the podium is the goal.

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