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Kieler Woche 2020 - Day 4: From Winter storage to victory

by Hermann Hell 9 Sep 2020 11:41 BST 5-13 September 2020
Tight starts in class ORC I/II. - Kieler Woche 2020 © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche

At the end of the German championships on the Seebahn, Rasmus gave the offshore sailors at the Kieler Woche another big treat.

With gusts around 30 knots the teams had to fight in two races on the Alpha course, but happily returned to the harbour afterwards. Because for many of them the season's highlight was also the first regatta in this line-up. So the respective champions, "Sportsfreund" (ORC I+II) and "Immac Fram" (ORC III + IV), enjoyed the action to the full, although they were already determined as winners before the final race.

Impressive was the presentation of the "Sportsfreund" in the group of the big yachts. Without much preparation, the team got on the boat and immediately returned to the successful mode of the previous year.

"The boat was pushed out of the hall on Wednesday last week with the EM setting. Bertil Balser and the boys then set it up. I myself was still on my way back from the Melges World Cup," reported helmsman Gordon Nickel. "A big thank you to our owner Axel Seehafer for making the start possible for us."

Seehafer himself was not on board, but could observe from a distance how the crew was getting better and better.

"In training on Friday it was still a bit bumpy. We had a few changes in the crew. But after one or two starts, we were back on track," says Nickel. The training curve finally resulted in two victories on the final day, ahead of IDM titleholder "Intermezzo" by Jens Kuphal (Berlin).

"That was our goal. We still had a score to settle with the German Championship. That's why we went to the start," Nickel said. Behind the "Intermezzo" the "Xen" of Torsten Bastiansen (Flensburg) won IDM bronze in the group ORC I+II.

The "Immac Fram" in the group of medium and small yachts (ORC III+IV) had given itself a little more time to prepare for the IDM than the "Sportsfreund".

"When it was predictable in July that the Kieler Woche would take place, we put the yacht on water", reported helmsman Kai Mares. "Before that it didn't really make sense. You need a goal that you can aim for. And then the self-imposed goal was implemented perfectly: The Mares crew was only unable to win two races in the nine-part series, thus achieving the same superiority as when they won the title a year ago. How the project will now be continued is not yet clear. Originally, a move to the Mediterranean was planned for this year. Possibly this will be realised in 2021.

With second place in the IDM ranking of the ORC III+IV group, Knut Freudenberg's "semi-dry" has achieved half of its own target. Following his podium success in full crew strength, Freudenberg intends to defend his title from last year in the IDM for double-handed crews in the second half. The "Stony VIII" by Steen Toftebjerg (Denmark) finished third.

The "Bostik Bad Boys" of Jan Schmidt (Flensburg) were happy about the group victory in the ORC IV. In the combined IDM ranking with group III the team finished fifth.

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