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Kiel Week 2021: In good times as in bad

by Hermann Hell 25 Jan 15:36 GMT 19-27 June 2021
Since 2002 the 2.4mR are part of the Kiel Week. © S. Klahn / Kieler Woche

Planning for Kiel Week 2021 is in full swing - and on several tracks at once, because the pandemic demands flexibility even in the planning of major events.

"We are planning in many levels and remain extremely flexible. Although we were able to show what was possible despite Corona in 2020, but of course we do not know how the pandemic and the virus will develop," says the head of organization of the Kiel Week regattas, Dirk Ramhorst.

The date in June (19th - 27th) is fixed, the classes have been announced, the Notice of Race (NoR) is on the web, the partners are on board and the participants really appreciate Kiel Week. Already after four days there were more than 600 entries.

Nevertheless, the exact procedure may still change. The perfect implementation of the hygiene concepts is well known in Kiel and has already succeeded in 2020. On the other hand, the organizers in Kiel hope for a relaxation for this year.

"We are working on various concepts for a shore program in Schilksee," said Sven Christensen, managing director of the KYC marketing agency Point of Sailing. In order for these plans to move forward optimistically, it is imperative that Kiel Week's partners and sponsors stand by the world's largest sailing event in good times and as in bad. "We have incredibly strong partners that we can be proud of," Christensen explains. Meetings with established and new partners are in full swing and are encouraging, so gastronomic areas and the sponsors' mile with pagodas are also in planning.

"Our partners see the support of Kiel Week as their sporting social responsibility," adds Christensen, who thus emphasizes that Kiel Week works with partners and not with "only" sponsors. On both sides, attention is not only paid to the agreed facts, but the partnership is adapted to the requirements, because in the end both sides should be pleased and the event should succeed.

The premium partners can also be relied on in rough seas. For example, boot Düsseldorf has already extended its partnership by five years in 2020, and REWE and Volvo are also on board in 2021.

The partnership with Förde Sparkasse and Helly Hansen (up to and including 2022) is in place, and accenture has just extended for three years. "The commitment from accenture for this period in these times is an incredible commitment to the partnership," Christensen is pleased to say.

In addition, sponsors such as internationale Farbenwerke, SAP, Dimension Polyant, Remondis and SVG Verlag have extended their cooperation. Conversations with new sponsors are also proceeding positively. "According to the current plan, we would like to offer gastro areas, a sponsor mile and hospitality areas. According to current planning, Schilksee will certainly look different for Kiel Week than it did last year, but also different than it did before the pandemic," says Christensen. Plenty of space in the outdoor gastro area, no stage, no screen and no large gastro tent could characterize Kiel Week 2021 in Schilksee.

But it is not only the shore program that is being refined. In the sporting part, the timing of the Wednesday as a changeover day and the abandonment of the Medal Races will be maintained. All current and future Olympic classes and thus also the iQFoils surfers as well as 18 international classes including the foiling Waszp class and the inclusion class 2.4mR, which after Tokyo this year will also not be at the start of the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024, will be announced. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had decided against sailing in 2018.

"Although there is no other sport that offers as many opportunities for inclusion as sailing," explains Dirk Ramhorst. It's quite different in Kiel. Since 2002, the 2.4 mR have been competing at the Kiel Weeks. Since 2008, the class has been announced open. Only in 2020, the year of the pandemic, were the 2.4mR sailors not involved. But the year of the Kiel Week of the special kind shall remain an exception, because for 2021 the former paralympic class is announced again. From 19 to 22 June 2021, the 2.4mR will start in the first part of Kiel Week.

Kiel offers the ideal conditions for this, because Schilksee is barrier-free. In Kiel, people with disabilities can engage in sports activities and find safe and fair conditions for practicing their sport.

So they are not forgotten, the perfect integration of the Para World Sailing Championships into Kiel Week 2017 as well as the EUROSAF Para Sailing Championships in the classes 2.4 mR and Hansa 303 with 61 participants from 15 nations during Kiel Week 2018.

But despite the signals from Kiel, sailing remains stuck on the Paralympic track. One man who is particularly committed to inclusion has never given up fighting for sailing with disabilities: Heiko Kroeger. The two-time Paralympic medalist is an indispensable part of the Kiel starting list. Eleven times since 2002, Kröger has secured the Kiel Week victory in the 2.4mR. With great commitment, the Hamburg native has made Kiel the inclusion location par excellence for sailing and is expected to be at the start again in 2021.

And in the future, World Sailing, the German Sailing Association and Kiel will continue to pull together for the good of inclusion. But an artificially created division according to injury classes, which is not necessary in sailing, is hardly likely to be the solution.

Part I: 19 to 22 June:

The classes 505er, Contender, 2.4mR, 420er, 29er, Laser 4.7, FD, OK-Jolle, Europe, Laser Radial and Waszp are announced. - In addition, there is the FAREAST 28R World Championship (June 19-23).

Part II: 24 to 27 June:

The current and future Olympic classes: 470 w/m, 49er, 49er FX, Finn, Laser Std, Laser Radial, Nacra 17, iQ Foils w/m as well as the classes J/24, J/70, J/80, Formula 18 and Nacra 15 are planned. "In addition, we will respond to the next decisions in Offshore Mixed Doublehanded. Our goal was and is to include all Olympic classes in Kiel Week," explains Dirk Ramhorst.

The notice of race is available here

The registration is possible here

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