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Closer to the original in September: Solidarity for the united Kiel Week

by Hermann Hell 20 Apr 12:10 BST 4-12 September 2021
The Fareast 28 will sail for their world championship title in Kiel Week © gel

Also in 2021 there will be no Kiel Week (September 4 to 12) in the usual format. While the 2020 edition was based on the principle of "sailing first", the main focus in 2021 will be on a united Kiel Week for sailing and festivals.

Of course, everything will be done in compliance with the pandemic rules to protect the active participants, the organization and the guests.

Kiel Week 2020 was entirely dominated by sailing sports, which were collectively eagerly awaiting Kiel Week after a long Corona break. Numerous qualifications for the Olympic Games (not only of the German national team) were the focus of a Kiel Week that was top-class. But also the fences with notices about distance rules and hygiene regulations, the cohort principle, demarcated areas, tests and temperature measurements at the entry, digital or hybrid events in Schilksee characterized this major event of a very special kind.

This year, Kiel Week (September 4 to 12) will have nothing in common with the events of the past. Four weeks after the Olympic Games, the situation is completely different. Many classes, especially the Olympic ones, have parallel events and cannot start in Kiel. In addition, the Kiel organization team had to react very flexibly to a new class mix and the integrated Star World Championship. Now the 16 classes, the Star and the FAREAST 28R World Championships as well as the Offsore races are rearranged.

From now on the registration with the class mix is opened on manage2sail.com. The athletes can leave their entry for June (it will then automatically be taken over for September), can re-enter or withdraw (until June 1st). In case of withdrawal or if the class is cancelled, the entry fee will be refunded.

The pandemic is not over yet, and sailing is still in postponement and cancellation mode. For the postponed Kiel Week 2021, the focus (besides the health of all involved) is on a united sailing and festival event. Statements like "Closer to the original" (Kiel's mayor Ulf Kämpfer), "Regatta sailing and the festival simply belong together, so that it becomes a 'real' Kiel Week" (Carsten Krage, chairman of the Kieler Yacht-Club), "The prospects for a 'real' Kiel Week grow with each additional month" (Schleswig-Holstein's prime minister Daniel Günther) underline what it's all about: To celebrate a Kiel Week as original as possible, which has been attracting the sailing world to Kiel since 1882, grew over the decades to become the world's largest sailing event, and has been merged with the Festival Week since 1949.

"A separation of sailing week and festival cannot be an alternative," Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of the Kiel Week regattas, is also convinced. But the postponement to September has an impact on the sailing part of Kiel Week. Numerous classes had already placed their European Championships in the fall, which now overlap with Kiel Week.

In addition, a temporal rescheduling requires flexibility not only of the active participants but also of the organizers. "We can only thank all the race committees for pulling out all the stops to be there and thus make the races possible. Many crews had already booked their vacations and/or were scheduled for other regattas," said Principle Race Officer Fabian Bach. A total of six race courses in the first and seven in the second part (including Star World Championship and Offshore races) are planned and at the maximum possible. Due to the simultaneous European Championships in the Czech Republic, the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes had to be cancelled. Also Laser Standard, Nacra15, FD and the Finn, which is no longer Olympic after the Games in Tokyo, will not be announced.

"We will provide the stage for a high-quality event," promises Dirk Ramhorst. The postponement is supported not only by politics and the athletes, but also by the partners of the Kiel Week. "We have incredibly strong partners that we can be proud of," explains Sven Christensen, managing director of the KYC marketing agency Point of Sailing. And they stand by the world's largest sailing event in hard times as well as good.

Sporting highlights of Kiel Week are undoubtedly two integrated world championships. The Star (September 4 to 11) and the FAREAST 28R (September 4 to 8) will fight for their World Championship medals.

The Notice of Race, adapted to the new situation and the new date, can be found at: www.kieler-woche.de/nor. Registration at www.manage2sail.de.

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