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J/70 German Championship to be held at Kiel Week 2023

by Kiel Week 25 May 15:11 BST 22-25 June 2023
The crowds at the turning marks of the J/70 course are likely to get even bigger this year for the IDM © Christian Beeck / Kieler Woche

More than 50 teams from seven nations have registered for the International German Championship of the J/70 in the second part of Kiel Week (June 22-25).

Among them are top crews with world champion reinforcement and five inclusive teams with cancer patients, visually impaired, and deaf athletes on board. Thus, the keelboat class once again proves to be a prime example of inclusive top sport.

"The scales are high, it's going to be a tough job," predicts last year's winner Carsten Kemmling. The Hamburg native would love to win Kiel Week once again with his quartet before probably turning his back on the J/70. "I'm going solo again," reveals the helmsman, who grew up in the ILCA, "and I'm already practicing in the Contender."

Kemmling sees the strongest competition in his clubmates from the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV). Michael Grau, in particular, has a star-studded lineup with U.S. trimmer and J/80 World Champion Willim van Waay, as well as tactician and Sydney Hobart winner David Chapman. But also long-term rival Claas Lehmann with 470 ace Frederike Loewe on board is good for the podium. The J/70 and sailing scene is eagerly awaiting the performance of the two boats from the Halbtrocken sailing team of ORC European Champion Michael Berghorn (Kieler Yacht-Club).

Largely unknown is the potential of the late Korean entry of Changyun Kim's family crew. The Swiss Stefan Seger from the Regattaclub Oberhofen, who has already been in the Champions League final, is considered an insider tip among the foreign starters. In league racing, however, the rules are different. The Kiel Week with IDM is sailed according to the class rules. Engine, fire extinguisher and more are part of the mandatory equipment. Two crew members are allowed to sit upright on the ship's edge, but not hang outboard for weight trim.

"This is to accommodate older owners and teams," explains Carsten Kemmling, with a corresponding influx. At the Corinthian World Cup of the amateurs after Whitsun in Riva on Lake Garda, 80 starting places were allocated within 20 minutes.

Five inclusive sailing projects will celebrate their absolute seasonal highlight at Kiel Week. They underline the growing importance of the initiative lived inclusion on the regatta course, which became visible two years ago driven by Sven Jürgensen for the first time before Schilksee.

2023 will be the premiere of the Hamburg Club anBord, which enables people with cancer to sail competitively. Also new is Team Blinde Side from the sailing department of the Offenbacher Ruderverein and the Prinzensteg sailing club. After intensive training on the Haltern reservoir and the baptism of fire at the DSL Trophy in Hamburg, blind sailor Luke Wachtel is particularly looking forward to the Baltic Sea. He supports helmswoman Annika Ellerbrock on the Traveller.

Already a regular guest at Kiel Week is the Bat Sailing Team, a cooperation between FC St. Pauli and the NRV. The "Helga" with a deaf and a visually impaired person in the quintet will again be skippered by Leon Tyssen. Two crew members of the "Blindfisch" have a visual impairment. With Marvin Hamm at the helm, last year's 30th place out of 38 boats was more than an exclamation point. By far the most successful on board the "7Ocean" from the Möhnesee Yacht Club is none other than Siegmund "Siggi" Mainka. The double leg amputee won gold and silver at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics.

Inclusion is also lived at Kiel Week on the sidelines of the regatta course. This is ensured by the association "Inclusive Sailing for All". It is bringing a converted Bente 24 to Kiel and invites sailing fans with wheelchairs to join the regatta trips from Schilksee from Monday to Saturday (June 19 to 24). Who wants to be present, registers with or by telephone under 0171-683-5555.

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