During June, it was time again for the sailing event considered to be the largest in the world. Kiel week turned a 125-years old this June and had about 4 000 participants descending onto the German city from about 60 countries. This is followed by a crowd of about 3 million spectators.
A Bit of History on Kieler Woche
Since 1882 sailing yachts took part in a race from Düsternbrook which resulted in great success and a repeat of the event for the successive years. It was however only in 1894 that the race was called Kieler Woche for the first time. The event includes multiple Olympic classes as well as quite a few International classes and many offshore classes. Every year this is a regatta of note with a massive concert the night before serving as a soundcheck for the week to come. It is a festive celebration for both the sailing world as well as for the local people of Kiel, the capital city of Schleswig-Holstein, who consider this as the largest Volkfeste in entire Germany.
A Great Start
This sailing event is known to offer diversity in ship racing. It is, however, more than that. It showcases fireworks, carnival rides and concerts as well as some other activities. The 2018 Kiel week followed the tradition of ringing a ship’s bell followed by a cast-off whistle signal performed this year by Franziska Giffey, German Family Minister as well as Daniel Günther, Premier of the Schleswig Holstein State. The opening event drew a crowd of more than 10 000 people to the front of Kiel’s town hall. The 2019 event had over 2 000 ships taking part.
The Week and the Weather
The week have to consists of two halves since it is the only way to be able to accommodate such a large number of entries into the Kieler Fjord over the nine days of racing. The weather played along for the German Summer Festival on the Baltic Sea. Thus delivering exciting sailing and racing with some prestigious names from within the sailing world. Some of these sailing superheroes include names like Valerian Lebrun and Adriano Petrino as well as the names of some up and coming younger sailing heroes.
The dinghy class often brings a great mixture of backgrounds. Including, Freddy Lööf, who a multiple award winner at the Olympics. He enjoyed the experience of being back in the basics of sailing with his dinghy mainly as he recovered to second place in one of the races.
Another star in the races is the Dutchman, Paul Dijkstra in his trapeze asymmetric-powered high-performance Musto Skiff. He managed to win four runs on the Sunday during strong winds. These wins placed him in second place just after the 49er and World medallist, Rick Peacock form Great Britain.
The Kiel Week is indeed an enormous attraction delivering loads of great races and brilliant offshore performances. Indeed a regatta deserving to be applauded by the international sailing world.