Olympic, world class and international
The Kiel Week 2020 in Corona mode has received the highest recognition worldwide. The postponement to September and the implementation of the regatta under the most demanding conditions will be positively remembered by athletes, organizers and the entire sailing community as a very special event. Inspired by this, preparations for Kiel Week 2021 (June 19 - 27) are already in full swing. The organizers hope for calmer conditions after the second Corona wave.
"We have shown that a major sailing event with extensive safety precautions is possible under these conditions. In 2020, we had to postpone because we did not have the knowledge of the possibilities in June of that year. But we have them now," says Organizing Director Dirk Ramhorst. He emphasizes: "First and foremost is the safety of all involved, then comes the sailing sport and after that everything else. With Kiel Week, we will return to the traditional date at the end of June because we can now apply what we have learned."
But the planning for Kiel Week 2021 is running on several tracks. For example, the proven hygienic concepts are in place, and their implementation has already succeeded once. On the other hand, Kiel is hoping for a relaxation. "We are working in parallel on concepts for a shore program in Schilksee," says Sven Christensen, Marketing Director and Managing Director of the KYC marketing agency Point of Sailing. Numerous discussions with proven and new partners are encouraging, so that also gastronomic areas and the sponsors’ mile with pagodas of partners are in planning. "We are happy and proud to have such loyal partners and sponsors on our side," adds Christensen. The decision between Plan A and Plan B will ultimately be made by the pandemic and health departments, respectively.
In terms of sailing, the Kiel Week organizers are planning with the same number of participants as this year. All Olympic classes will be invited, and the mix with international classes and offshore yachts will be maintained. The final notice of race will be published in January. But already now the International Fareast class association has signed up. The Fareast 28R will hold its postponed World Championship next year in the first part of Kiel Week.
Since the changeover day and the waiver of the Medal Races proved this year, they will continue to be followed in 2021. "Of course, we’re still fine-tuning the exact timings, but the basic framework has proven itself for these covid times," Ramhorst explains.
So for the first part the classes 505er, Contender, 2.4mR, 420er, 29er, Laser 4.7, FD, OK-Dinghy, Europe, Laser Radial and possibly VX One will be scheduled in the notice of race. In addition, there will be the Fareast 28R World Championship.
In the second part, the Olympic classes as well as J/24, J/70, J/80, Formula 18 and Nacra 15 are planned. "We are currently still in discussions with the IQFoil Association and will respond to the next decisions in Offshore Mixed Doublehand. Our goal was and is to include all Olympic classes in Kiel Week," Ramhorst explains.
Numerous top-class regattas will complement the Kiel Week in the coming year. The MaiOR (Mai Offshore Regatta) for big boats (April 30 to May 2) will kick the season off. This will be followed by the Young Europeans Sailing (YES) regatta (May 22 to 24) and two Starboat World Championships in September. The Junior Star World Championships (August 31 to September 3) are expected to welcome 40 boats, while the Star World Championships (September 4 to 11) will host 80 of the two-man keelboats. In 2009, the recently deceased Commodore of the Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC) and former Starboat World President Dierk Thomsen had brought the Starboat European Championships to Kiel.
Kiel’s confident look ahead is based on this year’s success. Kiel has set a benchmark for sailing in times of Corona. From the decision to move the event to September to the final press conference, Kiel Week was perfectly prepared and safely executed. Under the leadership of Head of Organization Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Marketing Sven Christensen and Chief Race Officer Fabian Bach, the organizers always reacted with flexibility and strictly adhered to the requirements of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior at all times.
Rarely have the organizers of Kiel Week received so much encouragement and gratitude from the participants. "This special Kiel Week will certainly remain unforgotten by the participants," says Dirk Ramhorst. Marketing Director Sven Christensen also looks back on a memorable Kiel Week, which has received widespread praise and was only possible thanks to the financial support of the city of Kiel. The phrase "Do it like Kiel," once uttered by Paul Henderson (Canada), former president of the World Sailing, has taken on a whole new meaning since this year. – Hermann Hell
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