Friday, July 4, 2014

505 World Champ Wins J/70s At Kieler Woche

J/70 sailing at Kiel, Germany(Kiel, Germany)- The “Greatest Sailing Event in the World” and the largest summer festival in Northern Europe is Kieler Woche, so says the Kieler Chamber of Commerce— the self-proclaimed “Kiel.Sailing.City” of Germany. It’s awfully hard to argue with that point if you look at the numbers and the magnitude of the event.  In a nine-day program, over 2,000 events are hosted to entertain over three million visitors from all over the world.  All these people come to celebrate the 132nd Kieler Woche, temporary home for 5,000 sailors aboard 2,000 yachts from 50 countries sailing 40 individual fleets on 11 race courses with 400 starts planned! It’s not surprising the "Who's who" of sailing in many competitive one-design classes line up at the start for this eponymous event.

Three J/classes compete over the course of the nine days in Kiel.  In the first part are the J/70s and J/80s and the second are the J/24s.

The J/70s had an excellent turnout of a dozen boats with several notable German sailors participating.  At the top would surely be Claas Lehmann, a recent International 505 World Champion as well as skipper Michael Illgenstein sailing for the Flensburg Sailing Club- one of the leaders in the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing in J/70s.  Apparently, FSC’s Illgenstein was hoping that racing in Kieler Woche would be helpful for their next event in the Bundesliga that takes place at Travemunde Sailing Week in three weeks.  To add more fuel to the fire, also sailing as skipper was Christian Soyka, a five-times X-99 World Champion from Germany and from The Netherlands, Woulter Kollman sailing HENRI LLOYD, a multiple J/22 Netherlands/ Benelux and J/22 European Champion.

J/70s sailing at mark in Kiel, GermanyWith so much firepower aiming for the coveted three slots on the podium, it was anyone’s guess how it would all go down after three days of racing.  Only seven of ten races were completed but it was enough to see enormous fluctuations in the standings amongst the top five.  In the end, after what could be seen as an uncharacteristically slow start, Claas Lemann’s team sailing MITTELMANN (Marc-Pawel Mohlmann, Valentin Zeller & Bjorn Athmen) overcame their initial shock of an 8-6 in the first two races to score a 1-2-3-1-1 for 14 pts net to win by a remarkable 6 pts.

For the balance of the top five in the J/70s it all ended up in a virtual tie at 20 to 22 pts each, the last race becoming the determining factor for everyone.  Starting fast but struggling to maintain pace with Lehmann was The Netherland’s Wouter Kollman and crew (Wick Hillege, Kim Platteeuw & Gilbert Figaroa) sailing HENRI LLOYD.  While winning the first race and taking a DNF (14) in the second race, their uphill struggle was worth it, taking a 3-4-6-2-4 for 20 pts net to secure the silver position.  Taking third on the tie-breaker at 21 pts each was Michael Illgenstein with his Flensburg SC crew (Terje Klockermann, Jan-Ole Burzinski & Finn Mrugalla).  There’s was a true “roller-coaster” ride, scoring a 6-1-5-1-8-5-3 for 21 pts net.  Behind them in fourth, losing the tie-break, was Christian Soyka on VOICE OF ITZEHOE; his team of Ole Stucker, Leon Stolp & Arne Petersen managed a scoreline of 5-2-4-6-2-10-2 for the same 21 pts.   Fifth was Dennis Mehlig sailing with his crew of Marvin Frisch, Kevin Mehlig and Anian Schreiber.

Unlike the J/70s, the twenty-two boat J/80 fleet saw a runaway winner in the form of Martin Menzner and crew (Frank Lichte, Carsten Hopp & Mike Rolfs) sailing PIKE.  By tossing a 2nd place, they scored six 1sts for a total of 6 pts net and a margin of victory of 11 pts in seven races.  Behind them was a strong contest for the balance of the top five with the results not becoming apparent until the final tally in the last race.  The three players were Soren Hadeler’s GER 578, Hauke Kruss’s GER 853 and Martin Christiansen’s GER 885.  Kruss started out strong with a 2-2-4 but struggled later with a 10-3-3-6.  Hadeler struggled at first with a 6-3-6 but closed like a race-horse with a 1-2-2-3.  Christiansen sailed solidly enough to win in the beginning with a 3-4-2-3-4 but a hiccup in the end with a 7-5 cost him the silver.  As a result, Hadeler took 2nd with 17 pts, Kruss 3rd with 20 pts, and Christiansen 4th with 21 pts. Fifth was Olav Jansen with 31 pts.  Kieler food and ambience Youtube video (pretty amazing!).     For Kieler Woche sailing results.  For more Kiel Week sailing information