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Dream races reward long wait for wind

The patience of all active participants and the regatta organisation was required on the penultimate day of Kiel Week 2024, when it took around five hours for a sailable sea breeze from the east to build up on all five courses on Saturday (29 June). The eight international boat classes completed three fantastic races by the early evening and were rewarded for their patience after the strong winds of the previous day.

"The cumulus clouds over land delayed the build-up of the thermals," explained meteorologist Meeno Schrader from the Kiel-based "Wetterwelt". He has been presenting the wind and weather for the regatta on behalf of boot Düsseldorf for many years - and was once again proved right that it would start in the afternoon. Schrader: "The odds were only 60:40 in the morning and even dropped in between. But then suddenly it finally started."

Bo Petersen from Denmark has to give up the yellow jersey of the overall leader in the OK dinghies before the final day. Photo: Sascha Klahn

With first two, then three and in gusts four wind forces, many classifications were turned upside down. This was also the case in the 71 OK dinghies, where the Swede Niklas Edler had a great day and came out on top of the field. Jan Kurfeld from Wismar is nine points behind in second place. The Danish top favourite Bo Petersen suffered an early start disqualification before his next win of the day and dropped out of the top ten in the meantime because he had missed the last race the day before in harsh conditions.

Hidden deep in the 2.4mR, Heiko Kröger took three more victories and is in a commanding lead. Photo: Sascha Klahn

In contrast, the 2.4mR development was different, with world champion Heiko Kröger continuing to lead the field with three flawless victories on the day. The new number one runner-up is Meagan Pascoe from Great Britain, although she is already 14 points behind the serial winner (14 times). "The boat is running, the tactics are right, it can stay like this," said a highly satisfied Kröger, who is also using Kiel Week as a dress rehearsal for the World Championships at the end of July at the same venue. Antonio Squizzato from Italy is third, a further eleven points behind.

Three generations of 49er sailors in one boat - it works, even in a spontaneous event. Tobias Schadewaldt, 2012 Olympic sailor, has teamed up with Thomas Plößel, Olympic bronze medallist in 2016 and 2021, and Tom Heinrich, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2024 Olympics. And together with Andrea Loth in the boat, the skiff sailors are getting better and better together. Starting with an early start in the first race on Thursday, the performance curve of the Hamburg-Kiel combination is pointing steeply upwards.

On Saturday morning they were already in ninth place in the field of 48 crews, then scored points with a sixth, third and finally a second place. At one point they even looked like the winners in the second race of the day, but initially chose the disadvantaged side on the cross and also conceded a penalty after touching a buoy. With these daily ranks they made a big leap forward in the ranking

The J/70 crew around Julian Ramm went into the third day in the lead, but did not only sail top places in the view of the KielerWoche.TV cameras. Photo: Sascha Klahn

However, the best Germans behind the Danish double of Kim Christensen and Frederik Hvalsö are the crew of Julian Ramm. Although the team from Itzehoe had to take off the yellow jersey of the leaders for the time being, they will start the final day in third place. Lukas Feuerherdt (Hamburg) has also announced an attack from fifth place. "We are fast, we just have to find the claen wind," reported Feuerherdt of a day with "lots of fun". "We have experience in the Kiel area and are looking forward to more wind on Sunday."

The events in the J/24 are a test of strength between the Hamburg clubs from the Alster and the Elbe. One Alster club is currently in the lead: Fritz Meyer (SVAOe) is ahead of Stefan Karsunke and the two Elbe teams of Stefan Karsunke (SCOe) and Hauke Kruess (BSC).

Frenchman Alexandre Kowalski had to relinquish the yellow jersey of the leading ILCA-6 sailor on the second Saturday of Kieler Woche. Photo: Christian Beeck

Morten Ben Borchardt also put his knowledge of the area to good use in the ILCA 6. The man from Lübeck has been living in the Kiel sailing boarding school since this school year, training constantly in Strander Bucht and feeling like he is in his living room here. "I know how it works here and therefore have a certain home advantage." He not only capitalised on this with his victory on Friday, but also with further top results on the first day of the gold group. This put him in third place overall - behind the leading Finn Monika Mikkola and New Zealander Zach Stibbe.

Reclaimed the top spot in the ILCA 6 open: Finland’s Monika Mikkola. Photo: Christian Beeck

The sailors from Switzerland continue to be the measure of all things in the ILCA 4. Jean Glauser remains in the lead ahead of his Swiss compatriot Tristan Schnitzer. The lighter winds on Saturday played into the cards of former world champion Max Billerbeck (Kollmar) in the Contender. After the heavy weather, the lightweight made the most of his opportunities and moved up to third place - as the first pursuer of the Danish top men Sören Andreasen and Jesper Armbrust, who have been constantly swapping the leading position. Armbrust is currently in a leading position.

The Hungarian record world champions Szabolcs Majthenyi/Andras Domokos have lost their dominance of the first races in the Flying Dutchman. Nevertheless, after eight races they remain the team to beat - also for the reigning world champions Kay-Uwe Lüdtke/Kai Schäfers (Berlin/Hanover) and Kilian König/Johannes Brack, who finished third in the world championship and will be doing everything they can to change the picture on the final day in second and third place. Lüdtke/Schäfers in particular have every opportunity to do so. They are just one point off the top spot.


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