GERMANY – Kieler Woche: World class sailing and a taste of Rio


In its 130th edition, the Kieler Woche will take innovative steps once again. From 16th to 24th June, Kiel will feature racing in all classes which are to take part in the Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Olympics. ‘Kiel presents in 2012 what Rio will offer in 2016‘ is the motto.

“We want to stay at the forefront and transport modern sailing from Kiel out into the world. Our goal is to set trends rather than merely follow them,” said the head of the Kieler Woche Race Committee, Sven Christensen at the traditional Kiel-Treff meeting at the Düsseldorf boat show ‘boot’. For a number of years now, this presentation, jointly hosted by the Kieler Woche organizers and their partner ‘boot’ in Düsseldorf, has been a symbolic starting signal for the Kieler Woche.

For about 250 guests from sports, business and politics, including the President of the German Sailing Association (Deutscher Segler-Verband, DSV), Rolf Bähr, the Club President of Sailing Team Germany, Abdul R. Adib, three-time Olympic champion and two-time America’s Cup winner Jochen Schümann, and many World and European champions learned how the Kieler Woche organizers are steering the world’s biggest sailing event on the perfect course.

While looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world to her city, Cathy Kietzer, Head of the Kiel City Council and head of the Kieler Woche Marketing GmbH’s supervisory board pointed out: “All this is made possible through the continuing support of strong partners. Audi, HSH Nordbank, Veolia and SAP as premium partners and sailing sport partner ‘boot’ are making Kieler Woche stronger and stronger in all aspects – like media-employment, to name just one.”
The final event of the 2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup, the joint appearance of the then freshly nominated Olympic sailors and their last big competition before the Olympic regattas off Weymouth (U.K., 27th July to 12th August) will be the sportive highlights of the event.
In its previous edition, Kieler Woche had presented completely new media formats for the transporting the sport of sailing. Together with Audi and SAP, the organizers had brought the full thrill of sailing ashore by offering not only enthralling, but also comprehensible pictures to the public. “According to our motto ‘from Kiel into the world’, we want to build even further on the successful media employment of 2011 this year,” says Christensen. “By using progressive camera techniques, GPS live tracking in 3D and a new live studio in Schilksee, we will again bring racing close to the sailing fans,” promised Clemens Lee, Sportmaketing at AUDI AG. 

Year after year, the rush of 5,000 sailors pushes Kiel to new dimensions of the sailing sport. More than three million visitors, 10,000 masts on the waters of Kiel Fjord, 5,000 athletes and their 1,800 boats, some 400 races, more than 50 nations, 45 classes/disciplines on ten race courses: these are the facts and figures of the nine-day Kieler Woche. 
In its 130th edition, the event will take an almost futuristic approach and also offer a taste of Rio de Janeiro on the Baltic. ‘See 2012 in Kiel what Rio will offer in 2016‘– this will be the motto under which the newly elected Olympic disciplines will be part of the Kieler Woche regatta programme. From catamarans (eliminated from the Olympic programme for 2012 only) and the women’s skiff (successor of the women’s match race discipline, holding Olympic status in 2012 only) up to windsurfing (and maybe even kite-surfing), Kiel is set on featuring the whole range of Olympic sailing as planned for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – the future of sailing starts in Kiel.

Apart from the nine current and three future Olympic classes as well as 13 international classes, of which the main focus will be on the 19-time Kieler Woche winner in the 505, Wolfgang Hunger, Germany’s best offshore sailors plus yachts from other countries will also compete in Kieler Woche. For the eighth time, the complete German offshore elite will determine their champions. The International German Inshore Championships will be held as part of the Kiel Cup (Monday, 18th June to Wednesday, 20th June).