Kiel Week now in full swing

Philipp Buhl - Kiel Week 2012
Otto Kasch
Kiel Week 2012 is now underway. The event started with good wind conditions, a bit of sunshine and some heavy showers during the day with the races for the dinghies and big boats officially commencing. The traditional first race of the event was for the seagoing boats in front of the party mile and shoreline in Kiel. After a spinnaker start, the fastest crew managed the 28 miles to Eckernfoerde in two and a half hours, the team of the Danish catamaran 'SAP-Exreme'.

The Olympic classes as well as the One Designs took advantage of the conditions and could sail up to four races on the first day. It was a good start into the World Cup finals of the Olympic classes for the Germans in their home territory. In five of six disciplines that were started in front of Kiel, they were among the first three.

Chief organizer Jobst Richter was very satisfied with the start of the race week: 'We had good winds at the start and a bit of light winds during the day, but we managed a good race program.' Overall, after the first racing day, two German crews are leading, Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke from Germany in the Women’s 470 and Philipp Buhl in the Laser. Other leading teams in the Olympic classes come from Belarus (Tatiana Drozdovskaya/Laser Radial), France (Seguin Damien/2.4.mR), Great Brittain (James Peters/Ed FitzGerald/49er), Austria (David Bargehr/Lukas Mähr/470) and Spain (Deniss Karpak/Finn).

Once again, the Men’s Laser turn out to be the German medal hopes at the World Cup. Simon Grotelueschen from Kiel and Philipp Buhl already could gain a victory during the series at Mallorca/Spain and Hyeres/France and now Buhl is leading again. He became first, then second and first again on the first racing day. Second in the class is the Danish sailor Thorbjoern Schierup. But Buhl was not completely satisfied: 'It was a good day, but I missed a point with the second place.' Bursting with self-confidence after the successful start of the season he is aiming to achieve as much as possible during the World Cup tour and the World Championships, after he has missed the qualification for the Olympics: 'What are the Olympics compared to maybe become the World Champion.'

Olympic starter Grotelueschen, who also became first in a race, is fifth overall, followed by Andrew Maloney from New Zealand, third-placed of the World Championships.

Kiel Week website