Light Days to Start Kiel Week

The third day of Kiel week saw good racing in the early morning and late afternoon on Monday ( 19 June) after some delay during the rest of the day as the seabreeze and the gradient fought eachother.

The 49erFX class were on the morning showcase arena where they contested two decent races – marginal twin wiring – before the gradient breeze was burned off by the rising mercury and competition ground to a halt, Race 3 abandoned and the fleet brought ashore. Top of the table after two races are Kiel’s Maru Scheel and Freya Feilcke who won both their races.


Germany’s 49erFX pair Scheel/Feilcke in action leading after two races.

“Finding free lanes not doing too many maneuvers but using the shifts well those were the keys today,” reported Freya Feilcke. “Our starts were not so good our speeds were good. But all we are focusing on now is making the medal race.”

Many of the top-level Nacra 17 duos are in Marseille this week at a training regatta but Italy’s young Margharita Porro and Stefan Dezulian, runaway leaders, and Singapore’s second-placed Justin Liu and Denise Lim are quietly quite pleased to be still ahead of Germany’s Olympic bronze medallists Paul Kohlhoff and Alicia Stuhlemmer who lie third after six races. “The wind is not so easy but for us with a from the four races today is pretty perfect.” Grinned Dezulian, crew on the leading boat, “We seem to have good speed, especially upwind. We are able to turn the first mark in a good position then it is about managing the fleet. It is going better than we expected. The most difficult thing is thinking about the bronze medallists behind us but for us we are just happy to have such a good day.”

Remaining in the yellow jersey : Italian’s Nacra 17 leaders Porro/Dezulian.
Photo: Kiel Week/Sascha Klahn

The Nacra 17 fleet managed two races both won by the young Italians Margherita Porro and Stefano Dezulian. Twentieth overall here last year at their first regatta as a duo, a winter of hard training with their strong squad in Cagliari, Sardinia under national coach Gabriele Bruni has clearly paid off for the 24 year old helm Porro, the 29er Youth Worlds gold medallist in 2017 who was runner up at last year’s Nacra 17 Junior World Championships with Dezulian.

“We got two first places which is a great way to start, we are very happy with our speed.” reported Porro, “We are just here to learn as we are still very new to the class, looking here to try and get some different conditions and speed testing against a lot of boats as it is easy see if we are on point. Our other Italian Nacra 17s are in Marseille, we did not get a spot there. But we will all train together as we build up to the world championships in The Hague. We are lucky to have such a strong Italian Nacra 17 squad and Gabriele ‘Ganga’ Bruni is doing a great job trying to think of every single element of our squad, keeping improving and help our team qualify for the Olympic games.”


In the 49er Class the USA’s Andrew Mollerus and Ian Macdiarmid hold top position after a 12, 5 today.

In the 49ers it was all about getting a good start and holding maximum momentum in the light airs. Americans Andrew Mollerus and Ian Macdiarmid were pleased to win the blue fleet while the French duo Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros took first gun in the yellow.

Like for many teams and sailors here from the USA, Asia and Australasia, this Kiel week represents a good opportunity to get in decent racing in Northern European waters in preparation for August’s Sailing World Championship in The Hague. Helm Mollerus explained, “It was light, but we got the legs stretched out at one point for a couple of minutes, it was good fun. It was all about getting the boat up to speed and keeping it going, the wind was pretty stable, you had to start well. Everything for us is pointing towards the worlds so back in Northern Europe. Here we are shooting for thepodium. Last year we were good here until the last day and then had a couple of tough races, so we are looking for this to be our best yet.”

Racing for Malta, German born Richard Schulteis and Brittany’s Youenn Bertin just teamed up six days before this regatta but lie third so far, reeling off an impressive race win in 11 kts of breeze.

Schulteis was previously a top 29er helm who has won that youth class here before. “We got the shifts right most of the day but won the race with a port start and tacked on the corner, gybe set and we were away. We got a discard in the first race but otherwise we have two fifths which is not bad considering we have only sailed six days together. We were rivals before and Richard lost his crew so we said, ‘why not?’.