All 11 Olympic classes are present at the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic classes regatta, as well as the 2.4mR Paralympic class, at Kiel Week which starts today
Over 750 competitors have flocked to Germany to compete at Kieler Woche. All eleven of the Olympic classes are present at the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic classes regatta, as well as the 2.4mR Paralympic class, although RYA Team GBR are not fully represented due to the importance of the European championships that take place during July.
Fresh from success at the Finn European championship, team GBR sailor Ben Ainslie will be looking to continue his stint at the top. Competition will be hot with both the 1996 Olympic gold medallist Mateusz Kusznierwicz of Poland, who finished runner up to Ainslie at the Europeans, and the 1996 silver medallist, Sebastien Godefroid of Belgium, all looking to challenge for the podium places.
157 boats have made the trip to Kiel to compete in the single-handed Laser class and competition with be tough. Team GBR sailor Paul Goodison has medalled at every one of the Olympic class regatta’s this season, with bronze medals at SPA and Hyeres and a silver in Palma at the start of the season. The last event saw Olympic champion and six times world champion Robert Scheidt of Brazil top the podium – a result that Goodison will be keen to overturn. Other team GBR sailors that will be looking for a good result at Kiel include Dan Holman and Mark Howard.
Fresh from competing at the Tornado European championships in Italy, 62 boats will be racing in Kiel, although a number of the top sailors are not present. Team GBR sailors Hugh Styles and Adam May scored the results when it was needed and finished with a fifth place at the Europeans and will be keen to continue their pace through to Kiel. Team mates Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley will be looking to continue their success at the Olympic class regatta’s after a win at SPA and Rob Wilson sailing with new crew Martin Sellars will also be hoping for a good result in Kiel.
Competition is hotting up in the 49er class and with the European championships only a few weeks a way, Kiel will be a good test to see who is on form. A number of the top sailors are present at Kiel including the Spanish pairings of Santiago Lopez-Vasquez and Javier de la Plaza and team mates and world and European champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez.
After winning gold at SPA regatta last month, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks will be looking to repeat their success, where they won from the Australian pairing of Chris Nicholson and Gary Boyd who will also be present at this event. Although team mates Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith are not competing, Alister Richardson and crew Peter Greenhalgh and team mates Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes will be looking to do well at this event.
Other RYA Team GBR sailors to look out for are Dom Tidey and Bryony Shaw in the men and women’s Mistral windsurfing class as well as 2.4mR sailor Andrew Millband who will be looking to continue his success in the class after finishing with a bronze medal at Hyeres regatta in April.
Racing starts today, 25 June, and continues through until Sunday 29 June.