June 22, 2012: KIEL, GERMANY - This is how all participants and guests love the Kiel Week: big fleets on the water, best weather and perfect Easterly winds with up to 5 beaufort. For the start of the international classes and the Olympic Star, the conditions were terrific, making it a busy sailing day for 700 starters. First race start on the eight courses on the outer fjord in front of Kiel was not before 1pm, but the sailors had up to three races. In total, there were 55 starts for the 15 boat classes. After an average of three races per class, in eight classes there are German crews leading; other leading teams come from Denmark (in three classes), Spain (in two classes), New Zealand and Hungary.
For the Star's last Olympic year, a woman draws a lot of attention in the class, that is dominated by male sailors. Barbara Beigel-Vosbury from Annapolis/USA, Executive Director of the International Class Association, is demonstrating, that she cannot just organize the class from the office, but just as well sail the keelboat. Together with Guy Avellonon on the foresheet the woman from the USA is one of the closest rivals of Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (Hamburg), who are the sparring partners for the Olympic starters Robert Stanjek/Fritjof Kleen (Berlin), who did not come to Kiel. Polgar and Koy are the German hope for the victory and leading after the first racing day.
In the international classes, many spectators look at the 505, especially at record Kiel Week winner Wolfgang Hunger (Strande), who is sailing with Julien Kleiner (Munich) and aiming for his 20th victory on his home territory. With the placements 2/1/1 they are well on track. Olympic starter in the 49er Tobias Schadewaldt from Kiel with Martin Schoeler is currently holding rank six. In the Flying Dutchman Majthenyi Szaboics/Andras Domokos from Hungary are leading, followed by Kilian König/Johannes Brack (Waldeck-Scheidt) and Kiel Week winner in the Laser Philipp Buhl with Adalbert Netzer.
German front-runners can also be found in the Folkeboot with Ulf Kipcke (Strande), in the J/24 with Kai Mares (Daenischenhagen) and his crew, and in the Laser 4.7 with Johannes Neumann (Berlin). In the Hobie 16 Knud Jansen/Anke Delius (Hohwacht) are leading, in the F18 are Joerg Gosche/Hannes Pegel (Bremen/Kiel) currently holding rank one despite making a mistake, in the Contender Jan von der Bank is leading.
But international crews are also aiming for the victory in Kiel. Greg Wilcox from New Zealand (living Berlin) is dominating the OK-Dinghy, in the Europe, it is the Matthias Livbjerg from Denmark taking the lead. His sister Anna is currently holding rank three. In the Laser Radial, top ranked Tobias Hemdorff is also from Denmark. In the H-Boat, the Danish crew with skipper Steffen Stegger is leading. Top ranked in the 420 is the Spanish team David Charles/Alex Charles, followed by Santi Mas Depares/Jaime Menescal and Harry Koeppel/Charles Bocklet (USA). Carlos Robles/Florian Trittel from Spain are leading in the 29er, followed by their countrymen Marti llena Prats/Oriol Mahiques.