Europe's top clubs come to TW

League sailing returns to Travemünde with a grand entrance: In addition to the Segel Bundesliga, the Sailing Champions League (SCL) will also make a stop at Travemünde Week with a qualifier. This will be a showdown of the best sailing clubs at national and international level in the Bay of Lübeck.

Since the premiere of the league format in 2013, there has been a close connection to Travemünder Woche. Until 2019, the Bundesliga was consistently represented at Travemünde Week, and in 2018 the Youth Sailing Champions League also crowned the first winners in its history in Travemünde. After the cancellation of Travemünde Week 2020, however, league sailing took a break for two years in the Bay of Lübeck. Now it's back with a one-two punch.

The regattas of Bundesliga from July 29 to 31 for the Travemünde Week will form the conclusion of the first half of the season and will give a clear indication which clubs will be competing to win the tenth German championship title in 2022, or which teams from the Second League may have hopes of climbing to the First League. Travemünde has always proved to be a highlight for league sailors in the past. "The close connection of athletes and spectators on the beach promenade, the direct view of the audience on the sailing spectacle in front of the beach is impressive evidence of how closely sports, spectators and festival are intertwined in Travemünde. This is what makes TW so charming," says Frank Schärffe, Managing Director of Travemünder Woche gGmbH, looking forward to the spectator-packed event.

And the spectators will be drawn into the middle of the sailing sport with the league sailing throughout the week. The premiere of a German Champions League event off Travemünde was already planned for 2020. Due to the Corona-related cancellation of the TW, nothing came of it. But now the top series of league sailing is coming to Lübeck Bay. In the first half of TW from July 23 to 26, up to 32 clubs from all over Europe will have the chance to qualify for the finals. The first qualifier of the season will be held at Vilamoura/Portugal from May 26 to 29. The further course of the season after the TW is still in the vote.

There are now national leagues in 22 European countries as well as Australia. From Germany the top 5 teams (One Kiel, WV Hemelingen, Flensburger SC, Württembergischer YC, NRV Hamburg) may participate in the SCL. Who will take to the course in Portugal and who in Travemünde is still to be determined. What is certain, however, is that Lübecker Yacht-Club, as the organizing club, will receive a wild card for the SCL appearance on home turf. "This is a great event for the Travemünder Woche and a great opportunity for us as a team to present ourselves internationally," says Maximilian Gebhard, team manager of the Lübecker Yacht-Club league team. "However, when we go to the start, we also want to present ourselves in a reasonable way. That's why we will now check our options to be able to field two teams within one week. Because the focus for us is on the Bundesliga. That's where we want to deliver a good performance throughout the season."

For the sporting management of the Travemünder Woche, the double appearance of the league sailors is a treat in any case. "We were already looking forward to hosting a Champions League event in 2020. The fact that the SCL organizers have now approached us again after TW's cancellation two years ago shows how happy the sailors are with the league event off Travemünde," says TW sports director Jens Kath. Overall race director Anderl Denecke sees the qualifier as a great challenge: "League sailing is particularly strenuous for the race directors with the many, short races, the crew changes, the constant adjustments of the course to the changing winds. But we have a very accomplished race officer in Wolfgang Stückl, who will tackle seven days of league sailing with his team full of enthusiasm."

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