Foiling surfers create a big bang

The surfers are flying in for Travemünde Week: with the International Games Travemünde, the future Olympic class of iQFOiLs will be staging an event of the world's highest-class series in the Bay of Lübeck. 200 surfers (100 men and 100 women) are expected from 26 to 30 July for the biggest and most spectacular event of this class in Germany so far.

Faster than the wind, whirring like an electric car, they zoom across the water: the iQFOiL surfers are the most innovative class the Olympic sailing sport has to offer next to the kiters. Since World Sailing granted the surf boards with underwater wings Olympic status for 2024, a jolt has been going through the scene. The chance to fly over the water at up to 60 km/h (32 knots) excites the broad mass of surfers as well as the absolute top athletes. The result: the starting fields are packed, the competitions become a spectacle and the fights for the top position become high-speed duels.

"This will be an absolute big bang for the 133rd Travemünde Week," says TW sports director Jens Kath, himself an active surfer, pleased about the coup of having lured this top-class event to the Baltic Sea. Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, manager of the class, is equally enthusiastic about the cooperation: "The Travemünder Woche is our top event in Northern Europe. A new venue for us with a great sailing tradition in a country with great surfing enthusiasm. Therefore, it will be a real highlight event for us."

The International Games start this week at Lanzarote/Spain, eventually touring the world until December via further stops in Central and Southern Europe as well as Mexico and China. The continental title fights and the World Championships are also embedded in the series. Travemünde Week is the only German tour stop and can look forward to top athletes from all over Europe, but also from Asia, the USA, Brazil and Argentina. "We expect the world's best athletes in the class to come to Travemünde Week," says Gonzalo Costa Hoevel and looks even further ahead: "We want the event to be the first of many. It will be the main event of the region and we expect it will give a great push to the Northern Countries. "

Travemünde Week is gearing up for a full week of surfing. The official International Games training sessions are scheduled from the first TW Sunday, 23 July. From Tuesday, 26 July, the regattas for the men and women will start on the courses Delta and Foxtrot near to the Brodtner steep bank. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, 30 July. The surfers will set up their paddock on the Grünstrand, creating a colourful scene in the heart of Travemünde.

The contacts between the Travemünde Week and the class were initiated by the Zurich Yacht Club. The Swiss have been partners of the main organiser Lübecker Yacht-Club and NRV Hamburg in hosting Travemünde Week since 2020. And in Switzerland, the IQFOiL class has a firm foothold, having hosted the World and European Championships on Lake Silvaplana in recent years. The ZYC board around Anderl Denecke and Lionel Büttner has used the short wire to get the surfers excited about Travemünde Week.

For the PRO of the Travemünder Woche, Anderl Denecke, a member of the LYC and ZYC, the awarding of the International Games to the TW is a great sign of the importance of the event: "We already have a great regatta programme with German, European and World Championships in exciting sailing classes. The top event of the iQFOiLs rounds off the canon perfectly and shows the Travemünde Week's appetite for innovation."

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