Regatta program close to the maximum

Brian Schweder (l.) and Jens Kath. Foto:

The 128. Travemuende Week was not for the faint-hearted from the perspective of the sports directors. Light winds, strong gusts, thunderstorm warnings and over and over again heavy rain were changing rapidly with good sailing conditions. It has been a challenge to find the right weather window for setting up the race courses in this scenario. A difficult task, that was mastered extraordinarily well. Apart from some few exceptions, the whole planned program could be offered for the boat classes. The overall race director Brian Schweder and the sports director Jens Kath can look back at the proud number of 380 races with 824 crews and 1500 sailors participating in total, sailing around 50,000 nautical miles, when adding up all boats. The planning for the upcoming Travemuende Weeks has already started. So it has already been confirmed, that the Vauriens will be having their World Championship and the Flying Juniors their European Championship in the Bay of Luebeck at the 129. Travemuende Week (20. until 29. July 2018).

"I feel like having aged ten years in these ten days - and having become lonely", Brian Schweder was joking. He had sometimes spent six to seven hours on the motor boat on the water to look at the actual wind and weather conditions himself and check, where and when races could be sailed. "We like to use the modern media and were always in touch with our weather service from WetterWelt. But if there are thunderstorm warnings all day, you have to look at the conditions on the water yourself and check, what is possible", explained Schweder. The weather conditions had been already difficult in the previous year. "But this year, it was even a bit worse. And we had to be especially careful, since we were dealing with young sailors." But the Overall Race Director could be satisified with the decisions in the end to cancel the races on Tuesday and sail additional races on the other days.

So the National German Sailing Leagues did almost make it to the optimum amount of races while sailing 93 out of maximum number of 96 possible races. On the offshore course, there were no major cancellations. The Trias only had to skip one race on their last racing day on Tuesday, and also the J/22 were only one race short to reach the maximum number of possible races. In the German Youth and Youngsters Championships, it was only one race course, where races were cancelled on the last day with strong winds. And the Pirate class decided internally to cancel the last day because of the strong winds.

"We even have followed the short-term wish of the Optimist sailors for a team race and made this possible", said Schweder, and Jens Kath added: "We are known to be able to manage these things on short notice." Slightly not perfect was the race schedule for the SAP Media Race Course and the Trave Show Races due to the postponement of the regattas. "Changing from the usual courses onto the media course was a real challenge due to the big sized fleets. The smaller fleets - as known from former years - could be redirected quicker from one course to the next. Therefore it was not always possible to show the planned program on the media course", explained Kath. The same applied to the Trave Races. "These show races are an important characteristic for the Travemuende Week, because we can bring the sailing sport very close to the spectators. It would be great to also see real decisions on the Trave. But in this case, the priority was on the championships on the the race course. And due to some long days there, unfortunately some show races had to be cancelled", said Kath. For the Overall Race Director Brian Schweder it would be a good idea having a separate race director team to organize and manage the SAP Trave Races. There are still many ideas about the races on the Trave, one of them is to make a speed challenge.

The setup of the classes will be very different in 2018 - compared to this year. "All classes, that had to miss out at this year's Travemuende Week due to the youth championships, were being told, that they can come back in 2018", said Kath. Different skiff classes already announced to be interested in coming, and also the catamaran classes are supposed to be coming back onto the TW race courses. The Laser Youth class will be sailing its German Championship in the Bay of Luebeck - as since 2014. And the Flying Juniors and Vauriens will bring some international quality to Travemuende with their European and World Championships. Talks about hosting another World Championship for the Youth and International Championships in a keel boat class are ongoing. And the Travemuende Week is still applying to host the German Offshore Sailing Championship. "This has been our wish for years already, but until now we still missed out on that. If the Offshore Sailing Association at the DSV wants to support and further develop the offshore sailing sector, it has to strengthen all regions", stated Kath, who is calculating with around 25 to 30 boat classes for the regattas in 2018.
As a conclusion, Kath and Schweder did express their highest respect for the organizational team of the Travemuende Week, which was able to look after the big crowd of sailors and supervisors despite the difficult weather conditions.

The 128. Travemuende Week in numbers:
679 boats at the start line in the youth boat classes
882 youth sailors
824 boats starting in total
1500 sailors in total
16 federal states were represented
20 nations did send participants
125 coach boats were on the race courses
62 journalists were accredited either online or onsite
380 races have been sailed
around 50,000 nautical miles have been sailed by the boats overall

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