Perfect sailing program, happy athletes

Nine days of sailing in a class of its own in sunny and rainy weather, wind for all weight and performance classes from light to solid, a compact programme in the 22 competitions, satisfied sailors and atmospheric honours for the winners: The final discussion with the Sports Director of the Travemünde Week, Jens Kath, and the Chief Race Director Anderl Denecke was marked by a ray of sunshine on the faces of the regatta officials, who, however, did not lose their critical view of what was happening.

"All in all, the conditions were dream conditions. Lübeck Bay has shown everything a sailor can get - really the best sailing. The sea breeze over the past few days has been strong, but the race committees have designed it in such a way that it wasn't overstraining", Anderl Denecke analysed, and Jens Kath added: "Particularly among the laser youngsters who sailed from Monday to Saturday, it became clear that only those who can sail at 5 knots wind speed as well as at 25 knots will win. And those who won the title deserve it."

With the exception of the 12' Dinghys, which are very susceptible to wind and thus only managed one race, all classes were offered an extensive race programme. 13 of 22 classes sailed all planned races, the others had only few failures. "We are really more than we should be. The IDM Seesegel had a very ambitious program. So we have to talk to the DSV if a day longer would not make sense. Maybe the championship rules would have to be revised," said Jens Kath.

The registration numbers, on the other hand, were not only a pleasure for the TW managers. "There is more potential. The laser youth classes were great, the Teeny surprised. We had expected much more for the O'pen Skiff European Championship. This had been announced by the class before", says Denecke. The adult classes were also different. "Finns, O-Jolle and Kielzugvögel had great numbers for ranking regattas. The H-Jolle were a first hopeful attempt, the Formula 18 suffered from the World Championship, which just ended. It's a shame that the 505's didn't make it to the German Championship due to too little participation. And also the J/70 sailed below value in terms of quantity." The lack of appointments and too little advertising in the classes themselves were part of the reasons. But Kath and Denecke are confident: Those who sailed to the TW have experienced the best sailing sport, so that the weak classes should stabilize again with appropriate word of mouth. But the problem of dwindling registration numbers can not only be observed at the TW: "The class associations should tidy up their regatta calendars a little and set clear - perhaps also changing - regatta highlights in the year. Because the teams are also happy when they sail in large fields," said Jens Kath.

There was a splendid response to the German Championship in nautical sailing: "The concept of putting everyone on a jetty was well received. The race committee also worked perfectly. We certainly set a benchmark and showed how sailing can work here during the Travemünde Woche", says Denecke. The start to the long distance in the Trave has provided thrills on the boats and on land and made the sport a very close experience. Even though the water became narrow, the sailors praised the format. Denecke: "There was clear feedback from the sailors that it was the best number ever. It's also close at the start outside, but here it was right next to the audience".

This closeness is to be further strengthened in the future. Especially with the transmission of the competitions to the LED walls, there is a backlog demand after the reduction of the TV offer by the previous partner. The experience of sailing is a distinctive feature of the Travemünde Week. "The visitors come here for this. Our event is about being able to sit on land and enjoy the sport of sailing. And also the sailors want that, because they all have to advertise their sport", Jens Kath will continue to focus on the live experience in the future.

The planning for the coming year has already progressed again. Offshore sailing is to be further expanded. A long distance to the eastern point on the German Baltic coast is being considered. In 2020 the RS classes, who always like to come to Travemünde, will arrive with a large championship fleet. The RS Feva, the RS Tera and the RS 500 will determine their world champions in the Lübeck bay. The Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial will once again host their International German Youth Championships. This alone should be more than 500 crews at the start. And in 2021 the European Championship of the Laser 4.7 will come to the Trave estuary - with 350 athletes expected. Therefore Jens Kath can be satisfied with.