Kiel Week pursues normalcy with delay
Published on March 17th, 2021
As a major event on the one design and Olympic circuit, an extraordinary effort was needed to host Kiel Week 2020 due to COVID-19, and the event is hoping to reduce the layers of health protocol by postponing the 2021 edition from June 19-27 to September 4-12 in Kiel, Germany.
This year, Kiel’s unique sailing and summer festival wants to create much more: more encounters and more spontaneity, more lightness and more events.
“With the expansion of the test strategy and the progress in vaccinations, hopefully we will be in a situation in September where a Kiel Week closer to the ‘original’ will be possible,” explained Kiel’s Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer. “(However) we can’t guarantee that a cancellation won’t be necessary despite the rescheduling.”
The Kieler Woche is the world’s largest sailing event combined with the largest summer festival in Northern Europe. Over 5,000 sailors annually come to the Olympic Center in Kiel-Schilksee to compete in the various boat classes from the single-handed dinghy to the ocean-going yacht for the regattas on the Kiel Fjord.
Additionally, the state capital Kiel welcomes over 3 million visitors from all over the world to the city during the 9 days of the Kiel Week who enjoy the maritime flair of the summer festival with the numerous stages and events in the city on the fjord.
“I am optimistic that we will get back a lot of typical Kiel Week feeling this year,” enthused Philipp Dornberger, head of the Kieler Woche office. “I’m really looking forward to it – and to having my dedicated crew and our loyal partners accompany me on this course.”
“The great response from sailors underlines that the sailing world trusts us to host Kiel Week in June after last year’s successful event,” said Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of Organizations of the Kiel Week regattas. “But the Corona situation makes it much more difficult to safely realize an event of this internationality. And a separation of sailing week and festival cannot be an alternative.”
Carsten Krage, chairman of the Kieler Yacht-Club, concurs: “By moving the Kiel Week to September, world-class sailing can take place on the Kiel fjord again this year. And the regatta sport and the festival simply belong together to make it a ‘real’ Kiel Week.”