Kiel Week is an annual event held in Kiel, Germany that not only organizes the Kieler Woche Regatta, but also holds many festivities where tourists and locals gather for great food and fantastic viewing of the races on a huge multimedia screen with live commentary. Helena and I were very grateful having the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Kiel Week.
Another feature that is pretty awesome about Kiel Week is that it accommodates its own sailors with a camping site set up right next to the venue for the many tents, trailers and motorhomes. Helena and I were very lucky to find a very cozy motorhome that we shared for the week of racing. The motorhome gave us a different perspective on living where we washed our dishes in a community style wash bin, took showers in a trailer like unit, and were literally 2 minutes from the boat park.
As the first day of racing approached, we prepared our boat and had a couple days of practice beforehand. As we woke up on the first day of racing it was blowing 15-20 knots with a combination of heavy swell. This first day was definitely an interesting one. Helena and I had a difficult time making our way out to our designated race area, Juliet. After capsizing many times and getting to close to shore and hitting ground we made it to the start line to then find that the race committee sent us back in. After a short time postponed on land, we eventually move to a closer race area, TV, and that is where we found ourselves racing our 36 boat fleet for the remainder of the event.
In the intended five day event, the medal race scheduled for the fifth day for only those in the top ten, we sailed a mediocre regatta. We sailed in solid conditions the first and second day of racing with some simple mistakes that we have definitely learned from, the third day was unfortunately called off because of too much wind, and the fourth day showed light and shifty winds where we only got one race in. We were placed 19th going into the medal race day so sadly no racing for us! Although it isn’t our best result (19th out of 36) we are excited to improve the skills that we found difficult and proud to say that we still finished top American in the end!