It is fair to say that the Danes from Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) are fielding one of the strongest and most experienced crews for Kieler Woche; at the helm is Danish Olympic representative Henriette Koch, crewed by a team many of whom raced together when they won the 2015 Women’s Match Racing World Championship, including Tina Schmidt Gramkov who also sailed for Denmark in the match racing event at London 2012.
Less than two weeks ago, at the first semifinal of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, the only all-female crew among the 22 international entries was winning heats against the men. As a result KDY has qualified to compete in the final of the SAILING Champions League at St Moritz later this summer.
In Kiel, each team will compete with a four to five-person crew. The event will be sailed in J/70 boats and the racing area will be Kiel Bay in the Baltic Sea.
Laura Fischer, who will be at the helm for German club Deutscher Touring Yacht Club, commented: “We are happy to be part of the first-ever Women’s SAILING Champions League. We have put together a young but at the same time very experienced team. We are excited to be competing against the other female crews from other European clubs and we are looking forward to some exciting races in Kiel.”
The first Women’s SAILING Champions League event is organised by SAILING Champions League GmbH and the International Sailing League Association (ISLA). Nynne Desirée Ammundsen, General Secretary from ISLA, said: “From an ISLA point of view, what we see with Women’s SAILING Champions League is all that we could ever wish for. Gathering and developing a strong league concept while developing the dynamics of league sailing is the founding mission of ISLA. In addition, promoting this mission for women – an important target for ISLA – is an extra bonus. It is therefore a true pleasure to provide a platform and experience the international desire for a Women’s SAILING Champions League event.”