Landeshauptstadt Kiel Kiel.Sailing.City
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Sailing in Kiel

Regatta on the Kiel Firth
Regatta on the Kiel Firth

Sailing, which originated in England, found its way to Kiel in the second half of the 19th century and quickly caught on in the naval city, because even members of the Imperial family showed interest in this maritime sport. Kaiser Wilhelm II made himself commodore of the Imperial Yacht-Club, now the Kieler Yacht-Club, and his yacht “Meteor” entered the regattas as one of the main attractions. These international regattas have been called the “Kieler Woche” since 1894.

First Kieler Woche, 1882 - Wood engraving by Johann Gehrts
First Kieler Woche, 1882 -
Wood engraving by Johann Gehrts

49er Regatta off Kiel Schilksee in the Kieler Woche
49er Regatta off Kiel Schilksee in the Kieler Woche

Sailing and the Kieler Woche lost their social standing after the First World War, but the National Socialists built the event up again for propaganda purposes. The Kiel regattas regained their international status at the 1936 Olympics, but stopped at the beginning of the Second World War.
 
After 1945, the Kieler Woche followed the new political and social trends and became a peaceful festival of sport, culture and international understanding. The regattas on the Kiel Firth were a show enjoyed by the city’s citizens and visitors. Kiel hosted the Olympic sailing events again in 1972, making good use of its internationally acclaimed yachting facilities. The Kieler Woche is now the world’s greatest yachting event, and northern Europe’s greatest summer festival.

Pictorial material: Kieler Stadtarchiv, Stadt- und Schifffahrtsmuseum, Landeshauptstadt Kiel, 3-pix

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