Pleasure sailing in the Kiel Fjord

June, 2023, TOR, The Ocean Race, 2022-23, Kiel, aerial, Fly-By, IMOCA, GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, lighthouse, spectator boats

It was just a turning mark to round in The Ocean Race. But the fly-by from Kiel on the sixth leg of The Ocean Race turned into an emotional moment for the German crew members in the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe team. Robert Stanjek and Phillip Kasüske, along with their skipper Benjamin Dutreux, as well as Annie Lush and onboard reporter Gauthier Lebec, enjoyed the passage of Kiel Fjord, where they had spent countless hours training for many years as part of their Olympic campaign.

The approach to Kiel had become a busy game of nerves the night after the start in Aarhus. In the calm breeze, many manoeuvres were necessary in the Great Belt between the Danish islands in order to catch the wind lines. Nevertheless, the yachts were at the Kiel lighthouse in time for race director Phil Lawrence to send the fleet of five Imocas on an extra loop before letting them turn into the Kiel inner fjord under the leadership of the 11th Hour Racing Team.

GUYOT environnement – Team Europe followed in fourth place. But the placing almost didn’t matter to the European team at this stage of the race. It was important to be on the start line at all in Aarhus after having repaired the hull, foils, rudders and sails last week. And then to be able to keep up with the competitors, although adjusting the trim still means a lot of work, was a huge success. For Stanjek and Kasüske, sailing through the Kiel waters was then a real moment of pleasure. This is where they had trained for years in the Starboat and the Finn, where they have been sailing big boat regattas for years and where they will also be competing in the ORC World Championship in August. The enthusiasm of the spectators was an emotional moment for the two. “This is the icing on the cake of the race,” said Stanjek, who had taken the tiller on the Kiel approach. “Super nice to be here,” Kasüske added, as the black yacht passed the spectator boat “Freya”, which was listing precariously because all the passengers had rushed to the port side to catch a glimpse of the freshly repaired yacht.

As the ship rounded the rail mark, some 25,000 spectators on the Kiel promenade cheered the crew on. And when the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe met the incoming Malizia already on the way back from the fjord, the audience was presented with a picture of the two yachts with German participation in this The Ocean Race.

For the city of Kiel it was the best advertisement to become a regular stopover at The Ocean Race Europe or The Ocean Race in the coming races. For GUYOT environnement – Team Europe it was a extra push for the two upcoming stage arrivals in The Hague and the grand finale in Genoa.

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