19-23 June 1999.

In what promises to be a virtual preview of the 1999 Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup to be run in the Solent next month, Adrian Stead and his crew aboard Barlo Plastics face a tough test. With the last three year’s Mumm 36 World Champions present in Kiel and a substantial number of the world’s top sailors amongst the ten crews, a thrilling week’s racing is in prospect.

“With the majority of the fleet moving on to Cowes for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup, a good result in Kiel will provide a sound base for a strong performance in the Solent,” said Adrian Stead, Tactician aboard Barlo Plastics.

Principle amongst Stead’s rivals must be Thomas I Punkt, owned by the vastly experienced Thomas Freise and helmed this time by Karol Jablonski. Winner of the Mumm 36 Worlds in San Francisco in 1996 and again in Punta Alla in 1997, the top German boat is here looking for a hat trick. Though not sailing for Germany in the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup, the core of Thomas I Punk’s crew will move to Cowes to form the nucleus of the German Sydney 40 team. Freise has a long history of racing in both the Mumm 36 class and various IOR 40 footers both at the Admiral’s Cup and in World Championship competition.

Last year’s winner, New Yorker, must also be considered a strong contender, with charterer, Tilmar Hansen and Helmsman, Chris Larson both amongst the crew again. For Hansen, this is an opportunity to defend his World Championship title at his home club, the Kieler Yacht Club.

Larson represented the United States as Helmsman in the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup team in 1995 and 1997 and was part of the US victory in 1997. He will steer the US Mumm 36 entry in the 1999 American defence of the Cup. In addition to his 1998 World’s victory he placed second in the 1995 and 1996 World Championships. Hansen and Larson will be joined aboard their ’98 championship boat, by the largely-American crew Larson has assembled for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. When Hansen relinquishes his boat charter after the worlds, the new charterer will be US sailor Matt Whitaker and the boat’s name will change to Ciao Baby for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. Larson sailed the same boat to victory in the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup two years ago.

In a late change to her entry, New Yorker has decided to race for USA rather than Germany as originally intended. As a result there are now entries from six nations, enough to make the event valid as a World Championships under the ISAF rules.

Bouwe Bekking will take the helm of Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine, the Dutch boat selected for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. Though less experienced than some of the other crews in the Mumm 36 class, Bekking is a vastly experienced campaigner in a variety of classes having competed in the last three Admiral’s Cup competitions and the Whitbread Round the World Race.

Similarly, Jorg Deisch aboard Elbe III does not have the track record of some of the others in the Mumm 36 Class but he is a past winner of both and Olympic Gold medal (Kingston 1976) and two world championships in the Flying Dutchman class. Listed as the only Owner-Driver in the fleet Deisch is certain of at least one prize at the end of the week.

Breeze 1, owned by Alexandro del Bono and helmed by Terry Hutchinson has a strong pedigree but has shown uncertain results so far this season. She will be sailing for Italy in the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. Owned by Vincento Onorato and now chartered to the European team for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s cup, Moby Lines will be steered by the highly experienced Terry Hutchinson.

The other entries are: The Next, owned by Hein Bloemes and helmed by Frank Schaefers for Netherlands. Resco, owned by Kjell Jacobsen and helmed by Wille Sunessson for Sweden and Pro Sail 3, owned by H Willim and helmed by Deltv von der Goltz for Germany.

During six days of racing in Kiel, the ten teams from five countries taking part