The Asso99 KV and the Wind Club e.V. congratulate Tina Lutz from the Chiemsee Yacht Club and her partner Susann Beucke on winning the silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Especially because it took three attempts to finally be able to compete at the Olympics this time. Of course, we also congratulate Erik Heil and Thomas Plößel for the bronze medal and Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer for the silver in the Nacra 17.
Germany's Olympic sailors will not forget this August 3. Within just four hours, the crews of the German Sailing Team won three medals.
They opened the medal round: Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke took silver.
The historic day of success was heralded by the 49erFX sailors Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke with a formidable final, into which they had started in third place and were even able to improve. With silver, the helmswoman from the Chiemsee Yacht Club and her partner from the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein crowned their 14-year partnership, in which they have experienced lows and highs, but never lost sight of their goal. "Someday it will pay off," Tina Lutz had reiterated her motto before the Olympics. After two missed Olympic qualifications, the Bavarian-North German duo had succeeded in qualifying for the most important sporting event of their careers at the third attempt.
49erFX: "Tina was incredibly brave today".
After 14 years at the finish: Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke.
The skiff sailors used the self-earned chance in a concentrated and convincing way. "The biggest challenge was not to think about the medals before and in the final, because otherwise I can't sail anymore because the pressure just gets too big," Tina Lutz told after sailing thriller number one this Tuesday. Describing her team's most important strength, Susann Beucke said, "There simply aren't that many who go such a long way - full of ups and downs - together." Together, the two 30-year-old top athletes in the DSV Olympic fleet have now scaled the summit of their partnership. "Tina was incredibly brave today," Beucke paid tribute to her helmswoman. With their British DSV coach Ian Barker, himself a silver medalist in the 49er at the 2000 Olympics, Lutz/Beucke found the right coach for their demands about two years ago. As a trio, the team managed to significantly improve their speed potential - one of the foundations for their success. Olympic champions in the 49erFX were once again the Brazilians Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze ahead of the German women and the Dutch Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz, who had started the final as the frontrunners but were unable to defend their top position against Grael/Kunze and Lutz/Beucke.
49er: "This medal is worth much more than the first".
The salto is still on: Erik Heil and Thomas Plößel repeat their bronze coup from Rio.
Shortly after the women, the German skiff men provided a happy ending in sailing thriller two: Erik Heil and Thomas Plößel (Norddeutscher Regatta Verein) had the most difficult task to solve on this day among the three German medal hunters, because they "only" started the final in fourth place overall. The helmsman, who lives in Kiel, and his partner from Hamburg were obviously inspired by the starting situation: The 31-year-old Heil and his 33-year-old coxswain excelled with outstanding speed and delivered a gripping duel with the British all the way to the finish. According to Erik Heil, the duel was lost by 30 centimeters and made the British Dylan Fletcher/Stuart Bithell the Olympic champions instead of the favored New Zealanders Peter Burling/Blair Tuke. But with their irresistible ride over the final course "Enoshima" the Berlin-born skiff sailors still got the longed-for medal - the second bronze after the unforgettable Olympic premiere in Rio de Janeiro. "This medal is worth much more to us than the first one," said Thomas Plößel, referring to how difficult it was to win. At the same time, the German training partners of Diego Botin Le Chever and Iago López Marra proved to be fair winners in the duel with their Spanish friends and opponents. Heil, who like Plößel learned sailing at the Tegeler Segel-Club and was put in a boat there by youth coach and mentor Michael Koster with his foresailor 20 years ago, said: "We are sorry that the two did not win a medal. They would have deserved it, were always among the best this season." Heil called the German Sailing Team's day of success, with a total of three medals, a "gigantic day for German Olympic sailing."
Nacra 17: "The value of this medal is immeasurable".
Pure joy: Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer win bronze in the Nacra 17.
Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer also made a lasting contribution to this: The young Nacra 17 sailors from Kiel had contested their joint Olympic premiere in the top three right from the start. The mixed crew from Kiel Yacht Club more than held their own against the world's elite in the foiling catamaran. Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer - that could be seen every day - have arrived at the top of the world themselves. "This bronze medal means umpteen times more to us than anything we have achieved so far," said the 26-year-old helmsman in the evening after the medal ceremony in the Olympic harbor. Alica Stuhlemmer could hardly find the words, saying, "The value of this medal is immeasurable." Kohlhoff admitted, "The pressure was incredibly high all week because we had great expectations of ourselves and wanted to win a medal here."
Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer plan to take their campaign all the way to the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2028. photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The fact that the second youngest crew in the Nacra 17 fleet was actually able to achieve that goal speaks well for the northern Germans who operate with such focus. Kohlhoff found time to reflect on the way to the ZDF sports studio in Tokyo in the evening with all six sailing German medal winners and said: "In the medal race today more than one other nation wanted to snatch the medal from us. It's madness and indescribable that we were able to hold on to it and win it. The total of three medals is a strong sign to the other nations and to sailing Germany that the DSV and our sponsors did a damn good job. And all this in a very difficult environment. What was done here in terms of preliminary work was highly professional." Marcus Lynch, Nacra 17 coach and performance manager in the German Sailing Team, said of his charges, "They are acting with a clear head, very focused and sticking well to the rules we developed together in the team. They have worked hard over the past year and a half to be fast in all conditions. That was also an important building block for the medal success."
A day with massive appeal beyond Olympic sailing
DSV Sports Director Nadine Stegenwalner and her team in Enoshima were able to celebrate a historic Olympic day with the athletes. Again and again the German flags flew at the ramp in the Olympic harbor, again and again cheers erupted when another German success crew came off the water. The Olympic conductor of the German Sailing Team said in the evening in Japan: "That was an almost unbelievable day. When you know how much hard work by so many people goes into every single medal, this was the reward we deserved! I'm very pleased that everyone was able to perform when it mattered today. I have been involved for 13 years. During this time, we have worked very intensively with the entire German Sailing Team and made a lot of progress. Today we are proud of our teams. I think that such a day will be remembered and will have an impact beyond the Olympic sailing sport into the entire Olympic sports family. We competed in six disciplines here in Enoshima under challenging conditions and won three medals. That's a 50 percent rate, which is a great Olympic result. For the crews and for everyone who contributed!"
Pictures and text: GermanSailingTeam