Photos © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
4 August 2021 was a day for the history books of German sailing. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Olympic Team sailor, Susann Beucke, and her helmswoman, Tina Lutz, won the first Olympic medals in German women’s sailing in 21 years. Then, just 30 minutes later another pair of Norddeutscher Regatta Verein sailors, Erik Heil and Tommi Plößel, secured their second Olympic bronze medal with a fantastic race. Later that day the Nacra 17 duo, Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer, from Kiel, Germany, won a bronze medal. Three medals overall for the German Olympic sailing team, two of them under the flag of Norddeutscher Regatta Verein.
After a spectacular medal race, the 49er FX athletes Susann Beucke and Tina Lutz finished their first Olympic Games in second place at around 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. They had been working towards this for 14 years. Only a short time later, 49er sailors Erik Heil and Tommi Plößel won their second bronze medal in a final that was hard to beat for excitement. Just like first and second place, third and fourth place were decided on equal points.
Klaus Lahme, Club Manager of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, emphasized the uniqueness and the special achievement of the athletes: “Qualifying for the Olympic Games is already a real challenge. Only one starting place per nation, plus limited international contingents. The fact that we succeeded in providing five of the six German Olympic boats with the NRV Olympic Team was already a huge success. And now the athletes are bringing us two more medals back to Hamburg—madness!”
Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Commodore Tobias König expressed joy, and thanks to the team’s founder and sponsors: “When our Admiral Gunter ‘Piese’ Persiehl founded the NRV Olympic Team 21 years ago on the return flight from the Olympic Games in Sydney, there was certainly no way of thinking that the team would be so successful. We were already overwhelmed with joy that five of the six teams in Tokyo were from the NRV Olympic Team, but that Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke won silver and Thomas Plößel and Erik Heil bronze is just great. But I am also particularly pleased that Paul Kohlhoff and Alicia Stuhlemmer also won a bronze medal. We are closely connected to both of them and super happy how successful the German Sailing Team of the DSV has been at these Olympic Games. All of this would certainly not have been possible without the initiative of our Admiral Gunter Persiehl and the many supporters and sponsors of the sailors, whom I would like to sincerely thank at this point for their great commitment.”
Last but not least, the 470 Women’s Final was also another unusually hard-fought race. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein athletes Luise Wanser and Anastasiya Winkel sailed another fantastic race to finish the Olympic Games in 2nd place and 6th overall. Without the burden of the points from the disqualification after the first two races, the two would have undoubtedly sailed for the medals. Their sailing performance at the Tokyo Games was phenomenally strong and must be appreciated. To fight back like that after the setback of the first day is truly sporting excellence.
The medal sailors were welcomed home at Hamburg Airport on Thursday, 5 August 2021, and the following day were celebrated at an official reception by the City of Hamburg with Sports Senator Andy Grote.