NRV and the Olympic Games

Founded in 1868 with its rich history 156 years, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in Hamburg is one of the oldest and at the same time leading yacht clubs in Germany with more than 2,150 members.

Past sailing successes of deserving members have created a special climate for promoting young talent and supporting experienced top performers which has resulted in a commitment to top-class sport. Based on thorough and clearly defined sail training programs for our youth the club has successfully been able to develop a team of sailors who are organized in the “NRV Olympic Team” flying the NRV’s burgee at World Cups and international championships, as well as on the regatta courses around the world.

The basic idea behind the Olympic Team
The idea for an NRV Olympic Team was born in 2000 during the Sydney Olympic Games. Together with Gunter Persiehl, NRV’s commodore at the time, NRV sailors had discovered “Down Under” that in the Olympic classes the many problems of individuals could much more effectively be solved as a team. Gunter “Piese” Persiehl saw the opportunities of the new challenge and put together a strong sailing team.

Synergies create success
Since then, the NRV Olympic Team has regularly and successfully represented the club and Germany at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The three German paralympic medals in 2012 and 2016 were all won by NRV Olympic Team sailors. And at the Olympic Games in Japan in 2020 / 21, five of the six German boats sailed under the NRV’s burgee. The NRV Olympic Team won silver in the 49er FX and bronze in the 49er. Since 2016, the NRV Olympic Team has been under the patronage of Mr. Andy Grote, Senator for the Interior and Sport of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Successes 2012 to 2023

  • 8 Olympic Medalists
  • 10 World Champions
  • 2 Junior World Champion
  • 3 European Champions
  • 4 Vice World Champions
  • 1 Vice Junior World Champion
  • 5 Vice European Champions
  • 3rd Place World Championship
  • 2nd Place Junior European Championship
  • 3rd Place Junior World Championship
  • 4 Time 3rd Place European Championship
  • 3rd Place Junior European Championship

2024 Paris Olympic Games
The NRV Olympic Team has got the capacity of a total of 10 top class sailors to be part of the German Sailing Team participating in the Olympic Sailing Regattas in Marseille, France, from July 28 to August 8, 2024.

At this time the German round of qualifying regattas for participation in the 2024 Olympics are still under way but we are confident that the NRV will again be able to send capable sailors to Marseille representing Germany flying the NRV’s burgee.

Genoa, Italy is hosting sailors for the third regatta of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series from 15-21 April 2019. More than 700 competitors from 60 nations are racing across eight Olympic Events. ©PEDRO MARTINEZ/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING
20 April, 2019.


Another 10 young NRV sailors are currently awaiting promotion to the NRV Olympic Team once they have successfully completed their relevant training programs.

In order to maximize the sailors’ willingness to make that extra effort to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games or to reach the top of the podium in an Olympic boat class at Seniors World Championships the NRV Olympic Team Advisory Board has come up with something special: “Whoever manages to be at the top of the world rankings will be rewarded with € 50,000 prize money.”

Winning the gold medal is subject to extremely strict conditions: In addition to a top sporting performance, the bonus can only be won by anyone who, at the time of the regatta success, is a member of the NRV and the NRV Olympic Team and has at least sailed twelve months continuously under the NRV burgee before winning that gold medal or that world championship.

However, “a sailor can receive the premium only for one top success per calendar year, even if he or she becomes Olympic champion and world champion in the same year,” explains NRV Club Manager and Sports Director Klaus Lahme. “In crews of two, both sailors receive the bonus and in the event that we have several Olympic champions from the ranks of the NRV, the prize money is divided by the number of sailors and is reduced accordingly.”

“By creating the gold bonus, we want to spur our athletes on to work even harder towards victory, to leave the midfield behind and to fight their way right to the very top of the world” explains Klaus Lahme.

“The gold medal is intended as a genuine reward for an outstanding sailing performance.”

After two decades in which German sailors did not win any World Championships or Olympic gold medals (the last World Championship gold was won in 2000 by Roland Gäbler / Rene Schwall in the Tornado), Philipp Buhl cracked the gold medal barrier in 2020 with his Laser World Championship title as the first NRV Olympic Team member to hit the jackpot.

In 2022 both Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth in the 470 dinghy as well as Sebastian “Basti” Kördel in the iQ Foil won World Championship Gold. He also holds the title of Sportsman of the Year 2023 of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

By offering a gold medal to club members who are particularly supported and encouraged to fully concentrate on their sport, the NRV Olympic Team is taking a hitherto unique way in German sailing. Partners of the NRV Olympic Team receive the NRV Olympic Team gold pin made of genuine18 carat gold.

NRV Performance
The secret of sporting success above all lies in synergies. On the one hand these are created through the systematic, professional, and personal exchange between the athletes themselves. On the other hand, specialists contribute their expertise in important areas. All this would hardly be possible so consistently and successfully without a far reaching “partnership” system. Since the NRV Olympic Team was founded, this has been a core concept for all those involved. The partners of the team ensure financial support and in turn benefit from the close relationship with the team. They are involved in events such as the Kiel Week and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia off Mallorca.

The sailors of the NRV Olympic Team fly the NRV burgee and partner flags at lectures and product presentations. This is sports sponsorship in the best sense, carries the team’s message to the outside world and finances the NRV Olympic Team independently without touching the Club’s membership fees.


Gunter Persiehl – Commodore of the NRV Olympic Team

“The NRV traditionally is a regatta club. We are committed to the NRV Olympic Team with enthusiasm for Olympic sailing successes and support the athletes together with our partners in an intelligent and modern way. We do this specially in those areas where other funding institutions cannot render support individually, and in focusing on parallel career prospects as well!”



Andy Grote – Senator for the Interior and of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and patron of the NRV Olympic Team

“I have taken on the patronage because I am convinced of the NRV Olympic Team model. Clubs play a special role in the in the promotion of Olympic sports in Hamburg and the commitment of the NRV has a model character. The athletes feel well supported and there also is a successful economic concept behind it. That cannot be taken for granted. I witnessed the 49er final on the beach in Rio de Janeiro—an absolute highlight with Erik and Thomas as the two model athletes for Hamburg”.

Achim Griese – Silver Medalist Los Angeles 1984

“In the 20 years of its existence, the NRV Olympic Team has developed into a training ground that is second to none in the world. What Gunter “Piese” Persiehl has built up here is fantastic. At the Olympic Games in Japan, seven of the ten German sailors, came from the NRV Olympic Team. And the young talents are already waiting in the wings for 2024 and 2028. What would I have given to be able to sail in an NRV Olympic Team back then. But I already had Piese’s support back then…”