The casserole was great. Around 200 guests wanted to see the first German world champion in an Olympic sailing class in twenty years. And everyone wanted to say hello to the 49er crew, who won two medals at world championships within two months. Laser rocket Philipp Buhl and the 49er artists Erik Heil and Thomas Plößel were in the spotlight on Thursday evening when they were honored in the North German RegattVerein (NRV) despite jet lag. The dynamic three turned the evening into a demonstration for team spirit, mutual respect and friendship, in which an Allgäu and two Berliners promoted their sport in a contagious way in their joint Hamburg club.
Ensured a lot of medals and inspiring team play in the NRV: Thomas Plößel, Philipp Buhl and Erik Heil (from right)
As the evening's guest of honor, Hamburg's interior and sports senator Andy Grote opened the celebration on the upper deck of the NRV clubhouse on the Alster. He, who otherwise rarely goes without his "Active City Hamburg" pin, had exchanged it that evening for the badge of the NRV Olympic Team - in order to be enthusiastic about "the first spectacular successes of the still young 2020". Grote said: "Erik Heil and Thomas Plößel showed impressively where they stand." The 30-year-old helmsman and his 31-year-old bowman had won their Olympic skiff discipline first silver, then bronze, at two world championships within two months and were there with New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke as Olympic champions, America's Cup winners and high-flyers in the fast-paced Olympic championships Skiff discipline got very, very close.
Shortly before the award: the medal winners of the German Sailing Team and their teammates in the NRV. Including Buhl's sparring partner Nik Aaron Willim, Erik Heil, Thomas Plößel and Philipp Buhl (from right). Further back in the picture: LenErdil, new surf hope in the NRV Olympic Team, and Thomas Frieses son and Nacra-17 helmsman Silas Mühle, who promoted the participation of a performance-oriented Hamburg team in the Youth America's Cup
Who are the stars of the evening? Interior and Sports Senator Andy Grothe and Lieutenant Colonel Jürgen Bredtmann agree: Philipp Buhl and Erik Heil deserve the applause
Sincere mutual joy about the well-deserved World Championship title for the laser number one in the German Sailing Team: DSV sports director Nadine Stegenwalner and world champion Philipp Buhl
Andy Grote then honored the 30-year-old Philipp Buhl, who was greeted on stage with great applause. Grote said: "Philipp Buhl is the first German world champion in lasers and has written a piece of sports history. Congratulations!" Andy Grote said to the successful sailors at the end of his speech with a view to the Olympic mission: "We have great confidence in you and we are with you." The classification of Buhl's world championship gold was then carried out by NRV managing director Klaus Lahme, himself once one of the best German laser sailors: "The title was won in the most difficult class." Johannes Polgar, who heads the NRV Olympic Team, summed up the reason for this in his laudation for Philipp Buhl: "Philipp is 100 percent committed to competitive sport."
Accolade from cow pasture
Came to the NRV to congratulate: Boris Herrmann with Philipp Buhl
What the much-praised man himself said was typical for him, who had once learned his trade from his father Friedl Buhl on a Flying Dutchman on the Great Alpsee in the sailing club Alpsee-Immenstadt, always remained modest in all his successes, likes to motivate others and today appreciates and supports the NRV funding idea. Buhl reported on the hundreds of "very heartfelt messages" that had reached him Down Under after the World Cup coup. It wasn't until the flight home that he got around to reading and enjoying them all in peace. Among the verbal bows was a personal email from Willy Kuhweide, who sensationally sailed to Finn Dinghy Gold in 1964 in the Enoshimso area where Buhl wants to be Olympic this summer. Kuhweide wrote to Buhl: "Dear Philipp! My warmest congratulations on the World Cup title. I keep my fingers crossed that this title gives you the maturity and calm you need for Enoshim. Bravo, your Willy".
On this memorable evening on the Hamburg Alster, Philipp Buhl reminded calmly that it had been "a long way to get here". He said, "I've always dreamed of it and believed that it was possible." The Bavarian in Hamburg told how he had spoken to his sailing friend Erik Heil almost a decade ago about possible successes of the two during their joint training with the German Armed Forces. And as he is, Buhl immediately apologized for "that I pretty much stole the show from Erik and Thomas, even though they almost beat the best sailor in the world at the moment". It was his way of bowing in front of the two World Championship medals from Heil and Plößel - only to be publicly happy about how Erik Heil gave him brief messages from Geelong on the day during the two parallel World Championship series for lasers and 49ers Motivated and inspired one side of Phillip Bay to Sandringham on the other side of the bay. Buhl says it was "valuable tips and indulgent messages that I was super grateful for". Heil und Buhl were and will remain strong companions on the Tokyo 2020 course.
Friends for more than a decade: Erik Heil and Philipp Buhl - here in their naval uniform as a captain and captain
End of working day! Chief boatman Erik Heil says goodbye with jetlag, but happily from the festive evening in the NRV