The German star boat launch site for the Olympic Games in Athens is secured. Marc Pickel (Kiel) and Ingo Borkowski (Potsdam) sailed in 18th place at the Starboot World Championship ahead of Gaet (Italy), the last of the four remaining starting places that were awarded in these championships. Nevertheless, it was not enough for the duo to have their own Olympic chance, because with 18th place the norm set by NOK and DSB (Top 12) was missed by six places.
Bitter pill for the star boat sailors Marc Aurel Pickel and Ingo Borkowski from Kiel and Potsdam: In the final of the World Championships in Gaeta / Italy they bought the last remaining nation ticket for the Olympic Games in Athens for the German Sailing Association (DSV), but they did so themselves does not meet the NOK / DSB criteria for a nomination. In the last race they were only 36th and finished 18th in the final ranking. They should have been twelfth to stay in the Olympic elimination. Now the Hamburg European Championship fourth Alexander Hagen and his crew Jochen Wolfram from Damme should go to Greece, who finished 22nd.
Hagen / Wolfram was spared a continuation of the national elimination because no other German crew met the NOK / DSB standard. "We are very happy to have bought the ticket to Athens," said 49-year-old Hagen, "if you believe in luck, you sometimes have it too."
DSV President and Starboot sailor Dierk Thomsen (Kiel) said: "We would have embarrassed ourselves to who knows where if we hadn't made it. My appreciation to Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski." In fact, since the Olympic Starboot premiere in 1932, there has not been an Olympic Starboot regatt without German participation. Thomsen said of the experienced helmsman Alexander Hagen: "He's a real tinkerer and could well be in great shape if he is nominated for Athens." Hagen / Wolfram were the only German team to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics, but - like all other qualified teams - have to be officially proposed by the DSV Olympic sailing committee, confirmed by the DSV Presidium and nominated by the NOK in June.
Disappointed and dejected, Pickel and Borkowski started their journey home after a World Cup with many ups and downs. "The second slip at the end was just one too many," the bowman tried to explain objectively why it wasn't enough in the end, after they had even been in eleventh place before the final day. They should have reached 15th place in retrospect to finish twelfth and stay in the race for the Olympics. Very weak, changing winds barely above force two made for a difficult race on Sunday (May 2nd), which Michael Koch / Markus Koy from Hamburg won, but who clearly missed the start of the Olympic Games with a 27th place.
“We drove more than sailed. And the others are better driven than we are today,”added Borkowski. The New Zealanders Rohan Lord / Andrew Taylor (41st) were even worse and lost the nation ticket to Germany. Hagen / Wolfram now benefit from this as the laughing third party in the German team. Borkowski: “You only beat us once, and that was at the Euro.” He would have loved to continue the national elimination at the spa regatta in Medemblik in the Netherlands and tried to reverse the gap of six points.
Instead, the 32-year-old will return to the Brandenburg state parliament as a lawyer, which the 2000 silver medalist in Soling from Jochen Schümann and Gunnar Bahr had only left at the beginning of the year to drive an Olympic campaign with Marc Pickel. “We had what it takes to qualify, but we also lacked the necessary bit of luck. Now we have to digest the shock first”, the duo said in unison. Perhaps it will sail together again for the Kiel Week, even though the crew's vacation has been used up. The new world champions were the Swedish European champions Frederik Lööf / Anders Ekström, ahead of the Swiss Flavio Marazzi / Enrico de Maria.