Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) - June 18 - 26, 2011

Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) is an annual sailing event in Kiel, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfest in Europe.

Kiel Week is held annually in the last complete week in June.  This year 2011, it is 129th Kiel Week and was held on June 18 to 26. Kiel Week ends with a large fireworks display at 11 p.m. on Sunday, fired from pontoons or the quays at the Howaldtswerke, visible all across the Bay of Kiel.

Most ship races begin at the Olympic harbor of Schilksee, also the center of most sporting activities during Kiel Week. Other good places to view sailing races of smaller ship types are along the Kiellinie at the west coast of the Bay of Kiel.

Kiel Week usually gathers around 5,000 sailors, 2,000 ships, and about three million visitors each year. The event is organized in joint effort by the Yacht Club of Kiel, the Norddeutscher Regattaverein, the Hamburger Sailing Club, and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.

Another special event is the Tall Ships Parade, often led by the Gorch Fock, with more than 100 tall ships and traditional sailing ships and hundreds of yachts. The Tall Ships Parade is usually in the morning of the closing Sunday of Kiel Week.
Schleswig-Holstein (F216) - a Brandenburg class Frigate of the German Navy. These frigates primarily carry out antisubmarine warfare, but they also contribute to antiaircraft warfare defenses, the tactical command of squadrons, and surface-to-surface warfare operations. Their design includes some stealth features. 
This special postmark is to celebrate 125 years of the Lightship Laeso Rende. A lightvessel, or lightship, is a ship which acts as a lighthouse. They are used in waters that are too deep or otherwise unsuitable for lighthouse construction. The type has become largely obsolete; some stations were replaced by lighthouses as the construction techniques for the latter advanced, while others were replaced by large automated buoys. The Lightship Laeso Rende is located in the harbour of Heikendorf, a small town near Kiel.
Sail Ship Atlantis was built in 1905 in Hamburg as a light ship and served as such in the Outer Elbe River near Station Elbe II. Then she was taken out of service. Just like other light ships the underwater lines of the Atlantis have the classical shape of a sailing ship. After a thorough restoration the Atlantis began her second life in 1984. With the rigging of a barque she sails the seas of Western Europe and the Caribbean. In 2005 the windjammer was taken over by the Tallship Company and underwent another metamorphosis, while maintaining her traditional atmosphere and stylish interior. Since 2006 the Atlantis sails mainly around the Balearic Islands and the south coast of France.

Source: Wikipedia, and tallship-company.com

Many thanks to friend Wolfgang Beyer from Germany for continuously sending these wonderful postmarks on envelopes.

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