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Sail Ho for the Kiel Olympics


Pity the Olympic Games visitor who would like to sample everything. Some of the stiffest, brightest competition will be 600 miles north of Munich on the windy Baltic Sea near Kiel, the shipbuilding, naval and yachting hub of West Germany. There in late August will appear such royal skippers as Harald of Norway (sailing a Soling) and such royally medaled ones as Denmark's Paul Elvstrom (a Soling sailor, too) among 250 entrants from the world around. Once the play puddle of Kaiser and Krupp, the Kiel Fjord reaches 11 miles inland to a spacious, if bland, and smogless city. What was once an ugly industrial sprawl was 80% destroyed by World War II bombs. Kiel rebuilt wisely, and now has spent $50 million toward making the 1972 events a modern classic; the pictures on these pages suggest how lively they well may be.

Off come the wraps at a staging area, and out to the Baltic racecourse goes a covey of boats on multiple tows.

Beaches provide venues for Olympic relaxation.

Dragons on a Baltic sleighride flaunt billowing striped tongues.

Chesty Solings battle down to leeward mark, and a Finn on starboard tack slices between two port tackers.

The historic waters of the Kiel Yacht Basin reflect a modern fleet of beauties. Beyond are buildings characteristic of the German north country.