Press release

Latest press release


Perfection and Synchronisation


Lean Maritime sponsors olympic sailors Erik Heil and Thomas Plössel

Their Voyage to gold begins: Helmsman Erik Heil and crewman Thomas Plössel are but three qualification races away from starting in Tokyo 2020. The first of these crucial races will be held today in Auckland, New Zealand at the ‘Worlds’ – at 11 pm Germany time. They are up against four strong German 49er teams, all competing to represent Germany in the ‘49er’ boat class. Lean Maritime is sponsoring Heil and Plössel (HP Sailing) as they compete for a ticket to the Olympic Games.

Road to Tokyo: Lean Maritime sponsors the german 49er-Team HP-Sailing. Foto: wecamz


Qualifying for the Olympics: Lean Maritime is on board

Heil and Plössel have spent two thirds of their lives out on the water together, and as of now, Lean Maritime is on board as well. The lean version of their logo on the mainsail of the 49er skiff was designed to add as little extra weight to the boat as possible, as skiff sailing is known to be challenging, requiring technical skill combined with clever tactics. It is the fastest and most spectacular of all Olympic class boats, capable of speeds up to 30 knots – roughly 35 miles or 55 kilometres per hour. “49er sailing is complex but extremely fun. It is both physically and mentally demanding and never gets boring,” says Heil, noting that while the team name HP is the initials of their names, Heil and Plössel, it also stands for ‘High Performance’, which is why the duo is excited by this very kind of challenge.

The formula for success: coordination, communication, concentration

Heil and Plössel thrive when conditions get difficult, and are at their best when taking a calculated risk and sailing aggressively at their limits. Qualifying as an Olympic 49er class team requires quick decision-making, courage and cunning. Plössel loves rising to the occasion at high speed, appreciating the strenuous aspects of this type of sailing. Today’s qualifying regatta will demand coordination, communication and concentration on the part of this experienced team every second of the way. After all, the overall race is comprised of individual legs, which is why Plössel characterises their strategy as “little by little… to success”.

Feel the excitement: High-performance 49er sailing

Erik Heil and Thomas Plössel know what it feels like to hold an Olympic medal, for in 2016 they took Bronze in Rio. The next objective: score points! The German team that accumulates the most points in these three upcoming qualifying races will get to sail for a medal in Tokyo in 2020:

  • Worlds 2019, Auckland, New Zealand (29 November – 8 December)
  • Worlds 2020, Geelong, Australia (8 – 15 February)
  • Trofeo Princesa Sofía 2020, Palma, Mallorca, Spain (27 April – 4 May)

We wish Erik and Thomas the best of luck!


Back to overview