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About Stefan Hess

Stefan Hess can rightly be described as the "guru" of Austrian sailing. Born in Burgenland, he has been gaining experience in a wide variety of boat classes and countless competitions for five decades. At the young age of eight, Stefan got a taste of the Optimist class and remained loyal to it until the age of 15. During this time, he took part in many important national and international events and rose to become the undisputed number one in Austria as a multiple ranking list winner.

He then switched to the 420 class, as his size and body weight did not allow any other alternatives. Within two years, Stefan Hess was able to demonstrate his skills at the European Youth Championship (11th place) and win the national class championship together with his brother. These successes finally brought the young sailor to the attention of the Austrian Sailing Association. In the fall of 1980, Stefan Hess and his brother were called up to the ÖSV, which gave them the support of the best coaches and trainers.

This was followed by a switch to the 470 class. At numerous world and European championships, the top of the podium was often within his grasp. Coaching by excellent specialist coaches enabled Stefan Hess to take on the role of coach himself for the Olympic project with Stefan Schurich and Markus Schneeberger in the FD class after the end of his professional career. As the main person responsible for the team's physical and sailing performance, Stefan Hess honed his expertise in the area of training.

Thanks to the excellent constellation of this training group, they were able to take part in the 1992 Olympic Games and achieve a place in the top 10. Unfortunately, the boat class lost its Olympic status after 1992, which meant that the training work in the FD class had to be discontinued by the Austrian Sailing Association.

However, Stefan Hess was still in demand at the ÖSV and was assigned to the then Finn Dinghy World Champion Hans Spitzauer as a coach. This time was one of the most interesting and successful, but also hardest experiences of his life: due to an unfortunate outcome at the 1996 Olympic Games, the team unexpectedly only came 4th and the project was not continued.

However, this was also the starting signal for a change of direction in Stefan Hess' career: in 1997, he took over the sporting management of the Burgenland Sailing Association and was thus responsible for the sporting development of junior and youth sailing. Under his aegis, a sailing performance center was founded with the aim of getting as many young people as possible interested in sailing. National and international successes at European and world championships underline the success of the project.

In addition to his role as Burgenland state coach, Stefan Hess was also a divisional coach in the 420, 470, Europe Dinghy and most recently in the ZOOM-8 class. In his long coaching career, he has also repeatedly supported short-term projects in all possible Olympic classes: Training and regatta coaching with Team Hubert Raudaschl and Team Stefan Schurich, in the Soling class with Team Christian Binder and in the Finn-Dinghy class with Florian Raudaschl. In addition, Stefan Hess coached the Austrian Paralympic Sailing Team, which qualified twice for the Paralympic Games.

Stefan Hess currently devotes himself entirely to sail training with his company Hess-Sailcoaching, primarily with the foiling boats Skeeta/Nikki and Onefly