Sliding Gunter

The FES (Institut für Forschung und Entwicklung von Sportgeräten) has been founded in 1962 as part of the Deutsche Hochschule für Körperkultur und Sport (German University for Sport) in the former DDR. The target was to make use of latest scientific and technical engineering know-how for the development of technical sport equipment, especially in Olympic disciplines. The rowing boats, bob sledges, canoes, bicycles developed over the years by the FES became legendary.

The FES was considered that important that it was mentioned especially in the reunification contracts as to be maintained and developed further (Artikel 39 Abs. 2, Satz 3 des Einigungsvertrages zwischen beiden deutschen Staaten).

The Web-Site of the FES presents interesting projects of the FES today:


Rowing, Sailing and Canoe, disciplines with high technical and material dependency, were consequently first fields of focus of the FES in 1962-1966. Also today the FES is active in the development of boats for the Olympic classes.

Historically the stars must have been one of the more early projects of the FES. In contrast to other disciplines like rowing and canoe as well as other sailboat classes, the star class is very restrictive concerning new expensive material (e.g. like carbon and other component materials).

Nevertheless star 5114 is different, not from basic dimensions, which are anyway documented with permitted tolerances in the star class rules, but from materials used and from constructional details:

The wood used for the planks is Abachi, a light weight wood usually known to be used for sauna banks. While the planks are usually quite broad, and only 2-3 planks are used per side and 3-4 for the half of the bottom plus keel plank, the Abachi planks are comparatively small. We are so far not sure whether this has been done intentionally - and if - for what purpose - or if it is a result of no other material dimensions available at that time. The chine and the keel plank however are traditional mahogany. While the other both stars (by A&R and Steinlechner) have nicely manufactured and carved details (e.g. mast step and bow knee), these details are very rough and “unfinished”.