Lawsuit against the foil ban in Saxony
Dear friends of foiling,
All over the world foiling is celebrated as the great innovation in water sports, but in Saxony it has been banned.
We have filed a nullity declaratory action against this ban, but this can be associated with not inconsiderable costs with up to 15,000 €. In this way we are now looking for supporters who will help us with this project in the form of a donation. Since the Saxon authorities are suggesting to initiate a nationwide ban, success in the proceedings is important for all Foilers in Germany ! The Donate-Button brings you directly to the donation possibility. Thank you in advance for your commitment !
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By decree of 23.05.2022, the Saxon State Ministry of Economy, Labor and Transport (SMWA) has decided to ban the use of foils of any kind on Saxon waters. How exactly this decision was made and how the ban is justified remains unclear. There is only general talk of a “tendency to danger”, whatever is meant by that. Yet there is not a single accident in Germany that can be attributed to foiling, even though it has been practiced for over five years — which sport can claim this?
We are of the opinion that the foiling ban is not legal and is based on false assumptions. The reasoning that foils achieve higher speeds than normal windsurfing or kiting is factually incorrect.
What happened so far
Saxon water sports enthusiasts have done a great deal to reach a diplomatic solution to the problem surrounding the controversial decree banning foils. The SMWA as well as the Saxony State Directorate was written to directly several times and various solutions were also proposed. There were reports in various newspapers and trade journals, an MDR report and several Youtube videos on the subject.
Particularly noteworthy is also the online petition “Lifting the Foil Ban in Saxony” with over 6,200 signatories:
However, the search for dialogue and a diplomatic solution on the part of water sports enthusiasts is met with an ignorant and at times even impertinent attitude on the part of the authorities. We are surprised ourselves that a discussion on a factual level hardly seems to be possible. Instead, there are now even the first official warnings including fines against wingfoilers.
On July 12, the SMWA invited to a “round table”, which was designed as a kind of “participation discussion” and to which various affected persons and/or institutions were invited. Among others, representatives of the SMWA, the Saxon State Directorate (LDS), the Association of German Water Sports Schools (VDWS), the Saxon Sailing Association (SSV), the German Standup Paddle Association (GSUPA), the water police and other ministries were present. Unfortunately, however, this did not lead to any significant result. Instead of addressing the arguments of the associations against a ban or at least agreeing on compromise solutions, the conclusion was that in the future a better legal basis for warning foil users would have to be created. Since then, therefore, there has even been the danger that the foil ban will be incorporated into the Navigation Act and thus cemented even further.
It has never been our goal to take legal action against the foil ban, but we have already done some legal research. We had always hoped to find a solution through dialogue on a factual level. We still haven’t completely given up this hope, but we don’t want to close ourselves off to reality. The SMWA was very quick to ban foiling, but does not seem to be in any particular hurry to find solutions. Although the SMWA asserts that they want to allow foiling in principle, this declaration of intent does not seem to be followed by any action for the time being.
Therefore, from our current point of view, the most promising way to proceed against the foiling ban seems to be the legal action. Therefore, we will soon file an action for annulment against the foil ban in cooperation with the Cologne lawyer Dr. Cedric Meyer (PhD in administrative law with affinity to water sports).
We, that is SKVL member Prof. Dr. Alexander Carôt (kitesurfing foiler and wingfoiler), Philipp Kümpel (wingfoiler of the first hour and socialmedia activist), Dr. Christian Martin (windsurfing foiler and veteran of the central German windsurfing scene), Klaus Tiefenbacher (wingfoiler and owner of Surfshop24) as well as Matthias Rüde (father of foil young talent Jonas Rüde (13 years)). In addition, the process is kindly supported by Johannes Becher from the wingfoil scene of North Rhine-Westphalia.
With this we represent the different interests for the basis of the lawsuit, which we want to lead in the name of all wingfoilers. The lawsuit is currently being drafted and will eventually be submitted to the State Administrative Court in Dresden. We hope to submit it before the end of this month (October 2022).
The goal of the lawsuit is to overturn the foil ban as a whole, whether the foil is used for windfoiling, wingfoiling, kitefoiling, or under a SUP.
We expect that the lawsuit at the Regional Administrative Court in Dresden will cost up to 15,000 Euros, depending on the outcome of the case. This includes legal fees, court costs and other expenses.
If we do not achieve our goal in the proceedings, further proceedings could follow up to the Federal Administrative Court. In that case, we would have to reckon with further costs, about which we will inform you separately on this website. For the time being, we are concentrating on the lawsuit at the regional administrative court.
Donation for support
In order to be able to finance the lawsuit (and possibly subsequent lawsuits) and to achieve our goal of overturning the foil ban, we have launched this fundraising campaign. The Surf & Kite Verein Leipzig e.V. (SKVL) has kindly set up a donation account to collect the earmarked donations. Probably the easiest way is to use the following Paypal link.