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VDWS International

International Trainerteam

Those who wish to become watersport instructors have to be trained to a high standard. For our instructor training VDWS relies on a decisive, highly qualified Trainer Team . Those who aspire to joining the ranks of the team, must prove they meet the high criteria. A good teaching aptitude combined with an outstanding practical ability are the basic prerequisites. Passing on practical skills and experience are things one must easily and clearly demonstrate.

The associations leadership put particular emphases on the need to continually broadening qualifications and update with further training as Trainer Team member. Consequently to ensure the quality and high level of ability in the association can be sustained and extended in the future we investment in the further training of these instructors.

At the Trainer Team meetings new techniques are tried out and concepts for advanced training courses are developed. The VDWS -Trainer Team is presently comprised of members who are, sports researchers, teacher graduates, product testers, book authors, and physical education teachers. This mix guarantees stimulating course content and the optimal learning environment for course candidates. In order to deal with the wide range of demanding tasks the Trainer Team is organised as follows.

Martin Klintz

Martin Klintz

Martin, born in 1966, did not want the safe job as a geography and sports teacher. Instead of this, he associated his learned occupation with his hobby and is now running his own watersports center in Potsdam. The water sports teacher by vocation is VDWS-instructor since 1990 and member of the association’s trainer team since 1997.

Motto: Live and let live.

Windsurf

Florian Krämer

Florian Krämer

Florian is a graduated sports teacher with a focus on recreational sports and adventure education. He began his water sports career in early childhood. In 1994 he became a windsurfing instructor and then worked as a teacher and school manager at various water sports centres in Europe and South America, as well as a lecturer at Saarland University and as a windsurf and kite trainer in Team Waterworld. Since 2005 he is the managing director of the Rügen Pirate Watersport School in Dranske/Rügen and is active in different ways of social projects. He is in the VDWS teaching team since 2005.

Motto: Pura vida ... don’t get stressed

Windsurf | Kite | SUP I Wing

Jessica "Mine" Kirstein

Jessica "Mine" Kirstein

Whether the wind is blowing or just a gentle breeze is blowing: Mine (born 1980) is flexible, uses wind, kitesurf or stand up paddling material and conveys her versatile enthusiasm to her students. Since she learned windsurfing on Fuerteventura in 2004, water sports in all its facets have been a big part of her life, and so she quickly enriched her skills with kitesurfing and SUP. She discovered her passion for teaching when she travelled behind wind and waves for her water sport and curiously got to know different schools and focuses from rental and school classes to advanced training and events. With a lot of passion and organizational skill she quickly took over the station management. Since 2007 she has been part of the VDWS teaching team and returned to "good old Germany" after many years abroad. In 2018 she opened a SUP school on Föhr with a shop for functional and lifestyle clothing.

Motto: Only dead fish swim with the tide.

Windsurf | Kite | SUP

Jens Wüllenweber

Jens Wüllenweber

Jens came as an alternative for snow sports to windsurfing. During his studies to become a certified sports instructor he was infected by the windsurfing virus and since then water sports have been his primary life. So it is not surprising that he already worked at the university as a lecturer for the water sports education, came over it to Rügen and meanwhile became resident there and co-owner of a Water Sportcenter.

Motto: Get action first and than rev up...

Windsurf

Jens Tiedjen

Jens Tiedjen

Jens, born 1980, has been an enthusiastic surfer since the age of 15. With the beginning of his studies as a teacher for the upper secondary school (sport & geography) he bought the surf school in Grömitz with a friend. As managing station manager he extended the surf school to a water sports station with windsurfing, catamaran and dinghy sailing and opened further branches. In October 2012 he sold his share. Since April 2014, he has been Head of Water & Winter Sports at the Central University Sports Faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin and lecturer at the HU for SUP and Windsurfing as well as at the SpoHo Cologne for Sailing and Windsurfing.

Motto: Accept or change!

Windsurf | Sail | SUP

Julia Bleich

Julia Bleich

Jule, born 1985, got to know windsurfing in 1999, from then on water sports were her life. In 2004 she completed the windsurf instructor course, followed by 3 seasons with large groups in the surf school San Pepelone. In 2006/07 she trained as a water sports instructor (sailing and surfing) on the island of Rügen. Afterwards she took over the management of a watersport center in Pelzerhaken, where she is always to be found in summer. The kite and stand up paddling sport with the appropriate licence followed. Meanwhile she is responsible for crew trainings at Club Robinson. Once a year she accompanies the surf camp with Bernd Flessner and is allowed to train instructors in all sports in the VDWS.
Motto: There’s still one more possibility!

Windsurf | Kite | Sail | SUP I Wing

Chris Ziaja

Chris Ziaja

Chris, born in 1975, rapidly switched from his job as management assistant to the profession of windsurfing instructor on the water. He is working for years now as a windsurfing, sailing and kiteboarding instructor around the world. Chris loves looking for new challenges at new destinations with unusual conditions. This is how he got to Costa Rica in the winter 1999 for instance. Since 1998, he brings youthful freshness with new ideas to the VDWS teaching team.

Motto: Not possible? Impossible!

Kite | Windsurf | SUP I Wing

Jana Stienen

Jana Stienen

Seit ihrem Sportstudium in Köln, ist Jana begeisterte Wassersportlerin. Seit 2014 arbeitet sie hauptberuflich als Trainerin für funktionale Fitness, sowie Kitesurfen und Stand-up Paddeln. Aktuell arbeitet Sie für einen Eventveranstalter und kümmert sich dort um die Organisation und Durchführung von Wassersport, Fitness und Yoga Events auf der ganzen Welt. Mit Ihrer sportartübergreifenden Kompetenz steht Jana für neue Ideen und jede Menge Enthusiasmus.

Kite | SUP

Michael Vogel

Michael Vogel

Michael, born in 1973, runs the windsurfing and kiteboarding school Norddeich. This East Frisian by choice is a trained chef and hotel manager. Like every Austrian, Michael worked as a ski and snowboard instructor and has been involved in the kiteboarding workbook. Michael works as a freelancer (wave expert) for the Kitemagazin. Beginners appreciate his calm character, a guarantor for high learning success. He is also our expert for riding techniques in strong wind.

Motto: Not possible? Impossible!

Kite | SUP I Wing

Tom Backhaus

Tom Backhaus

Tom, born in 1977, completed his sports sciences degree at the Bochum University successfully in 2006. Already during his studies he worked as watersports instructor at a school in Holland, and as teacher for windsurfing courses at the University of Bochum. His degree dissertation was about "Learning successes in windsurfing." Since the completion of his studies he worked for kite events and as kite and windsurfing instructor at various stations.
Motto: You can’t change the wind, but choose the right size kite.

Kite | Windsurf

Timo Sternemann

Timo Sternemann

Timo (born in 1982) has finished his sport science studies in 2009; focus on prevention and rehabilitation by physical education. During his studies he found enough time for trips to Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, Egypt and France, despite his job as a kiteboarding instructor in the Netherlands... Besides in the medical links between sports and health, he is also interested in the branches of training science and sports didactics. He is co-founder and former board member of the educational institution Paidaia e.V., which provides support to the socially disadvantaged youth. In addition to seminars in the field of team training, he directs instructor training and educational seminars for the regional NRW Sports Federation, among other. When the wind comes, he can be found in Holland/Ijsselmeer where he trains interns, helps enthusiastic people to take their first steps on the board or just plays "Looping Louie"…

Motto: Everything will be alright

Kite | SUP

Christoph Bürger

Christoph Bürger

During his child- and boyhood, Christoph, born in 1978, explored the Mecklenburg Lake District on the XYlon and became fascinated by the water. In the nineties, he became addicted to snowboarding, added kiteboarding in 2003. He practiced every minute of his spare time on water, land and snow and got the VDWS kitesurfing instructor licence in 2006. In 2007, he interrupted his studies in architecture to turn his passion into a career. Since 2007, he manages the kiteboarding school Rügen Piraten and travels across the globe as kiteboarding instructor for TeamWaterworld. The fascination for windsurfing came after kiteboarding and he passed his windsurfing instructor licence in 2011.
Motto: Seize the day

Windsurf | Kite I Wing

Nils Lucassen

Nils Lucassen

Nils grew up in St.Peter-Ording and has spent most of his life until now on beach and water. During his teacher studies in Flensburg (physical education and mathematics) he worked as kiteboarding instructor during the holidays all over the world. In addition, he was a jury member for national and international kite competitions (races and freestyle) and has completed several teaching assignments in the water sports sector for the University of Flensburg. After successfully completing his studies in 2012 and completing his traineeship, he decided to dedicate his life to water sports. In addition to teaching at the VDWS, he works at Kitecity and is responsible for the planning and organization of worldwide training events. Furthermore, he runs the sales agency for Brunotti RDP in Germany.
Motto: Whoever wants will find ways. Whoever does not want will find reasons.

Kite I Wing

Claas Zäncker

Claas Zäncker

Claas, born in 1983, is fascinated by water sports since the age of 12. He started with sailing, then he discovered windsurfing and finally kiteboarding in 2001. In 2009, he interrupted his shipbuilding studies in order turn his passion into a career and became VDWS kitesurfing instructor. Since then, he is a permanent member of the Supremesurf Rostock instructor team. As an instructor, he has accompanied the retraining program for water sports instructors in the field of kitesurfing, of the German employment office, for the Waspo Academy. In 2010 he became head of the Supreme SURFBUS at Saaler Bodden. In 2011 he passed the VDWS windsurfing instructor licence. When the German season is over he trains at different places, like Brazil and the Philippines. He is member of the VDWS trainer team since 2015.

Kite I Wing

Dieter Scholz

Dieter Scholz

Dieter, born in 1958, makes his live with windsurfing, kitesurfing and catamaran sailing for over 30 years now. He gained his first experiences in his own schools in Kiel and on Sicily as well as jobbing in surfshops. Dieters windsurfing and kiteboarding location is the strong wind spot Tarifa, where he lives for more than 20 years. In the summer, Dieter returns to Germany and works since 1994 as school manager at Windsurfing Wulfen on Fehmarn. Since 1998, Dieter is member of the VDWS trainer team.

Motto: Never farther away from water than absolutely necessary.

Windsurf | Kite | Sail | SUP I Wing

Mara Zapp

Mara Zapp

After a youth in the water (top swimmer), Mara got in touch with windsurfing board and catamaran in 1998 during her sports studies. Since then, she has been practicing both disciplines and started to teach them right from the start. Consequently, swimming is only on the agenda when she falls off the board! Since 2003, Mara works for Windsurfing Wulfen as alternate school manager. Fascinated by the transferability of the disciplines, she added kiteboarding to her range of sports.

Motto: Unquiet like the sea, turbulent, unceasingly. 

Windsurf | Sail

Franziska Böhm

Franziska Böhm

Franziska, aka Franzi, was born with watersports in 1983. At the age of five she got her first own optimist. She was an ambitious contest sailor until the completion of her degree in sports studies in 2008. In 2009, she started as VDWS sailing instructor at ALL-on-SEA in Leipzig. Now she is the manager of this watersport center, accompanies many beginning and advanced trainees, participates in dinghy and catamaran regattas and spends every spare minute on and around a second-hand 49er.  

Motto: You should rather repent things you have not done than the things you have done."

Sail

Adrian Wachendorf

Adrian Wachendorf

Adrian, born in 1982, quit his job as an engineer to explore the world in two and a half years. In 2009, he stood on a SUP for the first time in Fiji and paddled over the corals. Since then he has been a SUPPER through and through. Back in Germany, he has turned his hobby into a profession. With his non-profit organisation Nature-Guides, he shares his passion with young and old in the form of a SUP school in Lüneburg. His hobby is SUPing with people with disabilities.  Here he is creatively involved in the development of SUPs and has developed the sport of Rolli-SUP.

Motto: "New paths are created by going down them".

SUP

Paul Funke

Paul Funke

Paul discovered water sports as a child at an Easter camp on Ruhrstausee. He quickly discovered his interest in coaching, became the club's youth coach and taught the next generation at regattas. At the same time, he completed several internships in shipyards to further his knowledge of boats. During a sailing holiday he helped out at a sailing school. This was the beginning of his regular work in the watersports industry. In 2019, Paul took over the sailing department of the Rügen Piraten Watersports School. The school's broad base allowed him to train as a windsurfing instructor and discover his fascination for wingfoiling.

Motto: Everything else is everyday life!

Sail

Chris Wezel

Chris Wezel


He started windsurfing at the age of 8 and started his professional career a few years later with an internship at the North Sea, where he also discovered kitesurfing. He is still at home at the North Sea. Over the years, he and his business partner have built up the North Sea Academy locations here and are passionate about running the watersports schools and beach bars. As well as running daily windsurfing, kitesurfing and SUP courses in the summer, he organises snowkite camps in South Tyrol in the winter or or escapes the cold to South Africa.

Kitesurfing | Windsurfing | SUP

Johanna Mätschke

Johanna Mätschke

Johanna has been a water sports and travel enthusiast since her first trip to faraway Australia in 2008. She embellished her studies in Dublin in the direction of "Outdoor Adventure Management" with stays abroad in the Canary Islands to expand her knowledge and skills around adventure sports and experiential education. Since graduating she has moved around the world teaching windsurfing, kitesurfing, snowkiting and sailing, always with the aim of passing on her passion and making people happy. In winter, Johanna worked in the mountains of Austria, where she led ski and snowboard tours but also took over the club and team management for various hotels. Four years ago she started to run her own business.

Motto: You have to look for solutions, not problems.

Windsurf | Kite

Christian „Pessi“ Pessl

Christian „Pessi“ Pessl

Pessi was born and grew up in Austria, but since 2019 has been living together with his wife in beautiful Oberbayern. Ever since he can remember, his great urge to move has made him try out many different sports to try out. During his studies in sports science, he turned his hobby into his profession. In the summer you can find him as a station manager at the SUP Club Starnberger See and in the winter, he is at the ski school in Garmisch, or training ski instructors. He loves to share his knowledge and especially his spirit to motivated people in the lessons. He spends his vacations either surfing, or on the mountain.

Motto: „The most important things in life aren’t things.”

SUP

Carsten Kurmis

Carsten Kurmis

Predicate Stand Up Paddling 100%, SUPer the first hour, in all disciplines at home and to date the most successful male Stand Up Paddler in Germany. Analytically well versed, he brings all his know-how into the VDWS teaching team. The fascinating thing about Carsten is undoubtedly that he enjoys full acceptance across manufacturers and industries.

SUP I Wing

Team Italy

Christian Bartesaghi

Christian Bartesaghi

It was curiosity that made Chris try out windsurfing already in 1979. His windsurfing instructor career started ten years later at the Robinson Club Calabria. After four years of experience in windsurfing and sailing, he made the logical step towards school management. As passionate skier, Chris spent winters in the Alps. In 2000, it was time for a change; he started as product manager at Planet Allsports. En passant, he also completed his IST-degree in sport and tourism management.
Motto: Live every day as if it were your last!

Windsurf | Sail | SUP I Wing

Mirco Genco

Mirco Genco

Born in 1973, since 1997 ski instructor/coach 
Waterman (windsurfing - kitesurfing - sailing - wing foil)
His passion for water in the form of snow or sea led him to turn his sporting passions into a profession.
He started teaching windsurfing/sailing at the age of 18. Since 2001 worked as an instructor at the Surf Segnana Center in Torbole on Lake Garda. From 2005 to 2013 he moved on to the position of personnel and management director of the school itself. In 2011 he took a step forward as an entrepreneur by creating a Kitesurf school to which he now devotes his energies with satisfaction. Always attentive to new developments in the sector, he has recently enriched his practical and professional experience with Wingfoil. The desire to pass on his passion for these sports makes his professional life exciting and motivating.

Kite I Wing

Giovanni March

Giovanni March

Giovanni grew up in Trentino amidst the Dolomites in the snow. Even as a small child, his uncle taught him many water sports and windsurfing on Lake Garda. He quickly fell in love with windsurfing and the wind became his passion.
After finishing high school, he worked for several years as a windsurfing instructor in Torbole on Lake Garda. For a long time he managed the windsurfing center until the desire to start a new adventure in sailing arose. In 2017 he becomes a catamaran and sailing instructor. In winter he works as a ski instructor in the mountains of his homeland.

Windsurf I Wing

Team Poland

Piotr Golba

Piotr Golba

Piotr, born in 1961 in Warsaw, passed his windsurfing instructor licence in 1984 during his degree in recreational sports and tourism at the Sports University. He gained many experiences as windsurfing instructor and school manager at Poland’s most important watersport centers. In parallel, he also worked as a sports teacher. Since 2000, Piotr is member of the VDWS trainer team. Watersports and teaching are his passion. In 2010 he passed his VDWS kitesurfing instructor licence.
Motto: If you stop learning, you stop growing.

Windsurf

Team Turkey

Suat Celik

Suat Celik

Suat Celik, born in 1968, always wanted to be a sportsman. After studying electrical engineering in Antalya, he visited many countries and water sports schools around the world. He was the first VDWS instructor in Turkey and translated the VDWS training documents into Turkish.

As a water sports instructor, Suat worked for many years at Club Aldiana Fuerteventura, and in 2000 founded one of the largest VDWS water sports schools for cat, surf, sailing and kite in Turkey. 

In 2021, Suat initiated social projects for children who had lost their homes during the devastating forest fires in the Ortaca/Köycegiz region. He is also involved in regional environmental protection projects to keep the Mediterranean clean.

Since 2021, Suat has been part of the VDWS teaching team again and is determined to make VDWS water sports big again in Turkey.

Motto: Always smile...

 

Team Netherlands

Fabian Naerebout

Fabian Naerebout

Fabian Naerebout
Fabian (born in 1980) has studied outdoor sports and sports tourism at the Cologne Sport University. He learned swimming at the age four and from then on he spent all his time watersporting or on the beach. Already during the '90s, he experimented with the combination of hang gliding and surfing. In 1998 he started kitesurfing, and since 2000 he is the owner of a kitesurfing school, which he has transformed into a complete watersport center. Since 2004, Fabian is trainer for kiteboarding instructors in Holland and since 2011 also at VDWS.
Motto: Every wave is different; I‘d like to know them all!

Kite I Wing

Willem Kieboom

Willem Kieboom

Willem, born in 1986, has started windsurfing at the age of 7. It got his passion right from the start. At the same time, the hours he spent on the water were always like therapy against asthma and allergies. To spend even have more time on the water, he has also added kitesurfing, stand up paddling and catamaran sailing to his disciplines. At the age of 15 he started to teach windsurfing at different clubs. After his psychology master he spent several seasons abroad as a water sports instructor in different centers of Robinson Club. In 2012 he has come home and, 26 years old, founded the water sports center Windy Waters on the Veluwemeer together with his father. Aim of this center: make people discover their passions.
Motto: Powered by Passion

Windsurf | Sail

Marcus Schluter

Marcus Schluter

Marcus learned windsurfing at the age of 13 in 1979 at Lake Garda and worked as a windsurfing instructor in the north-west of Holland where he has been living ever since. In 2003 he exchanged the larger windsurfing board for the smaller kitesurfing board. Already in 2004 Marcus wanted to inspire others for the sport of kitesurfing and became a kitesurfing instructor. Since 2007 he has been running his own kitesurfing school 'NorthWest Kiteboarding'. In addition to the multi-operation of the kite school, he was employed as a lecturer in the water sports industry at the ROC Friese Poort vocational school in Sneek from 2000 to 2016. Since then 'all we do is kitesurfing' whereby he works abroad in winter as a kite instructor or center manager.
Motto: Fly a kite n catch some waves 2 save your life

Kite | Wing

Danne Rauch

Danne Rauch

Danne, geb. 1989 ist von Kind an begeistertem Wasser- und Wintersportler. Als Kind segelte er viele Regatten, mit 16 beschloss er seine Leidenschaft zum Beruf zu machen und arbeitet seither hauptberuflich als Trainer und später Stationsleiter an einer Segelschule. Mit 21 kamen Windsurfen und Kiten dazu, und im Winter ist Danne immer in den Bergen unterwegs. Neben Ski- und Snowboardunterricht führt er begeisterte Wintersportler auch ins Gelände.

Motto: In strong enough wind, even Turkeys can fly!

Windsurf | Kite | Sail

Team Egypt

Ibrahim Chouman

Ibrahim Chouman

Ibi started windsurfing in the autumn of 1990 at Club Magawish in Hurghada/Egypt and quickly developed a great passion for the sport. To fulfil his dream of becoming a windsurfing instructor, he learnt German within 3 months in order to pass the next VDWS windsurfing instructor course.
He then started as a trainee and then as a windsurfing instructor.
In 1994 Ibi went into business for himself and opened the first windsurfing centre in Dahab, Sinai with his travel partner at the time, "Happy Surf & Ski Tours".
Several windsurfing centres followed and in 1999 Ibi was the first kitesurfer on the Red Sea and opened the first kitesurfing centre in Egypt at Club Magawish.
With his own water sports company "Ibi & friends", Ibi opened more than 12 water sports centres throughout Egypt, from Dahab to El Tur, Zaafarana, Hurghada and El Naaba. Ibi also worked for many years as a consultant for other watersports centres in Egypt.
Ibi now works mainly as a lecturer, trainer and consultant, but owns his own kite club in Seahorse Bay. He is still involved in watersports and the industry, although he rarely gets on a kiteboard or surfboard himself.

Motto: Wind is my life!

University

Sascha Toth

Sascha Toth

Sascha Toth, born in 1975, discovered his passion for windsurfing in 1990 at Lago d'Idro in Northern Italy. During his sports studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, he honed his skills and became a VDWS windsurfing and kitesurfing instructor. Since 1999 he has worked as a dedicated instructor and examinier at a watersports school on Veluwemeer in the Netherlands. In 2005 he moved to the Netherlands for good and became a teacher of German at secondary schools, while continuing to train instructors at universities. Since 2023 he has been working as VDWS representative in the Netherlands, looking after universities, technical colleges and vocational schools, thus making an important contribution to the promotion of water sports and education.

Motto: Dream big and make it happen.

Kite I Windsurfen

Wall of Fame: "Old" - teamer SINCE 1974

Gunther Baade, Rollo Beckmann, Uwe Borlinghaus, Werner Buschmann, Claus Baalmann, Klaus Bandick, Holm Baumann, Christian Behrendt, Dago Benz, Toni Bichler, Dirk Brauns, Martin Böneker,  Hermann Becker, Florian Brunner, Suat Celik, Jürgen Charchulla, Mustafa Celik, Anke Dennhardt, Cord Dassler, Andy Damith, Dietmar Damith, Hein Droste, Marc Ellmann, Frank Fueting, Uwe Farke, Marco Francalanica, Klaus Gahmig, Heinart Giebel, Klaus Greif, Klaus Grell, Uwe Grenzebach, Karsten Gallo, Max Guerzoni, Nobert Hauser, Tobias Hatje, Fiete Hedde, Christine Hertneck, Dirk Houtzagers, Sigi Hoffmann, Walter Hommelsheim, Christian Hubert, Sonja Hauser, Heiner zur Jacobsmühlen, Kurt John, Grit Juncken, Horst Karre, Önder Kadak, Jörn Kappenstein, Paula Klemt, Gerd Keglmaier, Flo Kirstein, Karsten Kemmer, Bernie Kudernatsch, Knut Kuntoff,  Holger Krumme, Arno Krombholz, HP Lange, Marcel Lamers, Andy Lammerer, Steffi Löffler, Reinhard Lehmpfuhl, Ute Lüdke, Hans Walter Lukasch, Werner Maier, Bernd Mechsner, Rüdiger Mechsner, Christian May, Ralf Madert, Wolfgang Merz, Volker Möhle, Claus Oepp, Klaus Osterkamp, Berrnd Panusch, Ernstfried Prade, Kristian Prade, Uwe Preuss, Kutte Priessner, Yann Pestka, Dirk Rademacher, Roland Rabe, Hans Reinhold, Jens Radde, Vasco Renna, Ebi Rausch, Michael Rehmer, Harald Rein, Frank Ritter, Steffi Ruhbach, Carsten Ritter, Luca Spangoli, Dennis Schormann, Eric Seifert, Claudio Schiefner, Reinhard Schneiderhan, Axel Schmidt, Heinz Stickl, Achim Stutzmann, Detlef Schröder, Manfred Schwermer, Michael Schulte, Dieter Siara, Paul Simons, Marco Segnana, Wolfhardt Smidt, Su Cremer Stein, Nadine Stegenwalner, Anette Steidlinger, Domenico Tavernini, Jochen Taaks, Rainer Thide, Klaus Thomee, Michaela Vavra, Devid Venturi, Ivan Vintar, Bernd Wartenberger, Theo Walter, Jens Wanger, Thomas Weinhardt, Lena Wersing, Angie Wilmesmeyer, Sepp Winbeck, Manfred Zeiler, Bernd Zerelles.