Rumregatta - Rather safe and second…Regatta for traditional sailing ships, where it is important to become second!
Start of the Rumregatta with wind
Traditional seamanship at the Rumregatta
Market with wooden figures at the Rumregatta
Handmade music at the Rumregatta
Start of the Rumregatta with no wind
Ewer Heinrich at the Rumregatta
Homo Faber and Victor Jara at the Rumregatta
Activ and Ryvar at the Rumregatta
Seestern and Frigg at the Rumregatta
To Svaner and Melpomene at the Rumregatta
Price giving at the Rumregatta
Every year on the Saturday after Ascension Day at 11 a.m. a loud gun shot sounds in the bay of Flensburg. Everyone who looks at the water then sees more than 100 gaff-rigged traditional
sailing ships under full sails. It's the Rumregatta in Flensburg.
For many years, rum was the most important merchandise for the city of Flensburg. From Flensburg the merchant ships went to the Danish colonies in the Caribbean where sugar cane was grown. From the sugar cane the rum was produced in Flensburg then.
In 1980 the museum harbour of Flensburg organized the first regatta of this kind with 30 participating ships and when looking for a suitable name for it, one remembered the rum tradition of the city. The Rumregatta developed from now on into one of the largest events of its kind in Northern Europe. The participating ships sometimes have to sail long routes to come to Flensburg. They come from the North Sea coast of Holland in the west as well as from the Bay of Greifswald in the east of Germany or are at home in the Danish world of islands. There are merchant ships (3-masted schooners, schooners, large and small Galeases, brigantines, Danish Jagt and Jagt-Galeases), large and small flat-bottomed ships (Tjalks, Kuff-Tjalks, Ewer, Schokker, Aaks, Boijers, Botters, Grundels, Skutjes), fishing vessels (Finkenwerder cutters, shrimp cutters, Hajkutters, Drivkvases, Zeesenboots), open fishing boats (Schleikahn, Buttjolle), viking ships and slav boats, as well as former service boats (rescue cutters, customs cutters, fisheries control ships) and also fast modified replicas that are found here to show what was done in often years of self-sacrificing and mostly voluntary restoration work.
Seafaring is not possible without craft. Handcrafted items play a major role at the Rumregatta, including the market on land with traditional boat building, sailmakers, coopers and wood carvers. You can get everything from flotsam to maritime handicrafts here, provided you know how to trade. Of course there are beer, rum and fish rolls too. On the other hand, passenger shops or noisy commerce you will miss on the market.
The music at the Rumregatta is handmade too. The stage is the street. The "bands" have sonorous names like "Spielmannswucht", "Parelmor" or "Rock die Straße". Everything is performed live and without an amplifier, scary, scary, beautiful.
The slogan "Lieber heil und zweiter als kaputt und breiter" one can translate as "Rather safe and second than on the end broken-down". The rum regatta is not primarily about speed. Because everyone knows that the ships are hardly comparable despite the attempted classification. Rather, it's about good and traditional seamanship and that includes a strong awareness of safety. It's about humor too, which can be found latest at the price giving. In addition to serious prices, e.g. for the best restored ship, there are now for the respective second in every ship class, a coveted 3-liter bottle of the best Flensburg rum. But the winners get bulky waste prices, which are presented together with a mocking slogan, very much as an amusement for the present watching visitors. The price giving is cult and you can endure a victory best if you understand fun and can just laugh along. Depending on your needs or occasion special prices can be created at any time too, for example for the "Sleeper on the starting line", the "Style clashing price" for glaring mistakes in the overall regatta picture or the "Most beautiful skipper under the northern sun".
The Rumregatta is the anual spring meeting of the "Freunde des Gaffelriggs" association too.
Piekfall - Mitteilungsblatt der Freunde des Gaffelriggs
A book about the Rumregatta has been published by the Flensburg Fördeverlag: lots of photos, background information about the event, types of ships and types people behind
the ships, stories of how it all started and anecdotes over the years.
"Rum-Regatta - Lieber heil und zweiter als kaputt und breiter",
Fördeverlag Flensburg, 2003, ISBN: 3-9808924-0-9
Participating ships of the RumregattaClassification
Only gaff rigged sailing ships take part in the Rumregatta. They are divided into classes. Attempts are made to take into account the design, length and type of the mostly former working ships, which can only be a compromise due to the existing variety of ships.