Zeesenboot regattas in Bodstedt and Althagen 2022
This year I once again took the opportunity to see Zeesenboots. Thanks to the mediation of a friend, I was even able to go on a boat accompanying the regattas to exclusively observe what was happening on the water. From my point of view, the Zeesenboot community does not mix very often with other friends of traditionally rigged sailing ships. You can see Zeesenboots almost exclusively here in the waters of the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain and it is not easy to establish good contacts. Nevertheless, Zeesenboots were also sailed during the Corona pandemic. Of course, large events with spectators were not possible.
The Zeesenboot regatta in Bodstedt is the best-known of the regattas that annually take place on the Bodden waters between the Darß and Zingst peninsula and the mainland. It took place for the 58th time this year and attempts were made to revive cherished traditions. The small market with handicrafts was back. The model builders showed their gems, also in function, there was a marquee and of course Zeesenboots.
The usual triangular course was sailed, which can also be observed from land here. What was new this year was that the times of the boats were also taken from land. The weather was fine, but the wind was very gusty. The helmsmen had to be careful and preferred to bring a little less sail to the wind. Because you often get the pods not resolved that quickly, it laid some of the mostly open boats hard on their sides until water came in.
Once a year, on the weekend between the regattas in Bodstedt and Althagen, traditional fishing with Zeesenboots is permitted in the Bodden of Saal. This opportunity is usually used by 2-3 of the boats that still can set up necessary fishing equipment today. Most Zeesenboots are private yachts and no longer fishing vessels today.
The end of the Zeesenboot regatta season on the Bodden waters is the popular Fischerregatta in Althagen. A shanty choir from Ribnitz, stands with maritime and regional
handicrafts, smoked fish or freshly baked bread, plus the atmosphere with Zeesenboots rigged up in the small harbour. The Fischerregatta is something for connoisseurs!
There was live video transmission so that guests could follow what was happening on the water, which worked well. That is reminiscent of sports boat transmissions
like at the Kiel Week!
The weather on this regatta day was very challenging. Whirlwinds were sighted over the Baltic Sea off Graal-Müritz and Wustrow, but came not as far as or over the coast into the Bodden area. We were also largely spared from the heavy rain on the water. However, clouds and a veil of rain made for grey photos without light.
There was no limited start window for the regatta. Those who started immediately after the start of the regatta had to tack the first section of the triangular course. But since the wind turned 180° within maybe 30 minutes, all the late starters were able to take the lead in the field on the first blow. In the meantime, by the sail positions of the boats it saw as if the wind was blowing from all directions. When the leading boats then sailed to the finish line after three laps, the wind completely slept for a while. The regatta was already decided. When it flared up again, a break-off could still be avoided.
The Zeesenboot community is alive. Many of the boats are sailed sportively. Boats are preserved and refurbished. The FZ90 "Adele" is such an example, since 2021 again doing well at the start and in Bodstedt. The events, e.g. in Wustrow, Dierhagen, Barth, Bodstedt or Althagen, are well attended and crowd pullers. I hope it stays that way in the future.
Models of Zeesenboots
Almost everything that has ever been on the water can also be recreated as a model, including Zeesenboots, of course. Fascinating ship models. Otherwise admired primarily in museums, the model builders use many events for large sailing ships too to present models and especially to show them in function.
In Bodstedt the models of Zeesenboots were shown in fuction. These can be sailed like their big role models.