Lürssen staged the Lürssen Rowing Regatta for the seventh time on 11 May 2012. Now a traditional and highly popular event, it was first held in 2003 for the many crews who spend several months in Bremen or at another of the shipyard’s locations while a newbuild is under construction or a yacht is undergoing a refit or repairs.
This year there were more participants than ever before. Around 110 Yachties were there, amongst others crews, project managers, designers from the Terence Disdale and Reymond Langton Design offices and a few Lürssen employees. All of them of course keen to win the coveted trophy!
The venue was, as it is every year, at the Vegesack Rowing Club – a club that has a tradition of close ties with the Lürssen shipbuilding company and is located on a branch of the River Weser called Lesum
Chinese dragon boats were organized for the regatta. Each boat can accommodate up to 20 paddlers plus a drummer and a helmsman. The drummer sits fore on a raised seat with his back to the direction of travel and sets the rhythm. The helmsman stands aft; having the difficult task of steering the boat in the right direction against wind and current.
There were five teams in all, recruited from a large number of newbuild projects and repair jobs. To set them apart more clearly, brightly coloured t-shirts were handed out, making it easy to see which team was in the lead. The other participants cheered loudly to spur the teams on.
Luckily it did not rain, but the wind and the strong current made the racing far from easy. All of the teams were highly motivated, however, and despite getting wet everyone had a great time. There were nail-biting neck-and-neck heats as oarsmen paddled to the point of exhaustion, but after several heats the winning team was clear. The yellow team, consisting of a crew from two newbuild projects, won with a 1.4-second lead over the red team – the crew of Lady Kathryn V. The Lady Kathryn V’s crew may only have been runners-up, but they were the most creative team. Their hilarious outfits and their “war paint” generated an almost euphoric mood among team members.
At the award ceremony each participant was presented with a medal, and the winning yellow team proudly took possession of the trophy, which it must now defend next year. At a relaxed and cheerful barbecue with plenty of beer the upbeat mood reached its peak, accompanied by a great deal of laughter and discussion of various racing tactics.