Guests from all over the world celebrate the 26th edition of the Hanse Sail together with the locals
Match Race moving towards a new dimension with „J.R. Tolkien“ at 26th Hanse Sail, photo: Lutz Zimmermann
Match Race moving towards a new dimension with „J.R. Tolkien“ at 26th Hanse Sail, photo: Lutz Zimmermann

„The 26th edition of the Hanse Sail Rostock was a successful and extremely well organized festival including the heaviest security parameters since 1991. Therefore, my special thanks goes primarily to all professionals, volunteers as well as helpers who organized this impressive event live for an audience of millions. Many thanks also to the people of Rostock and their guests who turned the Hanse Sail into an event that we have known for a quarter century“, said Roland Methling, Mayor of Rostock.

Navy at the Sail
This year, for example, Japanese naval personnel have not only enjoyed numerous events onshore and on the water, but have also actively participated in the football tournament. „Many thanks also to the German Navy, which accompanied the Sail from the beginning and contributed attractive events to the programme“, Methling continues. More than 26,000 visitors seized the opportunity of Open Ship and traveled to the naval base Hohe Düne to explore the oil recovery vessel „Bottsand“ and the frigate „Schleswig-Holstein“.

According to Matthias Fromm, Tourism Director of Rostock & Warnemünde, the Hanse Sail is an increasingly well-known international trademark of the Hanseatic city: „From a personal perspective as well as from the perspective of a tourism director, I think it’s good that everybody here works continuously on the balance between maritime traditions and ‚maritime modernity‘. The latter includes the latest popular water sports, which have revived the sailing stadium significantly. A remarkable trend can be observed: People are not only watching but also participating.“

Ships – the highlights of the Sail
„Once again this year, the ’stars‘ of the event were the 180 ships and their crews, who were taken care of by the Hanse Sail Club through their traditional management of volunteers. The tension prior to the event was followed by four relaxed Sail days with a number of exciting moments „, concludes Holger Bellgardt, Head of the Hanse Sail Rostock.

At moderate wind speed, the starting signal for the match race between the two identically constructed vessels „J.R. Tolkien“ and „Greif“ was given at 12 am on the final day of the 26th Hanse Sail. At 4 to 5 knots the „Tolkien“ was able to get a head start of two minutes at the beginning. Both ships had to tack and reverse after four nautical miles. While the ships were fighting for the victory, the visitors on board enjoyed the cruise: „The guests on board are excited and we have great weather“, states Race Director Rainer Arlt. After eight nautical miles the winner was announced: The „J.R. Tolkien „prevailed over the“ Greif „, which reached the finish line 2:51 minutes later.

„Just sail along“ is the motto of the Hanse Sail. To live up to that motto the team of the tall ship`s booking office of the Hanse Sail Club is relentlessly in action. „Approximately 12,000 visitors were taken out onto the water on cruises during the Hanse Sail. Thus, our allotment was almost fully booked out“ says Mandy Lange, Head of the Booking Office.

Security on the Sail
The Hanse Sail organizers were satisfied with the realization of the improved safety concept. “The closure of the L22 worked without any complications and hardly influenced the traffic in Rostock”, says Bellgardt, Head of the Hanse Sail. “The concept worked very well”, added the safety representative of the Sail Bernd Knitter.

Similarly, the Police Department of Rostock draws an entirely positive conclusion.  According to the police, this year’s Sail has been overall peaceful and calm due to the increased amount of police officers. 280 police officers of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania were on duty to gurantee a safe Hanse Sail in Rostock, Warnemünde and Hohe Düne.

The waterway police draws a positive conclusion. Sebastian Zimmer, chief of the waterway police, appears “very satisfied with the well-structured organization on the water”, for which about 50 officers of different police stations in Mecklenburg were responsible.

Regardless of this year’s parameters as mentioned above, current trends and initiatives on sustainable development were the center of interest. As a result, the 26th edition of the Hanse Sail was also characterized by the visit of two outstanding skippers and their ships: Polar explorer Arved Fuchs and his ‘Dagmar Aaen’ as well as Cornelius Bockermann with his ‘Avontuur’: Both vessels represent flagships which attempt to end previous threats on climate and searching for new paths in sustainable development. Also on that account, the Hanse Sail is and will continue to be an appropriate and open stage, concludes Roland Methling.

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