Dusseldorf. More than 900 oarsmen took part in the rowing regatta – beating the timekeepers at the finish in Dusseldorf.
The 51st Dusseldorf Rhine Marathon, organized by the Germany Dusseldorf Rowing Club, once again lived up to all expectations on October 1st. 900 rowers from 101 clubs experienced an exceptional Rhine Marathon with adverse conditions. Rain and strong winds affected the teams. But all these challenges were met with flying colours. All completed and there were no failures.
Only the timekeepers in Dusseldorf remained outside due to the wind and had to quickly secure their instruments, but were later able to continue their work. Their blown-up tent was later found at the entrance to the neighboring Paddlers’ Guild. The finish banner must also give way to the forces of nature and will have to be replaced next year.
Guests from the Netherlands, Ireland, England, France, Austria, USA and Sweden experienced the Regatta on the Rhine as a real challenge with the classic marathon distance of 42.8 km between Leverkusen and Düsseldorf-Ham. This applies to one’s own body, but also to the will to endure and overcome the pain that often occurs in the limbs and hands.
The fastest team this year was the racing community from Stuttgart-Kahnstadt, Cologne and Düsseldorf, with Matthias Auer, Sebastian Fraun, Andre Kress, Henning Osthof and helmsman Gunter Fraun in 2:16:00 hours. This time was clearly due to climate change. Under normal conditions, results are available between 2:04:00 and 2:08:00 hours. Along with Matthias Auer and Henning Osthof, there were two long-distance experts on board who had already won the Rhine Marathon several times.
But starters from abroad and non-Rhine-based clubs could also be seen alongside their performances. The Irish team from Fermo finished seventh overall in a time of 2:20:31 and was the fastest overseas boat.
“Water sports are wet sports.” Generations of paddlers have been aware of this throughout their active years. This is always true at the Rhine Marathon. Starting in different age and performance classes, the participants, mostly traveling in fours with a helmsman/woman, must navigate the busy river amid commercial shipping and observe their right of way. This year too the weather had created a couple of difficulties. In addition to the rain and hail, there was also a strong wind at times that made it noticeable that the flags were flying horizontally at the finish line.
This year’s Rhine Marathon was a special race for Ulrich-Michael Hayes from the Germania Rowing Club. He made his 50th partnership in the 51st edition. An injury had held back his start – as well as last year’s anniversary. City Sports Association president Peter Schwabe found words of praise for Jubilee at the awards ceremony.
The Stuttgart-Cannstatt Rowing Club secured the club’s Key Alto sign with the fastest three boats with a time of 07:13:22. RTHC Bayer Leverkusen won the Germania Team Trophy, a points classification based on the addition of participating teams.
For the next year, all counters will return to zero. The partners of this year will forget all the difficulties by then and confidently wait for better conditions.