German Long-Distance Race Celebrates 50 Years

The Swedish crew that placed third in the Masters E class at the Düsseldorf Rhine Marathon. From left to right: Mats Jangefors, Kenneth Alfelt, Gerd Schneider, Thomas Barge and Rimas Sulinskas.

6 October 2021

Göran R Buckhorn

News comes from friends in Sweden who on 2 October raced in the famous Düsseldorf Rhine Marathon in Germany.

This marathon race, almost 43,000 metres long for everyone from juniors to masters (age over 70), started in 1972 with 37 crews from 10 clubs. This 50th celebratory year – with the slogan “50 Jahre Zukunft” (“50 years of the future”) – saw around 170 teams with 900 athletes from more than 90 clubs. The regatta has now developed into one of the most important and popular long-distance rowing races in Germany.

The rowers came from Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and France as well as from numerous cities across Germany.

Kennth Alfelt reports that the Swedish combination crew from Huskvarna Roddsällskap, Jönköpings Roddsällskap and Malmö Roddklubb placed third in the Masters E class of the Coxed Gig Quadruple Sculls. The members of the crew were Mats Jangefors, Kenneth Alfelt, Gerd Schneider, Thomas Barge and Rimas Sulinskas.

The boat class was won by Wasser-Sport Verein Düsseldorf Rudergesellschaft von 1893 e. V. in a time of 2.28.15.0. While second-placed Ruder Gesellschaft Benrath e. V. crossed the finish line at 2.28.27.0. The Swedish combination’s time was 2.28.28.37.0.

Time to prepare the wooden boat, die Gig, Doppelvierer mit Steuerman.

Alfelt told HTBS that this was his fifth time racing in this marathon. After the 2018 race, he told HTBS:

Of course, sitting at the start, you always wonder what you have signed up for and why: at least 2.5 hours of non-stop rowing, your hands and back will be aching, the frustration over all the #*^&# barges, which are creating swells. But there is a thrill of rowing the 42,800 metres on the Rhine along with 900 other crazy people. The feeling of crossing the finish line, getting a locally brewed beer and laying down on the grass at the edge of the Rhine is indescribable.

I think the key word in the paragraph above, describing rowers going for this marathon race, is “crazy”.

But don’t let that stop you. More information about this regatta is here (in German).

One comment

  1. James Rowe June Iddon Daniel Bolger Lachlan Aquatic Recreation Collective Incorporated says:

    Hope the row goes with the river flow and not against it?

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