Looking forward to the future
After the brilliantly beautiful days for Travemünde Week 2022 with lots of sunshine, almost optimal wind conditions and a mammoth programme on the regatta courses, the organisers also showed themselves with beaming faces. In their summary, TW Managing Director Frank Schärffe and TW Sports Director Jens Kath were happy about the ten eventful days that were offered to the approximately 1400 sailors from 25 nations. The festival on land was smaller than in the pre-Corona years and attracted nearly half a million visitors, according to Uwe Bergmann, managing director of the Hamburg marketing agency uba.
After a year of completely cancelling Travemünder Woche in 2020 and focusing on sailing in 2021, the event has grown back into a regatta and festival week. The changes in the use of space led to a much airier ambience on the Travepromenade and Strandallee. However, previous years also showed how important the rehearsed work procedures are for the big event: “Our large crowd of helpers was immediately back with enthusiasm. Everyone was happy to get things started again. But it also became apparent during the build-up that the routines are not quite back yet. It was a bit tougher in some areas and therefore difficult to keep to the schedules. But we got it all straightened out,” Frank Schärffe reported. “The sticking points are being worked out. The motivation is very high among the volunteers, so we can state: Travemünde Week went very well.”
Sports Director Jens Kath was able to fully agree with his Managing Director’s assessment from the point of view of the sailors and race committee: “It was a week with the best conditions, if we exclude the final day. We had a lot of wind, we had little wind, light and strong waves. There was really something for everyone. There were many highlights on the course. One example was the final of the Sailing Champions League. I don’t think you can get more exciting than NRV Hamburg, who really won the title at the last moment. Spectacular pictures were also offered by the kiters and the hobies on the side off the coast of Mecklenburg. With the World Championships of the Ynglings and Formula 16, we had title decisions at the highest level in Travemünde,” said Kath. The figures underpin the success of the TW in 2022. 350 of the planned 378 races were sailed over the course of the week. A top result that was rarely achieved in the past.
Looking ahead to the coming years, the sports director noted that Travemünde has proven itself as a playing field for every type of sailing class – from keelboats to kiters. The focus on the catamaran classes will remain in 2023. Because with the staging of the Formula 18 World Championship, a class has already been firmly scheduled with up to 150 crews taking part. In addition, there will be the World Championship of the J/22 and the European Championship of the O-dinghies. After 2019, the German Championship of Sea Sailors will also be held again at Travemünde Week.
Festival marketer Uwe Bergmann and his agency also felt the pitfalls of the reconstruction: “It was a very late preparation and it was noticeable that some businesses of stand operators and service providers first had to be ramped up again. The fact that we had about 45 percent fewer stands on the festival area was due to the fact that some stand operators are no longer active, but also that we very consciously refrained from building on the water side of the beach promenade. Travemünde Week 2022 was also a bit on hold to create the concept for the future and then appear with a new, fresh face.” From the festival organisers’ point of view, the offer has been very well received this year. “During the day, the event mile was very well filled. In the evening programme we were able to offer a little less, as they also have to finance themselves through the income from the stand operators. So it was a little quieter in the evenings,” says Bergmann. With the maritime atmosphere around the festival, but also the good weather, there were “wonderful moments that inspired the visitors to stay a long time at the Travemünde Week.” After evaluating the parameters of hotel occupancy, frequentation of the car parks as well as the numbers of public transport, the number of visitors comes close to about 500,000. At the end of the 133rd Travemünde Week there was a fireworks display with music at the Nordermole at 10.45 pm. The races on the final day, however, fellt victim to the persistent calm on Sunday.