One victory, one defeat, one draw: this is the record of Lübeck’s mayor Jan Lindenau in the Volksbank Rotspon Cup, the match race duel of Lübeck’s head of administration against a state politician from Kiel. In order to give Lindenau’s balanced statistics a turn in the positive direction, a victory against the Prime Minister is now necessary. That will not be easy: for the 18th edition of the race, the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, has announced himself for the first time.
In 2017, shortly after taking office at the helm of the state, Günther announced at the opening of the 128th Travemünder Woche that he would like to take on the sailing challenge himself. However, scheduling conflicts and the cancellation of two editions due to the corona have so far put a spanner in the works of the prime minister’s appearance in the Trave. Now, however, he is ready for the duel.
“I am happy to be able to compete against the Mayor of Lübeck, Jan Lindenau, at the Volksbank Rotspon Cup this year. I have often been to the Travemünde Week, but the Rotspon Cup is a premiere for me. Therefore, I trust in a good team, good wind and also a bit of beginner’s luck. It will certainly be an exciting experience to sail on the historic yachts against the backdrop of Travemünde. After Interior Minister Sütterlin-Waack and Finance Minister Heinold recently competed in the Rotspon Cup, I hope to get a good result for the state government!” says Daniel Günther.
That the Volksbank Rotspon Cup is not only about winning the magnum bottle of Lübeck Rotspon, but also about great prestige, was shown last year: Interior Minister Sabine Sütterlin-Waack expressed the hope before the race that she would more or less be able to sail along. But Jan Lindenau made it clear: “There will be a hard fight here!” On the water, there was a surprising outcome. After two races with scattered victories, the time on the Trave was no longer sufficient for the decisive race because of the continuous commercial shipping. Thus, for the first time in the history of the Volksbank Rotspon Cup, there was a draw.
Previously, Mayor Jan Lindenau had won against former Minister of the Interior Hans-Joachim Grote and conceded defeat to Minister of Finance Monika Heinhold at the 130th Travemünder Woche.
Lindenau’s predecessor in the mayor’s office, Bernd Saxe, had launched the Rotspon Cup in 2004. It is considered a revival of the original regatta of the Travemünder Woche, when in 1889 the Hamburg merchants Hermann Wentzel and Hermann Dröge sailed for Travemünde. At that time, the winner received a bottle of Lübeck Rotspon.
In the 134th edition of the Travemünde Week, the spectacular historic twelve-man yachts will once again be ready for the mayor’s race. The “Trivia” from Kiel and the “Sphinx” from Flensburg have already moored in Travemünde and are waiting for their turn. Both yachts date back to the great era of mR yachts, built in 1937 (“Sphinx”) and 1939 (“Trivia”). In the past years, they have not only delivered gripping duels in the Trave, but also at world championships and were always good for top placings. Owner Wilfried Beeck will skipper the “Trivia” in the Mayor’s Race. Owner and skipper of the “Sphinx” is Jochen Frank.
The Volksbank Rotspon Cup will be won in match-race mode. A minimum of two and a maximum of three races will decide who can take home the six-litre bottle of Rotspon. From 11 a.m., preparations began at the pier, around 11.30 a.m. Jan Lindenau and Daniel Günther went on board.