Travemünder Woche is striking sails for 2020. All efforts to find a modified version for the sailing and festival week during the Corona crisis had to be abandoned. With the decision of the state government to prohibit all major events up to 31 August, the alternatives to the original date had been reduced to only one date. However, the option of a Travemünde week from 3 to 11 October proved to be unsustainable. In consultation with the City of Lübeck, the partners and TW co-organizers and after feedback from the sailing classes, the 131st Travemuende Week has therefore been cancelled today.
"We have to cancel this year’s Travemuende Week with a heavy heart. It is the first cancellation since 1947, but the situation leaves no other option", says Frank Schärffe, managing director of Travemünder gGmbH, in close cooperation with Lübeck's mayor Jan Lindenau. "Travemuende Week is the largest annual event in the Hanseatic city and has defied many crises in its 131-year history. We have examined all options to maintain the sailing and festival week in a modified form this year. In the end, unfortunately, we could not make any other decision than to cancel the event," says Jan Lindenau.
The concretisation of the state government regarding the Corona decisions at the end of last week made it clear that even if the Travemünde Week were reduced to sailing competitions, it would still be considered a major event, which is prohibited until 31 August in accordance with the decree. This would have meant that, due to the deadline situation, only the October date would have been possible, especially as the holiday period would have made it possible to rely on the support of our volunteers.
The marketing of the Travemünde Week, which is necessary for the implementation of the sailing competitions, would have been largely deprived of its basis in autumn. Due to further expected restrictions and due to the weather conditions, it would hardly be possible to realize a festival event. The presentation areas for the partners would be omitted, the sales opportunities for carnies would be limited. "We would have ended up in an economic situation that would be even more precarious than it already is. So we had to pull the plug. As a non-profit limited company we have the problem of not being able to accumulate reserves. And several costs continue to run. Therefore, we have to see how we can manage this year", Frank Schärffe reports, knowing that the city of Lübeck is a strong partner at his side. "You can’t throw a tradition like Travemünde Week overboard lightly. Through visitors and participants from all continents Lübeck's reputation is carried out far into the world. Lübeck stands by the Travemuende Week. As a city, we will have to make our contribution to preserve Travemuende Week, and provide appropriate financial support. I will propose to the citizenship to take over the financial expenses from the preparations of Travemuende Week 2020, to ensure that Travemuende Week 2021 can be prepared solidly and without any previous financial burdens", Jan Lindenau says.
Not only from an economic, but also from a sailing point of view, the 131st Travemuende Week could not be realized on an October date. TW sports director Jens Kath, after consulting with the class associations, had to conclude that only a minimal program would be left. Other regatta dates of the classes, and also the lower attractiveness of the area in autumn, would have cut the program of the planned 30 regattas with 14 championships approximately in half. In addition, the remaining classes would have arrived with a reduced number of participants, since travel possibilities of the international participants are completely up in the air. "We would have had to make an immense effort to save only a fraction of a usual Travemuende week", says Jens Kath. Anderl Denecke, the Principal Race Officer, adds: "The remaining programme would not have lived up to the expectations of a Travemuende week. This would not have done the reputation of Travemuende Week any good ."
With the cancellation of the 131st Travemünder Woche, preparations for the 132nd edition of the event have already begun. Some championships are already scheduled or announced. The sports management of TW will continue in-depth discussions with the classes in order to take off in 2021 with renewed energy.