Bank von Bremen & Baltic Guest Yachts Arrived
AAR participant Bank von Bremen reached the German finish line in the early evening hours at 04:07pm UTC time on July 27 after 19 days at sea. The crew around female skipper Melanie Aalburg was braced with perfect wind conditions with 14 to 16 knots northeasterly and a sunny sky, but heavy counter currents of 2 knots and more during their final miles. Bank von Bremen is expected to arrive at the AAR Race Village in Hamburg's Sandtorhafen at 5:00pm local time tomorrow (Saturday, July 28). Today, a fleet of 12 additional sailing boats who sailed another race, the Baltic Anniversary Regatta, moored at the Sandtorhafen as well to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein.
The Segelkameradschaft das Wappen von Bremen (SKWB) was founded in 1934 and is one of the biggest sailing clubs in Bremen with 700 members. The SKWB does not only own the Bank von Bremen but also the Wappen von Bremen. Together with its predecessor ships like the Schlüssel von Bremen, the club has made a name for itself in the field of offshore sailing. The ships of the SKWB have crossed the Atlantic 30 times already and completed two Pacific crossings. Also, the legendary Cape Horn has been rounded by sailors of the SKWB. The historic competition between Bremen and Hamburg is being continued on the water. The crew lining up on the Bank von Bremen has already successfully sailed the Hong Kong Challenge and has many years of experience in sailing offshore. Following in the footsteps of the 29-year old skipper Alexander Beilken, who sailed in the AAR Westbound, the ship will now be led by 44-year old German skipper Melanie Aalburg this time. With the second place in the AAR Westbound, the Bank von Bremen managed to establish a strong foundation for a possible win. It remains to be seen if the SKWB, which has already participated in all major German transatlantic regattas and even won in 1936, will return to Bremen victoriously this year as well. In any case, the team mascot Minion will be on board again.
Photo Credit: Martin Haag