From the early 18th century Flensburg had a booming trade in sugar and rum. Cane sugar would land from the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands) to be refined. A side product in this trade was pure rum that would get blended in one of Flensburg’s 40 rum houses earning it the nickname Der Rumstadt (The Rum City).
Once a year Flensburg goes back in time to when the sugar boats from the Caribbean would slide into the harbour with a bounty full of sweetness. From across the world gaff rig boats (with pretty sails) come together for a friendly race in Flensborg Fjord called The Rum Regatta. Up to a 100 of these classic wooden ships will come to this gathering that has been held for the past 33 years.
The programme is not the easiest to read but here is what I think are the highlights:
The event starts off in Sønderborg on Thursday the 17th of May, where the ships should arrive around 3pm after competing in the Herings Regatta.
Friday morning the boats will leave Sønderborg at around 11am to start the Flensborg Fjord Regatta – the race to Flensburg. Here is a video from Sønderborg in 2011
Friday the Gaffelmarkt starts around 10am and boats will come in to the port throughout the day. At noon small boats will race in the Sail-Service Regatta the harbour itself.
Saturday at 10 the boats leave the pier in Flensburg to start the real Rum Regatta at 11. The regatta should last until 5pm with a ceremony to celebrate the winner at 6.30pm
Sunday the boats will leave but the Gaffelmarkt will be open 10am – 6pm, where the event officially ends.