Tag Archives: Sebbe

Enjoying the Rum Regatta

The Rum Regatta is a yearly meeting of historic working boats from all over the world that happens every Ascension weekend. It is held in Flensburg Fjord to commemorate the sugar boats docking in Flensburg from the Caribbean in times gone past.


The weekend started on Ascension Thursday when the boats arrived in Sonderborg harbour in the afternoon. It was lovely seeing these big historic boats sailing into the harbour past Sonderborg castle. It really made you want to turn the time back to when such boats regularly sailed in and out of a harbour.


The boats left Sonderborg harbour on Friday morning. The boats were expected to leave the harbour at around 11am, after a captain’s meeting at 10am. However, when we arrived at the harbour at 10:30 with the aim of seeing the exodus start, most of the boats were already out of the harbour, waiting for the Flensburg Fjord Regatta to start at 11:30. Therefore, if you are interested in seeing the boats leave would be wise to be there earlier than 10:30 (maybe 10am?) next year!


The end of the Regatta saw the boats arrive in Flensburg in the afternoon. We went down to Flensburg on Saturday morning once the boats were out participating in the Rum Regatta to soak in the atmosphere and see the boats returning home.



Along the Museumshafen in Flensburg there was a great atmosphere all day long. The Gaffelmarket was on all day with stalls selling shipping-related items, craftsmen working in wood, metal and rope makers working at their craft, and stalls selling food (mainly fish and other sea food), and of course, rum!

Shtandart arriving in Flensburg after regatta

Once the boats starting arriving in the harbour at around 3pm it was another great scene as they approached on the horizon. Spotting Sebbe Als, which we helped launch a few weeks ago, keeping its own with the other boats made it that much more special.


The boats were scheduled to leave Flensburg harbour on Sunday morning, seeing the end of the Rum Regatta for this year. A great experience that is surely worth your while to travel to see, either in Sonderborg or in Flensburg. When the boats are in the harbour you can also get the opportunity to look around some of the boats, and some of them also allow the public to join them for a trip out on the water. If historic boats is of interest, you will definitely find something for you at the Rum Regatta!

Launching Sebbe

Sebbe Als is a ship built on a real Viking warship found in Roskilde Fjord. It spends the harsh days of winter in The Naust (a low building at the water edge) on Augustenborg Fjord, during which time it is repaired and repainted. Every spring it is then put back into the water and taken to it berth in Augustenborg harbour, where it is docked for the summer season. Below is our experience of launching Sebbe back into its natural environment.

9:20: We arrive at The Naust. “Pirate” Kim is already busy preparing the ground for Sebbe’s exit. We find the other group members in the back room having their breakfast.


9:40: The troops are gathered in front of the Naust. Steen, the chairman of the independent society that owns and operates Sebbe (and its sister ship Ottar, which was launched a week earlier) welcomed everyone and we started getting ready for putting the ship into the water.

The first task involved lowering the ship onto pieces of wood over which it could then be rolled the 10m into the water. This is necessary as the ship is raised on wood during the winter. A lot of rocking, moving and balancing is required at this stage, though not much effort on the part of the general troops.

Camera Roll-220

10:05: Sebbe is ready to roll. All the troop are aligned on each side, one at each oar hole. We are ready to push, pull and tug Sebbe over the rollers and into the sea. “En, tooo, TRE!” says Steen. A lot of huffing and puffing. But Sebbe refuses to move. We try a couple more times, before a slight change of tactic gets Sebbe rolling.

10:20: Sebbe decided to stop moving. Plan B is required. This involves the use of a pulley system to help us push Sebbe into the water. The pulley is set up

10:30: Plan B is ready to be put into action. The troops are back on each side of the boat. “En, to, TRE!”. After a couple of false starts Sebbe starts to slowly make its way close to the water. Until the pulley system starts breaking down.

10:45: We revert back to Plan A. Sebbe is halfway out of the Naust and are ready to head down the slight slope. While using the changed tactics used earlier, where the back of Sebbe is levered upwards as we push, Sebbe slowly makes its way towards the water.

11:00: Success! Sebbe is in the water. The time it has taken this year appears to be close to a record. The larger number of people helping out certainly helped. Sebbe is tied to the bridge off to the left while we all get a well-deserved drink.

Click for panorama of Sebbe going into the water

11:20: Although the big job of pushing the boat into the water is done we still need to put in the fittings, including the floor boards and the oars. While we were busy relaxing “Pirate” Kim had already started, and soon the rest of us go to work carrying things from the Naust to the boat, while others sweep inside the Naust.


12:30: Sebbe is all together now! Another well-deserved break for lunch that two of the members had gone off to buy for all the rest of us. As befits a Danish lunch we had rugbrod with different toppings (and cake, of course!).

13:20: There is only the last job of the day left: getting Sebbe to its “summer home” in Augustenborg harbour. As the mast will be put up in the harbour we need to row it over to its berth. We all take our places and rowed it we did.

13:55: Sebbe is in its berth. Our day of Viking work is over.

Sebbe is berthed in Augustenborg harbour next to her sister, Ottar. You can see both of them as you cross the road on the bridge dividing the harbour.