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Yet another record at Basel’s rowing regatta

The organisers of Basel Head once again prove that, when it comes to sport, Basel has more to show with this rowing race than a bunch of mildly successful round ball kickers – especially as Basel Head (again) announced a new record.

By Martin Pütter

Basel Head 2016: catch us if you can, the boat in the foreground seems to say to the chasing boat

Basel Head is quite rightly allowed to use a superlative: “It is the largest VIIIs race in German-speaking countries”, the organiser of this unique against-the-clock race have stated on their website. It is really impressive what this event in its short history has already achieved. It has become an integral part in the calendar of major sporting events in Basel, just like the Swiss Indoors, the CSI or the “Stadtlauf”. It is also the only rowing regatta with a turn – just below the hydro-electric power station.

The boats are almost within touching distances to the spectators

And now that they are holding the race for the eighth time the organisers (five rowing clubs, from Basel, Alsace and Baden) announce yet another record. This time altogether 131 boats (last year 126) from ten nations will be participating – 100 boats for the race over the long course (6.4km or 4 miles), the others for the sprint over 350 metres upstream, just above Mittlere Brücke.

The distance between these two boats: almost 4 miles (6.4km) – as the red just started and the white is close to the finish line

This year the team to beat will once again be Germany who won last year. At their premiere in Basel last year the eight from the “large canton” (as Baslers sometimes describe their neighbouring country) immediately set a new course record, with 18:48.84. Water level and weather conditions for the race this weekend look favourable. On Thursday the  Rhine’s speed of flow just below the hydro-electric power station was just below 1,200 cubic metres per second, for Saturday’s races organisers are expecting around 850-1,000 cubic metres. Temperatures are expected to be around eight degree Celsius (maximum), without rain being forecast – which looks like ideal conditions for the race. For those who still prefer to stay home but be kept up-to-date: you can check the actual standing on the website of Basel Head, or watch the race live on local TV station Telebasel.

Basel Head (English)

All pictures © 2016 Copyright TBJ/Martin Pütter

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