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Traditional event in Graurheindorf: Bonners cheer on competitors in the Elephant Race on the Rhine

Traditional event in Graurheindorf : Bonners cheer on competitors in the Elephant Race on the Rhine

The annual Elephant Race, hosted by the Blau-Weiß-Bonn water sports club, again delighted numerous water sports fans. However, the effects of the summer’s warm temperatures were noticeable.

Competitors in this year’s Elephant Race, hosted by the Blau-Weiß-Bonn Water Sports Club in Graurheindorf, felt the effects of the high temperatures during the summer months. Some teams ran aground. A prize for the team with the loudest fan club was awarded for the first time.

27 teams took part in the Elephant Race. As preparation for the race, a temporary extension of the jetty had to be built so the boats could reach deep water. In accordance with tradition, a team of former Bonn Carnival princesses (Bonnas) started the race. This year dressed as elephants, the women’s team had to battle the effects of the drought in the region.

“We ran aground just after the turning point,” said Annelie Friedrich. “But we got out of there using a lot of girl power.” A strong headwind also slowed the boat down. You could tell: with a time of three minutes and 55 seconds, the former Bonnas were around 25 seconds behind their time from last year.

The “Polka Dots” were taking part for the first time. The team, made up of members from the Blau-Weiß-Vorgebirge Carneval Association dance group, was there as a spectator in previous years. “None of us has ever sat in this sort of boat before,” said Tina Johansson. Dressed as aliens in green and orange with self-crocheted caps, the “Polka Dots” reached the finish in three minutes and 40 seconds during their debut on the Rhine.

Party derby between CDU and SPD

The party derby between the CDU and SPD was undecided this year. Although the CDU was one second faster at the turning point, the SPD-Nord team was able to catch up on the return leg so that both teams crossed the finish in a time of three minutes and 26 seconds.

As well as prizes for the fastest team and the team with the most unusual costume, there was a third prize this year. “We’re awarding a prize this year for the team that is cheered the loudest on reaching the finish line,” said Sonja Harzheim, who was commentating the race. The loudest cheers were not from the impartial spectators on the Rhine, but from the competing teams on the terrace of the water sports club. “Fun is the main thing,” said a delighted Harzheim. Original text: Sophia Rogalla. Translation: kc