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2018_4. FB-Pokal Ergebnis

PM ~ 4th Berlin Flussbad Cup 2018: Berlin takes its annual downtown dip

A record number of participants attend the 4th Berlin Flussbad Cup - river bathing event on Sunday: more than 500 swimmers dived in the Flussbad Berlin

Once a year, we pull out all the stops to enable as many people as possible to swim the stretch of the Spree Canal that is set to become the site of the Flussbad Berlin, the German capital’s future river bathing area. Last year, we were forced to cancel the 3rd Annual Berlin Flussbad “Pokal” competition due to bad water quality caused by heavy rains; this time, the team at Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin’s waterworks company) - that checks the downtown Spree water several times prior to the event - gave us the green light! This allowed us to provide more than 500 people the opportunity to find out what it’s like to swim in the Spree at the 4th Annual Berlin Flussbad Cup.

Jan Edler, chairman of the non-profit Flussbad Berlin Association, was enthusiastic: “The number of participants in this year’s Flussbad Cup more than doubled in comparison to our previous event. This increase underscores the fact that support is growing among Berliners for the Flussbad. We are an urban development project that originated as a civil society initiative, and our goal has always been to win back the Spree Canal and eventually the entire inner-city Spree River as a natural resource that can be used and enjoyed by all urban dwellers. After this year’s Cup, there can be no doubt that a solid foundation for the realisation of the project has been laid. At this point, the question is no longer whether the project will be implemented, but when."

The 2018 Flussbad Cup got officially underway with a welcome greeting by Katrin Lompscher, Berlin’s Senator for Urban Development, whose support for the inner-city swimming initiative is based on broad bipartisan backing in Berlin’s House of Representatives. The event also featured a spontaneous musical interlude by Vibraphonist Jasper Ubben, who provided an improvised version of the Flussbad Song composed by Barbara Morgenstern in 2017.

As the first group of 168 participants made their way down the stairs and into the water for the official competition, the water temperature was a very reasonable 20.6 degrees Celsius and waterworks officials had already declared the water quality to be “excellent”. From up above, the swimmers – ranging in age between 16 and 75 – were cheered on by roars of support from the hundreds of people who had come to see them swim in the “Kupfergraben” area between Monbijou Bridge and Palace Bridge. The race for the Flussbad Cup was moderated by Nadine Kreutzer. Among the women competitors, Laura Linke was the fastest swimmer with a time of 13:39 minutes; among the men, Daniel Bouvain was the winner at 12:49 minutes. Following the competition, more than 340 participants took to the water as part of a recreational swim. These leisure swimmers were able to thoroughly enjoy the famous structures on Museum Island in the historical heart of Berlin from a unique water perspective.

The 4th Annual Flussbad Cup was the final event carried out by the non-profit Flussbad Berlin Association within the scope of the “National Urban Development Projects” funding programme. The Flussbad Association is already holding talks with potential supporters to make sure it can continue to organise the Flussbad Cup in the coming years. Flussbad Berlin would like to thank all of the partners that assisted in making the Flussbad Cup so exciting again this year, including the Berliner Wasserbetriebe, the Landessportbund Berlin, the Berliner Triathlon Union and the Berliner Wasserratten, the THW and the DLRG and, of course, the many volunteers whose efforts made the event possible in the first place.