VSaW anniversary: ​​Association Seglerhaus am Wannsee turns 150


The house at Wannsee is the school of sailing champions

VSaW anniversary: ​​Association Seglerhaus am Wannsee turns 150-association

The house of the sailing club is one of the most striking buildings on the Wannsee. Today it is a listed building

Source: VSAW archive

The Seglerhaus am Wannsee association is the second oldest in Germany and will be 150 years old these days. Those who come to visit feel the tradition and meet tomorrow’s winners at the same time.

Anchor decor on brick walls, pelicans carved in stone guarding the entrance on the west side, and a frog towering over the main portal: the Seglerhaus on Wannsee is an extraordinary building. With its dormers and gables, with its bay windows and loggias, it is one of the most beautiful club houses in the republic.

"Sometimes I get goose bumps when I enter the house," says Ulrike Schumann, who until recently was vice-president of the Seglerhaus am Wannsee association and who is now chair of the competitive sports work group.

The helmsman, who grew up in East Berlin and joined the club in 1995, matured here to become a top athlete, won silver at European and World Championships and took fourth place at the Olympic Games in China. After the end of her active career, she is the Wannsee sailor remained faithful. “I want to give something back to the VSaW of what it has given me over the years,” she says.

You can feel sailing history in the clubhouse

The Seglerhaus am Wannsee association looks back on 150 years of history. It was brought into being on October 6, 1867 by 14 founding members with eight boats – as the second oldest German sailing club after the Konigsberger SC Rhe. At first the association was called "Society of United Sailors of the Unterhavel", before it was given its current name in 1881.

Around 1900, the club member Otto Protzen won the Kaiser Wilhelm Cup of the Kieler Woche as the helmsman of the famous special class yacht "Wannsee", heralding a long series of sporting successes for the club that continues to this day. By his resignation in 1911, the sailor, writer, illustrator and landscape painter had won over 100.

VSaW anniversary: ​​Association Seglerhaus am Wannsee turns 150-seglerhaus

Seglerhaus on Wannsee. The club house from the year is clearly visible on the left

Source: picture alliance / arkivi

Emperor Wilhelm II presented him with the legendary Samoa Cup six times. Protzen was also one of the founders of the sailing magazine “Yacht”. As its editor for many years, he secured Berlin a place on the international sailing map. In 1924 he recorded the events of the first decades of the club’s history in a book entitled “Herrensegler. The history of our sailing house ”.

The clubhouse on the Wannsee shore was built in 1910 and is now a listed building. Little has changed here in the last 107 years. The heart of the building is still the wood-paneled ballroom, which was furnished in the style of the dining rooms of former luxury steamers. Whoever enters this hall and steps across the creaky floorboards can almost breathe in the club’s history.

It is closely linked to the history of German sailing. The gold medal that Willy Kuhweide won in his Finn dinghy at the 1964 Olympic Games shines in a showcase. Another gold medal was won by Peter Bischoff and Jochen Weise in the Starboot in 1936, while Karsten Meyer won bronze at the Munich Games in 1972. In addition, the club can look back on 36 other Olympic participations, 32 world championship titles and one victory in the Admiral’s Cup.

Co-organizer of the Kiel Week

With around 1000 members, including 150 young people, 261 jetty spaces, around 500 yachts and a 10,000 square meter dream property, the Seglerhaus am Wannsee association is one of the five largest sailing clubs in Germany today. The Berliners organize the Kieler Woche together with the Kieler Yacht Club, the North German Regatta Club and the Hamburg Sailing Club off – this year for the 123rd time.

"I am fascinated by the unique history of the association," says honorary member Rolf Bahr. The former DSV president and five-time Tempest world champion has made it his mission to preserve the history of the club and to make it tangible for the fifth generation of sailors since it was founded. Because of its strong roots, he says, the VSaW is ready for new challenges; the constant change in sailing is encountered according to the motto "future is lived origin".

VSaW anniversary: ​​Association Seglerhaus am Wannsee turns 150-seglerhaus

Regatta mood. The Wannsee offers good conditions for water sports enthusiasts

Source: picture alliance / HOCH ZWEI

About their sporting activities, the Berliners put the sailing wisdom of Paul Elvstrøm, who with four gold medals is one of the most successful Olympic sailors in sports history: "You haven’t won the race if you have lost the respect of your opponents when you win." Talents promoted in the Seglerhaus, including the World Cup winners and Olympic ninths Vicky Jurczok and Anika Lorenz, who have just started their second Olympic campaign and want to compete in Tokyo in 2020.

The "master sailing" is a thing of the past

The team is also a good example that the "gentlemen’s sailing" once propagated by Otto Protzen in the Seglerhaus on Wannsee is a thing of the past. Some things change after all: At the VsAW women and men have long been pursuing their passion for sailing, whether it is Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort, who have just triumphed at the Kiel Week, or the Finn dinghy ace Phillip Kasuske, who took off at the Youth America’s Cup. The club’s sporting figureheads also include a first-class Bundesliga team.

Despite all the athletic ambition, cruising and recreational sailing are not neglected in the VSaW. Three years ago, the association opened up to non-members with the “Sail now!” Initiative and four new J / 70 boats. The campaign makes it easier for newcomers and members without their own boat to cast off spontaneously. The rules for day trips are simple: one club member has to be there, everyone else may or may not belong to the club. The model is running successfully and has already brought the association one or two new registrations.

When the current chairman, Andreas Pochhammer, greets the guests at the big anniversary party on July 15, it will be like so often in the history of the VSaW: The celebrations will take place outside on the Wannsee, on the club grounds in the open air and in the wood-paneled ballroom of the Seglerhaus. The old floorboards will probably creak a little louder than usual that evening.

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment