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On Tour with the Stämpfli Express
Row, row, row your boat — that’s what we’re doing this fall! swissnex Boston is embarking on a unique trip, bringing the Stämpfli Express — the world’s longest rowing boat, made in Switzerland — to rivers and lakes all over the Eastern US. Join our adventure and follow #swissnexontour on Twitter and Instagram!
Imagine a rowing boat 144 feet long (that’s about the length of a grown blue whale and its baby!) and seating 24 rowers instead of the usual 8. What you’re picturing is the “Stämpfli 24 Express”, the world’s largest rowing boat and, naturally, a Swiss innovation! The 24 Express was manufactured by Stämpfli Racing Boats AG, a boat manufacturer since 1896, situated in Wollishofen ZH at the shores of Lake Zurich. Quality, innovation and personal service are among the company’s most valuable assets: Stämpfli Racing Boats is the only remaining company worldwide that builds wooden skiffs in a traditional way, and sells them world wide.
In 2001, just in time for Lucerne hosting the Rowing World Championships, Stämpfli Express, with Melchior Bürgin as the leading mind behind the project, built and launched the Stämpfli Express, the world’s largest rowing boat. It is, basically, three eight-person shells bolted together to form a rowing shell 144 feet long! And opposite to what one might thing: this looooooooong device is very stable and even inexperienced people can learn to row in it. Therefore, originally presented to the public as an eye-catcher, the 24 Express has become a “living legend” in the international rowing family, and an innovative tool for team-building events, company and club outings.
The Stämpfli Express made it’s way from Switzerland to the U.S. Shipped by freight (boats feel more comfortable on water than in the air!).
The enormous rowing shell made it’s debut on American soil in the second half of September.
Pictures curtesy of Jim Walker. Find more pictures here
The Stämpfli Express was in the waters of Lake Jordan, North Carolina, where it entered the waters as part of the first CHAOS Challenge, an informal race organized by the CHAOS Rowing Club. The club is under the guidance of its president Felix Muhlebach, a Swiss expat and close friend of Stämpfli AG. After the tour’s start in North Carolina, the Stämpfli Express is making its way to different cities and regattas all over the eastern U.S. See the schedule below!
Tour-Stops of the Stämpfli Express
- September 19-21: Jordan Lake, North Carolina. CHAOS Rowing Club. ✓ Pictures ABC News Report
- September 26/27: Head of the Anacostia / Head of the Potomac (Head of State) (Washington D.C.) ✓ Pictures News
- October 3/4: Head of the Ohio (Pittsburgh OH) ✓
- October 9: swissnex Boston anniversary Event (Cambridge, MA), in cooperation with the Canton of Basel-Stadt. ✓Pictures
- October 11: Head of the Quionobequin (Cambridge, MA) ✓ Pictures
- October 17-18: Head of the Charles (Cambridge, MA) ✓ Pictures
- October 24-25: Head of the Schuylkill (Philadelphia, PA) ✓ Pictures
- November 7-8: Head of the Hooch (Chattanooga, TN) ✓
- November 14: Head of the South (Augusta, GA) ✓ Pictures
Meet Melch Bürgin, the Heart and Soul behind the Stämpfli 24 Express!
Melchior Bürgin, born 1943, has dedicated his life to the sport of rowing. In 1966, he became World Champion with his companion Martin Studach. Their legendary final sprint led to many victories, allowing Bürgin and Studach dominate their category for close to four years. Melchior Bürgin continued his rowing career up to the Olympic Games 1972 , then became Swiss national coach and eventually took over the Stämpfli boat builders’ yard, bringing rowing boats to regattas worldwide. He’s said to be a living legend among the world’s rowing family, and by touring the U.S. with the Stämpfli 24 Express, visiting regattas and friends alike, Melch is seeing a dream come true.
#swissnexOnTour – follow our adventure!
The Stämpfli Express is an eye-catcher — and eye-catchers make for good pictures! Follow us here and on our social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to stay up to date with our big fall adventure. And if you spot the Stämpfli Express yourself, don’t forget to tag your posts with #swissnexOnTour, for a chance to win a cool prize!
Stämpfli Express in the News
Shell game: World’s longest rowing vessel takes to Hillsborough River, The Tampa Tribune 11/17/2015
World’s longest Rowing Shell to be Docked at UT Tuesday and Wednesday, The University of Tampa News 11/17/2015
Georgia Tech guides world’s longest rowing shell during regatta, The Augusta Chronicle 11/14/2015
Malvern Rowers Set U.S. Record in One-of-a-kind 24-seat Boat, Malvern Preparatory School, 10/30/2015
World’s Longest Rowing Boat Will Be In Chattanooga, The Chattanooga, 10/29/2015
World’s largest rowing shell makes a stop at Overpeck Park, NorthJersey.com, 10/22/2015
World’s largest sculling boat on a two-day stop in New Haven, New Haven Register, 10/05/2015
World’s longest rowing boat to visit Yale, Yale News, 10/02/2015
World’s longest rowing shell seen at Jordan Lake, ABC 11 (TV) 9/18/2015
The Stämpfli Express is Coming to a City Near You, US Rowing, 9/14/2015
Header phtoto credits: Dan Ketelsen
For inquiries regarding our tour with the Stämpfli Express, please contact anita(at)swissnexboston.org