Leon Spahr lost the punt race with the Ghibellinia team last year. That meant drinking half a liter of cod liver oil. Everyone on the team. In an interview with TAGBLATT, 22-year-old Spahr answers questions about the notorious fish oil.
How does cod liver oil taste?
Like warm fish smells. So not cooked fish, but as if it was lying in the sun. Is not tasty.
Did you throw up?
I didn’t manage to drink it all at once. So I drank, spat, and then drank the rest. If you imagine that you have to drink half a liter of oil, it’s normal to spit it out again. After the race you are very thirsty and then you have to drink the cod liver oil straight away.
Where did you buy the cod liver oil for this year? How much did that cost?
We ordered the cod liver oil from a federal brother who is a pharmacist. Therefore, we were also able to shop at the pharmacy’s purchase price. That was significantly cheaper. A liter costs between 30 and 80 euros.
How many liters did you order?
The eight members of the losing team must drink half a liter each, the disqualified punts 0.3 liters each. On average, four to five punts are disqualified.
What exactly is cod liver oil?
This is fish oil and is pressed from fish parts. It’s supposed to be very healthy, my mother told me that she used to get a spoonful of cod liver oil when she was sick. And a federal brother takes it as a pill once a week because it’s supposed to be healthy.
Where does the tradition that losers have to drink cod liver oil come from?
The race comes from the connection circles and gradually grew. At the time, people must have thought it was a funny idea with the cod liver oil.
Why do you stick to tradition?
That’s just part of it. Then you have more reason to work hard. We had a big panic last year when we were last and gave it our all again.
Are there any thoughts of changing the tradition?
Nothing should be changed in the traditions and the course of the race.
What about vegetarians and vegans? Do they also have to drink the fish oil or are there alternatives?
As far as I know, this has never happened before. But we want to offer a vegetarian alternative this year, but we don’t know exactly what yet.
Do you have any tips for the race?
My wisdom: It’s best not to lose, I’ll give that to everyone along the way. And then have peppermint ready, because then you smell a lot like fish. I brushed my teeth for ten minutes right after last year.
That’s how the punt race works
If you want to secure a good place for the punt race on Thursday, June 8th, you should be there in good time. The west side of the Neckar Bridge is particularly popular because the biggest spectacle is there at the eye of the needle: the punts have to drive a figure eight around the bridge pier and get in each other’s way.
Before the race there is a costume parade at 1 p.m.: the disguised teams start at the Neckarmüller, drive under the Neckar Bridge and present themselves to the jury. They usually hand over the costumes and decorations afterwards – they are a hindrance when running. The race starts at 2 p.m. at the pedestrian bridge (Neckarsteg) between Ernst-Bloch-Strasse and the Paul Horn Arena sports fields. At the iron, the barges take the left river passage and drive along the Neckar front, after which they have to drive the said eight. Once they have done that, they drive to their destination, the railway bridge.
Because, like every year, around 15,000 spectators are expected at the punt race, the city buses will be diverted on some routes on Thursday. Between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., all bus traffic between the main station and the city center will be diverted. Delays can therefore occur on all lines. The only lines that stop on the Neckarbrücke are the 10 and the 22. Information about the detour routes with an overview map is available on the website www.swtue.de/verkehr to find. The TAGBLATT shows on his Instagram channel a live stream from the race at the Nadelöhr and reports with pictures and a video on his website tagblatt.de.