Cars

Porsche meeting on Sylt: Petro-Surf Festival, 911, air-cooled

Happiness is in the little things. This wisdom is not necessarily associated with the Porsche brand, and certainly not with Sylt, the island that is often said to have a certain megalomania. But with Petro-Surf Festival everything is a little different. Hoodie instead of suit, craft beer instead of bubbly and the honest growl of Six-cylinder boxer engines instead of the screeching of highly bred V12s. A few dozen owners come every year air-cooled Porsche to the north to experience the island in its original elements. Let the wind blow your hair, which is hopefully still there, to taste the salt in the air, ride waves and explore small dune roads.

Patina belongs to Petro-Surf Festival in good style on Sylt

Petro- Surf Festival - 912 Coupé 911 Targa 930 Turbo

Nice view: Elfer with surfboard on the roof are not uncommon at the Petro-Surf Festival.

Her 911 are adorned with stickers, many have a surfboard strapped to their roof, and patina is a good form. Ken Hake and Angelo Schmitt, both native Sylt and surfers, have the festival Launched in 2018. Ken’s enthusiasm for air-cooled 911s was practically instilled in his cradle. In 1963, father Bernd owned the second Porsche ever on the island, one 356 Great. Back then, it was exotic on the still less extravagant Sandknust. Many more Porsches followed, including one Carrera 2.7 both as a touring and racing version. Ken drives in himself G model from 1987 in rock green metallic, he lived in California for a long time. He never completely cut the ropes in the USA, and so it happened that US blogger and Porsche collector Magnus Walker attended the first Petro-Surf meeting on Sylt.

The Porsche is only suitable as a festival vehicle with air cooling

Petro-Surf Festival

General assembly: Only air-cooled Porsches are allowed at the festival – there are plenty of them at the start.

Under 911 fans one’s own car is considered to be highly ennobled if the self-proclaimed “urban outlaw” lets himself be carried away to take a lap with the bolide on the road. Now he wanted to be with Bernds too 911 Turbo of the type 964 heat across the island, but Hake senior waved him off: “The only ones who drive the car are me and my son. But you are welcome to have my bike.” We would have liked to have printed Walker’s facial expression at this point. It is exactly this Down to earththat gives the festival its charm. All air-cooled Porsches are allowed in Petro-Surf. So Porsche 356 and 911 of the type F-model, G-model, 964 and 993. But also Porsche 912 and 914 are part of the game.

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The early bird has the ignition key on the left. Or so it seems, because punctually at seven o’clock in the morning they gather Elfer Guild in the parking lot in front of the Sturmhaube restaurant in Kampen. It’s cold on this late summer day. The sun only peeks furtively over the dune landscape, and we wrap ourselves in warm jackets. The Sylt veteran Barne Warnken serves steaming coffee from a converted horse truck. Hake has set up a small course and participants must take a time trial.

Little emphasis is placed on originality in the cars

Petro- Surf Festival - 912 from 1965

This 1965 912 has been thoroughly modified. For owner Moritz it is a “pure driving machine”.

Photographer Markus Haub wins with a time difference of less than 0.1 seconds. His 911 is based on the look of the legendary 911 R trimmed from 1967. Silke from Berlin is there for the first time. Your burgundy 912 Targa from 1969 is called Kurt and tells 20 years of classic car rally history in a variety of stickers. The engineer now wants to continue writing Kurt’s story and is scrubbing miles and miles. That’s how it is for most of the people here. Moritz and Kerstin from Frankfurt traveled to Sylt in their 1965 Porsche 912 in ten hours on their own axes. For the past five years they have been fine 40,000 kilometers covered. With a 2.2 liter Carrera engine, Weber carburetors, a Heigo roll cage and tuned headlights, the twelve is richly modified. In general, many imported and converted cars are at the start at Petro-Surf. On originality and dressed up Collector’s models little value is given. “The main thing is that the cart drives properly,” grins one participant. The Bavarian “driving pleasure” applies. That some of the treasures that have come here are still good ones half a million euros are worth – it doesn’t matter, money is not talked about. Also a specialty on Sylt.

More than 2500 visitors marvel at the Porsche models

Petro Surf Festival - 911 Safari

Higher-level desert athlete: This G-model was converted into a Safari 911.

Around noon we rattle on to the small Munkmarscher harbor, which lies on the Wadden Sea between Braderup and Keitum. Before in 1927 the Hindenburgdamm opened, all tourists landed here by ferry. Nowadays there are only small sailing boats here and the old people from Zuffenhausen park on the pier. More than 2500 visitors flock to Munkmarsch that day. An extraordinary show of strength for the organizers in pandemic times. But it’s worth it: small children press their noses flat against the side windows, and fathers talk about their childhood memories. Elmar from Bad Hersfeld is leaning on his light yellow G model with narrow body from 1977 and says: “In the end, everything revolves around the people.” That is also the motto and the hashtag of Petro-Surf: It’s all about the people. With a few never-tired, we go to the north of the island towards evening. We rattle about one narrow street made of concrete slabs and ridged asphalt. Low-speed push operation does not suit the classic 911s very well. We put them down and enjoy the wild, disheveled nature.

The next day the wind unfortunately only blows moderately. The planned Surf session was cancelled. At noon you will take the ferry back from List to Rømø, a Danish peninsula. On the Parking deck the 911 jostle. An amazing picture. But a little boy only has eyes for seals, yawning and rolling on the sandbanks. Happiness lies in the … you know.

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