Reeuwijk Raid: October 2018

English and Dutch boats enjoy the Reeuwijk Raid, 2018
©Erica van Os

The 15th Reeuwijk Raid was a great success, with boats from England and the Netherlands enjoying the autumn sunshine. Find a gallery of photos on the OGA website and a bigger collection by Erica van Os here. Shadi Koops has shared her impressions . . .

Saturday was a beautiful sunlit day. The weather was so warm that participants to the Reeuwijk Raid didn’t even need their coats when they gathered on the Elfhoeven terrace. Rik and Edith gave detailed information on the course and the programme during the palaver to the skippers and crews of the boats that participated in this yearly tradition. Several boats joined the race from England, as they had done at previous editions.

On the waterside of Elfhoeven, there was the opportunity to learn to scull. This is a nice technical skill involving a special oar that allows very fast movement both forwards and backwards. After a lovely cup of coffee and slice of apple pie, everyone boarded the boats. The first bridge opened and immediately a wonderful view unfolded as the group of ships were sailing on the Reeuwijkse plassen towards the Stormplas, which was the starting point of the race. Some boats are faster than others, but the rule that Rik and Edith had thought of and implemented proved to be a great success. Anyone sailing at the front had to turn after 1 minute and get back to the end of the line. This rule ensured that the entire group stayed together. The ship that had had to turn most frequently that day, won the first price. This turned out to be a boat that had turned nine times. Second prizes went to four ships that had turned seven times. This also led to fast crews regularly passing others in the opposite direction, resulting in a lot of waving and ‘thumbs up’.

The journey went through the Kalverstraat to a beautiful spot where all, either anchored or at the waterfront, could enjoy a drink and lunch  while accordeon music was playing. The awards were handed out in Elfhoeven at the end of the first day. Drinks were followed by a delicious captains dinner buffet. Nice Dutch and English sailor songs were played, accompanied by accordeons, flutes and other musical instruments. The competition had ended and all could relax. What a lovely day it was!

The European sculling championship took place on Sunday morning, a show of force and smart technical skill. After this, the group of ships crossed the so called Brienenoord bridge to the Goudse Roei- en Zeilvereniging. There was more wind on Sunday (on Saturday, we sometimes needed the paddle). A lovely procession of beautiful sails docked at the Yacht Club, and was warmly greeted and offered a buffet lunch on a terrace that was sunlit again. Closing words were spoken and made it clear that a wonderful connection had been achieved with this and other associations as well as with the English (Old Gaffers). Everyone had a fantastic time!

We look forward to seeing you all next year !

3 Jan 2019