Alkmaar 2024 - what a blast!

31st May, 2024

ARRZ, our extended Minerva family hosted their socks off! Koen, Colin & Michiel and their likeminded team of over achievers organised a packed weekend of rowing, socialising and racing.

Friday evening began with a meet and greet in the Beach Bar. Yes a beach in Alkmaar! After a late night for some, Saturday’s pre-race row did not start with the best weather. Winds coming from every direction with unwelcome rain did not defeat us and we took on the challenge of a Scavenger Hunt with true Minerva competitiveness. This involved Dutch singing (Ali CD was in her element!) more beer and lots of giggles. Chris Born was very lucky to stay in a windmill and host Tom kindly gave a tour of the working windmill. By evening we had built up an appetite for an Indonesian dinner at Javaanse Meisjes.

Sunday race-day, an interesting 4000m row to the start with a significant cross wind tested the crews, especially the single and double crews. Thankfully, we were rewarded with a lovely tail wind to race back. Minerva crews saw Ching race in a single and pipped to first by three seconds.

Doubles trouble, Mark Melbourne and Richard Thomas raced into second position. Mixed quad, coxed by Claire, saw Alkmaar first timer Donna Baars sit in due to Chris Born being injured (note: not drinking related)! Katrina Hayes, Lorna McIsaac and Brodie McAllister crossed the line in first position… oh ok … they were the only ones in the division. It was a scratch crew and despite opposition from another division, they were not overtaken.

On Sunday evening, again our hosts excelled themselves with a bar, live music, speeches and awards. The much coveted Wooden Spoon Award went to… Richard. Why? What happens in Holland stays in Holland… BUT! It was then deemed that actually Colin was more worthy of the Wooden Spoon so Richard gracefully handed it back!

Next year is going to be a special celebration: it’s the 40th anniversary of our clubs coming together. So if you fancy a fantastic weekend of rowing, racing and socialising and a bit of touristing, make sure you sign up. Special thanks to all the organisers and hosts for all their hard work.

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