XXL rowing boat is the fastest in the Ringvaart Regatta

There was great relief that the 47th Ringvaart Regatta could again be held after two years of Covid. The fastest boat was the longest: a Proteus special in the Laga race.

The XXL rowing boat in its last kilometres of the race. (Photo: Daniël Korvemaker)

Last year, several rowing clubs ran long distance races on their own waterways. This was the lockdown version of the legendary OC&C Ringvaart Regatta which everyone was longing for again. On 8 June this year, 118 teams set off once again at RV Asopos (Leiden) to row to Delft via Amsterdam. One hundred kilometres, whatever the weather. Everyone was happy.

The fastest time was just under eight hours (seven hours, 57 minutes and 18 seconds) for a Proteus Eretes team in an unusually long boat called ‘The bigger G’. At first sight it looks like an eight. But look closer and you see 10 rowers in a line.

Last year, former Material Commissioner Saul Pennings together with Stefan van den Toorn built a complete boat part for two rowers that was attached seamlessly to an Empacher eight. When the boat was christened on 19 May, the Board of Proteus named the boat after one of its top rowers: Gertjan Eggenkamp alias ‘The big G’.

The cox of the winning team is Physics student Meike Lafeber who, after starting rowing with the team in 2019 (First Year Heavyweight), was asked to steer the extra long boat in the Ringvaart Regatta. “Luckily I have known the guys for a really long time. Otherwise I’d have thought twice about sitting in the cockpit for 100 kilometres.”

Completely drenched and stiff, the team rowed into Delft at the end of the afternoon. Lafeber tells the story of the race. “It was heavy sometimes but everyone remained positive and determined to finish the race in a good time. There was an army of cyclists at the finish at Delft. One of the guys who built the extra part also cycled along with us.”

Science editor Jos Wassink

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