Since 1985 the 2 rowing clubs of Minerva Bath RC and ARZV Alkmaar have been exchanging visits twice a year. This year is a special year as it is the 70th anniversary of twinning between the 2 cities.
Minerva took a group of 15 rowers and their families to Alkmaar on Friday 21st April for a weekend of rowing, sightseeing and socialising with friends. The main event of the weekend was the AA race held on Sunday 23rd where rowing clubs from the North Holland area compete over a 4 kilometre course. Minerva and ARZV also raced for the Challenge Trophy and a Wooden Spoon is presented for poor performance, usually something unfortunately funny for the individual concerned.
On arrival in Alkmaar on Friday afternoon the group hired bikes and cycled to the Rowing Club where they were greeted by the ARZV ‘ oorzitter' (President), Bart Udo, welcomed to the City before enjoying a takeaway meal in the Clubhouse and being introduced to and taken home by their weekend hosts.
After a training session at the club on Saturday morning a group from both clubs loaded up four hired motor boats with a picnic and headed for the old Alkmaar tree/plant nurseries, now a lovely park surrounded by canals, for lunch.
Later on that evening a group of around 40 sat down for a delicious meal at IJkgebouw restaurant, housed within a recently refurbished old building, built in 1877 as the head office for calibration (‘ijken') and inspection of weighing equipment !!
Sunday was race day and Minerva entered a veteran mixed 8 and a veteran women’s coxed quad. The mixed 8 came second, beaten by only 11 seconds by a composite crew from ARZV and De Hertog Rowing Clubs and the quad came 6th in their category, which ARZV won.
The day came to a successful end with live music and a barbecue at the club. Due to the successes of the Dutch crews the challenge shield was retained by ARZV and the wooden spoon was taken home to Bath by Minerva member Mike Ashman for a near catastrophic incident (luckily all was fine) involving tropical fish at the home of his hosts.
The Minerva group returned to Bath on Monday morning and were waved farewell by their hosts at Alkmaar railway station on their way back to Schiphol Airport. ARZV will return to Bath between 22 and 25th September 2017 and will race at Monmouth Autumn Head on Sunday 24th September.
You will also find this report on our website ( www.bath-alkmaar.eu )