In the spotlight: Sloop rowing, a sport that goes back a long way

In the run-up to the Dutch Water Week, we put a number of stakeholders in the spotlight. Sloop rowing Almere is one of them. It is a tough sport, mentally and physically, but also a rewarding sport, according to chairman Janita van Tongeren.

 

What is Sloop Rowing?
“It is an extremely old sport, which used to enjoy great popularity especially among marines. We sail in original lifeboats with 6, 8 or 10 rowers, each with one oar. These were already used during the VOC era. The Dutch Federation of Slooprowing has been active since 1991. In competitions you have to deal with a handicap system, so different types of sloops can still compete against each other. Physically, it’s a tough sport, especially with wind and rain on the water. The Harlingen-Terschelling Race is a good example in that respect. That’s the mother of all races in the Netherlands.”

What is the role of sloop rowing Almere in the Dutch Water Week?
“We give clinics during the Dutch Water Week. With that we want to show what our sport is all about and of course get people interested in sloop rowing. Almere is surrounded by water and there is almost no better place to practice this sport.”

Why are Dutch Water Week and sloop rowing Almere a good match?
“Sloop rowing is a beautiful water sport activity that fits very well in the offer of the Dutch Water Week, which, among other things, aims to propagate the pleasure of water sports. More and more people are finding that pleasure in sloop rowing. We already have 150 associations in the Netherlands.”

What do we not yet know about sloop rowing Almere but should we?
“The sport is not only physically tough, but also mentally. But if you are heavily tested and dependent on each other, it also creates a close bond. You can see that with us and also in the contacts with other clubs. Once you’ve fallen for sloop rowing, you end up in a close-knit and friendly community.”

Do you have any tips for visitors?
“Of course, you can only tell if sloop rowing is something for you if you have really gotten to know the sport. You get that chance during the Dutch Water Week. Take advantage of it, I would say.”

 

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