Dorestad Raid 2020

Het thema van de afsluitende avond was het thema van de raid: een bijzondere raid. Vooral bijzonder omdat hij werkelijk plaats vond, ondanks de al maanden gaande stroom annuleringen in verband met de Corona pandemie. Inmiddels is ook duidelijk dat dat niet tot een minidemie heeft geleid, wat gezien alle maatregelen en zorg die er aan besteed zijn geen verrassing is. Voor iedereen bleek dit een goed waarneembare blije opluchting dat eindelijk zoiets weer kan – na de Noorderraid en de raid Extreme die ook doorgang hebben gevonden.

Eén van de maatregelen was de beperking van het aantal deelnemers zodat ook binnenshuis een Corona gepaste afstand tot elkaar aangehouden kon worden. Het waren er nu net 30, terwijl dat anders 45 is.

Een andere belangrijke maatregel was dat de In Dubio nu als een soort bijboot diende – de hoofdaccomodatie was de boerderij van Hannah en Leo Versloot op het Z’eiland in Heeg. Een zo prachtig plekje dat sommigen ervoor pleitten daar voortaan te blijven. Maar dan zouden de vaarcirkels zich wel erg gaan herhalen…

Hieronder de bijdrage van Sara die het aandurfde het fraaie gedicht van Marsman een Dorestadjas te geven. Die wonderwel past:

Denkend aan Friesland
Zie ik blauwzwarte meren
Duizelingwekkend
Diep en wijd
Onder een sprei van
Glinsterende sterren
Waarover een zeilboot
Langs de einder glijdt

En in dit geweldige
Landschap geborgen
Voelt elke zeiler
Zich thuis en gegrond
Raiders en vaarlui
In kleine bootjes
Vormen tezamen
Een dierbaar verbond

Natuurlijke vaart
Die het zeilen en roeien
En peddelen, bomen en
Jagen omspant
Is de lokroep waaraan wij
In verlangen naar vrijheid
Steeds beantwoorden‎, oh
Zoete stem van Fryslân

Een belangrijke avondbijdrage leverde Douwe, vanuit zijn functie als rayonhoofd van de Elfstedentocht. De laatste tocht is lang geleden, maar Douwe weet nog waarover hij het heeft, hij heeft ze nog meegemaakt en zelf geschaatst. Alles staat en is gereed voor de volgende tocht, maar voor een volgende generatie rayonhoofden is het een historische onwerkelijke droom die zij nooit zelf meemaakten.

Onder leiding van Sybren en Leo E. zijn er de laatste avond ook meerdere geslaagde riet-raidbootjes geproduceerd, een ware vloot die de volgende dag te water is gelaten wat tot een indrukwekkende armada voor het eiland leidde.

Hubert Bakker schreef voor het Engelse Dinghy Cruising het volgende complete verslag. De foto’s komen in het blad, zie voor deze site ‘Film en Foto‘.

Dorestad Raid 2020

With so many dinghy cruising events cancelled it was a relief that the 2020 Dorestad Raid (9-13 sept) was held at all.
Due to Covid-19 the format was different this time.
The Dorestad committee had taken a fresh look at the logistics and arranged to use the sailing school of stalwart supporters Hannah and Leo Versloot as a base camp for day sailing trips into Friesland.

The comfortable accommodation and Hannahs cooking made social distancing and other restrictions more than bearable.
We would normally have a UK contingent as well, but they cancelled because of Covid-19. Some of the UK raiders are now building smaller boats to sail singlehanded in the next Dorestad Raid.
Sixteen boats arrived, ranging from a Twelve Foot Dinghy to Drascombe Coasters including cruising dinghies and raid boats.
Covid-19 inspired a few personnel changes: Dirk Branbergen sailed his Drascombe Coaster solo, sometimes crewed by Gerben-Jan Sytsema.
Dirks regular sail buddy Joop sailed solo in ‘Her Majesty Cornelia’, a skiff with a rather quirky rig and a mind of its own.
Her Majesty seemed to have the upper hand when sailing, but Joop was the boss when rowing.
Joost Engelen squeezed his entire family into his Goat Island Skiff. And still they were very fast. 

One of the newcomers was Cockie with her newly bought Poo Duck skiff.
Koos Winnips, the founding father of the Raid Extreme, was also new to the event.
Koos brought his Artemis sailing canoe and was among the fastest boats with the famed Wuptem of Hans and Margreet Arends and the Goat Island Skiff of the Engelen family (aka the Goat Angels).

Wednesday 9 september

Most crews launched at the Heeg marina and rowed towards Leo and Hannah’s island just outside the sailors paradise of Heeg.
The island is home to a small harbour, the sailing school founded by Leo and Hannah and MS ‘In Dubio’, the travelling hotel for the Dorestad Raid in previous years.
Some crews arrived under their own steam like Hans and Willem from nearby Sneek with their Herreshoff 12.5.
Dirk Branbergen singlehandedly sailed his Drascombe over from Workum, enjoying the downwind ride across the Fluessen and the Heegermeer.

Thursday 10 September 

Route for Thursday

No wind! Joost called a skippers briefing to discuss the map and route which he had sent using Whatsapp.
The clear maps and directions helped to keep the briefing short.
After the briefing we headed to the Heegermeer. Very slowly we made our way to the Grote Gaastmeer where we had lunch.
After lunch the bigger boats returned to base because they would not fit under the bridges encountered during our afternoon expdition.
The smaller boats drifted into the Ringwiel and paddled through the backwaters back to the town of Heeg.
Klarie and I enjoyed the trip through the backwaters. These were lined with reeds on both sides so you could only see what was immediately in front or behind you.
Each time we encountered another low bridge for the farmers we had to duck our heads to stay in one piece.
We steered through the middle of the canal to avoid getting stuck. Finally we rowed into Heeg and then on to the island.
At 17km it was a short but nice trip to start the new Raid.


Friday 11 September 

Route for Friday

Wind! We sailed in a W2 on a broad reach along the Jeltesleat to Woudsend.
Some crews short-tacked up the winding canal through Woudsend but most chose to lower their rigs and row to the Slotermeer.
On the lake we hoisted sail and enjoyed beating in a W3 into the town of Balk. There we had lunch in our boats at the town quay.
Afterwards part of the fleet opted for the longer trip and rowed upstream on the river Luts for 10km towards the far end of the Fluessen.
As we were rowing along, Janko and Gerben-Jan remained true to the motto of ‘Natuurlijk Varen’ and used their oars to great effect to get ahead of us.
They rowed, paddled, towed and poled their Caledonian Yawl ‘Mousa’ and soon disappeared in the distance.

Our own rowing effort was rewarded with a long downwind run of 1.5 hours across the length of the Fluessen and the length of the Heegermeer.
Total length: 32km.

After dinner, Douwe presented about his passion for the Frisian ‘Elfstedentocht’ both as a long-serving steward for the skating event as well as sailing the same route with Lieuwe and his wing-masted ‘Amice’ in June 2020.


Saturday 12 September

Route for Saturday

More wind! W4 increasing to W5 with strong gusts. On Hatseflats we put in the first reef.
After a fast run along the Jeltesleat we crossed the windy Prinses Margrietkanaal and reached the Langweerder Wielen.
By this time the fleet was well spread out.
As usual the Wuptem was far out in front, followed by Klarie and myself on Hatseflats and the Goat Angels.
We reached the Swarte Brekken just south of the town of Sneek and moored along a jetty for lunch.
One by one the others began to arrive. Cockie found it hard going on basically the maiden trip of her Poo Duck Skiff.
The bendy mast made it impossible to flatten the lugsail.
Joop also could not sufficiently depower his rig and arrived at the lunch spot assisted by Henk and Fransje Wels.
As the wind increased, Cockie prudently decided to drop the rig and row towards Ijlst.
After lunch we put in the second reef and rowed hard against wind and current.
The conditions were testing for the solo sailors.
Joop and Her Majesty Cornelia were first escorted to safety by the Wuptem on pedal power and afterwards by Henk and Fransje Wels with their Drascombe Coaster.
Several other boats also needed some TLC from Henk and Fransje to stay out of trouble.
Once we passed the outskirts of Ijlst it was plain sailing all the way back to Heeg.
Fortunately there was no damage apart from some slighly bruised egos.
Total length: 29km.


After dinner it was time for an open air ‘soiree’ with tall tales and a ‘hum-along’ with singing by Willem and accompanied by Hubert on trombone.
The highlight of the evening was the workshop for building reed-boats given by Sybren and young Leo Engelen.



Sunday 13 September

Route for Sunday

Six boats went out for a short trip to conclude the 2020 Dorestad Raid.
It was a SW4 gusting to 5-6 so on Hatseflats we stuck with our two reefs of the previous day.
We rowed through Heeg towards the Idzegasterpoel. We enjoyed ourselves crossing the little lake on a screaming reach.
We reached back towards the Weisleat and then entered the much smaller Rintsjepoel and the even smaller Palsepoel.
As Klarie and I rowed up the muddy canal to the Skutelpoel, the odours of country life wafted into our noses.
On the left bank we saw pigs rutting in the mud, watched by ponies and horses on the right bank.
After all this rusticity we rowed across the tiny Skutelpoel, turned into another narrow and shallow canal and returned to the Idzegaster Poel.
From there we headed back to Leo and Hannah’s island and had lunch with Koos.
Both Onno and Gerben-Jan had sailed his Artemis sailing canoe. Suffice it to say that both enjoyed it but only Onno stayed dry.
Too soon we had to say goodbye to our hosts and sailing friends. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable long weekend.