News - June 9, 2011

Environment student and plant researcher join forces to become Dutch rowing champions

Oarsman Peter Vos had already won the Dutch championship title in a number of different boats but not in the coxed pair. He was able to add this title to his list of achievements last Saturday thanks to fellow Argonaut Jochem van der Hout and cox Ilse Voskamp.

It started as a bit of a joke at the beginning of the year, explains Peter Vos, a researcher at Plant Breeding. But it soon turned into something of a target for him this season. 'We have all three been working towards this moment for the past two months. I don't spend so much time on training any more, far less than Jochem, but it helps that we are pretty used to each other. Van der Hout took Vos in tow, and the rest was down to experience. By the time the race was a quarter of the way through it was clear they were in control, and they put in a good finish. 'It was more difficult last year', says Van der Hout, who won the title then with Lenny de Jaeger and cox Vera van der Velpen.

Vos (28) was not very demonstrative when he celebrated his victory but he did have a broad grin. 'It was really great. I still enjoy being in the boat.' He also won a coxless pair race with Van der Hout, an Environmental Economics student, on the Sunday, and he came third in an eight. A few years ago, Vos was rowing in the Dutch national eight. When it turned out he had not made the selection again last year, he decided to complete his degree and look for a job. Now he is working on potato quality, and he is also the president of the Dutch student rowing association (KNSRB) until the end of this year.

Van der Hout, who is three years younger, has somewhat more of a passion for rowing. But even he no longer trains twelve times a week, only 'seven times, but slightly more vigorously and efficiently'. A back injury put paid to his attempts to make the national team. In December he was back in the picture with the association on the ergometer at the national indoor rowing championships. 'But the association decided to continue with the group they already had.' After an unsuccessful national championship in the coxless pair with an oarsman from Theta last April, Van der Hout cut back on his rowing to concentrate on his studies. 'Other things in life are claiming my attention, but rowing remains fun.' He will be doing an internship in the autumn and then he will consider matters further. Given his age, there is still time to reach the top level.