News - May 17, 2012

Women sailing team second in Friesian marathon

Crowds thronged to the Friesian waters last weekend, where 150 teams competed for the first place in the 'Brio sailing marathon'. The women's team from Wageningen bagged the second prize in their league.

The Brio (which stands for 'bridge is open' in Dutch) marathon is a 60-kilometre long race through narrow streams and big lakes sweeping across several villages. Besides sailing, there was also a lot of hard paddling, punting (moving a boat by pushing against the water bed with a long pole), and propelling the boat from the side. Every available method was used to get to the finishing line as quickly as possible. The boats are small and their masks can be taken down quickly, allowing them to sail under small bridges. The photograph shows that this sometimes led to chaotic situations.
Different types of boats took part, and there was also a separate category for boats with a female crew. The female students of Aqua sailing club finished in second place, out of fifteen teams in their league. 'We had a super start by being the first to take off from the starting line,' relates skipper Leonoor. But the women fought a hard battle trying to maintain their position. 'It was certainly not an easy contest; we really had to give it our all. There was almost no time to eat or drink.' Luckily, it was not difficult to keep the spirits running high, adds the Food Innovation Management student proudly. 'People along the banks shouted out that we were almost heading the women's teams and that motivated us enormously.'
The women's team was number 32 in their league in their boat category.  In addition, the other Wageningen team came in 59 th and the reunited old members' team was eleventh.