A record number of 350 students took part in the Dutch student earth drilling championship in Wageningen on the evening of Tuesday 6 October. The theme for the festive event was 'Bier und Bratwurst'.
The nearly two metres tall captain of the 'booooooooooring Larenstein' team, which won the Golden Earth Drill last year, stands with a proud glint in his eyes as he waits for the first round of drilling. A little chap from the 'paal van staal' team comes up to him and says: 'We're going to win this year!' The giant steps forwards, looks down at the little fellow, laughs and says: 'I'll kill you.'
Then the moment has come, and the preliminary rounds begin. There are various plots, with two teams battling it out on each plot. When the whistle blows the drillers ram their metal lances into the wet clay. Their fellow team members utter Neanderthal whoops to cheer the gladiators on.
Golden Earth Drill
At the end, the final round sees 'LustrumCie 2009' pitted against 'the Gravediggers'. 'LustrumCie' is the team representing the Pyrus student association, which is celebrating its first twenty years this year. Suddenly, just before the start, the rain becomes heavier. You could cut the tension with a knife. Fans surround the drillers, crying: 'LustrumCie! LustrumCie!' The whistle blows and 'LustrumCie' drill the opposition mercilessly into the ground.
Gert Peek, a lecturer and soil expert, hands the Golden Earth Drill to the new champions, who seem to be fairly merry and start singing 'We are the champions' at full volume. Peek brings the championship to a close, saying: 'Now you can enjoy plenty of beers at the party at the International Club, but make sure you get to your lectures tomorrow morning!' / Christoph Janzing