They were eager, the fifty Argo-rowers who planned to row on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year, during sunrise. A second attempt, a week later, was also cancelled. Reason: the water of the Rijn is too high.
Photo: Sven Menschel
Why is the high water a problem for rowers?
Chairman Bas Ooteman: ‘The water is currently at a record height. It flows with 800m3 per second, while usually around this time it flows with 300m3 per second. If we would go on the Rijn now, we would so to speak have to pick up our rowers in Rotterdam. There is simply no way to row against this stream, especially not for first year rowers.’
‘Moreover, you cannot see the groyne. It is a general rule of Rijkswaterstaat that water sports in the Rijn are not allowed when the groynes are below the water level. It is really forbidden, rowing is too dangerous now.’
Is it the first time that the morning row was cancelled?
‘The morning row on the longest day of the year is quite a young tradition, so this is the first time that it has been cancelled. One of the old members that visited said that he had never seen the water this high during this time of the year. He became a member of Argo in 1946.’
Why would you want to go rowing at quarter past five in the morning at all?
‘Rowing during sunrise is secretly the prettiest. Rowing while the sun is rising, that is really a beautiful combination. As long as you do not have to do it daily. We had fifty registrations, so there are more people who think this.’
And now? Try again next week?
‘Unfortunately not. Next year on the 21st of June again.’