Argo rowers Arlette de Vegt and Tijmen van Rietbergen will be temporarily swapping the Rhine for the waters of Shanghai. They will be joining students from other cities to represent the Netherlands in the World University Championships in August.
Wageningen Master’s student Arlette de Vegt (left) rows in a women’s lightweight double skull with Anouk van Leeuwen from Delft. © Proteus Paparazzi
De Vegt, a Food Technology MSc student, rows in a women’s lightweight double skull with Anouk van Leeuwen from Delft. Van Rietbergen, a Management, Economics and Consumer Studies BSc student, rows with students from Utrecht, Tilburg and Amsterdam in a men’s lightweight coxless four. The rowers qualified for the championships on 16 June in the Argo anniversary races in Amsterdam.
They started making arrangements as soon as the good news had sunk in. De Vegt: ‘We booked tickets for Shanghai that Friday. We’ll hire a boat and oars when we get there. So there’s some logistics to sort out, but we’re working on that.’
De Vegt and Van Leeuwen know one another through competitive rowing. ‘We were both in a skiff (one-person boat, ed.) but we thought we’d go faster if we rowed together,’ says De Vegt. ‘That turned out to be right. We aren’t the strongest, biggest or broadest rowers but we have good technique.’
It is sometimes difficult to combine training with your studies, says De Vegt. ‘Neither Anouk nor I have time to train during the week because of our degree work so we train all weekend. I go to Delft Friday afternoon and only get back Sunday evening, so it’s pretty intensive.’
Van Rietbergen’s team only trained for two weeks for the Argo anniversary races. ‘Not long enough to focus on technical aspects; we just worked hard to qualify. Which we managed. Now we will be working on our technique.’
The 2018 World University Championships, organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), are held on different dates in different cities around the world. The rowing competitions are on 10, 11 and 12 August in Shanghai.