DUTCH BARGE RACING: Demolition Sailing

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Racing barge

Who says you need a modern go-fast boat with foils to make sailing really exciting? Check out these video clips of traditional Dutch barges, called skutsjes, which were originally used for hauling cargo in Friesland and are still actively raced today. What blows me away in the first one are the guys to leeward with the sounding poles. Looks like a much dicier job than bowman! Note also the major TV sports coverage. Very impressive that. You can tell the Dutch have their priorities straight. Also… there’s a nice collision at 3:21.

Funny thing about Dutch, I tried translating the YouTube video description in a couple of different online translation programs, and Dutch translated into English looks just like Dutch in the original Dutch. Maybe someone who speaks Dutch can explain that to me.

Meanwhile, this viddy has a fantastic collision. One skutsje literally falls down on top of another one:

No, they don’t carry any ballast, and yes, they evidently do capsize with some frequency. The next clip has a nice demonstration of how it’s done and how you recover (starts at about 3:00). But please, if you don’t have a large tugboat handy, do not try this at home.

Finally, here’s an excerpt from a documentary film about the sport that was made back in the 1960s. Complete with subtitles. It gives a good sense of the tradition behind these boats.

And if you want to find out still more about traditional Dutch yachts, you can flashback into the WaveTrain archive and check this post on Hermann Goering’s famous botter jacht Groote Beer.

5 Responses
  1. mumblic

    Translation of the description of the first YouTube video. Extra info between ()

    This Tuesday afternoon, the second (postponed?) race by the “Wadden sea” has been won by “Sneker Pan” (=boat name). It

  2. Rik van Dok

    The language used is Frysk ( Fries), it is an official language and no dialect. it is closely related to Gaelic.
    Hence it does not translate.
    ( and thanks mr Tillerman, I do not consider my native language as swearing in English )

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