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Raid Extreme 2021

Submitted to Dinghy Cruising Journal

The fifth edition of the Raid Extreme at Oostmahorn saw a return to the original challenge. Earlier in the year organizers Koos and Hubert agreed to make the event more attractive for the catamarans of Catamaran Club Omaho, our hosts since the first Raid Extreme in 2016. This year the requirement to collect physical tokens was dropped. Both for social distancing and to prevent chaos if many cats were arriving at the same location. The new rule allowed to navigate to the GPS locations around the Lauwersmeer and bring back a list of arrival times.

Maybe because of this change 6 catamarans and a Hobie trimaran entered the event as well as 9 monohulls. The event attracted a number of hopefuls from abroad but like last year they had to shelve their plans due to the strict quarantine rules for Covid in the Netherlands. At the last hour, Ingo Müller from Germany arrived, which made the RX2021 an international event once again. Lets keep our fingers crossed for next year.


Wim and Joke were the first to arrive with a hefty trailer carrying two WetBicycles and their secret weapon, an ultra wide Nacra 18 Square. Veterans Michiel and Hans Arends planned to return with their Christopher BeckWith-designed i550 sportsboat but the gear box of the Arends van broke down 100m into the trip. They quickly activated plan B: cram all their gear into the family hatchback and try again. This time they managed to arrive at Oostmahorn without further mishaps. During the afternoon several boats sailed from Omaho Beach for a test drive. Michiel and Hans took their i550 for a tuning session followed by a couple of catamarans. Among them an old Nacra 18 Square sailed by Wim and Karel for the first time. Wim had bought it years ago with a trailer that died on arrival. The cat survived and was put back into action by Wim and Karel. Despite the worn sail and tramps the old monster proved to be quick on the water.

Late arrivals included the Viola 14 and Chickadee scow of Joost and Viola and a Hobie Adventure trimaran. After the briefing most competitors had gone to the Raadsel van de Wadden for dinner when Ingo arrived from Stralsund after a trip of 10 hours. Arij was the latest to arrive and put his teepee up in the dark. By that time, most of us were already asleep.


Many competitors in the camping area had set their phones to 6am but most of them were already awake after an uneasy sleep. Omaho Beach was alive with competitors preparing their boats for the challenge. Among them members of the Omaho sailing programme for students who had come all the way from Groningen. The local crews had made it just in time when Hubert sounded Bert's improvised air horn at 0649 to signal the start.

The morning started cloudy with an easterly F3. Once the racers had cleared Omaho Beach, Hubert and Klarie loaded Hatseflats with cooking gear and pea soup and took to the water for a leisurely trip to Hoek van de Bant, Booze Wijf before landing on Gin and Tonic Island to warm the pea soup for hungry raiders. Meanwhile photos from checkpoints started pouring in on the RX2021 Whatsapp group. Around noon the clouds made way for the sun. Wim and Karel made it to Gin and Tonic island for a cup of pea soup. Onno and Anneke and other raiders soon stopped by. The prize hunters only made it to the checkpoint off the island and continued to race. By the end of the lunch stop, Bert and Arnoud had already won the race. They finished with their Inter 20 cat 'Tai Chi' at 1245 hours.

Gerben and Geke arrived in second place followed by Michiel and Hans and the rest of the pack. Due to the favourable wind and the new format, most competitors had managed to complete all six checkpoints before basking in the sun at Omaho Beach.

The prize giving ceremony was held at 1700 at Omaho Beach. There were prizes for everyone. The traveling trophy for the overall winner went to Bert and Arnoud. The prize for best presented boat went to Michiel and Hans with their immaculate i550 sports boat. There were extra prizes for Hans (broken gearbox while travelling to Oostmahorn), Wim (torn sail and exploded PFD) and Ingo (10 hours travel from Stralsund). After the prizegiving the barbecues were fired up for the bring-your-own 'après-raid' fest.


After sleeping out and a lazy breakfast at Omaho Beach, Wim and Joke took their Wet Bicycles for a pedalling trip. Newcomer Frits (Mirror Dinghy), Ingo, Onno and Anneke and Hubert and Klarie took their boats for a trip round the Schoenerbult island. The sun was shining and sea eagles flew in the skies above. Glorious sailing and a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

The decision to allow navigating to GPS locations without having to land and collecting a physical token worked well. The 2022 Raid Extreme will use the same recipe: arrive on Friday, race on Saturday and cool down on Sunday. We hope to finally welcome our international competitors from the UK, France and Germany. Check your diary: 2-4 September 2022

20210905_01_PHOTO-2021-09-05-19-46-29.jpg Michiel and his immaculate i550 - Hubert
20210905_02_PHOTO-2021-09-04-14-31-10.jpg Wim with exploded PFD and Nacra 18 Square - Joke
20210905_03_PHOTO-2021-09-04-08-55-28.jpg Start of the 2021 Raid Extreme - Joke
20210905_04_PHOTO-2021-09-04-08-55-31.jpg The fleet ranged from canoes to dinghies to cats - Joke
20210905_05_2f11683a-6f18-4b62-9732-21f90a3e323f.jpg The winners' course - Bert
20210905_06_RaidExtreme_Zoutkamp_sebastiaan.jpg Hobie Adventure at Zoutkamp - Sebastiaan
20210905_07_PHOTO-2021-09-04-12-25-47.jpg Hubert cooking pea soup - Onno
20210905_08_PHOTO-2021-09-04-16-37-47.jpg Pea soup at Gin and Tonic island - Marcel
20210905_09_PHOTO-2021-09-04-13-18-19.jpg Geke sounding the air horn at arrival - Gerben
20210905_10_PHOTO-2021-09-04-13-58-12.jpg Shore crew at the ready - Marcel
20210905_11_PHOTO-2021-09-05-20-06-22.jpg The winners: Bert and Arnout - Anneke
20210905_12_PHOTO-2021-09-05-18-49-55.jpg Letting off steam at the BBQ - Ingo