Submitted to Dinghy Cruising Journal
Oldest boat wins Raid Extreme 2023
Twenty five boats sailed the 2023 edition of the Raid Extreme challenge in very light conditions.
Strong rowing / paddling skills were required to make it to the 6 checkpoints at the corners of the Lauwersmeer.
Raban and Ralf-Peter Stumme rowed their gig 'Peter' around in 7.5 hours to win the overall trophy.
'Peter' was the oldest boat of the fleet and had been lovingly restored in 2021-2022.
Koos Winnips and Mark Whitelock put in hard work to become second and third.
Friday 2 September
The early arrivals were rewarded with sunshine and a mild breeze.
The UK contingent was already on site as the other overseas sailors were still arriving.
There were a number of new boats:
Paul from the UK finally made it to the Lauwersmeer with 'Proteus' a Morbic 12.
Rene debuted with 'Le Voila' his brand new Viola 14.
Eelco with 'Zwaluw' helped the Viola 14 fleet to three boats.
Joost had brought his Michael Storer-designed shiny new Kombi canoe.
Peter from the UK brought his magnificent Sea Harrier sailing canoe and Per arrived from Denmark with his newly built Oughtred-designed McGregor canoe.
Veteran Ingo Muller brought a Lettmann two-person sailing kayak with EM2 sailing rig.
His son Bert brought the EM2-rigged Lettmann canoe 'Vetinari'.
Sebastiaan brought his slender Whitehall 14 which seemed very suitable for the light conditions.
On the catamaran front, Jelmers magnificent Tornado stole the show.
At 1800 Koos and Hubert held the skippers meeting to discuss the weather prediction (no wind), the starting ceremony at sunrise and the various safety aspects of the event.
At the end of the meeting everyone felt peckish.
The nearby restaurant Raadsel van de Wadden had been overwhelmed by our reservation for 27 dining guests made the previous day.
At their request we split into two groups: the lucky twelve to have dinner at 1930 and the hungry wolves who would have to wait until 2030 hours.
Saturday 2 September
Long before dawn it was already busy with sailors preparing themselves and their boats for a long and windless day.
A couple of minutes before sunrise everybody assembled at Omaho beach where Koos recited the German translation pf Flann O'Briens wind poem from his novel The Third Policeman.
After the countdown to the start it was quite busy at the beach but the vast majority got away without scratches on paint and egos.
Sebastiaan got on well with his easily driven Whitehall dinghy.
He finally made all the checkpoints but returned after closing time, so we couldn't crown him as Photo Contest winner for his selfie on the Whatsapp group!
Paul was happy to finally sail Proteus at the Raid Extreme.
He and Robin had built the Morbic 12 for the 2020 Dorestad Raid but were stopped by Covid-19.
They couldn't make it either in 2021 and 2022 when Paul had heart surgery.
This year, Paul finally made it to the Lauwersmeer and enjoyed the event tremendously.
John returned with his Hobie Adventure trimaran.
In the very light conditions he simply put the turbo on (pumping the MirageDrive).
We just couldn't keep up with him on Hatseflats.
Meanwhile, father and son Stumme were patiently rowing their restored rowing gig 'Peter'.
Last year we were surprised to see them complete the course in the heavy conditions.
This time they were in a class of their own.
They had even not bothered to put the mast up and rowed the slippery hull around the course in seven and a half hours to claim line honours.
A well-deserved and popular victory.
Everybody had to be back by 1700 but some sailors had overestimated their boats or themselves.
Fortunately most were in by 1700 and in the extremely mild conditions Koos and Hubert were not worried about the sailors that had not yet returned to the flock.
The prizegiving ceremony started at 1800 as planned.
Raban and Ralf-Peter received the overall trophy, loudly cheered on by the catamaran sailors.
Joost won the Dutch Cow Award for being the first to arrive in Zoutkamp.
The Viola Award for the first Viola went to Rene who had completed his boat only a month ago.
The Photo Contest prize would have gone to Sebastiaan had he but returned in time.
The catamaran teams were given a packet of ginger cookies as a bittersweet consolation for not taking the overall trophy.
The 'Most Desillusioned Sailor' horse buoy went to Onno and Anneke who arrived at the beach at 1700 and failed to sound the horn in time.
Paul received the 'Communicator Award' (a toy telephone) as he was the only person without Whatsapp.
After the prizegiving everyone was handed a Beerenburg and then it was time to light the barbecues and relax in the evening sun.
Sunday 3 September
Sunday was again sunny with a west 3.
After a lazy breakfast in front of the Omaho club house, quite a number of boats took to the water for a little fun.
Sebastiaan tried out Rene's Viola, Mark went to sail with Onno and Anneke.
Others frolicked around in their own boats or packed up their boats for the long trip home.
Despite the lack of wind on Saturday, everybody had enjoyed themselves tremendously and was hoping to return next year.
Before dawn. Photo Peter
The start at Omaho Beach. Photo Rene
Tornado ghosting. Photo Fine
Rene with Le Voila (the fastest Viola!). Photo Fine.
Sebastiaan sailing Whitehall dinghy. Photo Fine
Sebastiaan's winning selftie. Photo Sebastiaan
Paul sailing Proteus crewed by Mel and Ludka. Photo Anneke
Hubert rowing Hatseflats. Photo Anneke
The Stumme team quietly rowing to victory. Photo Klarie
John and Hobie crossing tacks with Marten-Jan and Chebacco 'Alskar'. Photo Marten-Jan
Keith and Ann finishing in time. Photo Rene
Raban and Ralf-Peter Stumme receiving the overall trophy. Photo Klarie (still from GoPro).
Route sailed by Peter and Sea Harrier.
Frits enjoying the breeze on Sunday. Photo Marten-Jan