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 Stumme 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 1 September
Those who arrived early 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 Waterman 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.
Peter Robinson 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 while 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.
As the nearby restaurant Raadsel van de Wadden was overwhelmed by our reservation for 27 dining guests, 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 sailing preparing themselves and their boats for a 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.
Photo: Before sunrise. Photo Peter Robinson
Photo: The start at Omaho Beach. Photo Rene
Now it was time to turn strategy into practice.
There was a very light easterly breeze which was predicted to shrink to the northeast at the end of the morning.
The slow upwind leg to the Booze Wijf was clearly not favoured.
Almost all sailors chose a counterclockwise route to visit the checkpoints.
Photo: Tornado ghosting. Photo Fine
Photo: Rene with Le Voila, fastest Viola. Photo Fine.
Sebastiaan brought his easily driven Whitehall dinghy instead of his yellow Hobie trimaran.
A good strategy given the lack of wind.
Sebastiaan 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!
Photo: Sebastiaan sailing Whitehall dinghy. Photo Fine
Photo: Sebastiaan's winning selftie. Photo Sebastiaan
Paul was happy to finally sail Proteus at the Raid Extreme.
Paul 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.
Photo: Paul sailing Proteus crewed by Mel and Ludka. Photo Anneke
Photo: Hubert rowing Hatseflats. Photo Anneke
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 with him on Hatseflats.
Photo:John and Hobie crossing tacks with Marten-Jan. and Chebacco 'Alskar'. Photo Marten-Jan
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 but 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.
Photo: The Stumme team quietly rowing to victory.. Photo Klarie
Everybody had to be back by 1700 but some sailors had overestimated their boats or themselves.
Fortunately most were in by 1700 and with the extremely mild conditions Koos and Hubert were not overly worried.
Photo: Keith and Ann finishing in time. Photo Rene
Despite that a few boats were still on the water, the prizegiving ceremony started at 1800 sharp.
Raban and Ralf-Peter Stumme 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.
Other penalty prizes went to Eelco and Slke.
Paul received the 'Communicator Award' (a toy telephone) as he was the only person without Whatsapp.
After the prizegiving everyone had a Beerenburg and then it was time to light the barbecues and relax in the evening sun.
Photo:Raben and Ralf-Peter Stumme receiving the overall trophy. Photo Klarie (still from GoPro).
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, Frits 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.
Photo:Frits enjoying the breeze on Sunday Photo Marten-Jan