Jun 02, 2024

This was Koninklijke Holland Beker Day 1!

The Holland Beker 2024 and National Championships delivered an exhilarating day of rowing, showcasing fierce competition and remarkable performances. From the tightly contested heats of the Ladies Trophy to the electrifying races of the Holland Beker and the high-stakes battles in the National Championships, rowers pushed their limits and thrilled spectators. With standout performances from all athletes today the stage is set for an unforgettable series of races, semifinals and finals tomorrow. Here’s a recap of the day’s highlights and a look ahead to the excitement of tomorrow’s races.

Ladies Trophy

Last year she finished in fourth place, but this year, Juliana Faralisch is determined to win the trophy and she’s off to a flying start. Faralisch surged ahead of the field right from the start, finishing first in the opening heat of this year’s Ladies Trophy event. USA lightweight rower Audrianna Boersen delivered powerful, efficient strokes to secure second place, just edging out Nicola Martinez Gonzales.

While the times for the second and third heats are missing, it’s clear that Alejandra Alonso Alderete and Olivia Negronotti, who each claimed first place in their heats, are strong contenders for the trophy tomorrow. Vwairé Obukohwo and Ellie Cooke, both of whom secured second place in their heats, are also competitors to watch.

In this year’s edition, all participants advance to the semifinals. However, finishing in the top three of their heats allows athletes to skip the repechage and enjoy an afternoon of rest. Mia Freischem and Jente Jongsma from Nereus capitalized on this, securing their spots and avoiding an extra race. Meanwhile, Nika Vos, Martine Kamminga, and Sidni de Ruiter had to race again in the afternoon. It was Nika Vos who triumphed, crossing the line first and proving her resilience.

The field seems to be tightly matched overall, so we are thrilled for the races tomorrow!

Holland Beker

In the electrifying first heat of the Holland Beker 2024, Nereus rower Jelle Bakker burst off the start line, claiming an early lead and never looking back as he crossed both the 100m mark and the finish line first. The race featured an intense duel between Niek van der Grift and Stephan Cox. Despite a slower start, Van der Grift powered past Cox in the final 500 meters, adding to the thrill.

The energy at the Bosbaan only intensified for the second heat. Pieter van Veen blazed across the finish line, clocking a considerably faster time. In a remarkable return to the skiff after six years, our ambassador Niki van Sprang rowed a steady and impressive race, seizing second place. Van Veen, Van Sprang, and Erik Talens all secured their spots in the A/B semifinals, setting the stage for an exciting showdown tomorrow.

The third heat kept the adrenaline pumping. Although Lucas Keijzer had an explosive start, it was the British sculler Matt Long who stole the show, surging ahead to finish first and establishing himself as a contender to watch. Dutch rower Martijn Bos faced a setback around the 1000m mark but made a thrilling comeback, reclaiming the crucial third spot from Oskar Martinius Gjerland in a gripping second-half battle.

Not to be outdone, Gjerland roared back in the repechage, clinching first place and securing his place in the A/B semifinals. Joining him through the repechage were Bonjan Reuffurth and Jelle Teekens, both delivering strong performances to qualify for the next round. The stage is set for an epic semifinal showdown tomorrow!

National Championships

Today also featured the National Championships in the coxless four and double sculls categories. Let’s briefly recap these thrilling races.

Both the M4- and W4- events were dominated by Oxford Brookes crews. In the M4- final, the crew stroked by Jonathan Cameron took an early lead and maintained a three-second gap by the 1000m mark, holding it to the finish. Congratulations to them! The crew from Bundesstützpunkt Dortmund followed closely, rowing a strong and consistent race to secure second place. Oxford Brookes 1, despite a slow start, made a remarkable comeback, but fell just short of overtaking the German crew, finishing in third place. In the women’s M4- race, the crew stroked by Grace Richards claimed the gold medal, with Oxford Brookes also taking second and third place, showcasing their dominance. Well done!

In the M2x, the Dutch composite crew of Proteus-Eretes/Theta emerged as national champions, leading from the start. British scullers James Gare and Harry Ruinet secured second place. The LM2x race was a nail-biter, with the Okeanos crew putting intense pressure on the leading Triton crew in the second half. Despite Okeanos’ efforts, Triton held on to their lead to claim the national title. The LW2x event saw slower starters making strong comebacks, with the Proteus-Eretes/Pelargos composite crew winning after starting in third place and finding an unstoppable rhythm. The Aegir crew, starting in fourth, finished in second place. The W2x was won by the GB crew of Jenny Bates and Freya Kato, who were too strong for Ilse Kolkman and Willemijn Mulder of Talent Team NL, usually rowing in the pair but showing their versatility this weekend.

Elite eight field

The elite men’s eight field today was dominated by Oxford Brookes University boats. All five of their boats lined up side by side in the final. Unfortunately, some illness in the Hoop boat led to their withdrawal, with an eye on rowing at the Henley Royal Regatta. All creews were disappointed by this, as they were looking forward to racing alongside each other! Ultimately, the boat with Louis Nares at stroke won. They had already been the fastest during the heats. In the final, they were the quickest off the start and maintained their lead throughout the entire race and won with a time of 05:35 minutes.

In the women’s eight, the Netherlands took the win, followed by Oxford Brookes University. These two boats were close together until the 1000-meter mark, but after that, the Netherlands took the lead and won with a 2.41-second difference over the British team. In the lightweight men’s eight, the Phocas/Njord/Skøll/Okeanos/Laga/Orca combination dominated the field, taking first place with a time of 06:04.

Impressive victory

Today witnessed an impressive victory as the Skøll boat emerged triumphant in the men’s elite 4x field. Outshining both the Dutch talent team and the Belgian selection, they navigated through an exhilarating race. It was from the 800-meter mark that Skøll asserted their dominance, steadily pulling ahead and confidently securing their hold on the race. It’s going to be very interesting to see their second match-up on the Sunday. The Dutch talent team will be determined to take revenge on the Amsterdam crew today.

Freshman’s fields

This afternoon was full of excitement for the freshman rowers, as the top 6 boats in their category received invitations to the Holland Beker. In the men’s heavyweight eight, Gyas took the lead with a remarkable time of 06:09 minutes, finishing a length ahead of Skøll . The women’s first-year eight also saw Gyas securing a clear victory. In the lightweight men’s division, the rowers from Nijmegen’s Phocas proudly stepped onto the podium. For the lightweight women, it was Skadi who claimed the top spot, while in the women’s four, Argo dominated the race from start to finish to take the win. Finally, the men’s heavyweight four from Njord emerged as the winners in their category at the Holland Beker. It was truly a day of thrilling races!

We hope to see you all again today and good luck to all the rowers on the Sunday of the Holland Beker!