Report on some Dutch Drascombe activities 2019

Please find attached a report on some of the major events on and around Dutch Drascombes, partly to be found also (in Dutch) at the NKDE site, thanks to its editors and contributors. If you are interested in more details, just enter in your browser. It is somewhat embarrassing that your correspondent did not enter most of these events having sailed at the Semaine du Golfe de Morbihan as well as (crewing on a 15 m yacht) on England’s South Coast. One must choose… Therefore a special thanks to the authors and picture-makers at the NKDE site.

With a large gathering of 85 Drascombe enthusiasts, the Spring Meeting was a success. It was held in an old power plant turned into restaurant at Huizen. A new organization form for NKDE was necessary to be more legally protected, a new formal board was chosen and retiring secretary Margot Schaake and husband Frans were, amongst others put in the spotlight. They received a life-long honorary membership and a ship’s bell to sound Happy Hours for the fleet when at anchor. Evidently this would also imply receiving the fleet… Mrs. Rita Oppenhuizen gave a presentation of the Marker Wadden, a new estuary close to Flevoland and the dike to Lelystad, please see (in Dutch). This new land will bring more dynamics and will attract much birds and fishes. There is a mooring location at N 52o 34.745,E 5o 22.022, to be paid for by pin to the harbormaster or, very modern, by Blue Water App.

As usual there was the end-of-May Smiscruise West (sometimes choppy!) this year from Harlingen and the Smiscruise East (starting at Lauwersoog and incorporating the lonely village of Noordpolderzijl with its muddy entrance channel). Please note that one cruise is for beginners, the other for experienced skippers not minding the passage on some outer deep water channels to the Wadden Islands, however West & East changes each year! Some pictures show that also weather may change!

We start with a raft
Waves! (foto Chris vd Broek)

Meanwhile your correspondent had a very pleasant time at Morbihan with its tidal bay, rivers and small harbors. Many flotilla’s and boats, lovely weather, much cider and oysters, well organized by the French.

The Summer meeting with 20 Drascombes took place at Workum, giving direct access to the IJsselmeer OR, when the weather would have been awful, giving access (after some local canal passages) to the more sheltered Friesland Lake area. It turned out that the weather allowed a passage to Hindelopen followed by an inland passage to Workum again. On Sunday there was a parade along the lighthouse, home of Reid de Jong. Reid is famous for organization of the so-called Stront Race, a revival of old times when old Dutch inland sailing ships brought manure from Friesland to growers in the west of Holland.

(photo from the report of Dirk Branbergen)

A very special occasion was the 21-st of September Dorus Rijkers (named after a well-known life-guard at the area) Race at Den Helder organized by the Royal Navy Yacht club, incorporating a Pride-of-the-Fleet Trophy. Some of you may know that Hans van der Smissen’s Cruiser had Den Helder as its home. The next picture was called Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs by NKDE editorial office.

Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs? (foto Lea Lahey)

Your correspondent could, after Medusa was overhauled at Michel Maartens yard at Huizen for a new anti-fouling and a new jib furler arrangement with him sailing near Dartmouth, not resist a late sailing event (13-14 October) at the Dutch section of the Old Gaffers Association with Medusa. After all, a Drascombe Coaster is a gaffer as it has a gunter rig! This took place at Reeuwijk organized by Rik Homan ( and the Gouda rowing & sailing club & premises. A totally different sailing area but not too different ships.

The TWW or Traditional Wadden Weekend is the more or less final early November event , for diehards, with usually foggy and cold conditions. After 25 years the time series stopped officially. Remains some nice pictures at the site and stories that will long be told.

Sybella with Aura (photo Frank o/b Flor del Mar)

I wish you happy sailing in 2020.

Henk Wels 

Coaster Medusa