Reader Video: Fast Forward Novice Year from Roeien Njord, The Netherlands

Wouter of Njord Rowing Club (Roeien Njord) in The Netherlands sent along the above video, as a recruiting piece for the club, as well as a quick summary of a novice year in the sport. Njord rowing club is one of the three founding members (along with Laga and Triton) of the 'Varsity' -- the oldest student rowing regatta in The Netherlands. The Royal Netherlands Student Rowing Federation (in Dutch it is known by the acronym KNSRB), was founded in 1883, though the 'Varsity' -- the Dutch equivalent to the Boat Race in the UK (though there are more than two competitors), was first held in 1878, when Njord (the oldest student rowing club in Holland), challenged Laga to a 3200m race in Leiden. There is a fairly good summary of its history (forgiving a few grammatical errors) on Wikipedia, detailing the first competitors and the current standings. At present, ASR Nereus (this year's winner) is the current leader with 37 victories, Laga is second with 30, and Njord is currently credited with 21.5 (the 0.5 coming from a dead-heat in 1960). A further point of interest: every member of the 1996 Olympic Champion Dutch men's eight had won at the Varsity regatta prior to racing in Atlanta.

Below is the video of the 2011 Varsity race:

As is clear from the finish of this year's event, the fans get into it! Swimmers swarm the winners, eventually submerging the boat -- though, fortunately, there are inflated inner tubes about decorated like victory wreaths to keep everyone afloat!

Thanks again to Wouter for sending us the video from Njord!

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