Thursday, October 10, 2013

BOAT RACE: Bosbaan Course, Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Bosbaan boat race course, from the boathouse;
all photos by JT Marlin, from 2008.
Oct. 11, 2013–Amsterdam's Bosbaan is the world's oldest specially made rowing course, built in 1936 during the era of high unemployment era in the wake of the Great Depression.

The jobs project also reflected the frenzied sports competition surrounding the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Today, it's a practical and comfortable venue for training and races.

What happened at the Bosbaan might help other communities seeking to build a boat-racing arena as a job-creator and a tourist attraction.

The bottom line is that you want to make it wide enough, from the gitgo! Retrofitting is costly.
  • It initially had five lanes for the Holland Beker of 1937. The European Rowing Championships of 1937, 1964 and 1965 were held here, as well as the 1977 World Championships.
  • The Bosbaan course was widened to six larger lanes in 1964 when Amsterdam hosted the European Championships. This was the first international event where women were allowed to participate in the top races. The Dutch rowing regatta has been held at the Bosbaan every year, with frequent improvements to the finish-line area for both rowers and spectators.
  • In 2001, the Bosbaan was widened to eight lanes to comply with standards of the international rowing federation, the FISA.
Bosbaan pioneered in women's rowing in 1964.
  • Other recent retrofitted improvements include dressing rooms, a new entrance area, a new restaurant (the "Grand Cafe") and visitors center, and a new finish-line tower. 
  • On the spot where the grandstand used to be is a new building with many multipurpose rooms. 
The location was well-selected. Bosbaan is ten minutes from both Amsterdam City Center and Schiphol Airport, served by rapid and frequent transportation. A taxi from the center of Amsterdam costs 10-15 euros. Nearby is available affordable and adequate hotel accommodation.
Training on the Bosbaan.

The Bosbaan is now the venue for world-class rowing at the Koninklijke-Holland Beker World Cup Regatta, which was in 2003 and 2004 the first of a series of international top rowing events that became the World Cup in 2007.

World Rowing "under 23" Championships in 2005 and World Junior Championships in 2006 took over the course.

The Bosbaan provides a compact, convenient and friendly venue. My photos here (from my visit in 2008) include crews that are training for international events.

No comments:

Post a Comment