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Exhausted Rowers Set Record

An eight-man crew from the Akzo Nobel Rowing Club finished an impressive fourth when they competed in a grueling 100 kilometer race in the Netherlands.

An eight-man crew from the Akzo Nobel Rowing Club finished an impressive fourth when they took part in a grueling 100 kilometer race staged in the Netherlands.

They clocked a record time of 8hrs 03mins, the best finish the company has achieved in the annual event, having previously taken part in 2000 (when Akzo Nobel came 10th) and 2001 (14th).

The fourth place finish was made all the more commendable because not only was Akzo Nobel’s the only company crew among the 100-plus taking part (most of the others were university crews), but their boat also included some of the oldest participants.

“We were very tired at the end but we were all very pleased with the result,” explained Harm Scheepstra, one of the eight-man crew who has been involved on all three occasions when Akzo Nobel has competed. “If someone had told us before the race that we were going to finish fourth we would never have believed it.”

The annual event, which follows a circular route from Leiden to Delft, was held for the 28th time this year and was open to all crew sizes from singles up to eights.

“We had a special strategy on the day and I think that was very important,” added Scheepstra, who is SBU Manager Catalysts in Amersfoort.

“We rowed for 45 minutes at a time and then stopped for a minute or two to have something to eat and drink. It helped us to distribute our power over the whole race and keep a certain rhythm. That’s why we did so well. Our control of the boat was very high and we rowed very efficiently.”

The actual boat, which features a number of Akzo Nobel products, was presented to the club by the company in 1993.

The other seven members of the crew on the day were: Gerard van Keulen, Paul van Buren, Wim Koeleman, Roel Jorna, Herman Kemperman, Bob Tempelman and Wibo Roolvink. The cox was Daphne Tokkie.

(Released: 17 June, 2003)

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