Fifteen Alkmaar Rowing Club members visited Bath in late September 2022 to race, socialise and spend time exploring our city.

Prior to various lockdowns caused by the pandemic during 2020 and 2021, this trip happened annually, with Minerva Rowing Club travelling to Alkmaar each April, and a reciprocal occasion offered by Minerva in early autumn.

The clubs run an inter-club competition on each visit, with the winners taking home the fiercely fought for Challenge Shield. The April race is held on the Noord-Hollands canal in Alkmaar, which was first attended by Bath rowers in 1983.

In September, the return race is normally the Monmouth Head of the River Race on the Wye, but this year sadly it was cancelled due to exceptionally low water levels on the river.  Minerva therefore organised a competitive event on our local stretch of the River Avon, involving Avon County Rowing Club also.

Minerva believes the link between our two clubs is hugely important: rowers from both clubs are offered hosts in their respective towns, which has secured some long-lived friendships, and even one marriage!  The link provides sports people of different ages opportunities to expand their cultural horizons and serves to support the twinning between our two cities.

In the past one of our ex-Olympian rowers has led a junior training camp in Holland, with participants from both clubs and, in 2019, many juniors from Alkmaar visited and participated in races.  We believe this helps to spur ongoing interest in the sport of rowing and fortifies cultural insights in both cities for the future.