Van den Hoven Owners Rally - Van den Hoven Jachtbouw

June 2024

Van den Hoven Owners Rally

The idea for and the invitation to the inaugural Owners Rally were very well received. No less than nineteen yachts were quickly signed up, which was an unexpectedly high number for a first-time event. We had of course hoped for good weather and that was certainly the case. The sun shone brightly on Friday 10 May as the owners and their guests arrived at the Sleeuwijk marina. As well as offering the chance for some fabulous photos, we were able to enjoy drinks together on the lovey terrace of Restaurant ‘Boven de Rivieren’ with a view of the largest collection of Van den Hoven yachts assembled to date.

With a glass in hand, Michelle and Bart van den Hoven gave a little speech and thanked everyone for the large banner on which everyone had written a short personal note of congratulations. The drinks transitioned seamlessly into a tasty and varied buffet dinner, washed down with some excellent wines. It was wonderful to see how quickly like-minded people found each other and the warm and cosy atmosphere lasted long into the night.

Day 2

The weather gods were smiling again on Saturday 11 May with plenty of sun and around 23 degrees. After breakfast, the day’s events began with a puzzle element enroute to Willemstad. For safety reasons the Owners Rally fleet sailed in a convoy, which again produced some spectacular images. Various questions also had to be solved during the trip.

Heroes all

From Sleeuwijk we followed a route along the Boven Merwede, Beneden Merwede, Oude Maas, Dordtsche Kil and Hollands Diep rivers to Wllemstad. The waterways were not too busy, visibility was good and these experienced sailors enjoyed cruising through the old heart of Dordrecht. While one yacht did unfortunately run into a groyne, she was quickly and professionally freed by the heroes from the KNRM and we were able to continue

The KNRM (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution) volunteers are available in all weather conditions to provide free assistance to people and animals at sea and on inland waters. They do this without government support and are entirely dependent on donors, gifts and legacies. This year will see the KNRM celebrate its 200th anniversary and, with your support, it will continue to be there for future generations. One thing’s for sure, without the KNRM life would will be a lot less safe on Dutch waters.

Skill test

A new adventure awaited us upon arrival in Willemstad as all nineteen yachts had to pass through the narrow approach and then moor in rows of four in the harbour. Thankfully the area had been kept almost entirely free for the occasion. Everyone had been notified of their placement in advance so knew exactly where to go. The drone footage we captured makes for an impressive video and proof positive of the manoeuvring skills on display.
After all this excitement it was time for drinks again as people came together on the aft decks and shared some tall tales. This was followed by a visit to the stunning Willemstad Mill, where a delicious BBQ was served. The evening and event were rounded off with an awards ceremony, with the winners receiving eternal fame. We look forward to organising a similarly successful event in the future.