On August 14, 1886, a group of sporting gentlemen gathered in the Amsterdam café “Suisse” with the purpose of establishing the “Committee for the Championships of the Netherlands for gentlemen amateurs in single scull outriggers”. The word “amateur” differentiated men who were paid to row or steer the boat and gentlemen who rowed for pleasure. The Committee allowed those from the gentlemen amateur group to participate in the annual regatta in the men’s single scull.

On September 25, 1886, the first regatta took place. The winner was offered a silk scarf in the Dutch national colours,  a silver buckle, a gold medal, and a trophy that had been acquired for the grand sum of one thousand guilders. The Committee offered such grand prizes in order to stimulate Dutch single sculling. This worked out really well: only six years later the Dutch Janus Ooms was the first foreigner to win the Diamond Sculls at Henley!

Until 1912 the regatta was known as the International Dutch Open Single Sculling Championships. This ended when the Royal Dutch Rowing Association was established because it acquired the exclusive right to organise “championships”. The regatta maintained wide international renown, however, under the newly established Holland Beker Regatta Association.

After some Dutch national victories in the beginning of the 20th century, German scullers reigned in the twenties and thirties. In 1931 the regatta was moved from the river Amstel to the temporary race course in Sloten, near Amsterdam, until it found its present site at the brand new Bosbaan in 1937.

Following World War Two, the Amsterdam sculler Tom Neumeyer reached unsurpassed success by winning the Holland Beker nine times in a row. When the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club joined the regatta organisation in 1953, the name of the regatta was changed to Koninklijke (Royal) Holland Beker. During the fifties, the international competition for the men’s trophy continued to grow. In the seventies, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) produced multiple winners. For years Peter Kolbe reigned in international single sculling, together with fireman Fin Perti Karpinnen. Later, West German rowers also began to succeed.

During the eighties, the Holland Beker experienced competition from a growing number of international regattas, which made it difficult to attract the top international rowers. After more German victories, several Dutch victories were celebrated in the late eighties and early nineties. Nico Rienks won in 1989, followed by Pepijn Aardewijn in 1994 en Koos Maasdijk in 1995.

There is a gap in the regatta’s history in the years 2001 and 2002. Only after the refurbishment of the Bosbaan race course in 2003 did the Holland Beker Regatta Association start anew. The organisation now includes the Royal Maas Yacht Club Rotterdam - replacing the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club as the organising group in 1994-, the Amsterdam Student Rowing Club Skøll and the Royal Dutch Rowing Association. In 2003, Czech rower Chalupa won the trophy for the fifth time. In 2004 the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club rejoined the Holland Beker, which changed the name of the regatta back to the Koninklijke Holland Beker.

The year 2007 is a milestone for the Koninklijke Holland Beker. For the first time in 30 years, the international top rowers will come to Amsterdam to compete for the World Cup medals, the Ladies' Trophy and, of course, the Holland Beker. 
Jan Willem Landman

  • Overzicht 2007
  • Hollandbeker 1999 m8
  • Onboard camera bij de "holland acht" tijdens de Hollandbeker in 1999


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