January 16, 2019

Dutchman runs all European marathons, sets record

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 3:12 pm


After next weekend, Jaap van den Berg, 60, (not shown here, see details below), from Soest, Utrecht will set quite an impressive personal record: he will be the first Dutchman to run all European marathons. After next weekend, as he needs to run a marathon in Vatican City. “The marathon in Vatican City will be my 55th country in Europe, and then I will have done all European countries and I’m really proud of that,” Van den Berg said.

He started running in 1983 in Amsterdam and after that, the rest was just more running. “The Netherlands is beautiful, but as a boy, I always wanted to see the world, so that’s why.” Van den Berg trains three to four times a week, with his wife, something they have in common.

After Vatican City, he’s off to Palestine, making it the 80th country in the world he’s visited. It’s not about winning marathons for him, it really is about the travel.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, photo by Branko Collin of Kenyans Lucas Rotich and John Mwangangi at the Amsterdam marathon of 2014)

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September 3, 2012

Red heads break world record in Breda

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:03 pm

The biggest gathering of red heads in the world took place in Breda yesterday, netting the city on Noord-Brabant a fresh mention in the Guinness Book of Records.

Some 5,000 gingers from over 60 countries descended upon the city for its annual Red Head Day. To break the old record of most natural red heads gathered in a single enclosed space, Breda had to collect more than 892 of them. In the end 1,255 red haired people did the job. The old record was established in 2010.

Brabant’s cities seem to like these record attempts. In 2007 Tilburg set the world fire breathing record, and later that same Breda set the record for cola fountains.

RTL Nieuws has a couple of photos of the event.

(Link: De Stentor. Photo of last years visitors by Eddy Van 3000, some rights reserved)

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May 28, 2011

‘Sailor girl’ Dekker hopping like a flamingo across Pacific Ocean

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:38 pm

Laura Dekker, the 15-year-old who is busy circumnavigating the globe by herself on her trusty ketch Guppy, has reached the island of Hiva Oa, half-way the Pacific.

I visited the Atuona village where I was welcomed by the mayor right upon arrival and I have since already collected three flower necklaces… The people here are really very friendly, and they find it sad that they could not organize a big party for my arrival because they did not know the time of my arrival. Actually, this is exactly the reason why I did not want them to know in advance. This way my trip becomes a lot more fun and spontaneous.

Earlier this month Dekker got a nasty cut on her foot when a big wave threw her into her cabin: “If I avoid standing on my foot, the pain is bearable, and I am now quite busy practising the flamingo stance.”

Today Dekker hiked up the volcano (“once you are in the clouds, it gets colder and there are fir trees growing everywhere, which really doesn’t make me think that I am now in the middle of the Pacific Ocean”), so I am guessing the foot is coming along fine. If the New Zealand born Dutch girl manages to reach her point of departure five days before her 17th birthday, she will be the youngest person to have solo sailed around the world, an honour currently held by Jessica Watson of Australia.

Hiva Oa has a population of just under 2,000 people and is the place where both Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel spent their autumn days.

See also:

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August 29, 2009

Lauragate: solo sailing school girl to be tested for two months, says judge

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 1:28 am

The verdict is in. Laura Dekker, the girl that wants to set a world record by becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a sail boat all by herself, will be put under supervision for two months while a psychologist will try and determine whether this 13-year old is fit for that feat.

Dekker’s parents will retain custody, but will have to ask permission from supervisor Bureau Jeugdzorg (the executive branch, so to speak, of the child protection industry) for major decisions pertaining her, a Utrecht court ruled today. The judge stated emphatically that Dick Dekker was not a bad father for supporting his daughter’s ambitions, reports Volkskrant (Dutch). Amsterdam psychologist S. Moonen will now try and find out whether Laura is mentally fit for such a huge undertaking, and whether it is possible for her to be schooled from a distance.

Laura was not present during the reading of the verdict. She tried to avoid the media, and instead gave an exclusive TV interview to Jeugdjournaal (children’s news show of NOS, Dutch). In it she said she was not afraid of the psychological examination, because she would not have gone if she wasn’t ready. She also denied reports that claimed she would be alone for two years in a row, explaining she would go to shore regularly, and she would be surrounded by other sailors taking the same routes because of storm seasons and so on. (Not that fellow ‘yachties’ always stick to the unspoken code of writing poems about flowers and being nice to puppies.)

(Photo by Wikimedia user Jonathunder, some rights reserved)

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August 25, 2009

Laura Dekker ready to emigrate if she can’t sail

Filed under: Dutch first,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:38 pm

While Britain is anxiously waiting for 17-year-old Mike Perham to sail into Portmouth on 29 August after having sailed around the world, 13-year-old Laura Dekker has had to lawyer up in order to fight for the opportunity to attempt the same feat for the Netherlands.

An English article about Perham ironically starts with “while most teenagers may have been losing sleep over their exam results during the past few days”, while the Dutch courts have called upon Child Services, claiming Dekker’s parents are keeping their child from school because her learning while on the sailboat is ‘nonsense’. If Child Services thinks that the parents are not doing right by Laura, there is talk of removing her from their custody.

To avoid this situation, Laura who has dual citizenship with New Zealand, is ready to emigrate – that’s how much Laura and her parents believe in this sailing journey.

Her lawyer tries to tell the courts about this exceptional teenager. “Laura is not just some girl. She was born on a sailboat and lived the first four years of her life on one at sea. She has all the necessary skills and qualities for this journey.”

He makes another good point as well. If we compare Laura to a 13-year-old gymnast, no one goes and checks to see if the gymnast goes to school or is brought up properly — they get support from an Olympic committee or a sports association.

So, are the Dutch Children’s Services not seeing the big picture or are they seeing it very clearly? Why are boys like Mike Perham and record holder Zac Sunderland of the US praised and encouraged, but Laura discouraged? Is she really too young or is a girl less capable? Stay tuned!

My personal, uneducated take is that the entire family could just skip town to New Zealand for a year. Then New Zealand can claim the world record for solo sailing around the world.

(Links: timesonline.co.uk, depers.nl, Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)

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August 12, 2009

Teenager attempts sailing solo around the world record

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 8:51 am

Laura Dekker, 13 years old, is planning to attempt to sail around the world solo between 2009 and 2011, Algemeen Dagblad reports (Dutch). The current record is held by Zac Sunderland of the USA who finished his journey at age 17.

Dekker’s plan has drawn comments from naysayers who feel she is too young, should be in school, and who think her parents are irresponsible. Her response to these comments is one of indifference: “To be honest, I had expected the comments to be even worse. People do not know what they are talking about, so I won’t let it get to me.”

Preparations are going well, according to Dekker’s website. She will be sailing a Hurley 800, a boat made in Twente, and she will send and receive her high school homework using e-mail (she is still looking for a satellite phone, though). Dekker hopes to set sail this September.

(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)

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June 24, 2009

Kite your way from Amsterdam to New York in four days

Filed under: Aviation,Gadgets,Science by Branko Collin @ 10:05 am

The vehicle pictured above consists of a kite, a cabin and a keel, and should be able to take you across the Atlantic Ocean. The 157 m2 kite should produce enough power to make you go 90 km/h, the cabin seats two, and the keel makes sure you can actually steer the thing. The only catch is that the Hydrokite so far only exists in the minds of former astronaut and kite nut Wubbo Ockels and ten of his students at the TU Delft.

At 90 km/h you should be able to reach New York from Amsterdam in four days and 1 hour, which would break the old record with three hours, although Kennislink doesn’t say what record that would be (sailing? flying? kiting?).

Laurens Alblas, one of the students, told Kennislink that it will probably “take a couple of years before a control system for kites is developed. But once we have such a system, and assuming we can find sponsors, we will build the Hydrokite and we will try and break the record.”

(Link: Kennislink. Source image: TU Delft)

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May 27, 2009

Biggest carpaccio

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:44 am

Restaurant De Lakei from Kaatsheuvel, Noord Brabant, has made the biggest carpaccio in the world last Sunday.

So claim Brabants Dagblad (Dutch) and various other publications who all seem to be based on this Hart van Nederland broadcast (Dutch, about 10:45 minutes in—here‘s the stream link for those allergic to Windows Media Player). The attempt took place in the old fire station and the record claim was verified by an unnamed notary in jeans and a light brown jacket. The proceeds went to a good cause.

(Photo of a totally unrelated plate of carpaccio by Flickr user highlimitzz, some rights reserved.)

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March 5, 2009

Edwin van der Sar’s record goalless run ended last night

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:03 am

Ten minutes into the game against Newcastle United last night, Manchester United’s Dutch goal keeper Edwin van der Sar fumbled a ball and ended his record run of playing league football without conceding a goal, a run which lasted 1,311 minutes. Manchester United still won the match 1-2.

If Van der Sar had managed to keep a clean sheet for the entire match, he would have broken the European record which is held by Belgian goalie Danny Verlinden. Van der Sar still holds the UK professional football record.


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February 19, 2009

‘Big 4’ record for Van der Sar

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 1:30 am

Unlike we originally claimed last week, Manchester United’s fourteenth consecutive clean sheet, against Fulham yesterday (3-0) does not mean that their Dutch goalie Edwin van der Sar got the European or even world record. The record he broke, that of Abel Resino of Atlético Madrid, was ‘only’ that of not conceding a goal for the ‘big four’ European leagues. According to Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch) those are the leagues of England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Still awaiting Van der Sar are the European record, held by Danny Verlinden of Club Brugge, which stands at 1,390 minutes, and the world record of Mazaropi, Vasco da Gama, Brazil, at an incredible 1,816 minutes.

Photo by Austin Osuide, some rights reserved.

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