|Int 8-mR Hollandia gerestaureerd|
A star is born again !
After an extensive rebuild at Metur Yachts in Bodrum, Turkey, the famous 1927 Int. 8-Metre Hollandia is back in her element and ready to join the fleet!
Hollandia was designed and built in 1927 by Holland’s premier naval architect, G. de Vries Lentsch, to represent Holland at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Launched the year before she was shipped to Genoa to compete for the Coppa d’Italia and on her first outing she made a great showing taking home this so very prestigious trophy. The following year, at 1928 Olympics, she won silver, narrowly defeated by another legend of her time; Virgine Heriot’s Aile VI. In 1933 Hollandia was sold to Germany where she competed in the Baltic fleet. After the war Hollandia disappeared behind the Iron Curtain, out of sight for all of us but, as it turned out, not lost!
In the mid nineties it was Rolf Rathcke who contacted me about the existence of Hollandia. I recall the excitement of that day vividly, and in a rare moment of wisdom I called Jos Fruytier who then owned Maribell. Within 5 minutes he suggested to have a look and that we ought to leave the same day and so it happened. The iron curtain was barely gone and through this new old land we drove to Rostock to see the boat and meet her caretakers, in particular Harald Machur. It wasn’t difficult to recognise the old girl but it was clear that the restoration would be a Hercules task. Her transom was cut, her keel and underwaterbody were severely modified to suit IOR rules, her rig was altered, an engine was added and the original deck structures had been changed to a larger coachroof to suit long distance cruising. Structurally she was strong enough to float but that was it. Through it all Jos Fruytier felt the deepest respect for these people who, at a time that the East German government would not support or endorse ownership of such yachts, showed willpower, resourcefulness and passion for the old girl. They refused to let go even when told to do so and kept Hollandia sailing.
However, it would take a full reconstruction to make her the way she was and that is what Jos Fruytier intended to do. Two years went by before the owners were ready to really pass on the torch but once done she was immediately shipped to Metur Yachts in Turkey for a full rebuild. Luckily the original plans had been kept at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam and the National Archives supplied photos of details, as for Universitas; Whatever could be saved was saved to bring the old Hollandia back to life.
I hope you will all join me in a toast to the men that saved Hollandia from that beach behind the Iron Curtain, to the students that maintained and loved her at the University of Rostock in East Germany for almost 50 years, to the kind foolishness, courage and dreams of Jos Fruytier and the team at Metur Yachts that made another dream come true.
Artikel overgenomen van de International Eight Meter Association