Open Folding Boat Rally 2000 (on the Darss, Germany)
Poucher Boot GmbH and Ms. Conny Klemm had issued an open invitation to all comers to join them in Bliesenrade, Germany for this year's "Open Folding Boat Rally" on the Darss.
We have come to rely on Ekki Kaplan over the years: He always brings an assortment of rare specimens of historic, unusual and interesting folding boats with him. By the time we arrived, he had already assembled a beautifully preserved KS75 (light double). And that was only one of the topics of conversation over free beer and barbecue that Friday evening!
The official opening event of the rally was a trip by (folding!!) boat to the town of Born. Only the toughest actually undertook this adventure because a devious chop and winds of Bft 4 to 5 ensured quite a high level of excitement. The put-in alone took considerably longer than usual!
However, once we arrived in Born, we found ample compensation for all the suffering and hard work as we walked through the beautiful historic town center. By the time a good lunch had filled our bellies certainly no one felt any need to grumble. And even if anyone had, then the liquid refreshments imbibed in front of the tents upon our return would soon have put an end to it. And there was plenty to talk about and to admire, too, in the way of changes and new features added to new and old boats alike.
fell we enjoyed a highly interesting slide show put on by Carlo Schagen
of Hamburg. Carlo had drawn from his collection of folding boat pictorial
documentaries. He portrayed some of the most beautiful and interesting
paddling areas in Germany, starting in the "new" [former East German]
states and then drifting down the Elbe river as far as Hamburg. Saltwater
trips on the stormy North Sea followed and ran seamlessly into scenes
from the island of Lanzarote as seen from the ocean aboard a folding kayak.
Up to that point many people were able to recognize the scenery. Then
pictures of Carlo's trips to Alaska and Baja California added just the
right exotic touch to the evening to hold the audience spell-bound.
It was tough to have to leave again on Sunday, but for most participants 4 pm was about the final deadline since they had a good deal of driving to accomplish to return to the various corners of Germany, which they call home. Everyone agreed that the rally was a complete success! Of course we intend to continue the tradition of the "Open Folding Boat Rally". However, we propose that from now on we change venue every two year so that we can fully enjoy the great variety of the beautiful paddling areas that Germany has to offer.
[On behalf of Pouch in the USA we encourage any folding boaters who might find themselves in Germany during these rallies to join. Language is never a problem, certainly not after a little lubrication. ;-)]
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