11 jun Welcome Liberty!
There she is, Liberty, stunning in her new Dutchess pink colour. We are super excited to have our fifth team member with us, completing the team Dutchess of the Sea. And what a trusted and comfortable feeling it was to be able to row together for the first time during the bank holiday Pentecost weekend. Let the training begin!
It meant a lot to get to this stage, especially given the challenges of Corona. It was an extra hurdle that started back in March. Team Oarsome Foursome (UK) had completed their record breaking journey with Liberty in the last Talisker Whisky race. The boat returned safely back to the UK at the beginning of March, and we were due to pick her up soon after. However the lockdown then set in. The UK was harder hit than us in the Netherlands which restricted our travel plans. That was a bummer, but despite this we continued to stay focused. Perseverance, patience and creativity paid off. It took a lot of calls, mails and a lot of cooperation from all parties to finally get it all organized. On the 22nd of April, Rannoch brought her to Stenaline where she was then shipped to Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands. The following morning Astrid and Désirée went to pick up Liberty with a big smile on their face.
There she was, standing in a parking lot in between all the ship freight. It was love at first sight. Trailered onto Désirée’s van, she was then gently transported to Deventer where Remke, Bela and Ron Straver where waiting to welcome her. Ron from Roeisloepen.nl a friend of the DOTS, had kindly offered to service her and allowed us to use his workshop for the renovation work. In the following three weeks she was stripped off her old stickers, washed and sanded. Ready to be taken to Esteq in Twello. There she was spray painted, first in three layers of undercoat, before getting her pink coat. AlexSeal our silver sponsor were kind enough to provide the paint and Esteq generous to provide their services. It was a great collaboration. We witnessed the massive transformation of Liberty in the 4 weeks she was in the Netherlands. And to finish it all off she was lettered with the Dots logo with the support of BéBé Reclame.
Finally, a beautiful pink lady ready to be introduced to the team and direct family on the Saturday morning of 3oth May. Tears of joy rolled down the face of Désirée. Big smiles on all our faces as we proudly presented Liberty, our fifth team member in Dots style. It gave such a warm feeling but also at the same time made it more tangible for family to see where we will be living for two months.
Sunday early morning together with Ron we berthed Liberty into the water at Deventer marina. A deep blue sky and the glowing sunshine created a perfect setting for our maiden row. The moment we had been waiting for and she was definitely worth the wait.
Our next phase has begun as we progress with our training. We will be getting to know Liberty more and more over time in different conditions and water, and she will get to know us. Exciting times ahead. Already having rowed with her on the IJssel feels trusted. She gets a lot of heads turning and is definitely not to be missed.
You too can come and take a look at Liberty during our meet and greet on Sunday 28th June. Have a look on facebook to register for the event or send us an email.