Camp judge decided not to restart Oude Vier: ‘didn’t matter’

Triton and Skøll lay still for seconds.

Last year there was a Varsity steering thing for the women, this year there was a real collision with the Oude (men) Vieren. Skøll and in particular Triton – who had won big against Nereus in the pre-game – were the outspoken challengers of Nereus and of all those two teams collided. And then to a stop. Unchallenged, Nereus was able to claim victory and took home the gold.

But shouldn’t the match have been stopped immediately and rowed over? Jury chairman Arjon Pals explains why both Triton and Skøll’s protest against the outcome of the match was rejected. Both unfortunate teams thought that the match should have been canceled by judge Lex van Drooge.

Both wrong
“The referee saw the incident happen from the dinghy. He saw Triton and Skøll collide. But he decided to let the game go ahead, as any restart would have ruled out both Skøll and Triton. Because both teams were wrong. So in his view a new race would not have been an advantage for either team, because it would have been rowed without them,” said Pals, noting that a referee has to make such a consideration and decision in a split second.

It appears that the incident is a somewhat unfortunate set of circumstances. After about a minute of rowing (see stream images from 7:05), Triton (lane 3) seems to steer out somewhat, into lane 4 of Skøll. Then the somewhat annoying Triton sends back a bit, but inadvertently takes Skøll in its wake. At that point, Theta (started in lane 5) heads toward Skøll, whereupon Skøll’s boat hits a blade of a Triton rower. Then both boats come to a stop. After about 20 seconds, the teams started chasing after all. In vain. Because Triton came a long way because of the follow boat waves, until about 20 seconds from Nereus, who won big without much resistance, but the Utrecht team were still disqualified.

Skøllroeier Jan van der Bij regrets how things turned out. “Neither Triton nor we were guilty, there was no intent. There is no proper lane marking there, so steering is difficult. We were more or less caught between Triton and Theta. Canceling and restarting would have been the most fair for everyone. We asked the race director about this. But unfortunately the protest against the cancellation has been rejected. I think we certainly had a first chance, and that would have been the case with Triton as well. Now Nereus is going to take the win unchallenged.”

Jacob van de Kerkhof of Triton is disappointed as the well-known plug, he had already smelled the final victory in the pre-race. Then his team was no less than seven seconds faster than Nereus. “Of course a pre-match is not a final, everyone knows that. But we could have gone for the win. And suddenly we were silent. It’s a very unreal situation. It is a great pity that the referee has not decided to cancel the match and start again. It’s bizarre.”