Ratzeburg, where it all started

In 1992 I organised the first single scull course for recreational rowers at the national rowing centre in Ratzeburg, northern Germany. Years of collaboration followed and countless recreational single scullers mainly from Europe were able to use the top facilities of the rowing academy.

I coached together with top coaches from the Belgian and German rowing federations. They supported the philosophy of these courses and were happy to pass on their knowledge to this group of rowers. And that on ideal rowing water without motorized pleasure craft and many possibilities to row sheltered from the wind.

As common as video recording and analysis of rowing technique is nowadays, at the time it was special. It was precisely this element that formed the heart of the course and the concept of an intensive impulse to improve rowing techniques. And all this during a pleasant holiday at a beautiful location.

Exactly the concept that I had in mind for years and that I thought should be available not only to the competition top but also to the recreational rowers who often form the financial basis of a rowing club.

When the rowing centre decided to use the facilities almost exclusively for German top rowing, the courses found a permanent home at the rowing club of Ratzeburg in 2016 so that the concept could and can be continued seamlessly.

Second top location, the Saar

After a five-year search, I managed to find a second top location for the increasingly popular single scull courses. I found the ideal setting at Dreisbach on the Saar and started the first course season in 2011. Totally great: for the first time the Enjoyrowing/Roeiplezier logo was visible on the blades !!

The rowing centre rapidly developed into a successful location, to such an extent that I wondered how I wanted to continue the company it in the meantime had become. At that time a satisfactory solution was not available, but I did not want the Saar to stop either. For these reasons, I decided in 2014 to transfer this location, including its domain name “Saarrowingcenter”, to a former participant of the single scull courses in Ratzeburg: Theo van den Broek. The rowing centre in the Saar then took a further flight.

Andalusia adventurous and beautiful

For a long time I had known about this lake from my other hobby: paragliding. And everytime I saw it from a bird’s eye view, I thought it would be great if the single scull courses could also be held here in spring and autumn.

There were no facilities so I had to organize everything; the biggest challenge of all locations so far. After a long preliminary stage, it was possible to transport the skiffs from the Spanish rowing center in Seville 100 km away to this beautifully situated lake near Algodonales. The skiff courses in Andalusia were a fact!

Due to a change in the management at the rowing centre in Seville in 2019, it is no longer possible to use the skiffs outside of the rowing centre.

A great interview with Carla Beekman was published in the Dutch Magazine ROEI! beginning 2023