Raiding in the Netherlands is once again a popular pastime. It took some time for the modern Dutch to connect with modern leisure raiding despite their forebearers, the Frysians, having established a reputation in the 7th Century for being raiders of a serious variety.
However, in 2005, they established the Dutch Foundation for Natural Sailing for the purpose of enjoying this type of sailing. The Dorestad Raid which took place that Autumn was an instant success and has since become an annual tradition. This was followed in Spring 2007 by the addition of the Radboud Raid, named after the Frysian king who fought the Franks in 700AD.
Later this year Radboud's spirit will return home to the Frysian town of Grou from where the raid will be launched. During the day, the surrounding area of Grou will be raided, including the beautiful area of Alde Faenen (pictured right - popular with generations of Fryslan loving sailors). It is being organised in association with Marrekrite (which maintains free moorings in rural areas along the Frysian lakes). King Radboud eventually had to surrender to the Franks, but his kinsmen continued the tradition of raids for many years to come.
All the inter country wars are put to side now though as 'foreign raiders' are invited to join the fleet. The rules? No weaponry allowed ashore, no horses on board, but you can try out a traditional Frysian craft such as a tjotter or scow.
The Radboud Raid will be taking place in Grou on May 16th and 17th. The entry cost for this is €30 per person.
If you can't make the Radboud Raid then you should visit the Dorestad Raid which will be sailing from the area between Amsterdam and Leiden from September 9th to September 13th.
For more information visit www.natuurlijkvaren.nl