a budding skûtsjesiler

Meet Eldert Meeter, a member of a family that has a tradition of bringing forth skûtsjesilers. The command over the skûtsjes, as the traditional sailing barges are called, often passes on from father to son and remains in the family. For example, the boat of the village of Huzum has been commanded by several generations of the Meeter family.

Eldert Meeter, a budding skûtsjesiler, Koos Breukel, 2000

Eldert Meeter, a budding skûtsjesiler, Koos Breukel, 2000

Skûtsjesilen, as these races for traditional flat-bottom sailing barges are called, is known to have been organized since the 18th century, usually by local pub owners. It gave the skippers a chance to make up for lost income when there was no cargo to be hauled and the afterparty was also good for the pub owners’ turnover.

Koos Breukel made a series of photo portraits of the Frisian skûtsje skippers, this one was taken in the year2000.