Friesland hosts first ice skating race

23rd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — Pairs of men will face off against each other on natural ice during the traditional kortebaan skating competition in the Frisian town of Haulerwijk on Tuesday.

23 January 2006

AMSTERDAM — Pairs of men will face off against each other on natural ice during the traditional kortebaan skating competition in the Frisian town of Haulerwijk on Tuesday.

This is the first ice-skating competition in the Netherlands held on natural ice so far this year, chairman Klaas Visser of the Nooitgedagt skating club said on Monday.

The kortebaan competition is particularly popular in Friesland. It consists of a series of sprints between pairs of men over a 160 metre straight track. The winner goes on to the next round to face the winner of another bout.

The ice at Haulerwijk formed on Sunday night when six centimetres of water left on the local ice rink froze to a depth of three centimetres. "It is a bit of a gamble, but the last three centimetres may also be frozen over," Visser said.

He said he expected 25 to 30 amateurs to take part in the competition on Tuesday. The big question for ice-skating lovers is whether the current cold snap spreading from the east will last long enough for some marathon competition, including the famous Elfstedentocht - race of eleven cities.

The ice has to be very thick for an elfstedentocht; the last one was held in 1997.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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