Who makes Dutch hearts tick faster?
DRIEBERGEN _ The English have forgotten him, but Michiel de Ruyter remains a hero at home. A survey by HISWA, the Dutch yachting lobby, found 47% of Dutch boating enthusiasts rate him as Holland’s top admiral ever. In 1667 during the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War (there were many of those, hence the numbering!) De Ruyter sailed up the Thames and stole the HMS Royal Charles, the English flagship. Ouch! Ranking not far below De Ruyter on the dead heroes list were Abel Tasman and Willem Barentsz. Today’s heroes include Dutch round-the-world girl Laura Dekker (22%) and Dorian van Rijsselberghe, gold-winning surfer at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The survey also found 92% of the Dutch you see enjoying themselves on the water today are here because boating gives them a sense of freedom. Their key dockside priorities: drinking water, wall power, GSM reception and Wifi. The poll found an even split between sail and motor boat enthusiasts and found that:
_ 63% complain about litter bugs
_ 57% are upset by speeders
_ 48% are irritated by boorish behavior inside locks