Time has flown by. I realize it when I see Piet and José Bil in the flesh again after a year. It happens on the terrace of Welkom Bij de Buren. That is their daughter Martine's catering establishment. She inherited the drive and the right hospitality genes from her parents, and has been propagating this with verve from an early age. On June 25, everything is ready for a new edition of Wieringerwerf op Wielen. It is warm. Piet thinks that the heat saves participants. Nothing turns out to be less true. Because a record number of people come to Wieringerwerf for an impressive spectacle, where everything that rolls is welcome.
Many participants drive into the village well before the official opening time of 12 noon, photographer Rien Hoekenga captures the vehicles one by one. And you can count on him being busy. José and Piet meanwhile take very good care of all volunteers and guests. I am more or less part of that (in all modesty), because later in the day I can present the parade and the award ceremony. Piet asked me that shortly after the previous edition. Of course I want to, it is an honor to be able to do that in my old hometown and for the organization. He pulled out all the stops for more than half a year. That is also why you feel that it will make sense today. Still let those responsible no to chance. Just an extra cable, just an extra connection, just to be sure. This will be fine, to be sure!
The representatives of the regional media channels record everything. They also see that everything is there. And that is much more than rolling material only. Children's entertainment, stalls, stands, musicians, catering: you can't imagine it. And the joint presentation of the ink artists of Tattoo Hippo and Barberink is also a golden opportunity, one of many. It goes on and on. Many people have a tattoo done and that continues - as it turns out - on the assembly line. A large plumage of rolling stock takes up the grounds on and around the Brinkweg. Beautiful trucks, motorcycles, a Norton meeting, a Mustang square, many other classics, trikes, tractors, mopeds, a Bugatti whose value (€ 795.000) visitors can guess: it can't go on. Literally not, because despite the rising mercury, a record number of participants come to Wieringerwerf. You see what half a year of good preparation leads to. The event is the equivalent of a well-oiled machine. It runs, and how.
Bas Spanjer and his wife judge, they choose the candidates for the Wieringerwerf op Wielen award, and choose the nominated vehicles. In the meantime I am also watching a number of candidates myself. I see a really beautiful Scania Vabis, an old army truck in the historic colors of Kaan from Wieringen has been sprayed. I see some very nice Mustang examples from the early years. The Scania and the Fords later appear to win prizes. A set of air-cooled VWs always works well, an Oval and a Type 3 with Ponton bodywork are side by side. The 88 Oldsmobile 1957 Holiday and the 1100 Talbot (you read that right, not Simca) 1981 LS are my co-winner favorites. The fact that they were not nominated says a lot about the strength of the field of participants, and about its originality.
The awards ceremony will start at 15.00:XNUMX PM. But not before the winners first ride a quiet warm-up lap. After the round, the winners are honored one by one. Bas and his wife have noted everything neatly. Martine hands out the cups. And I get to tell the story of each winner. The cooperation is smooth and uncomplicated. We're really having a good time.
After the ceremony, I join my Frisian comrades, whom I got to know through my editorial work. I speak to Sicco Dijkstra earlier in the day, and a broadly graying Durk Tinga surprises me immediately after the parade presentation. We grab a standing table and have a few cool drinks. I am proud that the three of us are standing there together. And that is not least because I am very fond of both gentlemen. It does me very good. After a while they return home after a portion of good old-fashioned fun and a few nice conversations.
In the meantime, the event is still running smoothly, dynamism is one of the secrets, people are happy and relaxed, everything is good and the experience of José and Piet and the co-organizers is revealed everywhere, and on several levels. A do a round is not even necessary for them, everyone knows what is being asked. And in the meantime it's very cozy. Many people, zero comma zero dissonance, just enjoying each other. From the offer, from a drink, from fries, from a small purchase, from the tattoos that several visitors have set, from Clemens and Clemens. And so on. It goes on for a long time. Jeff Hofstede of Pulse Visuals knows how to capture that atmosphere in camera images in a beautiful way.
The atmosphere and character of the event suit Wieringerwerf, near the Noordkop. Nobody feels elevated, just doing what you have to do seems to be the motto for everyone. That appeals enormously, because these concepts are no longer self-evident these days. In Wieringerwerf it is, and it is not for nothing that a record number of participants from far and wide have come to the Wieringermeer and defy the heat. That is the ultimate reward for the organizers, who put Wieringerwerf op Wielen on the map for a heat-resistant top event in every respect. And it was wonderful to be able to contribute to that.
Lots of photos:
Jeff Hofstede made on behalf of his company Pulse Visuals (www.pulsevisuals.nl) a beautiful and striking impression of atmosphere for Bij de Buren, Martine Bil's very cozy catering establishment. To view all images, go to this Facebook page.
Rien Hoekenga also shot many photos for the event. The images are organized in multiple albums. Almost all participants and their vehicles are visible on the Facebookpagina van Wieringerwerf on Wheels. There you will find even more impressions.
Thanks to José, Piet, Martine, Bas, Jeff and many others who made Wieringerwerf op Wielen possible.