The Sneker Pan belongs to the top 3 in the ranking since many years

The Sneker Pan competes every year in the Dutch sailing event Skûtsjesilen in Friesland, the Netherlands.

Since 2001, the team has always finished as one of the first three boats crossing the finish and they have won the championship three times in a row: in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Gaastra is therefore very proud to be the official clothing sponsor of the Sneker Pan.

The Sneker Pan
The Sneker Pan is a ‘skûtsje’ built in 1913 by a shipyard called the Piip in Rottevalle, the Netherlands. A skûtsje is a Dutch traditional sailing barge made out of wood or steal. Skûtsje sailing is synonymous for racing old cargo barges, flat-bottomed boats that were built around the turn of the 20th century to carry peat, manure and other loads to the farmsteads. Now, more than a hundred years later, the ships still belong to the fastest sailing ships on the Dutch inland waters. The impressive old ships ships are beautifully streamlined and amazingly rigged.

In 1961, the Skûtsjekommisje (the committee) from the city of Sneek, the Netherlands acquired the Sneker Pan. At the time, the ship was used as a living place area but is then transformed to a sailing ship again. From then on the ship competes every year under skipper Douwe Visser with 13 other Skûtsjes for the SKS race. In 1962, a new sail was assembled on the ship with an image of the gate of Sneek.

Top of the Skûtsjesilen ranking
The participating skûtsjes on the event Skûtsjesilen are becoming more and more alike according to skipper Douwe Visser. The demands for the ships have been increased over the last years. The Sneker Pan has also been adapted on account of these regulations: the length of the ship has been enlarged with 1.30 meters. The length of the Sneker Pan used to be 17.70 meters, now the ship is nearly 20 meters.

The success of the Sneker Pan has never been disappointing, but since the enlargement of the ship the team increased their chances more and more to become, and stay, the champion of the event. The results of the skûtsje confirm this success: the Sneker Pan belongs to the top of the ranking since many years. Since 2001, the team never left the winning top 3 and they’ve won the championship already ten with three times in a row in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Honoured by the mayor of Sneek
In 1973, skipper Douwe Visser became part of the Sneker Pan crew and since 1989 he is the skipper of the boat. Visser and his crew of the successful Sneker Pan were honoured by the mayor of Sneek in 2013. The skûtsje existed for 101 years and it got awarded for ship of the year during the ‘Sneekweek Vlootschouw’ (the opening of the sailing event ‘Sneekweek’ in the Netherlands). It’s a huge honour to be awarded for this nomination. The team of the Sneker Pan adjudged the SKS-championship and Douwe Visser was awarded a ‘sailor in the order of the Sneker Pan’.

Last year the Sneker Pan won its tenth championship. Douwe Visser has been skipper of the ship during eight of these championships.

Crew of the Sneker Pan
Originally the crew of the skûtsje consisted of the family that owned the boat. According to this ancient tradition the current skipper of the skûtsje needs to be a family member of the first skipper. Besides the skipper, the crew consists of 13 other members.

Fully dressed in Gaastra
Gaastra is proud to be sponsor of team the Sneker Pan. There’s no doubt that there’s a link between Sneek and Gaastra because of the heritage and this is a great way to contribute to our heritage. The founder of Gaastra, Douwe Gaastra originates from Sneek and was famous for making the sails of big skûtsje like these.

The crew, the race committee and Sneker Pan's management are all clothed from head to toe in Gaastra Pro and Gaastra Sportswear. For the sailors, a special overall has been developed with IBQ at the spots that wear out the fastest, besides the GX-03 sailing suit. Sailing a Skûtsje places different demands on clothing than sailing boats in one of the other classes.

More information can be found on the official homepage of the Sneker Pan Team.

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