In memoriam Bouw van Wijk
9 August 1933 - 26 October 2023
It is with great sadness that we have to inform the Monotype XV community that on 26 October Bouw van Wijk has passed away after a long, loving and intense life.
Bouw’s achievements in sailing and building sailing yachts, ice yachts and motor launches are too numerous to list here. He changed the looks of water sport in The Netherlands, he has gathered an impressive amount of championships on the water as well as on the ice, including two European Championships in DN. He has been the Commodore of the oldest ice sailing association in the world for many years, he and his board (with Nico Bakker and Ruud Hoogenboom) saving it from oblivion and transforming it into the large and blossoming association it is today, IJszeilvereniging Brasemermeer established in 1870.
Bouw, and before him his father, have followed the birth and later development of the Monotype XV class from the very beginning in 1932, reading and saving everything written about it including drawings and sailing with his father’s 15sqm IJsbeer and later his own 15 sqm IJsvogel. Both yachts still exist and are cherished in Brasemermeer. After a crash with his DN Bouw converted the metal pin used to spline his fractured leg into the poker for the fireplace in his home and turned to sailing the traditional Dutch ice-yacht IJskoud which was built at his boatyard, and which we have all seen on the ice in Holland, Sweden, Poland, Estonia, Germany etc. But the Monotype had captured his interest so in 1991 he bought a very beautiful Monotype XV built by Valentijn in the Netherlands, XV H 10 now owned by Piet van Opzeeland, for his son Bouw(ie). Not long after that he arranged for Ulf Torberger to do a presentation on IMXVIYRA on the Brasemermeer’s annual meeting.
Because of Bouw’s vision and encouragement and Ulf’s enthusiasm this presentation lead to Gé Been building XV NED 13 and Ben Bartels and Pieter den Haan to acquire XV NED 12 and XV NED 11 from Russia. These had to be delivered somehow so Bouw organised a trip to the EC in Sweden in 1996 also celebrating an anniversary for Brasemermeer, bringing along a whole fleet of Dutch (traditional) ice-yachts including IJskoud and Nico Bakker with XV H1. Upon return IJszeilvereniging Monotype Nederland was established by Bouw, Hans Versteeg and Pieter den Haan, Bouw contributed greatly to IMXVIYRA with his knowledge and wisdom, he organised 6 new XV’s to be built in series and now Monotype Nederland is at sailnr. H40 and has a European Champion also named Bouw van Wijk…
This history characterises Bouw’s dedication to (ice)sailing and particularly his drive to gather people around him to share his enthusiasm, and his great organising and networking abilities. Seemingly effortless, but in fact due to hard work. He has done so not only in Monotype XV but also in the Dutch Vrijheid class, he was a great motor for the Regenboog class and for the Dutch fleet of international 5.5 meters to name a few.
Bouw wasn’t always only the evidently successful and cheerful man we have all known and enjoyed so much. He had to battle several deep personal and professional crises, which have taken their tolls, to eventually become that man.
A great sailor and character we have all learned and benefitted from, and have had so much fun with.
Our thoughts are with his family. Bouw will be missed.
IJszeilvereniging Monotype Nederland