Drama, humour and skill combined Aug 20 to provide great entertainment for spectators at the fourth annual Canal Pole-Jumping Championships at Winsum, Friesland, north Holland.
GV.PAN. Down to crowd assembled for championship.
CU.PAN. Up long poles.
LV.PAN. Young boy makes pole vault over canal PAN to crowd applaud.
SV. Another young boy makes successful vault.
LV. Another ditto..falls into water short of bank.
SV. 18 year old boy (non swimmer) falls into canal and struggles.
CU. Ditto struggling in water, man dives in canal rescues boy assists him to side of canal.
LV. Two boys make jump, one returns to wrong side of bank.
SV. Oldest competitor, 63 years old makes jump.
SV. Competitor jumps and falls in water.
SV.PAN. Girl makes jump.
SV.PAN. (slow motion) girl makes jump.
SV.PAN. Another girl makes jump falls in water short of bank.
SV. Mr. Linthornst Homan makes jumps
SV. People applaud.
LV. Three boys make jump simultaneously.
SV.PAN. (Reverse angle) boy jumps.
SV.PAN. Up....onlookers on trolleys.
SV. Competitor jumps, falls in water.
SV.PAN. New champion Mr. Jan Wynia makes jump.
SV. People applaud.
SV. Mr. Wynia being garlanded with laurel wreath.
CU. Mr. Wynia being presented with cup and medal.
Initials TDH/V/ES AHS/CWA
SPORT: POLE JUMPING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Drama, humour and skill combined Aug 20 to provide great entertainment for spectators at the fourth annual Canal Pole-Jumping Championships at Winsum, Friesland, north Holland.
The canal used for this year's event was 10 metres wide and 3 metres deep, plus an unfathomable bed of mud. Competitors - 110 men, women and boys - used an 8 metre pole in their efforts to leap across the water and land as far as possible beyond a marker line on the far bank.
Several competitors failed to gain the necessary momentum from their short run-up, fell into the water and swim out. An 18-year old boy was not so lucky. He could not swim. As he threshed around in the water, spectators laughed and applauded at what they first thought was a comic act. Fortunately a quick thinking official released what had happened and dived in fully clothed to rescue the drowning competitor. With the aid of a pole the youth was brought ashore, none the worse for his experience except for having swallowed some of the foul smelling canal water.
Winner of the men's Championship was Jan Wynia with a jump of 12.26 metres. The winning woman jumped 88.888 metres, and the boy's Championship was won with a distance of 9.95 metres.
Origin of canal pole-jumping is rather obscure. Some say it derives from a Friesland custom by which boys searching for plover's eggs crossed the numerous canals intersecting Holland's fields. Others say it dates back to the 16th century guerilla campaign against Spanish occupying forces. The poles were then called "Good-byes ,because they enabled fleeing Dutch resistance fighters to elude pursuing Spaniards by pole-jumping across canals. If forced to stand and fight, a sharp spike at one end of the pole transformed it into a lance.