Renesse, Zeeland, the Netherlands, September 2016

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The 17th Sabra/ Sabre Meeting - Friday 2nd September to Monday 5th September, 2016

I am sitting on the ferry, a glass of wine in my hand, with the sun shining and the sea as flat and calm as it could possibly be. We are on our way back from another wonderful Sabra/Sabre Meeting which this year was held in Renesse in the Zeeland region of the Netherlands and organised by André & Carine from Belgium. We met fellow Sabra and Sabre car owners from Belgium, Luxemburg and the UK plus new friends Niels and Maria who had endured a ten hour drive from Hamburg, Germany. Little did we know when we first met them that Niels would prove to be such an accomplished clog dancer!

Our stay began when we arrived at the Hotel “Badhotel” in Renesse late on Friday morning. The hotel was lovely and the staff who all spoke perfect English were friendly and helpful. We were allocated rooms either overlooking the pool or the car park where we were given special reserved spaces for our cars. We had time to stroll in to the pretty town or, if we wished, walk down to the beach which was less than a mile away. The hotel provided a welcome drink with canapes on Friday evening before our meal and all our meals taken in the hotel were served in a private room reserved for Sabra and Sabre car drivers.

Saturday we had an early breakfast and left the hotel to drive to the De Stolpe farm (, Nieuwerkerk where they produce lovely Gouda type cheese. Here we saw a short film showing how the cheese was produced and afterwards met the Hereford cows who also had a hand in the cheese production. Afterwards we drove on to the Watersnood Museum ( ) in Ouwerkerk where we learnt all about the terrible floods that caused so much death and damage for the Dutch people in 1953, and the measures that were then taken to ensure that such a disaster could never happen again. The visit ended with lunch at the De Vierbannen restaurant which had the most fantastic views over the water. In the afternoon we were able to visit a Klompenmaker in Heinkenszand ( where we were given a demonstration of how the clogs were made from raw timber to the finished article. Another drive back to the hotel followed by drinks on the terrace before changing for our special Saturday evening meal which was preceded by a glass of champagne organised by André.

Sunday we were able to linger a little longer over breakfast before heading off to the pretty town of Veere ( where André had arranged for us to park on the grass verge overlooking the harbour. Here was the ideal spot for photography and the cars were snapped by many people who were visiting the town that day. We again had a wonderful lunch overlooking the harbour and were served champagne and canapes in the sunshine before a light meal. During the course of the meal I noticed, as I walked past the bar of the main restaurant, that the restaurant had been awarded the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or De Werf (whatever that is) so I cheekily asked if I could borrow the Sabre sword to take photographs with our group and also with our cars. Typically it was no trouble and the staff handed me the Sabre happy to let me borrow it. After a relaxing lunch we had a guided tour of the town. Our guide, who believed he was giving his talk in French, was in no way phased by the request to change to English. We then enjoyed a leisurely afternoon walk around the old town and learnt many interesting facts about its history. Sunday night we gathered for drinks, including an aperitif kindly provided by Canadian Sabra owner Walter Arbib, prior to our final evening meal together.

Throughout the weekend the weather was good with only the occasional spots of rain and all cars behaved impeccably and looked immaculate, drawing crowds of admirers wherever we stopped. This year a total of ten cars attended albeit that André and Carine brought their TVR S2, their Sabra being in the midst of a restoration. Possibly for the first time there were more Sabras present than Sabres. We must again thank André and Carine for all their hard work organising this excellent meeting.

We always feel sad when our meetings draw to a close but at least we know we can look forward to our next meeting in 2017.

Lined up in the hotel car park

Jaki brandishing her Sabre

Proud owners by their cars at Veere

Where is that windmill!