One September Sunday morning back in 2006, I found myself standing on one of the piers at Valby Boat Club, preparing to take photographs of this unique site for a presentation the following day. As I was about to take the first shot, my hand-made bike behind me toppled and in slow motion fell into the harbor and sank unceremoniously. I was about to follow it and redeem what I could, then suddenly I was joined by three members of the boat club with boat hooks in one hand and a bottle of Tuborg in the other and within seconds rescued my bike. This was my first encounter with Valby Boat Club and typifies the relationship between our two worlds.
Keeping the boat club as part of Sluseholmen´s master plan has proved to be an essential and integral part of Sluseholmens identity and provides not only for its members, but for the residents of the area as a whole, a maritime oasis, a time-out by the water. The club, with a string of small red-painted houses, allotment style, is now going into its 45th. year and with its 85 motorboat slots appears also to have adjusted to the upheavals of the past years with stoic resolve. Valby Boat Club has also prospered boasting Denmark´s first floating members house, an extended pier and the popular kayak club, which opened in 2006. As the members close down the hatches for another season and as autumn winds begin to rattle bopping masts, I thank the city planners and architects for their wise choice.
At the end of one of the piers is a bench facing Sluseholmen. An ideal spot to sit and reflect and enjoy the contrasts between these two worlds. I can strongly recommend it.
Photo credits: Phillip Mills