It was a rainy, grey cold morning in the Netherlands on May 28, 2019. As it continued to rain throughout the morning many people questioned if the sun would make an appearance as promised in the afternoon. To many surprises the sun did come out, the skies were clear and the wind did blow. We could not have asked for a better evening to send off the sailors on the Vuurschepen Race from Scheveningen (NL) to Harwich (UK).
After the skippers briefing, the teams enjoyed a hearty dinner in ‘t Spuigat and returned to their boats for some final preparations before following the Estrella to the starting line. At 17.00 o’clock the first guest started to trickle in on the Dr Lelykade, the home of the historical ferry Estrella. Guest were greeted by the “poffertjes kraam” from Oma Toos in original Dutch style.
At 17.30 o’clock the Estrella left to dock to make her way out of the harbor to find her position as starting ship and settle into the waves, followed by press ribs and the competing sailboats the guests enjoyed the show. In total 63 teams are competing, 47 in Long Course and 16 in Short Course.
At 19.00 the first starting division (double handed class) went in sequence and 5 minutes later all boats successfully cleared the starting line. After the double handed division broke the ice, starts for ORC 3, ORC 2 and finally ORC1 followed.
All classes successfully cleared the line and went on their way to the first mark, 1NM off the starting line at 005 degrees and finally off to England. All boats are equipped with trackers and can be followed under YB Tracking.
Martin Baas from Hagoort Sails talked the guests on the Estrella through the starting sequence while sharing some anecdotes and race insights. Hanneke van der Marel, director of sports from municipality The Hague joined the race committee and Principal Race Officer Menno Vercouteren on the top deck to fire the starting shots. Municipality The Hague has been a key component to make this event happen and the Stichting North Sea Regatta and Jachtclub Scheveningen are extremely thankful for their support.