800 boats. 5,000 crew. 24 hours.
MEDEMBLIK – Registration has opened for one of Europe’s largest, most enduring annual sailing events. The 49th edition (respect!) of the Delta Lloyd 24-Hour Sail Race will be held Aug. 23-24.
Organizers limit this year’s race to 800 yachts. In a 24-hour period, they must clock as many miles as possible on a zigzag track laid out across the Markermeer and IJsselmeer _ 2 large lakes in the heart of Holland _ the North Sea and the shoaly Waddenzee.
The track can only be completed twice. The non-stop, 24-hr event is open to cabin yachts _ cruisers and racers _ of up to 20m, classic yachts and sea-going multihulls.
Participants from abroad are “most welcome,” organizers say, provided they can “read and confirm the Dutch-language Notice Of Race and all other communication we provide.” (Map shows course of 2009 24-hr. race)
In the last 47 years, the race has been organized by the Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Kustzeilers (NVVK), the Dutch coastal sailors federation. After half a century, its formula _ a mix of navigation, sailing, survival and partying _ remains as popular as ever. The race requires good navigation skills and knowledge of weather and tides. There are different starting locations.
Triangle North Sea Challenge
A very different NVVK event is the Triangle North Sea Challenge (Driehoek Noordzee Challenge). It is not a race, but a two-week endurance event considered to be the toughest on the annual Dutch sailing calendar. There are 2 categories: 2-crew and fully crewed yachts. The 2013 edition starts June 15. It goes from Den Helder to the Shetland (or Orkney) Islands, to Farsund (Norway) and back to Den Helder. What makes it a special event is the weather which can be tumultuous in the northern reaches of the North Sea.