Two young Dutch trainees are about to embark on a new challenge for them both as they join Oosterschelde
for the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta to Ijmuiden.
Jolien Bollemeijer, an optician from Amsterdam, said that she has never sailed before but wanted to take part in an active holiday. "I heard about Sail Amsterdam and the fact that it only takes place every five years, and then saw that I could sail on a Tall Ship in the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta so thought that sounded like a great experience," said Jolien.
"I have only just found out that my grandparents used to live on a sailing boat so it will be fun to find out a bit more about how they lived," explained Jolien, who selected Oosterschelde as she looked comfortable but a traditional sailing vessel. "I am looking forward to experiencing the waves and the general excitement of sailing."
For Arnoud Gieles, the opportunity to sail on Oosterschelde came as a prize for entering a competition being run by a cultural and naval organisation. "I had to write a short piece on why I wanted to take part in the race so was delighted when I won," said Arnoud, who has only sailed once before and that was for an afternoon on Stad Amsterdam a few years ago. Arnoud, who is currently studying economics in Amsterdam, said the short time he'd spent on Stad Amsterdam had whet his appetite for a sailing experience and he was looking forward to broadening his horizons on the race to Ijmuiden.
Oosterschelde will join 29 other vessels for the race from Hartlepool to Ijmuiden, which starts tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1400 hrs local. The fleet will then join with hundreds of other sailing vessels for a parade down the canal to Amsterdam for the Sail Amsterdam festival from 19-23 August.