Dutchman Ricky Verhey (pictured right) had never stepped foot on a yacht of any kind before so his first experience as trainee aboard the pretty 1915-built, gaff ketch, Tecla
, winner of Class B and overall winner of Race 1, was an event he’ll never forget.
Verhey, who works as a car mechanic, said it was by chance he found out about this particular race. He was doing some repair work on Astrid, which was lying in the harbour in Den Haag. The skipper invited him on board and when he saw the ship he was determined to sail on her one day. Unfortunately Astrid was not taking part be he was recommended to take a place on Tecla.
“I’d never sailed before but I was really drawn to wanting to take part in this sort of race. I had no idea what to expect. It was much more competitive than I expected and that is what I really enjoyed. For me that was perfect because I really got involved and learnt how to sail. I also learnt how to hoist the sail, the names of all the sails, lines and different parts of the ship, and of course, how to tack and all the points of sail. Tactics and how to get the best from the wind is one of the most important aspects, particularly if you want to win.”
Gijs Sluik – first officer (pictured left) – said it was perfect conditions for Tecla because there were a lot of wind shifts, which involved a lot of tacking. “The wind was up to Force 4 at times and we sailed with the big jib and the topsails all the way, making 9-10kts of boat speed at times. We picked up most wind shifts so we sailed a good tactical race and thankfully didn’t make too many mistakes.”
And has this race inspired Verhey to continue with sail training? “Absolutely. I loved it. Winning was the ‘icing on the cake’. I still want to go on Astrid one day but I think my experience on Tecla has given me a good education.”
To view the current placings of the race click here
To view the combined race results of leg 1 and Leg 2 of Race 1 click here
The Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.