Looking for something to do with this upcoming heatwave? The North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen might be just the boating and beach thing you’ll want to see this weekend!
The North Sea Regatta is the main event of the year for competitive Dutch sailors. For four days, the sea is conquered by billowing sails as some 350 boats hit the waters at the coast of Scheveningen. Spectators watch from the beaches and even from dinghies in the water as the Dutch winds whip the racers back and forth through the North Sea.
Of course, it’s not all just about sailing. After the races, there’s plenty of food, drink, and music to be enjoyed throughout the restaurants and bars in Holland’s most famous beachtown. (Everybody knows the difference between a good and great evening is a brilliant after-party, so don’t miss out!)
What exactly is the North Sea Regatta?
If you don’t know what a regatta is, then now would be a good moment to look it up quickly, because the North Sea Regatta is THE Dutch regatta. In a nutshell it is, very simply, the year’s biggest spectacle of sailing races and fun. During the Pentecost weekend (that’s Pinksteren in English for all you Dutchies currently scratching your heads in confusion), Scheveningen’s harbour becomes the heart of all Dutch sailing as the North Sea Regatta breaks out in all its glory.
Each year, the event attracts hundreds of sailors and thousands of fans from across the globe. Yachts of all sizes sail side by side, being shoved into the sea from sandy shores of Scheveningen (How’s that for alliteration?)
What races are taking place?
The regatta boasts 110 nautical miles of the so-called ‘Vuurschepenrace’ (which literally translates into ‘fireshiprace’, but you would have known about this one if it were actual burning ships racing one another), participants battle both each other and the elements as they push their vessels across the English Dutch Channel.
Other events include the North Sea Race, an 180 nautical mile journey back to Scheveningen, and lane races along the beach side. Every day brings more shows, more parties, and more nautical goodness. Not to mention more boats. Don’t be surprised to see open boats, Olympic boats and yachts hit the waters to race around the buoys.
You don’t even have to sail!
The North Sea Regatta is the Dutch sailors’ Mecca, but even if you don’t sail, there’s plenty of reason to go visit. Even if you’re never been on a boat, maybe you can even find a friendly soul to sail you. Young and old, sailors and landlubbers alike, the North Sea Regatta is for all. So if this sounds like something up your alley (or river), then come down to Scheveningen for a whole of seaside excitement.
When does the North Sea Regatta start?
The whole program officially runs from the 26th of May until the 4th of June this year. That’s of course not packed with hardcore sailing contests every day. The whole program can be found here. The Vuurschepenrace is the opening race on 27 May. North Sea Race starts on Tuesday. And then from 2nd till 4th are the inshore races along the Dutch North Sea coast. The Worlds J22 starts one day earlier, on the first of June.
Anything else going on in Scheveningen those days?
Besides the beach, Pier and all those beach clubs and such? Sure!
Optimist on tour: from the 1st till the 3rd of June the little ones have a fine opportunity to pick up the sailing trade. Kids can get a try-out lesson, for free, in an ‘optimist’. Which is basically a little sailing ship.
English Mindful Run Course: don’t complain that there’s nothing going on for the sportive, mindful expat in The Hague and Scheveningen. Starting the 1st of June are running sessions where mileage and speed are not the goal, but enjoying the moment and personal physical and mental freedom is. More info on this English page right here.
Outdoor workouts: throughout The Hague and Scheveningen there are multiple places where one can workout (so-called Fitplaatsen). So no excuses for not working on that beach body! More info in Dutch here.
And last but certainly not least. The event ‘Pro Freestyle The Hague Beach 2017’ is happening in Scheveningen from the 2nd untill the 5th of June (yes, combine it with a visit to the NSR!). BMX’ing, rollerblading and the official World Cup skateboarding is held in the The Hague stadium. Looks like Scheveningen is indeed the place to be the first days of June!