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Klipperrace Enkhuizen

Sailing a regatta onboard of a Dutch Klipper
Klippers in the Krabbersgat off Enkhuizen

Klippers in the Krabbersgat off Enkhuizen

Klippers at anchor

Klippers at anchor

Klippers after the start from anchoring

Klippers after the start from anchoring

Klippers at the Klipperrace

Klippers at the Klipperrace

Klippers sailing the three-cities-race

Klippers sailing the three-cities-race

Klippers becalmed

Klippers becalmed

Since 1975 the Enkhuizer Watersportvereniging "Almere" and the Commissie Enkhuizer Klipperrace organise a regatta for Dutch klippers and similar sailing ships. The starting point for the Klipperrace is Enkhuizen, the small town between the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer right at the approach to the Houtribdamm.

The regatta takes place on two weekend days in September / October. In the three-cities-race on Saturday, the participating klippers start from the anchor in the Krabbersgat near Enkhuizen to circumnavigate at least two of the three buoys off the coastal towns Medemblik, Stavoren and Urk. The goal is again in Krabbersgat. The anchor launch can also be experienced standing on land. Since every skipper can choose his own course and so does not always keep the competitors in view, the end of the regatta often turns into an exciting competition when the sailing ships approach the target from different directions. On Sunday the regatta will be on a changing triangle or trapezoidal course, which must be circled three times.

The sailing ships start in two classes, comparable to a first and second league in team sports. About belonging to the A-class or B-Class is determined by structural features of the ships and the ranking achieved the last year. The event is unofficially considered the Dutch championship for these sailing ships.

The fastest A-class ship wins the challenge cup "De Zilveren Klipper" donated by the municipality of Enkhuizen on Saturday. The ships of the B-class fight for the "De Zilveren Schaal". The overall winner of both days in the A-class wins the "Het Zilveren Logboek". The overall winner of the B-class can take home the "De Zilveren Haring" for a year. The "Jan Bakker Prijs" is a special award given to the ship for an outstanding changing performance in the field of participants. Placements are also honored and of course the regatta is about advancement or relegation in the classes for the next year.

Those who love sailing on traditional sailing ships will get their money's worth at the Klipperrace.

Enkhuizer Klipperrace

A Dutch Klipper

What is this actually?

The Dutch Klipper is a sailing ship with a special shape of the hull. The slim hull is designed with a concave bow, the so-called clipper bow, and with a little breadth in relation to the ship's length what enables a high speed when sailing.

What is a flat-bottomed sailing ships?

A flat-bottomed sailing ships simply has a flat bottom with a flat plate keel and a relatively shallow draft. The hull has no bar keel. To keep the route without too much drifting the so-called side boards on both sides of the hull are used. The side boards are movably mounted so that the draft can be changed.

Flat-bottom sailing ships were designed and built for the use in the wadden seas of the North Sea and the English Channel with changing water levels caused by the tide. You can navigate large parts of these sea areas even at low tide and fall dry in the mudflats without lying on the side.

The rigging of the flat-bottomed ships is different and dimensioned according to the length of the hull. The gaff rigging is mostly used. The flat-bottom construction of the hull is typical for the Ewer, Tjalk, Schokker or Thames Barge, for example.

Originally built as cargo ships, these ships are now mainly used as charter ships on the Dutch Wadden Sea and IJsselmeer and in the mudflats off Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.