The people behind the sails of a tall ship regatta [BLOG + Video]
As you might know, I work as a sailor/photographer. I joined the Gouden Vloot Crew on a race a few years back and they invited me again for "Het Beurtveer" in 2019. This time we would sail one of the fastest traditional sailing boats in Dutch waters, the Overwinning. In this post, I would like to show you some of the people behind the sails. Of course this is not a biography of everyone on the ship (I simply cannot include all...the blog would be too long) as I am telling the story of these sailors from my experience.
The purpose of this race is to sail, as quickly as possible, from Workum to Amsterdam and back again with passengers on board. Part of the race is that the ships need to enter mandatory and optional harbors in both the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer AND all that without the use of the engine.
During this race, the crew was 15 strong and all of them are all experienced sailors. This race is considered to be one of the more tough ones since the rules are quite strict and you can not use the motor, except of the locks you need to pass. (You can use the motor in certain situations but as you receive time penalties this will considerably slim down your chances to win). We sailed to all necessary harbors in less than 23 hours (and did not use the motor) where the maximum is 72 hours. At the end of the race, our speed was well over 11 knots and it felt like we just flew over the water. Over the two sailing days that we used, wind ranged from 3 to around a 7 Bft.
You can see the whole field sailing as a replay here: https://ttbv.zeilvaartwarmond.nl (just press play on the bottom left) – At the end our AIS, unfortunately, failed a couple of times so it is not the actual course we went but you get the idea.
Fastest in the Netherlands: The Overwinning
The Overwinning is officially a charter ship, but feels like a sailing beast in disguise. Joost, the owner even calls it a racing vessel that is also great for a family sails. During my work on the Gouden Bodem, which has been my home away from home the last couple summers, I got to know the Overwinning and its crew very well. Not only does the Overwinning sail in the same area but is also docked in the very same harbor in Harlingen.
Let’s talk numbers: The Overwinning was built in 1914 and has room for 16 persons plus crew. The ship is 5 meters wide and 26 meters long and has a weight of around 45 tons. It is completely outfitted with Dyneema which make the rigging extremely rugged but also very light. More about Dyneema here. You should consider Dyneema for your boat as well!
(Just a personal opinion: I’m not being paid by the producers of Dyneema nor the Gouden Vloot / Overwinning owners ;) )
Layout of the ship:
The Overwinning in Hoorn at Beurtveer entering the harbor with around 7 Bft!
In command of Team Gouden Vloot: Joost Martijn
Joost sailed all his life. His parents made him passionate him for sailing and after he finished his studies in 2001, he started his life as professional sailor. In the very same year he bought the Overwinning, and his life as a charter skipper began. In 2013 he bought his second traditional sailing ship, the Isis. In 2018 he added a third ship, the Hoge Wier, to his fleet.
Joost is a fanatic regatta sailor. He competes to win while safety remains number one on his list. As he says himself: “NO HERO MOVES, if something happens – let it happen and then we will take it from there”. He pushes his boats to the max while maintaining complete control and he ensures that his ships are capable of doing this. I really enjoy seeing him work. He is not only a good sailor; he is professional and trusts his crew, but mostly he is passionate and you can really feel that he enjoys every minute that he is on his ship.
Team Gouden Vloot: Joris
When it comes to sailing Joris is your man. He grew up with sailing as his father is a sailmaker and started as a deckhand on the Isis and the Overwinning. Thanks to his dedication and enthusiasm, he obtained the necessary skills and has been the (proud) skipper of the Overwinning for two years. During this trip his positive attitude and professionality made him the center point for the crew.
Team Gouden Vloot: Anna
Anna sails with Joris on the Overwinning and Isis during the sailing season. She is straight forward, professional sailor with the heart in the right spot. At the Beurtveer, she took the role of navigator, logging the route as well as being our social marketeer. When the pressure is on, she is also the one that comes up with creative solutions that save the day.
Team Gouden Vloot deckhand: Eduard
Eduard is studying at the Maritime Institute “Willem Barentsz” on the island of Terschelling. He is the jack of all trades on board. Regardless whether it's about the trim, hoisting or anything else: if there is something to do, Eduard fulfills the task efficiently and with enthusiasm. Due to his calm personality it is a real pleasure to sail with him.
Turning theory into practice: Leo
At the moment Leo is studying Nautic at Elsfleth “Marikom” maritim school in Germany. He is a very experienced mate since he worked in the past 6 years on the klipper Ambulant in the summertime. His routine was a welcome addition to the crew. Mooring the Overwinning, hoisting and trimming the sails, general overview and good communication skills all added to the successful race.
Regatta sailor: Louise
In 2018 Louise was sailing on the Grote Beer with skipper Daan Delforterie. She took a break from sailing for her management studies, which she finished successfully in 2018. As her father owns a watersports company, Louise has been sailing all her life and participated in a lot of regattas. A regatta sailor on a regatta boat is, of course the best combination for a race like Het Beurtveer.
It was all about the Risico: Tamara
She became a mate in 2018, sailing with Daan Visser on the Risico. She grew into her role, and her ability to focus, work within stressful situations and willing to be a helping hand made her a valuable crew member for all regattas. Tamara worked a lot at the foredeck and was as a valuable member of the crew.
Boats, Sunglasses and an awesome beard: Thom
Thom is a Skûtsje sailor and owns a boat himself which is located in the Amsterdam society museum harbor. He has participated several times (at least 5 times!) and with his knowledge of Het Beurtveer, he was a great help. Experience with this sort of events is key to successfully plan and execute the strategies.
Bad luck for Paul
Paul was really unlucky at this regatta. On the first day he caught a sort of food poisoning and had to lie down for quite some time (around fifteen hours). We, of course, missed him as a person but also this meant that we had one crew member less. Mostly it’s a real pity for him to travel from Germany to the Netherlands to sail this race and then not being able to participate 100%… Luckily, Paul felt a lot better on day two and was able to sail with us.
Full of action: Yesse
In the past two years Yesse has been sailing with his skipper Jan Willem Tetteroo on the traditional sailing vessel Confiance. As one of the photos below clearly shows, Yesse can be very focused on his goals. He is a hard worker with a lot of enthusiasm for sailing and chartering. Maintaining boats or working for hours on end on the bow (for example to do the trimming): it does not matter, Yesse does it all – regardless of the weather conditions.
Oh and just as proof that not everything goes well all the time, this happened too:
As we left the harbor of Lemmer, the ship heeled over to one side due to the wind. It heeled over so far that a pan (that was secured!) jumped happily from the stove on the ground. Of course the pan was completely filled with pasta sauce. I would like to call these pictures: the great pasta sauce spillage of 2018. Cooking during a regatta certainly requires some skill!
To end upon a high note: When you win, you celebrate. And this is the Overwinning-crew celebrating our record time at the award ceremony :)
(I did not take this picture. If you know who has, please let me know as I would like to add the proper credits)
For those interested in all results (we were not the only one in this race ;) ): All the ships and their results!
In the meanwhile: if you see any pictures that you like (perhaps you have seen your own ship sail by in this story) or would like some special topic photos, do not hesitate to contact me! I am a photographer specialized in everything that has to do with sailing (landscapes, interior and exterior of ships and their crew) and I will also happily help you out if you want a great picture of your ship for your wall or website!
And last but not least, I made a video about this whole trip:
Thanks for checking out this post!
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p.s. I do appreciate all critique - please give me your input!
Contact me via the above or ric[at]ricpicks.de