The Race of the Classics began in 1989 as the brain child of two students from the Amsterdam Academy. It started life as a small cruise from Amsterdam to Ramsgate and back, but has grown and subsequently become an important professionally organised event for students and the classic sailing community.
Thanks to Race of the Classics, budding teams of students from the Netherlands are given the chance to participate in a real sailing race across the North Sea. Most of the students participating will have no prior sailing experience but under the inspiring leadership of their skippers, they will become experienced crewmembers. In total, about twenty classic sailing ships, ranging from 30 to 50 meters will take part. They include loggers, cutters, barkentijnen, two masters, three masters, clippers and schooners. The ships are traditionally rigged, which means that sailing is still very labour intensive. The participants are chasing the the coveted Challenge Cup, however, the Golden Compass and the RAA will not be an easy job for the sailing beginners.
Like previous years, the event will be preceded by an Open Day in Rotterdam Ferry Terminal. A day later, the fleet will leave the ferry port of Rotterdam, creating a beautiful spectacle of ships to the Erasmus bridge. They will head to birth in Belgium before navigating to a port in England. The fleet will cross the channel once again heading for the final destination of Amsterdam where they are to be met with a spectacular Portside Party.
Each vessel will be equipped with a YB tracker for the entirity of the race. The trackers will transmit several items of information including gps position, speed and direction, thus providing family, friends and the race organisers with a way to follow the fleet's progress.