Den Helder has a long and successful history with SAIL. The city successfully organised a SAIL event five times: in 1993, 1998, 2008, 2013 and 2017.
The last time SAIL Den Helder was organised, the 4-day event attracted 350,000 visitors! There were also great musical performances and many activities on and near the water. SAIL Den Helder was organised in combination with the Navy Days.
From bidbook to contract
For 2023, the SAIL Den Helder Foundation, together with the municipalities of Den Helder, Texel, Hollands Kroon, the province of North Holland and the Royal Netherlands Navy, submitted a ‘bid book’ to the board of Sail Training International (STI) to have Den Helder selected as the host port for the Tall Ships Races 2023.
STI is the organisation that organises the annual Tall Ships races. In early 2021, STI accepted the offer of the SAIL Den Helder Foundation, which resulted in a contract for the organisation of this event from 29 June to 2 July 2023. The ‘bid book’ gives a good impression of what we plan to organise.
The SAIL Den Helder Foundation was established by the mayor of Den Helder with the aim of promoting Den Helder as a port for tall-ships events and to give shape to the organisation of SAIL. The foundation acts on behalf of the municipality of Den Helder and has the mandate to sign the contract with Sail Training International (STI). The SAIL Den Helder Foundation acts as a steering committee and operates at the executive level with representatives from the municipalities of Den Helder, Texel, Hollands Kroon and the Royal Netherlands Navy. The foundation maintains contact with STI, the three municipalities, the province of North Holland, the Royal Netherlands Navy, sponsors and other relevant stakeholders. The foundation’s task is to promote and organise SAIL Den Helder 2023 in close coordination with the Navy Days 2023.
The foundation’s board consists of representatives of the three municipalities and the Royal Netherlands Navy:
Arian Minderhoud, retired Commodore
Peter Kramer, Financial Director Woningstichting (housing foundation) Den Helder
Kees Turnhout, Deputy Director Port of Den Helder
Peter-Paul Solkesz, chairman of the Helderse Ondernemers Vereniging (Association of Entrepreneurs in Den Helder)
Jan Frederici, on behalf of the municipality of Texel
Elbert Volkers, on behalf of the municipality of Hollands Kroon
Hugo Sinke, representing the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy
To actively enable young people between the ages of 15 and 25 to be involved and participate in the organisation and activities of Sail Den Helder 2023.
This applies to young people in general, but certainly also to young people with less opportunities or a disability. They can sign up as a ‘trainee’ on board of one of the tall ships to sail along for part of the STI race, experience life at sea and work on board in a close team, which will give them valuable life experiences. This also includes young people within the organisation of Sail for the many tasks of the organisation in preparing for and running this big event, for an enriching experience as a volunteer or a work placement for secondary or higher education.
The Netherlands has a rich maritime tradition and a strong connection to the sea. A maritime country like the Netherlands wants to continue to invest in engaging and educating young people in all that the sea has to offer. Through the organisations ‘Windseeker’ and ‘Sail Academy’, the organisation is in direct contact with various educational institutions in the region Noordkop and elsewhere in order to provide work placements and work experience opportunities for students and to enable them to obtain study credits.
- Promotion of ‘Blue Energy’
Sustainability and the protection of our living environment are high on the agenda of Den Helder, Hollands Kroon and Texel. The unique location of these municipalities by the sea stresses the importance of and dependence on a clean and healthy maritime environment for future generations. Den Helder is increasingly turning to offshore wind energy. The tall ships that will visit Sail Den Helder are also a wonderful example of using wind energy at sea. Sail Den Helder wants to provide a platform for organisations involved in the protection and sustainability of the maritime environment.
Important topics that Sail Den Helder aims to support are: the fight against plastic pollution, the energy transition to sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources, the protection of the fragile maritime environment such as the Wadden Sea, and clean water. Sail Den Helder aims to be on par with the most environmentally friendly and sustainable events, striving for a world without plastic waste and with the lowest possible CO2 emissions and air pollution. Sail Den Helder stands for a sustainable, environmentally friendly use of the sea.