With Den Helder as the starting port for the Tall Ship Races 2023, the dream of sailing on one of those impressive sailing ships suddenly comes a lot closer for young people from the top of North Holland. Sailing experience is not a requirement: being available from July 1 to July 8, 2023, a good mood and sense of adventure is enough to go on a huge Tall Ship! As a trainee you will experience an unforgettable journey and at the same time you will also develop professional skills.

The Tall Ships Races were established to foster international friendships and foster mutual understanding and respect. That is why you work together with peers from other countries during the trip. Besides sailing on the Tall Ship, sports, culture and parties are also central.

“The ship is leaning, the engine is turned off and with only the wind in the sails we are heading for Hartlepool in England. Bottlenose dolphins appear along the route that seem to play with each other and continue to follow the ship for part of the journey. Music is made on deck under the starry sky and sometimes you make friends for life in such a week,” says director Monique Touw, who through her company Windseeker has already introduced thousands of young people to life and culture on board a Tall Ship.

Requirements for trainees 

-You are living in the Netherlands

- You are between 15 and 25 years old at the time of the race.

- Are you older than 25 years and also sail with the Tall Ships Races?? Send an email to info@windseeker.org

- If you are younger than 18, you need permission from your parent(s).

- In possession of a valid passport (after Brexit you can only enter the United Kingdom with a passport).

- You have health insurance

- You do NOT need sailing experience

- Certain sailing ships are specially equipped for disabled people and provided with guidance for young people with a disability.


July 1, 2023: At the end of the afternoon you board a Tall Ship on which you are assigned. Sail Den Helder 2023 is currently in full swing. The first instructions are given and the day ends with a spectacular final show!

July 2, 2023: Further instructions are given and then all Tall Ships assemble between Den Helder and Texel for the Sail Parade. Afterwards, the Tall Ships will gather at the Start Line for the start of the Tall Ships Races 2023.

2 to 6 July: At sea, the ship's crew will teach you everything about life on a Tall Ship. You might even win the Tall Ships Races!

July 6, 2023: Hartlepool harbor is reached today allowing Sail Hartlepool to commence. The start starts with a warm welcome and activities ashore with music.

July 7, 2023: There are many activities ashore. You walk the Crew Parade through the city with all the other crew, where the Price Giving Ceremony of Sail Training International is continuously organized. At the end of the day there is a Crew Party, which is only for the crew of the Tall Ships.

July 8, 2023: The journey is over for the trainees! You say goodbye to your new friends and you go back to the Netherlands with the mentors and the 199 other trainees.


Sail Den Helder Foundation sponsors every young person who wants to participate in the Tall Ships Races 2023 on Race 1 to Hartepool. And in two ways. First by paying part of the costs. You can participate for EURO 999,-. This includes:

- Your stay on board from 1 July to 8 July 2023, including full board.

- Transport back to the Netherlands on July 8, 2023

- Your travel insurance

- Guidance on board and in Hartlepool by mentors

- STO guarantor (Windseeker is affiliated with STO Garant. This gives all trainees the guarantee that if the trip cannot take place, for example due to Corona measures, they will receive a full refund. With STO-Garant Windseeker meets all the requirements of the European Package travel guideline. This means that there are more benefits, such as the right to send a replacement participant if you can no longer participate yourself. For more information, please visit STO-Garant.)

In order to collect the costs, the Sail Den Helder Foundation also helps with a Fundraising Training under the supervision of Windseeker. You will learn tools there, such as using your network, making an elevator pitch and a plan of activities that you can perform to actually get the money together. That is an individual plan. You will then get to work under the guidance of coaches. Participation in this program is reimbursed by the Sail Den Helder Foundation and therefore free for everyone who registers. You only take on the obligation for the trip when you have the finances together.

The fundraising training starts on the same day as the information afternoon. On that day you will be guided online through videos, assignments and coaching.

Information Day

During the information day on March 13 19:30 - 20:30 , 2023, a presentation will first be given about the Tall Ships Races 2023. After a break to get to know the other trainees and crew members, we will start the fundraising training.

If you are unable to attend on October 29, but are interested, please register and we will contact you.

Registration form trainees Tall Ships Races 2023


Will Covid-19 Affect the Tall Ships Races 2023? – Some ships require a vaccination of all people on board, other ships do not. During the information afternoon, it will be indicated to which ships this applies. Most ships follow the policy of their government, so when it makes it mandatory, they do it too. Same with abolishing.

Can I come alone? - Yes, certainly on board you get to know your fellow trainees very quickly. You probably already have a group after the information day, or else just a little further when you learn to fundraise together. Of course you can always indicate if you want to sail with someone, then we will ensure that you come on the same ship.

When will I know which ship I am sailing on? - After the information day you register definitively for participation. Then you can indicate which ships you are interested in. The moment you have made the first payments (either yourself or from your sponsors), your spot is reserved.

Why Windseeker? - The Sail Den Helder Foundation organizes the entire sail event and has recruited a specialist for the trainee program. Windseeker has been around for 18 years, was founded and is now manned by (former) crews of the Tall Ships. They have supported more than 14,000 young people in finding the right ship/trip for them and work with more than 25 ships, mainly from Europe.

How do I take out my travel insurance? - Your travel insurance is taken out with Allianz and includes luggage coverage. The policies for 2023 are not yet known. View the insurance card that applies to 2022 here.

What is the situation with regard to Brexit and a passport? - Hartlepool is located in the United Kingdom (UK). Because the UK is no longer part of the EU, you can no longer travel to the UK with an ID card. So you need a passport to participate in Race 1 of the Tall Ships Races 2023. You don't need a visa. Indication for costs for obtaining a passport are €57.34 for young people up to 18 years, and €75.82 for 18 years and older. Expect a long wait for new documents. Please note that your passport must be valid until July 9 2023.