40th anniversary of cargo ship racing

Anyone cruising in Dutch waters this summer, might like to visit the Amsterdam canals to see the 40th anniversary of an exciting race of cargo ships.
Vereniging Zeilvracht will be celebrating its 40th year of racing, featuring barges and traditional sail boats, on 20 October 2013. This year, it will see fifty traditional cargo ships at the start of both races, the Beurtveer and the Stontrace. Any engine use during either race is forbidden, making sailing through narrow canals of Amsterdam interesting.
Stonetrace is known as the rough race where each ship must take ‘dried manure’ from Workum to Warmond, where they will load another delivery and set off back to Workum. The first to moor back at the pier in Workum wins.

Beurtveer starts shortly after Stontrace for another race to Amsterdam and back. Each barge will cruise to to the capital visiting old former Zuiderzee cities and leaving notes in the harbours as proof of their visit. Again, the first to moor back at the pier in Workum wins.

Organisers said:

“Are we, sailors of the Strontrace and Beurtveer using our outdated ships to reenact something that has been left for dead a long time ago, absolutely mad? A little. Will the need for sailing transport come back and the old (or new) craftmanships with it? A definite yes. You are the prove of it and we are proud to welcome you to our little flight back in time when sailing was a common profession and a central part in the lives of so many people of the Netherlands. In doesn’t matter that the scale, form or technology of a new era of cargosailing will be different than what we present; we all need the same driving force: fair winds! “

To find out more about both races visit the website