On October 15, 24 Dutch traditional charter ships left Rotterdam to start their annual Race of the Classics across the North Sea and back to Amsterdam.
A company had sponsored every ship and there were 800 young professionals aboard the fl eet. Because there was little wind, the ships motored south from the Hook van Holland and when the wind picked up they raced across to the Outer Gabbard. Most of the fleet then motored and anchored off Harwich before going up to Ipswich.
The brig Morgenster, which has a professional crew of seven to work the ship, and 30 passengers ‘to help,’ made the fastest time, but on corrected time the winner for the fi rst half was the steel tops’l schooner Wylde Swan of Makkum, which averaged 9 knots. The Wylde Swan, the world’s largest tops’l schooner, was built as a German steam trawler in 1920 but was lengthened in 1925. She became a tops’l schooner when Captain Willem Sligting bought her to be used for charter work from Harlingen. He had previously owned the brigantine Swan fan Makkum.
Last summer the Bristol barque Kaskelot went to the West India Dock, London and across to France and there is talk of her making a voyage to the West Indies. The other wooden barque, Earl of Pembroke, that now has black sails, went around to the Thames in the autumn for more filming.
Also at Bristol was Graham Bailey’s Skibbereen based 3-masted lugger Peel Castle, named after a hymn tune, which was built at Porthleven in 1929 as a motor lugger. She was fishing until 1979 and was converted to a Brittany style bisquine lugger in Ireland.