It is happens only once every five years, “Sail Amsterdam”. One of the most beautiful and impressive sail events that I know. And clipper “Stad Amsterdam” owes its existence to this event. During “Sail” in 1995, the idea arose to build the "Stad Amsterdam". Many Tall ships entered the port of Amsterdam, but there was no Dutch Tall ship sailing in. After two years of planning and drawing the keel was laid in 1997 in Amsterdam. Through this project many unemployed were given a chance to receive training or to be integrated in the labor market. In 2000 the ship was ready and she first participated in “Sail Amsterdam”.
This year I was honored to sail ahead of the entry parade. Prince Maurits opened the 9th “Sail Amsterdam” event by tolling four bells when leaving the locks.
I never knew there were so many ships and boats in the Netherlands. When the sluice door opened there was no water to be seen. The whole channel was full of boats. Slowly and carefully we tried to find our way through this colorful and honking mass. Only at the “Velsen Tunnel” the water started to turn a bit lighter so we could set more sail and we could increase speed. It was unbelievable how many people were standing along the canal to see the ships sail in and unimaginable how busy it was on the “IJ” during these days. But not only on the water there was chaos, there were also thousands of people on the quay side. Because we hosted parties for invited guests in the afternoons and evenings aboard, we were only able to open the ship to the public in the morning. But in these two hours periods where everyone could come and see the ship we have counted a daily average of 1,500 visitors.
Tomorrow “ Sail” is over again and we will go to IJmuiden where we will receive guests on a daily basis for short trips on the North Sea.
Captain "Clipper Stad Amsterdam"