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Leg 8 | Race 16 | Willemsoord | Netherlands NL

02 Jul 2014 - 10 Jul 2014


Home to the Holland’s main Naval Base, the city of Den Helder will give a warm welcome to the Clipper Race fleet for the second time in the race’s history, following a successful visit with host and team sponsor De Lage Landen in the previous edition of the race.

Host port Den Helder is an attractive city, not only to live in, but for holidays as well. North Holland North, with Den Helder at the top, is the land of sun, sea, tranquility and clean air. Some 1.5 million nights a year are spent in tourist accommodation. The roads, parking facilities, retail trade and recreational facilities are all designed to accommodate more than 80,000 people.

Den Helder and its surroundings have hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. Julianadorp is the ideal seaside resort for the entire family, with camping grounds, bungalow parks, bed and breakfasts, subtropical swimming pools, an expansive, clean beach and magnificent dunes. Huisduinen marks the beginning of the seven kilometre-long beach front, with a pleasant beach club at each major beach entrance. Den Helder has interesting museums, delightful shopping centres and lovely hiking and cycling routes.

Close to the city centre lays Willemsoord, the former marine and maintenance yard for the Dutch Royal Navy. This harbour will host the twelve yachts of the Clipper 13-14 fleet in the summer of 2014. Plenty of entertainment is available in a number of restaurants where you can enjoy a good lunch or dinner, drink and music; each one has its own specialties and unique atmosphere.

The Netherlands borders the North Sea so a lot of fish is eaten, both smoked and fresh. The most notable fish dish is the zoute haring which consists of an uncooked herring, filleted while you wait, and eaten whole with chopped onions as a snack; an acquired taste for the foreigner. Smoked eels are also considered a great delicacy.


There are no licensing laws in the Netherlands and drinks can be bought all day. Bars open later and stay open until the early hours of the morning during weekends. Dutch specialities include Jenever - a local spirit made with juniper berries and sometimes called Dutch gin.

At the centre of the old naval yard, a museum port has been created by the Stichting Nautische Monumenten Den Helder (Nautical Monuments Foundation) to include many special vessels. The museum port also has mooring facilities, a slipway, workshops, a restoration and exhibition hall and a club canteen known as 't Schipperscafé. The Willemsoord complex is also home to the Dutch Navy Museum and the Dorus Rijkers National Lifeboat Museum. You can make a round-trip in an historic lifeboat and also visit the historical ship Schorpioen and the minesweeper