Den Helder celebrating fleet’s arrival with ‘Holland Days’ festival this weekend

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To celebrate the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into The Netherlands, Den Helder is hosting a public event this weekend with live music, a silent disco on a floating church, street theatre, sand sculpture, a cheese market, international food and Clipper Race Village stalls.

The 'Holland Days' festival is happening at Willemsoord, the former wharf of the Royal Netherlands Navy and where the fleet is moored during the Dutch stopover.

A Royal Netherlands Navy ship simulator will also offer visitors the chance to take control of a warship from its bridge.

Each day, a Clipper 70 boat is available for the public to look on board for a taste of life at sea and to see where the crews eat, sleep and navigate during their adventure.

On Saturday 5 July, the boat is open to the public from 1000-1800, and on Sunday between 1200 and 1900.

The Clipper Race dome is also open all weekend for any Dutch or international people interested in taking part in the next race in 2015/16.

An official recruitment talk will be hosted by Dave Cusworth, Clipper Race crew recruitment and development manager, at 1100 on Sunday 6 July at Holland House.

Switzerland’s official charity Mercy Ships will have a stand distributing information about its medical ships that provide vital services around the world at the event, and a doctor for the charity will also attend. Also attending is Clipper Race official technical clothing supplier, Henri Lloyd, who will be selling products.

The OneDLL Cup prizegiving for Race 15 will take place from 2000 on Saturday on the stage, with DJ Oscar Bigalow playing until 2200 when the World Cup final between Holland and Costa Rica will be shown at Holland House.

Artists including Bark, Soul D’light, Billy Rock and the Gamblers are the musical highlights for the weekend. 

On Sunday, the Royal Navy Band will perform on stage between 1200 and 1900.

Dutch-speaking visitors can find out more about the event here.

To watch a video of the Dutch Old Pulteney skipper, Patrick van der Zijden, talking about his homecoming, click here.