Main Menu

The Liberty Tall Ships Regatta 2019 North Sea Feeder Race, Report Two: Fighting Back to the Finish Line

Posted on: 26.06.19

The North Sea Feeder Race saw a stunning race for Urania (Netherlands) and Shabab Oman II (Oman) as the Dutch crew’s tactical choices saw them take line honours in a closely fought battle to the finish…

After a strong start which saw Shabab Oman II (Oman) first through the start gate, the North Sea Feeder Race evolved into a classic tactical battle between the rigs to take advantage of prevailing winds. The first 24 hrs of the race saw the leading ships holding the same course in the face of south easterly winds, but as the vessels passed the waypoint marker the crews were faced with two choices – to follow the Danish coast or sail towards Norway and tack back to the finish line.

Urania (Netherlands) opted to follow the Danish coast which, although not enough to take them to the finish line, gave them enough of an advantage to overtake Shabab Oman II (Oman) when tacking in the final stages of the race. Shabab Oman II found little success in their initial choice to head north and came within 10 miles of the Norwegian coast before opting to tack their way south and towards the finish line. 

Race Director of The North Sea Feeder Race, Ben Stuart, explained just how tactical decisions can make all the difference when racing different sized Tall Ships and Small Ships, and gave an update on Shtandart (Russia) and Belem  (France).

“Over the course of the race through the length of the north sea tactics play a big part. Larger vessels move fast over the water if the wind is behind them, but once it moves to the front they have to change direction. Smaller more modern vessels by contrast can sail towards the wind with far greater ease but find the sea harder to cope with. Predicting the wind and weather further up the race course plays a big part in sailing to your vessels best attributes.

“Unfortunately, Shtandart (Russia) retired before getting on the race course itself. Logistics in port delayed their departure and meant that they were unable to take advantage of the favourable winds in the first 24 hrs of the race.

Belem (France) was never likely to compete for line honours (crossing the line first) so gambled on a tactical race to take advantage of the wind shift to the north west. It’s a risky decision, but one that could well pay off as they enter the final strait. If they can hold their line and speed, they could win the race on corrected time.

“Over the years, we have developed a unique handicap system that allows vessels of all ages, rig and size to compete on an equal footing. This means that although Urania (Netherlands), a modern vessel with modern rig design, could lose the race to the three masted Belem (France), a grand old lady built in 1896.”

Race Director of the North Sea Feeder Race, Ben Stuart

Provisional Results – ON  CORRECTED TIME (HANDICAP)

  1. Urania (Netherlands)
  2. Belem (France)
  3. Shabab Oman II (Oman)
  4. Shtandart (Russia) *Retired

NB: Race report Provisional Results are accurate as of 15:00 UTC (26 June)


Once again, you will be able to follow the Tall Ships fleet as they make their way along the race route thanks to the YB satellite tracking system. You can keep up to date with who is leading each race leg and ensure you miss none of the sailing action.

Each participating ship in the Races is fitted with a YB satellite transponder, a self-contained battery operated tracker which allows tracking of a vessel’s position from anywhere on earth. All vessels taking part in the Races are equipped with one so spectators can follow the fleet – anytime, anywhere!




Following the end of the North Sea Feeder Race, the Tall Ships will join up with the start of the Tall Ships Races 2019 in Aalborg, Denmark. This year, Europe’s largest, free, family festival will visit north-west Europe during the summer, with a fleet of over 70 international Tall and Small Ships. The three-leg event will see vessels sailing from Aalborg, Denmark to Fredrikstad, Norway. Following this will be a stunning cruise-in-company along the coast of Norway to Bergen and a nail-biting race back to Aarhus, Denmark.

The event is open to young people aged 15-25, giving them the opportunity to get involved in a competitive event whilst also gaining skills in sailing, communication and building confidence. You can check out our dedicated event and Host Port pages to find out how you can take part!




The Liberty Tall Ships Regatta 2019 will see the international fleet of Tall Ships race from Rouen, France, to Scheveningen/The Hague, the Netherlands. We’re delighted to have now added a feeder race that will enable the ships to go onto the start of The Tall Ships Races 2019 in Aalborg.

Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the liberation of occupied territory in Northwestern Europe, the Liberty Tall Ships Regatta 2019 will echo the theme of international friendship and understanding that is central to each and every Sail Training International Tall Ships event. After racing through the English Channel the fleet will embark on a Cruise-in-Company to Scheveningen/The Hague where there will be an invigorating port programme between 20-23 June.