HEADING FOR THE LONDON OLYMPICS – A few things to do along the way.

Posted April 13, 2012, 10:53 a.m.
HEADING FOR THE LONDON OLYMPICS – A few things to do along the way. The Olympics, as I am sure you are aware, are happening in London this summer. There are, or were, many berths made available on the Thames in and around London for Superyachts and packages are available that will enable you to get the best tickets to the best events. It is rumoured that many yachts will be heading that way, but before you set off it is worth noting that there are other interesting events being held around the UK that lead up to the Olympics. You may like to consider taking part in one or more of them, if you have a suitable sail yacht that is, or you may simply wish to watch the action from the comfort of your yacht as you follow the fleet. June 26-30th J Class Regatta Falmouth. We all know about J-Class yachts, their history and how dramatic they look under sail, well the J Class Association have planned for two spectacular regattas in England during 2012. Falmouth will be the first time in history that more than four of these imposing yachts will race together. (11 are in existence or under construction) Spectators in Falmouth will be the first in the UK to view this wonderful fleet. Six J Class yachts, each 140 feet in length and weighing around 200 tons, with a crew of up to thirty are expected. This will be a yachting event not to be missed! Contact: July 2 – 7th The Pendennis Cup, Falmouth. As I write 13 impressive sail yachts have already entered. For anybody that has never visited Falmouth, it is a beautiful town with a great sailing heritage. Pendennis, without doubt the best Superyacht builder in the UK, is hosting this event. It takes place every two years. Adela, Altair, Athos, these are just a few of the wonderful vessels taking part. Contact: July 18 – 21st J Class Regatta, Solent. The Solent Regatta will be hosted by the The Royal Southampton Yacht Club (RSYC). The Solent was the traditional home of J Class racing during the 1930s. Three races are planned, one starting in the Western Solent and around Christchurch bay. One starting in the eastern Solent and into Hayling Bay, and a third in the central Solent. The Fleet will all be based together in Hythe, near to Southampton. On July 21st The Hundred Guinea Cup Race, which is now known as The Americas Cup, is the last and most poignant J-Class race of the Regatta and will start on the RYS line off Cowes. It will be sailed over the original 75mile, 1851 clockwise course around the Isle of Wight. This J Class event will no doubt attract many thousands of spectators and you can of course follow the racing if you bring your own yacht along. Contact: July 22 – 25th The Superyacht Cup - Cowes, Isle of Wight. 21 yachts have already registered for what looks to be a blockbuster of an event. Berthing in Cowes for your Superyacht will not be possible, in fact all of the available big boat berths have been taken up by the yachts competing but anchoring off is not a bad option. The Queen will be visiting Cowes on the 25th July as well and other sailing events will be taking place during the week. Lots to do and enjoy. Contact: July 27 – August 12th The London Olympics Sailing events will be held in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour - If you are visiting the UK to see the Olympics and don’t wish to be in the centre of London you could spend a few days supporting your countries sailors in Portland Harbour Contact: & If you are heading for London and have not taken a berth as yet you could try The Royal Docks where already superyachts up to 65m have booked. VIP Concierge services are also available as well as all important security. It is close to London City airport and only three miles from the Olympic Park and other event venues. Contact: While you are visiting the Olympics you may just want to pop across to mainland Europe for a few days, here is a suggested cruise. HAMBURG - GERMANY Heading north east from London takes you to the famous port city of Hamburg. Hamburg is the 2nd biggest city in Germany and is also a gateway to Berlin. Once you have arrived it is possible to take in the 1200 years of living history, culture and much, much more. With the help of a good guide many interesting tours can be undertaken during your stay. Hamburg is new and old at the same time. There are old churches, especially ‘The Michel’, Hamburg’s most famous landmark. The present church building is the third one at this site. The church as we know it today was finished in 1786 . It was reconstructed twice in the 20th century: after catching fire in 1906 during construction work and after the bombings of 1944 and 1945. Since 1983, renovation has been ongoing and 2,500 seats makes Michel the largest church in Hamburg. The spire, from the top of which one has an excellent view over the city and the harbour, can be climbed, but there also is a lift. The magnificent City Hall is also worth a visit and was built after the original hall was destroyed in the great fire of Hamburg in 1842. Construction on the present hall started in 1886 and the new city hall was inaugurated in 1897. The city hall has taken center stage at many historical moments for Hamburg. It was from here that on May 3, 1945 the Nazi commander in chief General Woltz surrendered Hamburg to the British Army. Also in abundance are houses with small timber-framed facades from the 17th century and there are numerous museums to visit that illustrate Hamburg’s long and varied history. In contrast; modern HafenCity, Europes biggest inner city development project could be of interest. From the water the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall, expected to open officially in 2012, is clearly visible. It has been designed to house a concert building, a 250 room five-star hotel, a wellness and conference zone and 47 owner-occupied apartments. Hamburg is Germany’s ‘musicals’ capital and 3rd in the world after New York and London. First class entertainment, perfect choreography and passionate songs thrill over two million visitors annually. Extravaganzas, ballet and orchestras as well as a lively club scene are other attractions. World stars deliver the finest performances in major venues. Hamburg is a real shopping Eldorado. At its center lies a concentration of elegant shopping malls, arcades and streets, full of sophisticated designer boutiques, haut couture, as well as exquisite jewellery and valuable watches. Downtown Hamburg also features high-class shops for interior design, select antique shops, delicatessens and a whole range of large department stores. Mönckebergstrasse and Spitalerstrasse are among the ten most frequented shopping streets in Germany. Contact: Fernando Salgado - H.C. Roever Maritime Agency GmbH E-mail: Web: - A proud member of the AYSS THE KIEL CANAL - GERMANY From hamburg you can travel comfortably through to Denmark via the Kiel Canal. The 61 mile long Canal has an interesting history and was known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal until 1948. It links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. Around 250 nautical miles is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. This not only saves time but also avoids a potentially rough North Sea trip. It is reputed to be the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world; over 33,000 ships passed through in 2011. The two seas were first connected by the Eider Canal, which used stretches of the Eider River to link the North Sea and the Baltic. The Eiderkanal was completed in 1784 and was a 27mile part of a 109 mile long waterway from Kiel to the Eider River's mouth at Tönning on the west coast. Due to Germanys pressing Naval interests towards the close of the 19th Century it was decided to build the present Kiel Canal and in June 1887, construction work began. The canal took over 9,000 workers eight years to build. On June 20, 1895, the canal was officially opened by Kaiser Wilhelm II. In order to meet the increasing traffic and the demands of the Imperial German Navy, between 1907 and 1914 the canal width was increased. The widening of the canal allowed the passage of a Dreadnought-sized battleship. After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles internationalised the canal while leaving it under German administration. The government under Adolf Hitler repudiated its international status in 1936. After World War II the canal was reopened to all traffic. There are traffic rules for the canal which are too detailed to go into here but it is worth noting that the maximum air draft of a vessel is 138ft which would exclude many of today’s larger sail yachts. This brings us to Denmark, the gateway to the Baltic Sea and with approximately 4500 miles of coastline it is ideal for port hopping. We will begin in Copenhagen, the capital city since the year 1417, which has a population of little more than a half million people. It is the city in which the modern developments of the 20th century, far from spoiling the atmosphere of history and old-world charm, have been blended with the older buildings and monuments to form a thriving and harmonious environment. The location of the city, with the international airport situated only 20 minutes away from the port and astride the trade routes between continental Europe and Scandinavia, is such that during the past years Copenhagen has become a metropolis at the mouth of the Baltic. In Copenhagen you can bring a yacht alongside in the middle of the City to enjoy all of the spectacular sights, restaurants, museums, shops and architecture, all just a few steps away from the gangway. Heading North from Copenhagen you will find the port of Elsingor – known as the city of Hamlet. Apart from being a beautiful city with a wide selection of restaurant and cafes’, Elsingor is also well-known for the ‘Kronborg Castle’. The ‘Kronborg Castle’ became the setting for William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. The play has been performed here many times with actors like John Gielgud, Michael Redgrave, Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, and Kenneth Branagh. If you head northwest from Elsingor you will find Skagen, which is situated in the most northern part of Denmark. This area, known as the Land of Light, has attracted artists for generations. The most famous are the group known as the Skagen painters, where artists such as Krøyer and Ancher depicted Skagen with soft brushstrokes in the 19th century. Other artists have also been inspired by the unique light and landscapes in this area and their work can be seen at the many museums of art that abound here. Head south and you will find the port of Aalborg – Enjoy the views as you approach the spectacular homeport of the architect Jørn Utzon, responsible for the design of the award winning Sydney Opera House. In Aalborg the approach starts two hours prior to berthing with a fabulously scenic river cruise passing almost endless corn fields en route. The award-winning central harbor is located in the very heart of the city and is surrounded by innovative world-class architecture and exciting recreational park areas. Aalborg is a multi-faceted university city – full of contrasts. A city with a lust for life and all of its pleasures. It’s also grand on a manageable scale. The port and all the major city attractions are concentrated within easy distance. Further south and you find the port of Aarhus – reputedly the city with everything you could dream of. There is an energetic pulse in this vibrant city and with a student population of more than 40,000, Aarhus is Denmark’s youngest city – with its sights set firmly on the future. At the same time, however, the past is kept very much alive, with the oldest city quarters being some of the most atmospheric, bustling and trend-setting. Enjoy yourself going shopping, relaxing at one of the city’s many cafés, or strolling in the woods or along the sandy beaches before taking your pick among the generous selection of restaurants that the city has to offer. From Aarhus it is only a short trip to the Fyn Islands – known as the Islands of many opportunities. The main city of the Islands of Fyn is ‘Odense’. The city is the third largest in Denmark, offering a wide range of opportunities whether you seek activities or relaxation. The city of ‘Odense’ is especially proud of the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen who was born and grew up here. The house where he live is now transformed into a museum. The Islands of Fyn are also known as the land of a hundred manors and in the the countryside can be found a treasure trove of these well-maintained relics of the past. From Denmark you can head northwest to the dramatic coast of Norway or East to explore the Baltic sea and its many treasures, or simply head west to the coast of Scotland and the UK. Northern Europe may not be blessed everyday with sun and hot sandy beaches but it does have a great many fabulous destinations to visit and explore. With the London Olympics offering a great excuse to do something different during 2012 why not dust off the charts and set off on a yachting adventure that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the Mediterranean to countries steeped in history and where the people are sure to give you a great welcome. Contact: Anders Nodskov Pedersen - TR Shipping Denmark ApS Email : Web Site : - A proud member of the AYSS
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