On the first day of boot Düsseldorf, the entry lists for Germany's largest and only ocean regatta, the North Sea Week, will traditionally be opened. Thus boot Düsseldorf is the start of this unique regatta event with cult character, which is held every year over Whitsuntide off Helgoland.
The idea was born in 1908 when Kaiser Wilhelm II commissioned the Weser Yacht Club to organise a regatta. The idea of the WYK for a race on the Außenweser, however, was given the cold shoulder by many Baltic Sea sailors. Although the Emperor preferred Kiel, the Baltic Sea was again not demanding enough for the North Sea sailors.
History of the North Sea Week
Many internationally acclaimed regattas were sailed on tidal waters. Therefore the WYK together with the Northern German Regatta Association founded a new regatta series in 1922 and already in the same year the first North Sea Week took place. In the second year almost 70 boats had already registered for the new regatta. 1925, for the 4th North Sea Week, Helgoland was the destination for the first time.
Guard rails, radio direction finders, GPS, echo sounder - all this was not invented yet. The island had to be found with the compass. After 13 years of forced hiatus due to the 2nd World War, 51 yachts from Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven started again in 1953 towards Helgoland for the 19th North Sea Week. In the 60's there were already about 15,000 people visiting Helgoland for the North Sea Week and the number of registered yachts rose to more than 100 for the first time.
In the following decades the regatta increased in popularity, especially the Admirals Cup eliminations of 1973, where for the first time a German crew could win the Cup, caused the medial interest but also the interest of the sailors in the event to skyrocket. After the high point in the 70s and early 80s, interest in the regatta gradually declined. After various innovations in the sailing sector as well as in regatta and event formats, the North Sea Week has been on a clear growth trajectory again since 2010 and the number of registrations is constantly rising.
The North Sea Week is for amateurs and professionals alike with its various shuttle regattas from Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven and Hallig Hooge, with the opening regatta series SE Vibe Out Series, which consists of three individual regattas (Sundowner, Hummer 1 and Hummer 2), as well as with the races Capitell Cup round Helgoland, Helgoländer Acht, Family Cruiser Cup and since 2017 the Helgoland Challenge. The two long-distance regattas Pantaenius Rund Skagen (510 nautical miles) and the Helgoland-Edinburgh regatta (420 nautical miles) alternate annually to conclude the North Sea Week.
The North Sea week can also be enjoyed without actually sailing. Helgoland has a unique climate thanks to the nearby Gulf Stream and its location about 30 nautical miles off the coast. The pollen-poor, dust-free air and the varied nature are enjoyed not only by the people but also by about 700 seals. Many are almost within reach, especially on the dune. The offshore bathing island offers extensive beaches and clear, healthy North Sea water. No wonder that many sailors also bring their families and many battle travellers with them to the island. Some sail regattas, others simply go on holiday. And in the evening they celebrate together. And the North Sea Week is famous for the parties in the boot Düsseldorf Race Village.
boot Düsseldorf & North Sea Week
In 1977 the "Düsseldorfer Yacht Club" was accepted into the circle of organizers of the North Sea Week. After the anniversary celebration of the 75th edition of the regatta in 2009, there was more news from Düsseldorf at the beginning of 2010: After the new partnership between boot Düsseldorf and Nordseewoche had been announced, the new main sponsor did not hesitate to offer a welcome beer for the 76th North Sea Week in the Alexseal Offshore Lounge at the Helgoland harbour in the boot Düsseldorf Race Village.
During the entire Whitsun weekend, boot Düsseldorf, under the motto "Competence and Partnership", has since been providing indispensable information about sailing weather in cooperation with wetterwelt.de, presented on site by Dr. Meeno Schrader. Every year on Saturday evening after the regattas, the big regatta party, which is also organised by boot Düsseldorf, attracts visitors with a traditional Whitsun ox and a colourful entertainment programme.