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Saturday 16 June is the big day: the Round Texel Race, the world’s biggest ‘cat’, or catamaran, race, will be held for the 41th time!
Some 300 catamarans are expected to turn up at the starting line on Saturday morning. The field of starters is mixed: both amateur sailors and the leading international sailing stars will take part. The objective is to sail around Texel as fast as possible.
The exact starting time depends on the currents and wind, and will be announced on Saturday morning during the Skippers’ Briefing.
The event starts and finishes at Paal (post) 17, on the island’s west coast. From Paal 17 the catamarans head towards the lighthouse. This is a critical point in the competition: if you arrive at the lighthouse too late then you have the current against you and sadly, you’ll have to give up the struggle. But if you do get there on time then you sail on towards Oudeschild. Then you cross the Marsdiep channel where the confrontation with the TESO ferry is always an exciting aspect. From the Marsdiep you sail on to the finish back at Paal 17.
Where will you get the best view of the contest as a spectator? The start at Paal 17 is really spectacular to watch. The beach at the lighthouse, the waddendijk and the dyke at Oudeschild are also recommended. The first boats are expected back at the Paal 17 finish line in around three hours. You can follow the entire competition live (in Dutch) on Radio Texel, 106.1 FM.
Would you like to take part in the Round Texel Race yourself at some future time? You can take sailing lessons at Texel’s Catamaranzeilschool De Eilander. Practise a lot and who knows, you could even be the winner of the next Round Texel Race!