Days of Gold

by Betsy Senescu October 05, 2023

It’s October, when the world turns golden: the sky, the foliage, even our coffee turns an umber shade, as pumpkin spice abounds! And the October pages of the 2023 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlight this rich and glowing time of day, when the sun is sinking low, while tenacious sailors eke every morsel out of the last whisper of dying breeze.

ULTIMATE SAILING Calendar October 2023

Our colleague photographer Sander van der Borch also had to be tenacious, to capture these beautiful and ethereal images of the Open Dutch Championship Allianz regatta! “The event was the selection for the Youth World in Oman, so there was a lot riding on this event,” Sander pointed out. “There was a thick fog, without a lot of wind, so it was a long day!” ‘Hurry up and wait’ was the name of the game for the roughly 300 competitors: despite showing up early and eager that morning.

Medemblik Harbor

The regatta took place in Medemblik, just north of Amsterdam on the ljsselmeer: a massive freshwater bay created by ancient dykes and dams. An ideal playground! But this fickle, shallow setting can also throw surprises at mariners, "almost any kind of weather," Sander explained. "Rain, sun, fog, windy, light air ... It's a bit like any other venue, depending on what season you are sailing. But that's not usual for sailors, or for us photographers too: we also have to be ready for anything mother nature has to offer."

Finally, the haze lifted, and officials were able to pull off a number of races.

“When the fog cleared, we had this beautiful sunset due to the moisture that hung in the air. Normally we don’t have sunsets like this in the Netherlands, but because it was autumn the sun sat low at the horizon for a longer time. A very rare occasion.” Worth the wait!  

Sander is all too familiar with the capricious relationship between sailors and the weather. Born in Rotterdam to a sailing family, they vacationed on boats in the North Sea and English Channel. After decades of racing on high level campaigns Sander transitioned to a successful yachting photography career. “Because of my extensive sailing background, I have a unique feel for interesting angles and situations on the racecourse,” he noted. His keen knowledge and passion are evident in his images.

Currently Sander continues to shoot this event, plus, he added, “some notable mentions such as the Tour of Oman – one of my favorite events, a trip along the whole Oman coast; the Youth Worlds in Oman; and some Olympic class events including the Olympic test event in Marseille. Also, I worked this summer for World Sailing as the official photographer for the World Championship in The Hague.” 

In addition, he noted, as General Manager and Board member for DutchSail B.V. he manages all projects for the DutchSail foundation. “With DutchSail we will compete with two teams in the Youth and Women’s America’s cup in 2024 in Barcelona.” Sander is truly immersed in sailing, both on and off the water!

You can read more about him in our October 2018 blog here: https://www.ultimatesailing.com/blogs/news/trading-hats-sailor-to-photographer

October is also the time we proudly introduce our newest edition: the 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar! And it’s smashing!

“Since my introduction of the Ultimate Sailing Calendar in 1983 I’ve witnessed an unbelievable evolution in the sport of sailing, in just four decades,” said Sharon Green. “Today’s boats appear to walk on water – or fly! – using modern ultra-light components and the most cutting-edge principles of foiling and lift. Our trusty, high-spirited fleets like the Star, Melges 24, and Opti remain vibrant and strong too. And not to be outdone, classics like the stunning 178-foot schooner Shenandoah of Sark is still proudly sailing, and winning.”

“The 2024 Calendar truly captures my vision of Ultimate Sailing today,” Sharon continued, “embracing the latest classes and excitement in the world of sailing. But at the same time, there’s still plenty of room for traditional boats and boating. It’s sort of like life itself. There’s room for everyone in the sport of sailing: young and old, minute and grand, traditional and techie. That’s the beauty of yachting.”

So, hop onboard: order your 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar now so you don’t miss a single day of the thrill, beauty and inspiration of Ultimate Sailing!



Betsy Senescu
Betsy Senescu


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