Last weekend we had the privilege of sailing the brand new Contest 57cs from the “London on Water” luxury boat show back to the amazing city of Amsterdam. We arrived at St Katherine’s Dock at 11am Sunday morning immediately seeing the large Contest mast and flags sitting proud above all other masts. The boat was docked in a lovely berth just outside the cafes that line the dockside. The sun was out as were half of London it seemed, all taking in the last glimpses of the amazing yachts and power boats. We got aboard and was exited to find the luxurious interior and features the boat had to offer. Every modern gadget was on this boat from the bluetooth media system to the tv hidden in the seating area remotely coming out of the back of the sofa when needed. The boat was set up with two large bedrooms, one at the front and the master at the rear. There was a further two rooms, a room
with two bunks and then a single with its own toilet and sink. This was a amendment to the usual design aimed at housing a full time skipper giving his own bed and bathroom facilities away from the owner and family.
Once going through the usual safety brief and familiarizing ourselves with the boat, we grabbed a cup of coffee and then waited for our 14:00 slot in the Dock. When the gates came up on the dock the sides got very busy with the pedestrians having to wait for the lock to fill with water, the boats to leave and then the pathway closes behind us. This meant that a large crowd gathered either side of the yacht taking pictures and commenting on the boat constantly. Unfortunately with our Yacht Delivery Uk t shirts on it was apparent the boat was not ours and we couldn’t quite give it the big one but instead answered peoples questions as to where we’re going and how long it will take etc…
We got out onto the Thames about 14:30 and headed East to the Thames Estuary. It was a great trip out the Thames in the sun passing some iconic buildings including Canary Wharf and O2 arena. We passed Southend on Sea, waving to our families who were on the beach with binoculars, at about 20:15 still under engine. To get an angle to sail up to A
msterdam we continued East out of the mouth of the Thames before turning up on a bearing of about 20 towards Amsterdam. We sailed all Sunday evening, night and monday morning getting to the same latitude as Amsterdam buy about lunchtime Monday. We had to put the sails away again and turn to a 90 heading to get to the opening of the River Amstel. We got into the Lock of the Amstel at about 20:00 and then headed up river for a couple of hours to Amsterdam marine. Once moored up we spent an hour in Amsterdam taking in the atmosphere then got back to the boat ready for the short trip around to Medenblik the next morning.
There is a bridge to the East of Amsterdam which opens at 10am. Therefore we left at 8:30 to ensure we could get through the lock and sit ready for the opening at 10am. We were joined with about 8 other yachts all circulating us and commenting on the amazing Contest 57. The bridge opened at 10am as expected and we motored out the river until it opened up and we got the sails out again. Under sail we managed to get the speed up to the late 7 knots mark, heeled over and again taking in the sun. The weather, like the boat really hadn’t let us down. We could have maybe down with a slight different direction the previous day so we could have sailed all the way to Amsterdam. But on a whole, the weather had been very favorable.