Marina Port Zélande is situated on reclaimed land inside a huge dam, with the North Sea on one side and the Grevelingenmeer on the other.
Our access was via the pretty coastal route and number of dams, the marina is caught in between two landmasses on the beautiful location of the Brouwersdam with its impressive sandy beaches and sheltered Meer. There is a sluice under the Brouwersdam to keep the Grevelingenmeer salty and maintain its salinity to preserve its original environment, which makes the Grevelingenmeer is the largest saltwater lake in Europe. It is a popular place for holidays and water sports.
The championship will take place on the Grevelingenmeer, a huge expanse of water offering an ideal sailing venue. During our visit, there was an event of some 150 keelboats taking place, a demonstration that there is more than enough room for the proposed two race areas for the Finn Masters.
The depth is around 14m and the water is brackish. The surrounding landscape is largely natural areas and quite flat.
The marina has all the usual facilities including one large restaurant/bar belonging to the yacht club, together with laundrette, wash areas and a large free parking area. It is proposed to use the quay area in front of the marina facilities for boat storage along the whole length of the marina front. A massive event tent will also be constructed in the region of the restaurant.
The owners of the marina have indicated that they will put extra slipway ramps in place for the championship and from what we saw there will be more than enough room for the record expected turn out for this event. Launching will be carried out at around 4-5 locations along the quay. Fresh water hoses will also be available.
It is proposed to have this event as a cashless event through a card system.
Some 700 m around the marina pathway, and facing the marina, is the popular Holiday-Park Port Zélande - Center Parcs which has a huge array of facilities including food outlets and a supermarket. It is almost a small village, with 700 bungalows on a park covering 27 hectares. It also includes camping sites for tents, caravan and motorhomes.
There is limited accommodation in apartments in the marina and it will be possible to book this through an agent (details to follow) you can book direct using the web.
As this is a very popular resort, it is normally fully booked for this period. Early booking is essential. Further details will follow shortly, but by early we mean now. The same period is 2019 is pretty much already fully booked.
Camping can also be found at Centre Parcs, however the marina is investing in a new camping area at the entrance to the site. This will accommodate tents, motorhomes and caravans (touring) together with all the usual site facilities. For the more adventurous there is also beach side motorhome parking across the road on the seaward side of the dam
The racing will take place in the Grevelingenmeer, which is on the protected side of the large Brouwersdam. This expanse of water plays host to many racing regattas and from our inspection it seems to me that it is more than sufficient to host the championship. Sailing out of the marina you will quickly come to race area 1. Race area 2 will be located further down the Meer. There are some small islands in the Meer. In 2019 it will host the Laser World Masters.
The hosts have informed us that there will be the usual ladies outings, leisure, relaxing and culture, this is being put together by the Dutch ladies. Four very engaged Dutch Finn Ladies will arrange the Ladies Programme, two of whom were involved with a very successfull Ladies Programme in 2008 in Medemblik.
The 2020 Ladies Programm will be announced around June 2019 and is under supervision of Jacqueline Zuurendonk. Liz Burrell will again liaise on behalf of the Masters Committee to ensure smooth communication between the event and the sailors.
On the seaward side of the Brouwersdam there is a huge beach with even larger parking areas. It is extremely popular with kite surfers and windsurfers, as well as sunbathing on the beach or in the dunes.
We were very encouraged by this first visit and think this will make a perfect venue for the 2020 Finn World Masters. The event will be our 50th Anniversary and the Organising Committee from the Finn Club Holland and the Yachtclub Marina Port Zélande are working through a lot of ideas to make this a very special event for us.
Air: International airport hub at Amsterdam (110km) and Brussels (160km). Other airports at Rotterdam and Eindhoven
Shipping: Container port at Rotterdam (60km)
Container storage will be made available at the marina
Bringing a bike would be very useful
A forklift for unloading will be available
Book accommodation early