Sailing Waters

The NRV’s home sailing territory is the Alster Lake, a small river contained by locks to form a picturesque lake right in the centre of Hamburg. The lake measures just 1.5 by 0.5 nautical miles – but beware: Buildings near its banks such as Hotel Atlantic or the many office buildings form a kind of windbreaker. And even worse, howling squalls rushing through the gaps between dignified mansions guarantee treacherous winds. Anybody mastering the conditions here will be able to sail successfully anywhere.

However, NRV members also like to sail on the Elbe River as well as on the North- and Baltic Seas.

Apart from this traditional sailing arena the world of sailing has no boundaries for the NRV. NRV burgees and club pullovers can be seen at Cowes, off Sardinia, around the Balearics, off Scotland or Sweden, in the Caribbean and around Hong Kong – be it just for pleasure or often in hard but successful regatta sailing.


During the sailing season almost every weekend regattas take place “right at our doorsteps”. The fans of the Dragon class in particular are active Alster yachtsmen. But H-boats, Star boats, Laser and Optimist dinghies are amongst the regular regatta participants as well. Start and finish line in front of the Clubhouse are possible at times when the wind is favourably blowing in the right direction.

Baltic Sea

The nearby Baltic Sea is the traditional coastal sailing area of the NRV like for example for the regattas of the Kieler Woche and Travemünder Woche which were both co-founded by the NRV. Magnificent and extended tours to Scandinavia can also be undertaken from here.

Elbe River and North Sea

The early regattas of the NRV were sailed on the Upper and Lower Elbe River. Downriver – by the end of the 19th century – they developed into events with Imperial participation before the Kieler Woche became more attractive. The shorter regattas ended in Glückstadt – about 50 km – and the longer ones ended in Cuxhaven – 100 km – downriver.

Sailing on the tidal river was never easy and still today requires utmost attention. Waiting for the flood while sitting on a sand bank still is considered poor seamanship. 

Helgoland (about 38 nautical miles from Cuxhaven) remains an attractive destination and even the south of England or Scotland frequently appear in the log books.

Also, the official finish line of Transatlantic regattas organised by the NRV is laid out off Cuxhaven, whereas the red carpet is rolled out in Hamburg for a spectacular welcome party culminating in the much deserved awards ceremony during the reception at the Hamburg town hall.

Rest of the World

NRV members are cosmopolitan and like to travel. They can be seen with friends in Cape Town just as much as in Rio de Janeiro and already in the nineteen twenties they brought back trophies from Argentine, from the Caribbean, from Cowes or Los Angeles. Not only the NRV Dragon sailors are real tourists of success on occasion of their world-wide regattas, but they and other class leaders are also invited to Sardinia, Dubai or Scotland.

International contacts and unlimited delight in sailing formed many friendships between NRV members and members of friendly clubs abroad. Regatta sailors just as much as cruising yachtsmen alike profit from the reciprocal arrangements with the more than 70 international partner clubs.