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‘Emperor’s Race’ to be held on Amsterdam canal this Saturday

DutchAmsterdam.nl — This Saturday, for the first time in fifteen years, the Keizersrace — a short distance ice skating race is to held in Amsterdam.

The Emperor’s Race, organized by local news daily De Telegraaf, takes place on Keizersgracht — literally, Emperor’s Canal.

The second and widest of the three major canals in the city centre of Amsterdam, Keizersgracht was named after Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.

Participants in the popular speed race traverse a 150-meter course between the Leidsestraat and the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat.

Those who remember the last time the race was held, in 1997, recall thick rows of people lining the canal — drinking hot chocolate (probably with various additions) and singing songs.

Wim Bohnenn, organiser for De Telegraaf, expects similar scenes this time around.

At several spots along the canal gluhwein, hot chocolate and other appropriate drinks will be made available.

Starting Shot

The race starts at 18:00 (that’s 6 pm). First up will be girls up to 14 years of age. Next the boys will compete. After that, men and women 15 years and older.

The winner advances to the next race, and the champion is crowned emperor or empress.

Reigning empress Astrid Wegman — who won the race when she was 16 years old — will participate this time as well.

View Keizersrace in a larger map

Ice Skating on Keizersgracht canal, Amsterdam

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This post was last updated: Mar. 24, 2013