24-27 April 2014
- 24-27 April 2014
Opening the 2014 LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR season from the 24-27th April is a sparkling new event hosted by the Belgian city of Antwerp, as the Tour adds another jewel to its crown of historic city venues. Home to show jumping heroes such as Francois Mathy, Jos Lansink, Philippe Le Jeune and Ludo Philippaerts, as well as up-and-coming young stars like Jos Verlooy and Constant van Paesschen, Belgium is the perfect place from which to launch the stellar 2014 season.
A city that embraces the beautiful things in life, Antwerp is famous for being home to the painters Rubens and van Dijck, for the bustling port, the legendary Diamond District (around 80% of the world’s rough diamonds go through Antwerp) and its Academy for Fine Arts - home to the esteemed and influential fashion school. Longines Global Champions Tour Antwerp will be held dockside by the River Scheldt in a unique location, with a backdrop of impressive dock cranes symbolising Antwerp’s rich international trading heritage.
Antwerp’s port has a colourful past. During the 16th century, the city’s Golden Age, products such as wool and cloth created more commerce in the city after great storm floods made the Scheldt more accessible. Under the rule of Napoleon, shipping flourished when the new docks were built. In this period, the Red Star Line, a shipping company which transported about two million people to America, also started its activities.
By 1929, hard-working dockworkers handled no less than 26 million tonnes of (general) cargo. At this time, Antwerp port was already laying down the foundation for what is still one its biggest strengths: ‘every cargo finds a ship and every ship a cargo’. Antwerp port is a world-renowned distribution centre, known for its speed and efficiency, and now also the proud home of the first leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour 2014.