Double Baltic 37 win

Diana Bogaards reports from the end of the RORC's North Sea Race

Monday May 25th 2009, Author: Diana Bogaards, Location: United Kingdom
The North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen, part of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, ended up being a long and tactical crossing, due to the light and shifty breeze. Especially the last leg from the MSP buoy to Scheveningen, along the Dutch coast, seemed endless to some of the competitors. During this passage, the current was sometimes stronger than the wind. Seawolf 2, a Lutra 42, was the fastest boat in the fleet of 72 competitors. It took Henry Tinchant's team 30 hours to complete the 210 mile crossing. But it was Russell Walker (GBR), with his Baltic 37 Cosmic Dancer 3, that took the overall victory under IRC. Dutchman Chris Schram won under ORC with Brut, another Baltic 37.

At the start late Friday morning, there was good wind. Even though the fleet was divided into two groups, it was a quite busy starting line. Radboud Crul, crewing on the Salona 34 said: "There were about three ranks, and I'm afraid we were in the third." After a fine day of sailing, the wind died out in the evening. Henri Tinchant commented: "According to our GRIB files this was supposed to happen in the early morning, so we hadn't expected this." Nonetheless, it turned out well for him: "This boat is very fast in light winds. We consistently sailed at five to six knots."

Most participants were still on their way to Smith's Knoll when the wind died out. Located off Lowestoft, this is the last mark before crossing the North Sea. Crul: "Before we reached Smith's Knoll, the fleet bunched together, and the race virtually restarted."

The next crucial moment occurred off the Dutch coast. When the boats in the IRC 2 and IRC 3 classes approached the MSP buoy, the wind shifted from south to northeast in half an hour. As a result, the buoy was suddenly upwind for some boats, while others could hoist their spinnakers.

While the larger boats still had to punch tide during the last leg, the boats which arrived a few hours later can down with favourable current. The RORC's Race Officer Ian Loffhagen said: "The smaller boats were a little favoured. During the second night, we haven't had any wind or any finishers for six hours. Some of the boats had to anchor."

Jaffa sailed by student team Euros was in this group that crept forward. Crewman Rinse Joustra said: "It's very difficult to keep focused if you're moving so slowly. If then the tide turns against you with 1,5 knots, it becomes slightly frustrating." The students floated around for about three hours at this stage. Eight teams retired from the race, but that option never crossed Joustra's mind: "We made it to Harwich, so we'll also manage to sail back. We'd never quit."

Top three results:

IRC Overall
1. Cosmic Dancer 3, Russell Walker (GBR)
2. S 34, Erik van Vuuren (NED)
3. Brut, Chris Schram (NED)

1. Moonpalace, Roeland Franssens (NED)
2. Ocean Of Smiles, Michel Lebrun (BEL)

1. Roark/Claus en Kaan Architecten, Kees Kaan (NED)
2. Split2nd, David de Graaf (NED)
3. Seawolf 2, Henri Tinchant (GBR)

1. Stortemelk, Frans De Vries (NED)
2. Allard, Rudi Floridor (BEL)
3. Ragazza, B. Dolk (NED)

1. S 34, J. Bach (NED)
2. Jaguar of Burnham, Adrian Lower (GBR)
3. Yeti, Paul van der Pol/Suzanne Hen (NED)

1. Cosmic Dancer 3, Russell Walker (GBR)
2. Brut, Chris Schram (NED)
3. Lucifer, T.F. de Bruin/I.E. van Marle (NED)

ORC Overall
1. Brut, Chris Schram (NED)
2. Moshulu, Hans-Albert de Graaf (NED)
3. Lenco, Nico Braber (NED)

1. Junique, Chris Revelman (NED)
2. Visione, Nikolaus Knoflacher (DEN)

1. Moshulu, Hans-Albert de Graaf (NED)
2. Lenco, Nico Brabers (NED)
3. Yeti, Paul van der Pol, Suzanne Hen (NED)

1. Brut, Chris Schram (NED)
2. Que Guapa, Kees Groenenboom (NED)
3. Raspa, Justus Jansen (NED)

1. Gambiet, Gert Vink (NED)
2. Gouden Ruiter, Willem N.R. Kats (NED)

Double handed
1. Sharkos, Dick van Arkel (NED)
2. Nazca 2, Mike Wilkinson (GBR)
3. Meka 2, Diana Rabin/Owen Williams (GBR)

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