Saturday, June 11, 2011

J/133 & J/109s Win RORC North Sea Race

Tough Beat to Scheveningen Decimates Fleet
(The Hague, The Netherlands)-  The 2011 North Sea Race had more wind than had been forecast and turned into a tough cold beat to Scheveningen, The Netherlands. Race veteran Radboud Crul said "I have done this race 24 times and I think this one was the hardest. It was a beat for most of the way and cold as well as wet with 25-30 knots of wind".  The race committee had difficulty in anchoring the principal committee boat at the start which led to a ten minute postponement. RORC Racing Manager Ian Loffhagen explained: "having dragged the anchor twice the skipper of the Haven Hornbill, the oil spill platform kindly loaned by Harwich Haven Authority, assured me that he could hold the vessel within 10m of the required position. We decided to avoid further delay and go with this, so the postponement was only ten minutes".  Despite the challenging conditions, fifty-three yachts crossed the starting line hoping to finish on the far side of "La Manche" in one piece.  Only after rounding the MSP buoy off the Ijmuiden coast, could any boat hoist their spinnakers for the last miles to the finish.

In IRC 2 Angus Bates' J/133 ASSARIAN IV triumphed over a fleet of fifteen competitors to win class and finish 6th overall.  Niall Dowling's J/111 hung tough to finish 4th in class.   What is interesting is that for the RORC Season Championship IRC Overall, Niall's J/111 is second, but not having sailed the RORC 600, would be in a position to be within 4.6 points of the lead, a mathematical "dead heat" for the RORC Season Offshore Championship with the Piet Vroon's custom Ker 46-- not bad for the J/111 speedster that never had the IRC rule in mind when it was designed!  For IRC Two Overall- J/111 ARABELLA is still in first with the Rolex Fastnet Race and a few others left to go.

In IRC 3 the J/109 JETI, owned by Paul van der Pol, beat sister ship CAPTAIN JACK in second, sailed by Bert Visser. Both J/109s finished 11th and 13th overall, respectively .  Finishing fourth was Stan Fenton's J/105 FAY J, a great performance considering the less than ideal conditions for this veteran offshore campaigner.  Sailing both IRC 3 and Double-handed was the J/105 DIABLO-J sailed by Rear Commodore of RORC Neil Martin, finishing 6th in IRC 3 and  first overall in IRC Double-handed!  For the RORC Season Offshore Championship, Neil'S J/105 DIABLO-J is winning both IRC 3 and Double-handed Divisions overall!

In the ORC Division, the J/33 QUANTUM RACING sailed by Jerooen van der Velden finished third in ORC 2 and fourth overall.  Fourth in ORC 3 was Jaap Broek van Den sailing his J/92 JUMP OF JOY.    For more RORC North Sea sailing information