Monday, 17 May 2010

Tonnerre and Xcentric Ripper overall winners R.O.R.C. North Sea Race 2010

Piet Vroon (Tonnerre de Breskens) won IRC overall. Image copyright Diana Bogaards.

by Diana Bogaards

The Tonnerre de Breskens 3 of skipper Piet Vroon (NED) and the Xcentric Ripper of John van der Starre (NED) are the overall winners of the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race 2010, respectively in the IRC and ORC fleet. On Friday May 14, a total of 64 yachts started in Harwich and 62 of them crossed the finish in Scheveningen this weekend. The former holder of the North Sea Record, the VO60 Pleomax of Harm Prins (NED), took the line honours on Saturday morning at 10:20:36 AM Dutch Summer Time. Today, the 30-foot long Four Seasons of Krupinski (POL) came in as last finisher at 10:26 AM.

The North Sea Race, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and part of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, turned out to be much quicker than expected. Various light air scenarios forecasted a long trip to the Netherlands, but the participants enjoyed an average of 9 knots in the sails. Due to the weather forecasts prior to the start, the race committee decided to let the ORC 3 class race the shorter course (about 135 nautical miles), like the ORC 4 and 5. . Other classes faced about 180 NM.

Line honours & IRC

On the finish line, the gap between the 60-foot long Pleomax (former Whitbread racer) and the new KER 46 Tonnerre only twelfe minutes. That wasn't enough, concluded Prins. 'It went excellent", was Vroon's answer. His 46-foot racing machine was the fastest to complete the course along the English coast and first to round the Smith's Knoll Buoy, with Pleomax in her wake. Prins: 'We were leading, but we decided to stay deep and Tonnerre went more offshore. They were 50 till 100 meters earlier at the mark."

The breeze backed to the south and offered the two front runners a nice reach across the North Sea. The international crew onboard of the Tonnerre hoisted the spinnaker, but changed it quickly for the Code Zero. Vroon: 'Maybe that wasn't the best call, but furthermore we haven't made any mistakes." Pleomac was back in the lead att the MSP buoy off the coast of Ijmuiden (north of Amsterdam) and kept it. The much smaller Tonnerre grabbed the overall win in the IRC 0 and IRC overall.

Van der Starre: 'Nice tactical game"

ORC overall winner John van der Starre (Xcentric Ripper). Image copyright Diana Bogaards.

In the ORC it was the Xcentric Ripper J-109 of John van der Starre that showed the best performance overall. She also won the ORC 2 class. Van der Starre: 'The ORC 2 starts with the IRC and ORC 1, so it is quite difficult to find a good position between the big boats. The first two attempts were general recalls. At the second start, everybody commenced at the five minutes gung, despite the ten minutes procedure. That caused chaos on the line and many teams were late for the next start." Van der Starre and his crew took advantage of the confusion: 'We were off at the committee boat and went to the right in free air. We rounded the top mark with the big boys. All went well until two miles before the Galloper (last buoy before Smith Knoll). We missed a shift and saw ten boats passing us. At that moment, I had to motivate my crew.' That did not take long, as they were flying to the Smith's Knoll and MSP buoys. After an exciting duel with the Yeti J-109, the Xcentric Ripper finished ahead of them at 07:50 PM local time.

Two wins in a row for Que Guapa

After having finished top three more often, the Que Guapa X-332 of Suzanne van Meerten and Kees Groenenboom took two wins in a row this week. This fanatic Dutch couple won the ORC 3 class in both, the Vuurschepenrace and the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race. They seized the opportunity on the tactical lap from Smith Knoll to the MSP: 'We stayed below the rhumb line, whereas our competitors did different things. We played the current." During the dark hours it was impossible to learn anything about the positions, so they had to wait patiently until sunrise. 'Luckily the next boat behind us was the Together. We were in trouble if it would have been the Gem.'
On Friday May 21, the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta continues with her inshore sailing program. About thirty classes will compete and Scheveningen will be the Dutch centre of the coastal sailings sports for four days. On Saturday evening, Delta Lloyd offers a free concert in the harbour, called Delta Lloyd North Sea Sounds.

ORC3 winner, Kees Groenenboom, is presented with his prize by Municipal Councillor Rabin Baldewsingh. Image copyright Diana Bogaards.

IRC 0 (10 entries)
NED - Tonnerre de Breskens 2, Piet Vroon
NED - Charisma, Nico Poons
NED - Checkmate, Peter de Ridder

IRC 1 (8 entries)
BEL - Allard, Nadia Ifticene
GBR - British Soldier, Army Sailing Association
FRA - Coup De Coeur, M de Saint Denis & G. Trentesaux

IRC 2 (16 entries)
BEL - Rackham, Eric van Campenhout
NED - Xcentric Ripper, John van der Starre
NED - Yeti, Paul van der Pol

IRC 3 (5 entries)
GBR - Wambam, Eddie Clay
NED - Brut, Chris Schram
NED - L'Esprit de Morbihan

ORC 1 (3 entries)
AUT - Visione, Nikolaus Knoflacher
NED - Waikabubak, Remko de Haan
NED - Angry Pirate, Denis Bezemer

ORC 2 (16 entries)
NED - Xcentric Ripper, John van der Starre
NED - Griel, Robert Jockin
NED - Moshulu, Hans-Albert de Graaf

ORC 3 (8 entries)
NED - Que Guapa, Kees Groenenboom
NED - Together, Marcel Blomsma
NED - Nada, Nico Hoefnagel

ORC 4 (3 entries)
NED - Celestine, A. Van der Hout
NED - Gouden Ruiter, Willer Kats
NED - Avanti, Lody Vel

Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta