Thursday, 2 June 2011

Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta : Checkmate strikes twice at Vuurschepenrace 2011

Checkmate at the start in Scheveningen. Image copyright Sander van der Borch/

by Diana Bogaards

The Checkmate Swan 45, skippered by the Dutch De Ridder family, took line honours of the Vuurschepenrace 2011 after 18 hours, 9 minutes and 25 seconds on Wednesday afternoon. On corrected time, the team also won the IRC 1 class. The crossing was long, due to the predominantly upwind courses. A total of 57 out of 64 participating yachts crossed the finish line of the opening race of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta 2011. Meanwhile the sailors are preparing for the traditional lunch at Pin Mill.

'We actually kept wind all the time, about 12-13 knots,' says Peter de Ridder from the English dock. 'In the morning we had just 5-6 knots. We had big shifts of 30-40 degrees throughout the race. You needed a bit of luck to tack at the right time. If you waited until the shift came in, you overstood the buoy. So it was gambling to pick the right timing and we have obviously done well." Shortly after the start, the Checkmate had difficulties to shake the new Dehler 41 Miles 4 Justice of Geert-Jan Knoops off. De Ridder: 'We suddenly lost them, but the Baraka GP remained in sight the whole time." Baraka GP Swan 42 of skipper De Graaf (NED) finished second, which was also the final ranking in the IRC 1, followed by the Belgian Allard of Tom Wyffels.

ACE wins IRC 2-3

'There was a nice breeze, that only disappeared for fifteen minutes just off the English coast, 'said Ard Moerman of the ACE, a BH 36. Moerman sailed a large part on one ear: 'We were with the four of us and I slept all night. When daylight came in and I woke up, we were right in the middle of the IRC 1 fleet. Then I got back to sleep.' According to the skipper the motto for this year's Vuurschepenrace was to especially remain high and go fast. 'After the calm, the breeze filled in from the south, so we could hoist the spinnaker for the last bit of the race." The Maas of Nanno Aukes was second, followed by Captain Jack of Bert Visser.

ORC 1 till 5

The overall victory in the ORC 1 with eight participants went to Visione, the Austrian Nikolaus Knoflacher. On corrected time, they beat their opponent IJsvogel of Marcel Schuttelaar (NED) by more than a minute. The Solid Sue, skippered by Auke van der Zee (NED), finished third. The ORC 2 was the largest fleet with 17 yachts.

The X-Stream of Bart Houben played the English coast battle really well. Helmsman Albert Kooijman (NED) mate explains: 'We went right there, so north of the wind farm.' Which gave more breeze initially, until it dropped to zero for about 20 minutes. 'We picked the new pressure up in the right and that is how we lost our competitors. That little hit right resulted in the victory. We also had a nice combination of one design class and offshore sailors on board. We kept fighting for every meter.' The Iluka of Leon Rodenburg finished second, followed by the Redan of Hein van Schaik.

Visione at the start in Scheveningen. Image copyright Sander van der Borch/

The ORC 3-5 included ten teams, of which eight made it the finish. The Gouden Ruiter of skipper Willem N.R. Kats (NED) closed the line after one day, 22 hours and 18 minutes, but he won on handicap. The Lucifer of Ilya van Marle (NED) takes second, followed by escXape of Jan de Bruin (NED).

E-mission on her way to Harwich

The E-mission had to quit shortly after the starting gun with a broken carbon rudder stock, but the team showed commitment and perseverance. Skipper Erik van Vuuren (NED) tells about what has happened since Tuesday evening: 'We laminated the rudder stock and 'baked' it last night'. This morning we again mounted the rudder and at 8 hours the boys left towards Harwich. This afternoon, I fly with part of the crew with a private light aircraft from Rick [Andree Wiltens, the owner] his sister to Harwich. What an adventure.' If everything goes smoothly, the E-mission will participate in the North Sea Race back to Scheveningen. This does not apply to the Panther, who turned around after a collision with damage. The owners Yvonne Beusker and Edith Voskuil are currently working hard to be back on the water before the start of the inshores next week.

Tomorrow at 10:30 AM local time, the 180-miles North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, commences. The teams are expected to finish on Saturday.

About the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta

On Tuesday May 31, the starting gun of the 110-mile Vuurschepenrace from Scheveningen to Harwich was fired. This is the first race of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta. After a lay day in Harwich, the IRC and ORC classes sail the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race back to Scheveningen on Friday June 3. During the Whitsun weekend, from June 10 until June 13, more than 500 boats compete in the inshore races before the Coast of Scheveningen. Several disciplines participate: big yachts, current and former Olympic classes, one-design classes, catamarans and open boats.

For more information about the 2011 Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, please surf to