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sail-world.com -- Delta Lloyd North Sea regatta experiences a perfect mix of weather

Delta Lloyd North Sea regatta experiences a perfect mix of weather    
Mon, 13 May 2013

The two offshore races of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta,the Vuurschepenrace and the RORC North Sea Race, saw a perfect mix ofweather conditions. During the crossingfrom Scheveningen to Harwich the sailors had calm weather and for several hours even no wind. The race back started with strong winds and heavy showers. Gradually the conditions became better,although the end was still tough. Thelast thirty miles to Scheveningen participants had to compete against wind andcurrent. In both races Pleomax, the Volvo 60 of skipper Harm Prins, sailed first across the finish line.

The Baraka GP(Ker40) won the Vuurschepenracein IRC 1, Tonnerede Breskens 3(Ker46) the North Sea Race (IRC 1 and IRC overall). The IJsvogelwith The Hague City Counsel MemberKarsten Klein on board took victory in the ORC1 in the Vuurschepenrace, while the Soulmate (B &H41) won that class in the North Sea Race. The overall prize in theORC went to Antares(Trintella 53). The best result in the double handed class over two races was for the Xcentric Ripper(J111) of John van der Starre.

At the start of the Vuurschepenrace on Tuesday May 7th there was more wind than expected due to some overcoming showers. That was fortunate for the sailors who then only became becalmed just off the English coast. Of the 52 contestants 50 regulatory finished, two crews gave up due to lack of wind. The North Sea Race attracts traditionally a larger fleet, due to the additional English participants. For the return trip to Scheveningen the weather looked more severe. The predicted wind force 8 did not come however, although the conditions near the English coast with 25 knots of wind, gusts and downpours were spicy. 64 yachts out of 74 finished.

The Hague City Counsel Member of Youth, Welfare and Sport Karsten Klein sailed the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta for the first time. He was on board the IJsvogel, the Maxi 1300 of skipper Marcel Schuttelaar. Klein returned very enthusiastic to the harbor of Scheveningen: 'I knew it was wonderful, but now I can speak from personal experience. It is certainly not the last time. Moreover, the ambition of The Hague to host the ISAF World Championships in 2018 is herewith further enhanced.

The Baraka GP (IRC 1), a Ker 40, of Harmen de Graaf sailed well in both races and got many awards, including the IRC 1 trophy for the Vuurschepenrace and the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy. The last is awarded to the average youngest crew with the best results in both offshores. 'That was a surprise,' says De Graaf. 'Two years ago we got the same price, but now we all are two years older. The Baraka GP is a family ship. We sail with family and friends of the children.'

De Graaf had the added advantage to having the professional Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking on board: 'In the past he sailed with us to our request, now he asked himself if we had a spot. And of course we had. We learned a lot from him. Bouwe did the tactics and gave general advice. On the way up we had light winds and we feel pretty good in those conditions. This is also evident from the results. On the way back, we for the first time sailed an offshore race for which the boat is built. With an average of twenty knots of wind we sailed 15, 16, 17 knots, also during reaching courses. We were unable to pass the Tonnere the Breskens 3, but we are glad we have defeated the other Ker40.'

It was Nicole Eggink's first time skippering the Trintella 53 Antares (ORC2) and she immediately went home with a lot of prices. 'We won everything that pretty much is to win,' said Eggink laughing. 'Both races in the ORC2 class, overall for both offshores ORC and ORC overall in the North Sea Race. The biggest difference between the two races, I thought was the temperature. During the Vuurschepenrace it was warm at sea and we didn't even wear coats in the evening. On the way back it was much colder. On our way to England we drifted everywhere for a few hours, on the way back we had good winds al the way over.'

Eggink sailed with a team of four permanent crew members plus occasional sailors just for the event: 'Our crew has worked very well, continuously trimmed and the boat had good speed. I navigated and viewed the tide very well in advance. We went to the west of the Smith's Knoll buoy, because we knew that after the turning of the tide it would bring us back to the course line. That might be why we won.'

Upcoming Friday, May 17th, the inshore program of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta will start. Four days of sporty races at the North Sea and onshore there are all sorts of activities. The 2013 edition has a strong international expansion. First of all, the Gazprom Swan 60 class with five to six new 60-foot will be racing Scheveningen. With on board sailors from the professional circuit, like the America's Cup. From the Olympic angle, the new mixed multihull Nacra-17 class is added. It is expected that part of the participating fleet of the Delta Lloyd Regatta will first compete along the The Hague coast. This in preparation for the first ever Nacra 17 Worlds that will take place in July in Scheveningen.

New at the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta is the so called North Sea Kitchen, including amongst others Dutch chef Herman den Blijker. He will offer very delicious dishes in the Pentacost weekend. Several top chefs and restaurants will present their culinary dishes at the Scheveningen harbor (Hellingweg). North Sea Kitchen is free for participants and audience. Traditionally, there also is a varied musical program during the Pentacost weekend.

For the results in the Vuurschepenrace and the RORC North Sea Race, click here.

by Diana Bogaards



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