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RORC North Sea Race - Tonnerre and Xcentric Ripper overall winners

by Diana Bogaards on 17 May 2010

RORC North Sea Race - 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 10:20:36am Dutch Summer Time. Today, the 30-foot long Four Seasons of Krupinski (POL) came in as last finisher at 10:26am.

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 nine knots in the sails. Due to the weather forecasts prior to the start, the race committee decided to let the ORC three class race the shorter course (about 135 nautical miles), like the ORC four and five. Other classes faced about 18nm.

Line honours and IRC
On the finish line, the gap between the 60-foot long Pleomax (former Whitbread racer) and the new KER 46 Tonnerre only twelve 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 at 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 zero and IRC overall.

Van der Starre: 'Nice tactical game'
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 two class. Van der Starre: 'The ORC two starts with the IRC and ORC one, 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 gong, 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 three 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.

IRC 0 (10 entries)
1. NED - Tonnerre de Breskens 2, Piet Vroon
2. NED - Charisma, Nico Poons
3. NED - Checkmate, Peter de Ridder
IRC 1 (8 entries)
1. BEL - Allard, Nadia Ifticene
2. GBR - British Soldier, Army Sailing Association
3. FRA - Coup De Coeur, M de Saint Denis & G. Trentesaux
IRC 2 (16 entries)
1. BEL - Rackham, Eric van Campenhout
2. NED - Xcentric Ripper, John van der Starre
3. NED - Yeti, Paul van der Pol
IRC 3 (5 entries)
1. GBR - Wambam, Eddie Clay
2. NED - Brut, Chris Schram
3. NED - L'Esprit de Morbihan
ORC 1 (3 entries)
1. AUT - Visione, Nikolaus Knoflacher
2. NED - Waikabubak, Remko de Haan
3. NED - Angry Pirate, Denis Bezemer
ORC 2 (16 entries)
1. NED - Xcentric Ripper, John van der Starre
2. NED - Griel, Robert Jockin
3. NED - Moshulu, Hans-Albert de Graaf
ORC 3 (8 entries)
1. NED - Que Guapa, Kees Groenenboom
2. NED - Together, Marcel Blomsma
3. NED - Nada, Nico Hoefnagel
ORC 4 (3 entries)
1. NED - Celestine, A. Van der Hout
2. NED - Gouden Ruiter, Willer Kats
3. NED - Avanti, Lody Vel

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