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Scarborough Yacht Club East Coast Race challenges yachts, crews, and technical sailing skills

by Chris Clark 2 Aug 2021 01:15 PDT 2-6 July 2021

Sponsored by BOYES (for good value), this Race to Harwich Harbour was brought in to replace our North Sea Race to Holland, cancelled for the second year in succession. Proving unexpectedly challenging, it was the only race run by any British East Coast sailing club up to this point.

To replace the annual North Sea Race which had been frustrated by the Corona Virus pandemic, Yacht Club Sailing committee came up with the vision of a race South along the East Coast, passing the finish at the Wadgate Ledge buoy, then a short hop to Shotley Marina at Harwich Harbour, where the River Stour meets the River Orwell. The race attracted 7 Yachts.

As with all sailing race plans, this 2-Class race, IRC + SYC, was carefully thought through by the Sailing Committee, contingencies considered at length, safety arrangements made, route plans confirmed, and all was ready for the start on July 2nd 2021 at 9pm (IRC) and 9:05PM (SYC). The much quicker IRC yachts were required to sail a longer course via a virtual turning point near Dogger Bank. Weather extremes from flat calms through to strong winds and seas.

With the winds staying very variable and from the South, vessels often found themselves tacking endlessly day and night, making little actual progress over the ground, and needing to negotiate the ever increasing wind farm installations alongside oil rigs. As the hours went by, yachts called in to retire, Ruffian finished in IRC with line honours, second to Out of Nowhere 11 minutes later, who finished first on corrected times, SYC Class's Chansa (over 61 hours), and Troika (over 77 hours), crossing the finish line.

Emma Nutt commented 'Was a really good race, challenging wind direction and fun navigation. Close racing with Out of Nowhere, although we lost sight of them during Friday night and we didn't see them again til(l) about 3 hours before the finish. Absolutely loved it'.

A celebratory Club Dinner and Trophy-giving took place several days later, and opinion received about the race was that skippers found the unexpected technical challenges quite welcome. There would be interest in running it again next year.

Overall Results:

IRC
1st Out of Nowhere 40:38:43 corrected
2nd Ruffian 40:49:13 corrected

SYC
1st Chansa, 61:27:37 corrected
2nd Troika, 77:34:11 corrected

Two Handed
1st Out of Nowhere
(No other finishers)

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