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Scarborough Yacht Club North Sea Race from Scarborough to Ijmuiden, Holland

by Chris Clark 21 Jun 22:06 PDT 17-19 June 2022

It was the first time Scarborough Yacht Club could run the race to Holland since the pandemic, and anticipation and relief dominated.

With 11 yachts from the UK and Holland setting sail in perfect weather conditions with a following wind (though four retirements), Vice Commodore Sam Kennedy phrased it just perfectly when he said 'One gybe, then you're at North Holland's gateway to the North Sea - Ijmuiden!'. A look at the chart showed how direct the crossing was.

The race was organised into three classes, IRC (International Rating Certificate) where both British and Dutch vessels competed, and two SYC (Scarborough Yacht Club) classes, SYC A where only the faster SYC vessels ran, and SYC B, a slower group. IRC yachts are fast, and the shortest corrected hours to cross was 35 hours and 25 minutes achieved by Dutchman Dick Koopmans on yacht Jäger.

The yachts left via Scarborough South Bay firstly crossing the North to South start line before turning east. The departure pictures are shown against a perfect sea and sky view, Zoom lenses grab the action, but rarely tell the story of the gorgeous natural light show.

As the yachts adjust their course for Holland, shore-watchers often feel there's something stirring about the 11 vessels growing small against a big sky, sails set in the same configuration, growing smaller by the second.

However, it wasn't all easy sailing, as on Saturday night skipper Alan Smith on Revenge noted 'last night was the worst I have been through' and two crew on Icon suffered severe seasickness, with Icon cruising the last few miles with a reduced crew to Ijmuiden to stabalise the yacht. Although the later-race weather wasn't bad sometimes the race itself, and wind and wave patterns can conspire to upset stomachs.

The North Sea Race was sponsored by Boyes, and each vessel was handed their traditional NSR Boyes Steak Pie for the voyage.

Overall Results:

IRC: Jäger, owned by Dick Coopmans in 35 hours 25 minutes
SYC A: Tomtit, owned by Ralph Pickard, Gary Walker, and Mike Atkinson in 51 hours and 18 minutes
SYC B: Chansa, owned by Andrew Boyes in 50 hours 20 minutes

(7 finished the course)

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