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Belgians Back in the Chocolates ~ North Sea Race 2015

Belgians Back in the Chocolates ~ North Sea Race 2015

2014 RORC Season’s Points Champion, Vincent Willemart and Eric Van Campenhout’s Belgian MC34, Azawakh, was the overall winner of the 2015 North Sea Race, scoring the best corrected time under IRC, for the 182-mile race from Harwich to Scheveningen.

Willem Schopman’s Dutch Bashford Howison 36, Intention was second, just over a minute ahead, after time correction from Frans Rodenburg’s Dutch First 40, Elke.

Jan-friso Blacquiere’s Maxfun 35, Blacq Magic was the overall winner of the ORC Class. Marcel Schuttelaar Dutch Maxi 1300, Ijsvogel was second and Willem de Jonge van Ellemeet’s Dutch Dufour 40, Flying Dolphin was third in ORC overall.

74 yachts entered the 2015 North Sea Race, which was blessed with bright sunshine at the start. The Two-Handed fleet having been considerably swelled by the race being part of the inaugural Dutch Two-Handed National Championships.

A moderate ten knots of breeze from the north provided a tactical beat against the tide up to Cork Sand Yacht Beacon via Outer Ridge before a gentle reach to the South Galloper Buoy. At dusk the wind speed reduced, providing very light and shifty conditions through the night.

In the early hours of Saturday morning the leaders had made it to the most northerly part of the course, Smith’s Knoll Buoy, and the wind started to fill in from the south west, giving exciting reaching conditions. As the fleet cracked sheets and hoisted downwind sails for a reaching across the North Sea, the final day of the offshore race provided fast thrilling racing for the fleet.

John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef’s Dutch J/111 Xcentric Ripper was the winner of the 18-strong IRC Two-Handed Class and winner of the ORC Two-Handed Class. This was the tenth North Sea Race for John van der Starre and by far the closest finish. After time correction, Xcentric Ripper won the class by four seconds from Erik Mayer-Martenson’s Sun Fast 3200, Blizzard of Uz. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600, Bellino was third.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues Saturday 23 May with the Myth of Malham Race. The Bank Holiday Weekend race is 230 nautical miles from Cowes around the Eddystone Lighthouse and back to the Solent. Well over 100 yachts are expected to take part.Full results for the North Sea Race can be found at the Royal Ocean Racing Club web site

by Louay Habib

 

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