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RORC North Sea Race

RORC North Sea Race Preview

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s North Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, has attracted over 50 boats. The North Sea Race is one of the oldest in the RORC Racing Calendar dating back to 1931.

The race is run in association with the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association, the Yacht Club Scheveningen and the North Sea Regatta.

The North Sea Race is the sixth race of the 2024 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world’s largest offshore racing series.

2024 North Sea Race Entries

The 180nm race across the North Sea starts from Harwich on the East Coast of England and finishes close to the famous Dutch sailing city of the Hague and the Yacht Club Scheveningen. The majority of the entries come from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with over 300 sailors taking part that include crew from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Poland.

J/122 Ajeto! - photo © Sander van der Borch
J/122 Ajeto! – photo © Sander van der Borch

Last year’s overall winner J/122 Ajeto! is back, racing double-handed by Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre. 2023 RORC Season’s Points Champion, Sun Fast 3600 Bellino will be in Harwich. Bellino was in fine form winning the Myth of Malham Race last weekend. Rob Craigie and RORC Commodore Deb Fish are looking to extend their winning streak with the North Sea Race. Both Bellino and Ajeto! will be racing in IRC Two and IRC Two-Handed.

VO65 NextGen - photo © ELWJ Photography
VO65 NextGen – photo © ELWJ Photography

In IRC Super Zero, the Dutch VO65 NextGen will be favourite for line honours. In IRC Zero, the two fastest boats on IRC rating are Ker 46 ROST – Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-jan Poortman and Whitbread 60 Boudragon, skippered by Hans Bouscholte. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II is the scratch boat from the United Kingdom.

J/122 Moana - photo © Tim Wright / RORC
J/122 Moana – photo © Tim Wright / RORC

In IRC One, two Dutch J/122 go head to head, Frans van Cappelle and Michelle Witsenburg’s Moana, which competed in the RORC Transatlantic Race and RORC Caribbean 600, will have a close match with Uneco de Meester’s Otra Vez. Both teams are from the Yacht Club Scheveningen.

In IRC Three, Michel Dorsman’s X-362 Extra Djinn will defend the class win from last year. Radboud Crul has competed in over 30 editions of the race and is a proven winner. Crul’s Dehler 36 Rosetta is one of the favourites for the class, and if the conditions suit, also overall under IRC.

 Ker 46 ROST Van Uden © Paul Wyeth / RORC

In IRC Four, Will & Jenny Taylor-Jones S&S 40 Sunstone is defending their class win from last year. Sunstone was launched in 1965 and enjoyed many successes over the decades. Close competition will come from another classic from the design board of Sparkman & Stephens. Swan 38 Xara was launched in 1974 and won IRC Four in the 2023 Cowes Dinard St Malo Race and was the overall winner under IRC of the 2021 De Guingand Bowl Race. Paul Scott’s Sigma 38 Spirit, which won the race overall in 2018, will also be in contention.

At the lively prize-giving hosted by the Yacht Club Scheveningen on Sunday May 12, competitors will be awarded a number of prestigious trophies including the Goeree Challenge Cup for the overall win under IRC.

For more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club:

by Louay Habib / RORC

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