Friday, May 31, 2019

RORC North Sea Race Preview

J/122E sailing North Sea Race
(Harwich, England)- The next step in the RORC Offshore Season Points Series leading up to the 2019 Fastnet Race is the North Sea Race. The event has attracted 79 boats for the 1100 BST start on Friday 31 May. Hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in their fabulous modern clubhouse, the North Sea Race starts outside Harwich and meanders around the Galloper wind farm before heading north to Smith’s Knoll Buoy and across to the famous sailing city of the Hague and the Scheveningen Yacht Club. The majority of the teams come from the Netherlands, teams from Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, France and Germany. Fast downwind conditions are predicted providing exhilarating conditions for approximately 450 sailors racing across the North Sea.

The fleet sails one of two courses to Scheveningen, The Netherlands. The larger boats sail the long course of about 179.0nm, while the smaller boats sail the short course of 148.0nm.  In either case, it amounts to heading NNE across the Channel to buoys in the southern parts of the North Sea, then turning right and heading back down to Scheveningen for the finish.

Close to a dozen J/teams are participating in ORC/ IRC and the Doublehanded divisions in the race, including most of the top Dutch and Belgian teams that won their Benelux doublehanded championships in 2018.

In the 11-boat IRC 2 Class is the Belgian team of Sebastien de Liedekerke Beaufort, racing the J/111 DJINN.  They will be going head-to-head with three Dutch J/122s, all of whom have won various offshore RORC races; including Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s AJETO, Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s JUNIQUE- RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, and Frans Chappelle’s MOANA.

Sailing in the 15-boat IRC 3 Class will be three J/109s, including Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE, Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI, and Wim van Slooten’s FIRESTORM.

Entered in the dozen-boat IRC Doublehanded Class are Revelman/ Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE- RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, Verhoef/ Starre’s J/122 AJETO, and Slooten’s J/109 FIRESTORM.

Several of the same boats are also rated for ORC and racing in the ORC Class.  In addition to the J/122s (AJETO, JUNIQUE, MOANA) and the J/111 DJINN, is Michel Hof’s J/122 AMBITION (making them the fourth J/122 sailing the race). The J/109s include JAI ALAI and JOULE. Then, add in Alexander Hardell’s J/105 MAJIC POTION.

Similarly, in ORC Doublehanded class are three J/122s (AJETO, AMBITION, JUNIQUE), the J/109 FIRESTORM, and the J/105 MAJIC POTION. It will be fascinating to watch how the IRC vs ORC scoring determines the outcomes of each class over the course of this race.  For more RORC North Sea Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.