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Boat speed is key in 2012 RORC North Sea Race

by Diana Bogaards 22 May 2012 06:45 BST 15-28 May 2012
Team Elke receives the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy after the RORC North Sea Race © Diana Bogaards

The 180 miles long R.O.R.C. North Sea Race back to Scheveningen was very smooth in sharp contrast to the Vuurschepenrace to Harwich earlier last week. Good boat speed appeared to be decisive on the way back. Harm Prins with the VO60 Pleomax took line honours on Saturday May 19th after 22 hours and 7 minutes of sailing. The overall prices were for Elke (IRC), Lenco (ORC long track), NADA (ORC short track) and Junique (doublehanded). Alderman of sports of The Hague, Karsten Klein, handed the prices to the sailors on Sunday May 20th in the Fish Auction building in Scheveningen.

He then appealed to the crowd: 'Perhaps next year somebody has a spot for me aboard his yacht, because I really want to participate." ORC winner Erik van Vuuren of the Lenco immediately responded: 'Stakes have to be rewarded, so you will have a spot aboard Lenco."

Elke wins IRC-overall

Skipper Frans Rodenburg on the First 40 Elke scored a second place in de Vuurschepenrace to Harwich and ended just after Baraka GP in the IRC class. On the way back Rodenburg and his crew just added a little more. They therefore didn't only win the IRC 2 class in the North Sea Race, but also ended up first overall in the IRC class after two races. Skipper Rodenburg: 'We left Scheveningen without a reef. It looked reasonable, but gradually it became more turbulent. In the evening we reefed and that was just in time. The wind increased. At a moment is was pure survival and we were happy that nothing broke. For half an hour we couldn't do anything. In the end we arrived unharmed and appeared to have sailed pretty fast. Before and after the showers so to speak." According to Rodenburg the Elke was in the lead most of the race, but in the end Baraka GP took over first place. 'We only lost about three minutes, which is painful."

The North Sea Race back to Scheveningen was 'almost a holiday trip' according to Rodenburg. 'Between twelve and seventeen knots of wind, mainly out of the south. It was mild. We have sailed pretty fast and worked hard. All through the night we had the spinnaker hoisted. Our yacht wasn't a moment badly trimmed and it shows in the results. We did the maximum."

Double win for Lenco

Erik van Vuuren just came home from his Global Ocean Race adventure and immediately appeared at the start of the Vuurschepenrace. This time as skipper of the Lenco, a Salona 37, with which he managed a double win. He and his crew won both offshore races. Van Vuuren explains: 'The Vuurschepenrace was a memorable one. It was cold and wet. We were well prepared. Tactically we sailed on the rhumb line to the other side of the North Sea, but speed was everything. Until halfway we sailed a little bit starboard of the rhumb line in order not to end up to much to leeward of the finish. That went well. On the way to England we battled with Xcentric Ripper, Redan and the Intention. That was beautiful. In the briefing I already told the crew that the sting would be in the tail. I appeared to be right, because until fifteen miles before the finish line all yachts were very close. Then we all had to hoist the gennaker for one more time. That didn't go well aboard most of the yachts, but aboard Lenco it went great. In the last track we overtook about fifteen minutes to the rest of the fleet. That brought victory. It was very essential to distribute your strengths."

It was the same for the North Sea Race. 'I never before have sailed such a relaxed offshore race. Again it was necessary to distribute strengths. Therefore everybody was super focused. Often I handed the wheel to someone else. Speed and navigation were extremely well. This is a victory in which we performed perfectly and not because others sailed badly. We did well all the way."

Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy

'These are the stars of today." With these words organizer Frans Sluyters introduced Bobby and Kit Horrevoets, daughters of sailor Hans Horrevoets. Just like last year they handed the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy, named after their father. The price was for Elke. Skipper Rodenburg was very pleased. 'It feels very special to win this trophy. Especially because I also come from Drimmelen. Hans was an icon in the sailing world. Everybody knows what happened to him and you think about it when you sail through the night. Honestly I hadn't realized that we had such a young crew to win this price. The Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy is awarded to the average youngest crew with the best results in the offshore races of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta.

Auction for Miles4justice

After the official price giving a very special American auction took place. The sailors could bid on a spot on board of the newly launched forty meters long J Class Rainbow. This yacht can be seen only once on the Dutch waters, during the coastal races of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta. On Sunday May 27 the almost complete Delta Lloyd core team will embark the Rainbow to sail with skipper and former Olympian Mark Neeleman. This way the city of The Hague will see Netherlands best sailors off to the Olympics in August. The total of the donations of the sailors was 2,500 euros, which will go to Miles4Justice, a Foundation that raises money for projects for the protection of Human Rights. CEO of the Dutch State Lottery Frans van Steenis is the highest bidder and will sail with the Olympian crew on the Rainbow on May 27.

Friday May 25 the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta actually will start off the coast of The Hague. For four days teams will battle sportively on the North Sea and will enjoy live music onshore.

For the full results per class of the Vuurschepenrace and North Sea Race see