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Scarborough Yacht Club's North Sea Race - Preview

by Win Russell 8 Mar 2015 14:56 GMT 27 June 2015

The time is nearing once again for Scarborough Yacht Club's annual 210 mile race to Ijmuiden in Holland, again sponsored by Boyes Stores, starting at 10.00am on Saturday 27th June.

This year there are exciting additions to the race, firstly each yacht will carry a tracking device which will enable people to follow their progress all the way across the North Sea using satellite technology linked to the club's web site, and secondly the Commodore will challenge the yachts to a "Top-Gear" style race by cycling to Hull catching a ferry to Zebrugge then cycling to Ijmuiden, which is the same mileage that the yachts are sailing, to see who can arrive at the finish first. This part of the race is to raise sponsorship for the Commodore's chosen charity Macmillan Cancer.

It's a spectacular sight in Scarborough's south bay with all the yachts ready for the start with Scarborough Lifeboat positioned to see them off safely. The harbour wall is an excellent vantage point to see the action and take in the atmosphere.

The reputation of the race is gathering momentum and we are really pleased by the number of visiting yachts entering, ranging from Tees and Hartlepool in the North to the Humber in the South, which gives added competition to our own local yachts.

The last two years have been extremely frustrating at the start of the race as there was a total lack of wind, so we are hoping with the start changing to Saturday morning instead of Friday evening, a day breeze will set them on their way, because with a fair tide and a decent breeze they can round Flamborough Head before the tide turns. Of course it still takes navigational skills crossing the North Sea and keeping a good distance from the oil and gas platforms, which is essential.

The next hazard is the traffic separation zones which have ships of all shapes and sizes crossing the paths of the yachts and finally as the competitors approach the Dutch coast there is an array of wind farms to negotiate before entering the port of Ijmuiden, it will be interesting at this point, to see if the Commodore (on his bike) has managed to beat the sailing yachts.

The tracking system will show supporters all the twists and turns the yachts (and the bike) make to avoid obstacles and the course they take to overcome the tidal streams and pot holes!

After registering their finish times in the port of Ijmuiden the yachts head up the North Sea Canal to the old seaport of Hoorn, in the Markenmeer.

A presentation dinner is held on the Tuesday evening at Turf Restaurant after which the competitors are free to enjoy the waterways of Holland before making their own way home.

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