Please select your home edition
Leaderboard brokerage

RORC / EAORA East Coast Race hosted by Haven Ports Yacht Club

by Claire Scott 8 Jun 2021 14:36 BST 5 June 2021
RORC / EAORA East Coast Race © Peter Cockayne

In normal seasons, the 100-mile plus East Coast Race goes across the North Sea to Holland or Belgium, but this year's Covid constraints prevented that. Hosted by Haven Ports YC, the race started and finished in Harwich, with an imaginative and completely new course, taking in old favourites like Longsand Head, Kentish Knock, and the East Goodwin Light Vessel, where the fleet turned north again, heading back via Fisherman's Gat and the Sunk Head Tower.

The race is an essential qualifier for East Coast boats intending to take part in the Fastnet, and it attracted entries from as far afield as Scarborough - and Switzerland. Unfortunately very unhelpful delivery conditions thwarted the Scarborough contingent, and with boat preparation delayed by lockdowns etc, there were other dropouts, too.

In the event there were ten starters on a cold, grey drizzly morning with little breeze - not looking very inviting. Paul Brant's trimaran Freshly Squeezed (RORC) had a start to itself, but lack of shakedown opportunities meant that she was not race ready, and retired not long after the start.

The other nine boats shared a single start, with entries ranging in size form the syndicate-owned veteran Sigma 33 Woozle Hunter (Marconi SC) to Richard Matthews' brand new Carkeek-designed 52-foot CF 520, Oystercatcher XXXV (West Mersea YC) making her racing debut.

Spinnakers were hoisted on the start line, but progress was unimpressive, and the team on the committee boat did not envy the competitors what promised to be a miserable and frustrating day at sea.

Fortunately later in the day the sun came out as forecast, and morale improved to match. All later reported enjoying the race, but the competitors endured periods of frustration with dramatic holes in the breeze and tricky tide gates catching different parts of the fleet at different times.

Oystercatcher XXXV took line honours decisively, the only boat to finish on the same day as the start, crossing the line at 22.23. Unfortunately this was not soon enough for her IRC handicap (1.425), and she was much further down the results than normally expected of the Oystercatchers.

Next to finish was a visitor from the South Coast, Thomas Kneen's JPK1180 Sunrise (RORC) - the convincing winner on handicap.

She was followed home by Nick Angel's J121 Rock Lobster (HPYC) and Simon Ruffles J120 Jameerah (Pin Mill SC).

Just after 0500, two of the smaller boats, Robert Leggett's X332 Ape-X and Ed Harrison's Corby 29 Entropy (both HPYC) finished just five minutes apart, after nearly 23 hours on the water, Entropy ahead, but losing out to Apex once handicaps were applied.

Paul Scott's Sigma 38 Spirit (HPYC), normally one of the most consistent performers in EAORA, apparently feeling the lack of a shakedown, lost both wind and tide frustratingly near the finish, and was forced to anchor for six hours, the last of the finishers in eight place, the only one with an elapsed time of over a day - more than ten hours behind the winner on corrected time.

But he achieved his goal of completing the race and qualifying for the Fastnet. Woozle Hunter, which was close to Spirit when the wind stopped, was not looking to qualify, and so retired and motored home.

The next event on the EAORA calendar, sponsored this year by DXB Pump and Power, is the Offshore Regatta, from Thursday July 8 to Sunday July 11. Again, this usually involves crossing the North Sea, but this year will be sailed in home waters - also starting and finishing in Harwich.

Related Articles

EAORA Week 2022 in Southern Holland
Triumphantly resuming the old favourite East Anglian Offshore Racing Association triumphantly resumed the old favourite East Anglian Week in Southern Holland from July 9 until 15. Posted on 20 Jul
EAORA Pattinson Cup & Ralph Herring weekend
A slow start for the East Anglian fleet A slow start for the East Anglian fleet sponsored by DXB Pumps, but our Dutch Regatta is now only nine weeks away! Posted on 19 May
EAORA 2021 Season
A challenging year for offshore racing 2021 has been a challenging year for offshore racing, due to Covid restrictions, and the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association season faced additional challenges from the weather. Posted on 11 Oct 2021
EAORA Offshore Regatta 2021
Organisers and sailors delighted the event could go ahead With the help of chief race officer Andy Wise a series of courses was devised avoiding too much repetition, and the regatta began in near perfect conditions - sparkling sunshine and a lively sailing breeze on Thursday July 11. Posted on 15 Jul 2021
EAORA ready for online entries
Friendly offshore racing on the East Coast of England East Anglian Offshore Racing Association (EAORA) organises and promotes offshore racing on the East Coast of England, combining great racing with friendship and camaraderie. Posted on 15 May 2021
EAORA cancel remainder of 2020 series
But shares a fantastic illustration at the same time The EAORA (East Anglian Offshore Racing Association) Committee has decided to cancel the remaining 2020 series due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have waited as long as possible before this decision. Posted on 6 Jul 2020
70th EAORA Prizegiving
A very successful 2019 season celebrated in style A very successful 2019 season of offshore racing was celebrated in style at the EAORA Prizegiving Dinner at Medway YC on Saturday November 9. Posted on 13 Nov 2019
Josie Ruffles named Young Sailor of the Year
EAORA recognises achievement of 2000 miles hard yacht racing Royal Hospital School pupil, Josie Ruffles, 17, from Suffolk's Shotley Peninsula, has had an extraordinary year when it comes to her sailing accomplishments. Posted on 20 Sep 2019
EAORA Buckley Goblets
Was it a new record for West Mersea to Ostend? Was it a new record? Richard Matthews' custom Kerr 51 Oystercatcher XXXIII completed the Buckley Goblets 85-mile course in a remarkable six hours and nine and a half minutes. Posted on 16 Sep 2019
EAORA Houghton Cup & Amazon Cup
Racing from Burnham to Brightlingsea and back over the weekend Unusually good Bank Holiday weekend weather - blue skies, blistering heat, but rather a shortage of breeze - made the penultimate race weekend of the 2019 EAORA season one to remember. Posted on 28 Aug 2019