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Vernon Dawson Cup Race - from Scarborough to Whitby

by Chris Clark 23 Jun 18:35 BST
Vernon Dawson Cup Race (Scarborough to Whitby) © Chris Clark

Each year, Scarborough and Whitby Yacht Clubs meet to race from Scarborough to Whitby for the Vernon Dawson Cup. 2021 had an excellent turnout, with 18 yachts taking part.

Racing commenced at 09:30 with a split course Southerly start via two Start Courses in the South Bay to thin the crowd a little, rounding different markers and turning North. Despite a light North-Easterly wind and South-drifting current, the clubs' larger vessels moved powerfully ahead, soon distant lines of vessels making synchronised wide tacks to get round the headlands at Long Nab, Ravenscar, and Robin Hoods Bay.

Reporting from onboard Little Jeannie, images en-route were a little sparse as Little Jeannie soon found ourselves in an empty sea listening (with some irritation!) as the faster vessels completed their race and called in at Whitby Marina. With wind falling off, this left Little Jeannie with a long-ish haul under engine power up to the port side of the doleful clang of the Whitby Cardinal buoy saying 'pass by my North view or else'. The sailing instructions were equally doleful, and SYC racers observed this to the letter.

For those who haven't navigated the Whitby marina, the channel is a rather narrow S-shape passage in an otherwise broadish river mouth, with siting marks on the way - transgress at one's peril. Not so obvious on the way in, but hopefully the later pics show the S-shape on the way out. Fish and chips, snacks, and curry for many along with beer and spirits, with a mostly quiet night until an unseen and noisy fishing vessel took off around 5am.

On the way out, most of the previous day's Vernon Dawson racers assembled to become of the Scarborough Yacht Club Commodore's Jaunt North, next stop Hartlepool and finishing at Newcastle. It was a striking visual moment for shoreliners as around 15 - 17 yachts moved in synchronised single line out of the river mouth, with dog walkers and early morning tourists stopping to watch the flow.


There were three classes involved in the Race, we've used the aggregate to simplify reporting, With four Whitby vessels in the results, the top five overall results are shown.

ICON - a Whitby Yacht Club (WYC) North East Cruiser Racing Association (NECR) Sigma 33
Déjà Vu - a WYC/NECR J120
Scorcher - a WYC Sigma 33
Minty - a WYC Impala
Ruffian - an SYC Sigma 36

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