Scarborough Yacht club’s North Sea Race
The crew arrived at tea time and our worst fears were confirmed—- kit everywhere!! However, it was soon stowed away and we made ready for the start, but first the pre-brief and we all adjourned to the Clubhouse for pre-race nibbles. Emma’s eyes were hawk like as she watched for anyone breaking her strict ‘no drinking before the race policy’. A tactical decision was made and we split up, taking it in turns to distract her attention, and we all managed a quickie before the start.
Half an hour before the start of the race, the wind died to a couple of knots and with a horrible leftover slop, all the competing yachts were swept over the start line on successive rollers to the turning mark where we could harden up onto the wind and regain some kind of steerage.
These conditions continued for the next five hours with all the fleet in close proximity until a new breeze filled in from behind allowing kites to be hoisted. Positions changed slowly and we drew ahead of some of the other competitors, but couldn’t shake off Vado or Revenge. The wind died again and we all drifted North on the strong tide weaving our way through the oil rigs until about 1600 hours on Saturday.
We had managed to shake off Vado and find some wind; we tacked every couple of hours with Revenge covering our every move until about 2200 hours when for some unknown reason, the tri-colour ceased working. We tacked again but this time they didn’t follow, four hours later it started working again, but by now we were well out of sight and it stayed that way for the rest of the race.
With increasing wind we reefed the main and on a fast reach maintained good speeds to the finish on Sunday at 1620 hours and 14 seconds. Revenge followed over half an hour behind. Then came the inevitable question ‘how long have you been in?’ ‘Well’came the reply, ‘we have just had a great lunchtime session relaxing in the local bars!!’ We had taken line honours, but the winner on corrected time, once again was the well crewed, Hustler 30, Tarka of Tees from Hartlepool.
The next few days were spent enjoying each others company along with a few glasses of the local brew, the fantastic reception dinner, which is laid on by the sponsors BOYES ‘for good value’ and, of course, the great sailing grounds of the Dutch Inland waters before our return passage to Scarborough.