73 Boats onboard for RORC North Sea Race

73 Boats onboard for RORC North Sea Race

Start: Friday 19 May  - Harwich – Scheveningen (180nm)

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2023 North Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, has attracted 73 boats for the start on Friday 19 May. The North Sea Race is preceded by the 120nm Vuurschepen Race to Harwich, which started from Scheveningen on Tuesday 16 May.

The 180nm race across the North Sea meanders around the Galloper wind farm before heading north to Smith’s Knoll Buoy and across to the famous sailing city of the Hague and the Yacht Club Scheveningen. The majority of the entries come from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with over 350 sailors taking part that include crew from Belgium, Germany, Israel, and the United States of America.

Richard Matthews has taken part in the North Sea Race for decades with victories both overall and for Monohull Line Honours. Matthews’ Carkeek 52 Oystercatcher XXXV is back having taken Line Honours in 2022 in an elapsed time of 20 Hrs 34 Mins 51 Secs.

The top three teams overall for 2022 will all be returning to action in the North Sea Race. The overall winner under IRC is back to defend their title; Astrid de Vin’s JPK 1180 Il Corvo won last year and returns with a new JPK 1030, which will once again be skippered by Roeland Franssens.

Second last year by just two-minutes after IRC time correction was ROST Van Uden, the Ker 46 is raced by the Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, and representing the Royal Maas Yacht Club in Rotterdam. While Poortman is a veteran Volvo Ocean Racer and winner of the RORC Admiral’s Cup, the average age of the rest of the ROST Van Uden crew is just 21 years old. The North Sea Race will be their first offshore race, as a team.

Michel Dorsman’s X-362 Extra Djinn was third last year and is from the Jachtclub Scheveningen. Class winners from 2022 returning include Christian Buehrlen’s First 40.7 Flying Fish and Paul Scott’s Sigma 38 Spirit, which won the race overall in 2018. The two smallest boats in the race are Martin-Jan Strebe’s First 31.7 Bruorskip and Jan Bruijn’s JPK 960 J-Blue.

At the lively prize-giving hosted by the Yacht Club Scheveningen on Sunday 21 May, competitors can win a number of prestigious trophies including the Goeree Challenge Cup for IRC Overall. The Royal Ocean Racing Club has organised races in the North Sea since 1931. The RORC North Sea Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series. The ten-month series comprises of 15 testing offshore races. Over 600 international teams are expected to compete this year. Every race had its own famous prize for the overall winner after IRC time correction with more coveted trophies for class honours.

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Text & Image: RORC