History of the Vuurschepenrace
The Vuurschepenrace. Since 1946, the application race has been sailed from the Netherlands to Harwich for the RORC North Sea Race. First from Hoek van Holland, later from the early 1970s from Breskens. After 1984, a start is made in Scheveningen.
The name of the race changed with the starting location. The race started as the Hook of Holland Harwich Race. From Breskens it became the transfer to Harwich race. The Vuurschepenrace (officially the Vuurschepen - Harwich Race) was created after merging with the Dutch Light Vessel Race around the lightships in the North Sea.
The name Vuurschepenrace thus comes from the earlier English light vessels or freely translated floating lighthouses, which have all been replaced by buoys.
The Vuurschepen – Harwich race is now organized by Jachtclub Scheveningen but originally falls under the patronage of the Royal Dutch Sailing & Rowing Association “De Maas”.
This race is therefore the oldest offshore race started from the Netherlands, with a warm welcome from the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in Woolverstone. A great tradition is of course the lunch offered by the North Sea Club in the characteristic English pub Butt & Oyster in Pin Mill with a beautiful view over the river Orwell. A day later the start of the British RORC North Sea Race is back to Scheveningen
The RORC North Sea Race was and is an attractive race for the Dutch sailor because it offered the possibility to sail against British sailors. In the beginning, the English were victorious because the Dutch yachts did not perform as well.
The English then did something very “British”: giving the athletic opponent the opportunity to win. So did the then Admiral of RORC Owen Aisher. He made The Yeoman Trophy, a new prize available to encourage the Dutch to master sea sailing better. To this day, the North Sea Regatta is still intensively fought to win The Yeoman Trophy.
For the further friendly stimulation of competitive sailing, the best performing yacht of the Scheveningen Yacht Club in the North Sea Race is The City of The Hague Trophy. Finally, for the country with the best performing 3 yachts, there is the C70 Trophy Netherlands vs Great Britain.
Below an article of Zeilen.nl mei 2019: