Light conditions for this Southend classic - the Nore Race 20/6/06

The Nore Race, organised by Benfleet YC and which took place on 18 June, is one of the largest yacht races on the east coast of the UK, with boats of all shapes and sizes ranging from small singlehanded dinghies, classic traditional working sailboats to out and out racing yachts, monohulls, catamarans and trimarans taking part.

This year’s course was set over eight miles due to the light wind conditions, with around 200 competitors starting at Southend Pier-head. The race was initially delayed for 40 minutes, to allow all the competing boats to make the start line in the fading wind conditions.

By the first mark, the wind began to increase from the east, making it more interesting by allowing the competitors to actually compete rather than just drift.

Once the leading pack of boats had crossed to the Kent side of the Thames, the fickle wind again began to fade, splitting the fleet even more, as they struggled now against a flooding tide to round the last mark before the final leg to the finishing line.

At this stage a few boats retired, as they knew that to finish within the alloted time of six hours was near impossible.