Offshore racing is regarded by some as the ultimate challenge of man against the elements. Yachts go out in all weathers and race over large distances, unsupported by outside assistance, relying on good quality equipment, excellent navigation and superb teamwork, knowing that the team will pull together to get them through the race with a respectable position in the fleet at the end.


Just finishing some races is an achievement in itself. Whilst it is the skipper's decision whether or not to race, dependent on the weather forecast and anticipated conditions, the forecasters do not always get it right and you can be caught out in conditions that you would not normally choose to sail in. Provided your boat is well found and you have a reasonable level of experience to draw on, you can either choose to plug on, maintaining race pace, or run before the storm or seek shelter before continuing the race when the weather improves.


Members of the Royal Burnham Y.C. participate in Offshore Races organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association.  EAORA Races take place in the Thames Estuary and North Sea, crossing to Belgium or Holland on two or three occasions each year.  RORC Races are usually of longer duration and most start in the Solent, although there are two North Sea Races each year and others held in more glamorous locations. On this page you will see pictures and brief biographies of some of our more successful members' boats. There are also links to some of the boats' websites for more up-to-date details.

Heartbeat IV


Heartbeat IV, owned by Jason and Past Commodore Judy Payne James, is the 4th Dufour they have owned bearing the name Heartbeat and they have campaigned all of them at the highest level over the last 10 years.  They have won their Class and been overall EAORA Champions during this time and also won the prestigious Burnham Town Cup for cruiser racers held on the last Saturday of Burnham Week.  They competed in the ill-fated 2007 Fastnet Race and were forced to retire ducking into Plymouth at the height of the storm, but returned to complete the race in 2009.  This year they competed in the Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta around Sicily and back to Malta again - a race of 600 miles. Their daughter, Grace, won the award for the youngest competitor in the race as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award adventurous training. Judy has been Chairman of EAORA for the past 4 years.



Selene is owned by Vice Commodore Adrian Lower.  She is a 38 year-old Sparkman and Stephens designed Swan 44. Although she is no longer in the first flush of youth she still races competitively. In the last two years since Adrian purchased her she has completed two Rolex Fastnet Races in 2009 and 2011 and the 2000 mile non-stop Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in 2010. In that year Selene also won the Barnard Cup for EAORA Class 2 seasons points championship and the David Geaves Memorial Trophy for the most miles raced in EAORA and RORC in the year.  This year Selene was 3rd in Class in the Swan European regatta in Cowes and is heading for the Mediterranean next year to compete in the Swan World Championships in Sardinia and the RORC Rolex Middle Sea Race. In 2013 Adrian plans to race across the Atlantic in the RORC Racing Division of the ARC.


J/133 Assarain IV is owned by Rear Commodore Angus Bates.  She has raced very competitively in EAORA winning Class 1 and the overall Championship in 2010 and the Town Cup in 2011. This year Assarain also completed the Fastnet race finishing a very creditable 10th in Class 1 and 27th overall out of 314 boats competing. 



Robbie Stewart has been a stalwart of the East Coast racing scene for a number of years competing, and winning in race boats designed by brother Andy Stewart.  His current boat Booty is a modern light displacement rocket ship which has been competing in the shorter inshore series with Sail East this year.  He has been overall EAORA Champion in three different Stewart designs, Blush in 1993, The Geek in 1998 and I Say Ding Dong in 2006.

Titian A


Titian an Elan 40 owned by the Galloway brothers has raced very successfully at the hands of Past Commodore Stuart Galloway, winning Class 2 EAORA Class 2 Barnard Cup in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and the Blackwater Cup as overall winner of EAORA in 2008. Brother John and Richard prefer cruising to racing which shows the versatility of our fleet.



Finally, 2010 saw the return to active racing of the beautifully restored Erotic Bear formerly owned and raced very successfully in RORC South Coast Races in the 1980s by the late Kit Hobday and crewed by a number of current members who will happily tell you salty stories of their on water escapades over a beer in the bar.  Now owned by new member Mike Dennehy and past EAORA Chairman Paul Wood, she looks a picture on the water.


Further afield, Cayman Island based Peter Cunningham, overseas member and brother-in-law of Past Commodore Cathy Herring has recently purchased Powerplay, a magnificent TP 52 race boat in which he is indulging the ultimate armchair sailor’s fantasy and is campaigning very successfully at the highest level with a professional crew as an owner/driver in the immensely competitive regattas in the United States and Caribbean and hopefully returning to UK waters this summer.  You can follow Peter’s campaign from his website by following the link above.


Most of the local boats are happy to take new members on the water for their first experiences of Offshore Racing.  Please contact any of the owners listed above via the Club office or speak to Adrian Lower or Angus Bates for further details if you would like to try your hand.

Contact the Royal Burnham Yacht Club - 01621 782 044 -
The Royal Burnham Yacht Club, Limited - Company Number 00168571 - Reg Office: The Quay, Burnham-on-Crouch CM0 8AU
All Material © 2011 Photographs © of the respective photographers