Thirty-four Solo and Double Handed yachts enjoyed ‘champagne racing’ on the Solent last weekend.
The SOLO Offshore Racing Club staged the largest yacht race since the start of the Covid Lockdown for socially distant compliant solo and duo teams on Sunday 7 June.
Unusually for SORC, which is the UK’s only Yacht Club dedicated to solo yacht racing, they staged a Double Handed class . . . It was a well recieved successful initiative.
The race team behind SORC wisely delayed their inaugural 2020 race from a 30 knot, grey Saturday to a sparkly, sunny, 12 knot Sunday.
All starts were “stealth” starts – radio only. Sufficient to say that from the start the place to be was in the west flowing back-eddy along the Gurnard shore.
Most yachts headed this way, but the art was in gauging when to tack across the easterly flow towards Beaulieu and the first mark.
It was evident that course setter and long term SORC race official Dave Giddings with Steve Cole had used the crystal ball to great effect; the course was enjoyable with true windward legs and downwind legs that were . . . downwind.
Natalie Jobling and Tom Hayhoe’s Mostly Harmless took line honours and IRC Class 4 Double Handed overall.
Whilst Frank 3 Nick Lee and Wee Bear Oliver Love, punched above their weight for the whole race, only losing ground on the last run.
Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada took the Solo IRC Class 1 overall win, second Bellino of Rob Craigie and third Fastrak of Nigel Colley, all within 1m 12s of each other.
Solo IRC Class 2 was a win for Virago of Jeffrey Knapman ahead of Adelie of Robert Salter, with third Paul Reymond’s Oi Oi.
Solo Class 3 (not IRC rated) was a win for John Skipper’s Magewind of Roke ahead of Rob Macgregor’s Dark Horse.