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Solo Racing Festival - Preview

by Jerry Freeman, SORC on 20 Jan 2011 12 March 2011

The Solo Racing Festival organised by SORC will take place at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble on Saturday 12th March. The programme for this fifth edition will cover all aspects of solo racing from the events to the boats and the people who sail in them.

La Route du Rhum is the biggest single-handed race in the world, with 85 boats starting the 9th edition from St Malo, British designer Nigel Irens had two of his boats in the top three Ultimes; Idec was 2nd in 9 days 13 hrs and Sodeb’O was 3rd in 10 days 3 hrs. Renowned among French skippers for his (30m) super fast trimarans Nigel will lead us through the key aspects of the fastest solo boats ever built.

Class 40 dispatched forty-four boats across the start line at St Malo and our own Marco Nannini was racing his Akilaria UniCredit as one of only three Brits present, Marco will relate the tale of his race and the lessons hard learned in 21 days racing. Marco’s next adventure is the Global Ocean Race that starts in September from Majorca and we will get the latest update from Oliver Dewar on the once in a lifetime opportunity for amateur racers in cat zero Class 40’s to circumnavigate the globe with pauses at nice places.

Mini Transat is the time honoured right of passage to a solo career and Pip Hare will update us on her training at La Grande Motte School in the Med and the qualifying races in her pogo 2. Located at the same centre, the Artemis academy has made ground breaking strides with the first cohort of 8 Figaro racers and Director John Thorn will outline his vision for this exciting project and provide some advice for the next group of applicants.

Following the very successful round Britain and Ireland race in 2010 the Royal Western Yacht Club have announced the re launch of the famous Two-handed Transatlantic race for June 2012, completing their suite of ocean classics with Ostar 2013. John Lewis will be outlining the plans for 2012 and 2013.

We hope that the mouth watering race fixture list will encourage more sailors to join in the fun next season and to convince you that we are mad we have Sports Psychologist Ian Brown to help with goal setting and optimising your performance on the race course.

SORC race director Peter Olden will present the full race programme for 2011 and our plans for the third edition 1000 miles solo in 2012 that will also serve as your qualifier for Ostar!

Returning to the waterside location at Hamble allows us to display a selection of exciting solo racing boats covering the full spectrum of the classes. Class Mini series and proto, Figaro 2 and Class 40 along with some of the leading short handed SORC boats.

Race promoters will be able to take advantage of time and space in this year’s festival to meet the skippers and deal with their questions. All the classes will be catered for; from the new Mini group racing in the Solent for the first time, SORC, Class 40 and the Oceanic races.

There may even be time for lunch!

Tickets online via the festival page at