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Noble Marine 2012

Noble Marine National Solo UK Championship at Royal Torbay YC - Preview

by Will Loy on 6 Jul 9-14 July 2017
Andy Davis racing his Solo during the 2016 Solo Nationals © Will Loy

Royal Torbay Yacht Club, fair breezes forecast and 89 pre entries for the 2017 Noble Marine National Solo UK Championship, what else is there to say? I gave some of the competitors a chance to share their championship preparation and views on the venue...

  • Andy Davis (Winder Mk 2/Selden D+/HD Gold Maxx/Bloodaxe centreboard)

    I haven't been sailing, the Southern Champs at Felpham was the last time in the boat and I have been working every weekend since then! Venue wise, due to the bay facing East you don't tend to get much of a sea breeze as it blows off shore from a Southerly/South Westerly direction. With this you get a flat sea state and very shifty winds. On a rare occasion you get an Easterly you have absolute champagne sailing conditions with huge waves and a steady wind. From memory the current follows the bay and can certainly play a key part in tactics. Look forward to catching up.

  • Charlie Cumbley (Winder Mk 2\ Selden D+/North P2)

    It was always my intention to sail the Solo more in 2017... unfortunately best laid plans and all that! It has meant I haven't had the ideal prep with just the 3 days sailed, the rather fresh winter champs at Draycote and the fantastic weekend at the Nigel Pusinelli trophy at Hayling. I was fortunate both events were breezy as I'm the heaviest I have been in the Solo but the long range forecast for Torquay is looking light, Oops! But I have been sailing a lot of other boats, mostly keelboats such as the Etchells and J70, so at least I'm relatively match sharp.

    As for Torquay, it's close to my home turf as I grew up just down the coast in Teignmouth so it's a venue I'm very comfortable with. Often the prevailing SW summer breezes create a tricky, shifty inland style venue if sailed too close to the shore, but it can also create some awesome wave sailing if you get the rare treat of an easterly... those in the fleet still knocking around from the Big Wednesday from the first Solo nationals I sailed in 2008 will know what I mean.

    Limited tidal flow means it's usually shift dominant so you definitely have to have your wits about you to keep on top of everything and just like any big champs with 80+ boats you need to start well, but with a few shifts there will be a few ladders to climb and a few snakes to slide back again on for sure. Bottom line no matter the conditions I'm just looking forward to getting back into a great fleet and racing against some familiar faces again. See you all there for pasties and ice cream!

  • Olly Wells 5764 (P&B/JP hull, Selden D+ unsleeved/P&B ODL Radial Medium Cut/Flexi centreboard)

    Royal Torbay. The English Rivera in the height of summer, what's not to like.. unless of course the wind comes over the top from the North. In which case it's shifty, tricky, gusty and full on... on second thoughts that could be fun as well!

    If it's not in that zone hopefully we will see some nice Easterlies meaning good waves and swell. Providing they put us on the middle course they say left is good on this one (or is that giving too much away??) so it's guaranteed I will decide, for no apparent reason to go right, praying hard all the way!

    Preparation wise, this year has gone really well at times and at times has been 'challenging' to say the least! Some high profile breakages at inopportune moments have been costly and lost me time on the water in good sea venues, however the P&B boat genuinely feels quick and the tweaks to this year's P&B sail are definitely good as the taller Oli is consistently proving, on both counts. This year I have also been trying a few tweaks with the foils and mast mainly to compensate for my slight lack of D+ solo weight and height. I believe it is working with good speed in the higher winds at Medemblik a new bonus.

    Frankly can't wait to get cracking, 70+ Solos on a start line, good close racing, leg muscles that hurt after five minutes of the first days racing and more of Pats stories! Bring it on.

  • Laurence Creaser 5651 (Ovington hull/Selden D+/North P2)

    I'm really looking forward to my first Solo Nationals at Torbay. Having sailed across the bay at Brixham I know it's a beautiful setting that presents some challenging conditions! Being in my first season in the class it's been a big challenge since the start of the season. For me, nationals prep has been all about time on the water and the race course to get up to speed with boat handling and pace, while putting in the physical work in the gym to get up to a competitive weight for the mid to heavy wind ranges. After all the hard work from the class, I'm sure it will be a brilliant event, I can't wait to get on the start line!

  • Oli Davenport 5737 (P&B/JP hull/ Selden D+/P&B Radial medium cut)

    I'm really looking forward to the up coming Nationals at Royal Torbay Yacht Club it should be a great event. I did the Laser Nationals out of Paignton in 2013 which was a great event also a Laser Qualifier from Torquay in 2015. I've had a nice run up to the Nationals this year with some great events already like the Nations cup and the Nigel Pusinelli to name a couple.

  • Mike Sims 57 (Winder Mk 2 hull/Selden D+/P&B Radial medium cut)

    Venue wise, I have done several Laser Qualifiers there previously but never a week long Nationals, more likely to be flat water sea sailing compared to venues like Mounts Bay. Preparation wise, I have done the events I planned and feel like I have been sailing well and very pleased with my new boat and sail combination. My main focus has been on increasing my fitness by lots of hours on the bike and rowing machine.

  • Chris Brown 5712 (Winder MK 2 hull/Selden D+/ North F2)

    I have not done any prep other than trying to get time on wave sailing in 2017. Last time I sailed at this venue we had some monster waves, unfortunately with little wind. Which reminds me, I must take my sea sickness tablets! My Solo will have a top up of my new CB15 polish and CB mist polish which I am sure makes it faster... I am looking forward to a great week of sea sailing and seeing old friends

  • Nick Fisher 4772 (Gosling Dinghycraft Wood/Selden D+/HD Gold Maxx)

    Torbay, never sailed there. Preparation - pick up boat and go. Hardly sailed this year and was ill last time.

  • Nick Bonner 4982 (Speed/Selden D+/Doyle Sails LB2)

    My prep as been quite quiet this year in terms of getting on the circuit, so a lot of stuff has been done at Hayling Island when I can between the Fast 40 racing. Luckily the fleet at Hayling is really good so that has been pushing me. The Nigel Pusinelli trophy was my only open but I was very pleased with that, I have tweaked the new sail I was using then to hopefully do better in Torquay, I venue I am really looking forward to sail at. I think it will be a challenge in the light with a lot of land mass to deal with. What ever happens I will have a good time and it is always great to meet up with the fleet.

    That's I why we all sail the mighty Solo!

  • Andy Bayliss (Winder/Selden D+/HD Gold Maxx)

    So looking forward to getting back to Royal Torbay, haven't been there for 15 years or so, Boat needs a quick wash, I have a new HD sail, and then I'm ready for close fleet racing in the bay. My objective: to get a top 20 finish in 1 race?

So, with 89 current pre entries and just a few days to go, anticipation is high for another memorable Championship.

Join me in my daily on the water report from the comfort of my Solo as I give you the run down of each day's racing.

Thanks to Noble Marine, our title sponsor and class insurer, P&B, Allen Brothers, Lennon Racewear, Milanes Foils, Rooster Sailing and HISC for their race day sponsorship.

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