Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2018 - Leaderboard

Interview with Kev Clark ahead of the Solution nationals at Gunfleet

by Nathan Batchelor 1 Aug 2012 18:34 BST 11-12 August 2012
Kev Clark sailing to victory at the 2011 Solution Nationals © Brian Starr

Under 10 days to go to the start of the 2012 Solution Nationals at Gunfleet SC on 11th August, and it’s shaping up to be the most competitive to date. All of the open meeting winners over the last year are set to compete including 2011 National Champion and Solution co-designer Kev Clark. Boats are anticipated to travel from as far afield as Manchester in the North West to Weymouth in the South to compete on the water in Essex.

Preceding this on the Friday is a training day which is free to class members - for more details and to register for this contact

With this looking to be a very close and competitive event we’ve spoken to Kev Clark to pass on some tips to help the rest of the fleet:

SCA (Solution class association): So how did things start off? When and why did yourself and Andrew Elliot conceive the Solution idea?

KC: I enjoyed sailing the Phantom but was somewhat on the lighter side of the weight range (at around 80kg) so started talking to Andy Elliot of Red Eye Sails about how to cut a sail which was sufficiently de-powered to make the phantom more manageable. The conversation then wandered on to building an entire phantom which was 10% smaller. I thought it could be done so went ahead and had a go as it were! Obviously it wasn’t as simple as just scaling down the phantom by 10% – a lot of thought and effort went into coming up with a design which worked. We also worked on improving some of the challenges that phantom sailors face –such as the “sunken” deck was included to overcome the phantom problem of running control lines back to the helm. We also changed some things to contain costs – such as having a single manufacturer and alloy spars. The outcome of a few of these enables the boat to cost almost 50% less than a Phantom.

SCA: Why the name Solution?

KC: Well, the trend at the time was to use numbers a lot – 800, 4000, etc and we wanted a word. Picking which word was the problem and “Solution” was the solution to that problem.

SCA: What classes had you sailed previously?

KC: Quite a few over the years starting with a Mirror, National 12 (as crew), Streaker, Comet, International moth (magnum8), Laser 2, Contender, Wayfarer, many Phantoms and since then Solution, (and more recently an Albacore!)

SCA: Did you have a good time sailing the prototype? What were the main changes that took place to the hull and rig during this time?

KC: Yes, we had a great time sailing the boat during the development process- mainly in the Solent out of Seafarers SC and also inland. During trialling the rig was moved slightly further forward in the boat (circa 100mm) & numerous mainsheet arrangements were trialled before settling on the current arrangement. The hull shape didn’t need to change from the moment it got wet.

SCA: What are the more common mistakes sailors new to the class make?

KC: Oversheeting the main – it ain’t a Laser! Trying to point to hard – being a light hull it doesn’t carry momentum and is easy to stall if you pinch. Not enough kicker –pull it on till snot comes out of your nose if it’s windy.

SCA: What hints could you give club level Solution sailors to improve their performance?

KC: The main tip would be to come to at least one open meeting to see how other Solutions are being sailed, even if you’re not interested in sailing an open circuit. There is no better way to learn than to follow a well-sailed Solution up the beat.
Sail the boat flat. As in properly flat, not at the 5 degree angle we all think of as flat. Don’t be afraid to really rake the rig back when it’s windy.

About the Solution

The Solution is a hiking single hander designed to provide exciting but manageable sailing for all sailors in the 65 to 85kg weight range. The boat was conceived by Kevin Clark and Andrew Elliott for sailors who were too light for a Phantom or a Finn but wanted more performance than that offered by some traditional classes. A light weight epoxy hull and a semi battened 8.5sqm laminate sail make the boat an offwind flyer. The Solution is hand built in the UK by Ovington Boats, if you would like a test sail contact Nathan Batchelor

Related Articles

Ovington Inlands at Grafham preview
Event running this weekend, but without Flying Fifteens The Ovington Inland Championships are returning to Grafham this year for what is looking to be another great event. The 505s will again be joining us along with the 49er FX, 49er, Musto Skiff, Solution and Phantom. Flying Fifteens are sadly cancelled. Posted on 30 Oct 2018
Solution Inlands at Chase
Ten Solutions travel from across the country Ten Solutions travelled from across the country to gather at Chase Sailing Club on a cold and very wet Saturday morning, joined by the Supernova fleet. Posted on 12 Oct 2018
Solution Nationals at Pembrokeshire
A mix of local knowledge and travelling enthusiasm Seven travellers and six local boats made for a very good nationals with a mix of local knowledge and travelling enthusiasm. With a 4 nautical mile sail to the racing area everybody made it, even if Paul Nix only had 4 minutes to spare. Posted on 12 Sep 2018
Bainbridge Solution National Championships preview
The reigning champion can't make it! The Bainbridge International Solution National Championships are almost upon us. With reigning champion Nathan Batchelor unavailable to defend his title due to work commitments, there's bound to be a different name on the trophy this year. Posted on 31 Aug 2018
Solutions at Glossop
The best conditions the club has had in a long time Four visitors joined the local Solution fleet at Glossop for a single handed open meeting with the Supernova and Laser classes. It was a hot and sunny day with a westerly force 3, and according to the PRO the best conditions they've had in a long time. Posted on 18 Jul 2018
Solution Travellers at Felpham
Round 2 sees sunshine and a great party Round 2 of the Solution Travellers Trophy was held on 23/24 June at Felpham SC. A civilised 2pm start on Saturday allowed plenty of time for boat fettling while the sea breeze built. Posted on 26 Jun 2018
Solution class during the Ovington Inlands
A stark contrast to last year This year's weather was a stark contrast to last year at the Ovington Inland Championships. Five Solutions arrived to compete at the same time as nearly all other Ovington produced boats types. Posted on 29 Nov 2017
Solutions at Chase
A lively breeze on Saturday On Saturday 7th October, 9 Solutions gathered at Chase Sailing Club and were greeted by a lively westerly F4 gusting 5. Posted on 14 Oct 2017
Solution Nationals at Gunfleet
Sixteen sailors battle it out Sixteen sailors with Solutions arrived at the 2017 Solution National Championship at Gunfleet Sailing Club. Glorious sunshine greeted everyone on Saturday morning and off everyone went. Posted on 7 Sep 2017
Solution Inlands at Bala
Warming up with the inaugural Bala Grand Prix As a warm up several of the Solution fleet entered the inaugural Bala Grand Prix on the Bank Holiday Saturday, and by late afternoon were treated to a full on F5/6 windward leeward course the full length of the lake. Posted on 1 Jun 2017