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British Soling Fleet ring in the changes

by Paul Tully 8 May 2016 12:30 BST 8 May 2016

In 2015 the British Soling Fleet celebrated the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Soling at their National Championships held at Rutland Water.

At the AGM of the British Soling Association (BSA) which was held the same weekend, Paul Tully from Rutland Sailing Club was elected the new Secretary.

Paul Tully says that he is really excited about the British Soling fleet's plans for the future. "We will be holding the UK Soling Nationals at Rutland Water in June each year until further notice, the next one being June 17/18/19 2016.

We are also aiming to host the Soling World Championships in 2019 at a venue in the UK that has yet to be decided. We have just starting the planning process and we are looking for a suitable venue that will act as a real draw to Soling sailors all over the world."

"We are starting a programme to attract young sailors in the UK to the Soling and hope to have some young teams competing for Britain when the Worlds come to the UK in 2019. We are looking for talented young sailors who want a new challenge and who want to move up the scale into world class international yacht racing. Winning the Soling World Championships would certainly be an accolade to have on anyone's sailing c.v. The Soling is a beautiful yacht to sail but takes a bit of time and effort to master. That is why we are looking to start our young sailor development campaign now." Paul says.

Anybody interested in sailing Solings should contact Paul Tully through the British Soling Association's new website www.solings.co.uk.

Paul Tully is trying to put together a comprehensive listing of all Solings in the UK so if you own one or know somebody who has one, please get in contact with paul no matter what condition the boat is in, just so the BSA knows it is there.

Designed by Norwegian Jan Linge for the Olympics, the Soling is a fast, non sinkable 27 foot, one ton, International One Design, racing keelboat that takes a three man crew and can be towed by a car. Class rules allow droop hiking. The Soling is about the same length as a J80 but only 75% of its weight. The Soling is fast and it rides the sea very well because it was designed for Olympic offshore sailing. It has a fractional rig with thirty one foot mast and a symmetrical spinnaker. Everything is adjustable on the water. This includes the forestay, the backstay, the inner shrouds and the outer shrouds. This means that in heavier weather you can flatten the main by putting bend in the mast and you can balance the helm by increasing or decreasing the mast rake.

At initial glance the Soling looks like the small sister of the Echelles. At Rutland Water the Soling is the longest boat allowed on the water and has a handicap rating of 914.

Paul Tully says, "The great thing about the Soling is that it sails so well. Weighing 1035 kilogrammes including the rigging and endowed with a "V" shaped hull it is very stable and cuts through the sea with ease.

The Soling has been raced by many famous yachtsmen, some of them going on to compete in major international and round the world events including the Admiral's Cup and the Americas Cup. The list of famous Soling sailors is long and includes luminaries like Paul Elvström, Russell Coutts, Ed Baird and Buddy Melges for example.

The Soling has been used often as the boat of choice in match racing and Paul Tully says he hopes to introduce match racing in Solings at Rutland Water in the future.

"There are a lot of Solings around and you can pick them up at very reasonable price. You get an awful lot of boat for your money if you buy second hand!"

There are very active Soling fleets all over the globe and World Championships are held every year. They will be at Kingston, Ontario in 2016; at Muiden in the Netherlands in 2017; and South America in 2018, probably Buenos Aires. The International Soling Association web site is www.solings.co.uk If you are interested in trying Soling contact Paul Tully at www.solings.co.uk or contact your nearest fleet through that website.

Calling all Solings?

If you have a Soling or know where one is, please let the British Soling Association know by emailing any details you can get hold of such as the name of the boat, the maker, the plug number & hull number (send picture of the maker’s plaque from your mobile phone) and send it with your contact details to Paul Tully, Secretary, British Soling Association at

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