Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup at Fraglia Vela Riva - Day 1

by Will Loy 1 Jul 12:22 BST 30 June - 3 July 2018
Epic 'Ora' conditions on day 1 of the Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup at Lake Garda © Will Loy

The National Solo fleet has converged at the mecca of sailing, Riva del Garda, and comments from those who have never experienced this miracle of nature's natural corrosion are suitably impressed, despite the 1000 mile trip.

52 entries including 36 from the UK would contest what was our World Championship until a change in International rules in 1999 decreed we needed at least 5 national associations and we only had 3.

The Nation's Cup was therefore created and the actual trophy was generously donated by two of our most trusted measurers, Jim Gates and Ron Green. The class has never been stronger, thanks to the endeavour of our builders and the strict control our measurers maintained over them!

Fraglia del Riva nestles at the very north of the lake and with the morning "Pela" breeze giving way to the stronger "Ora", generated by the building heat of the 1000 feet high rock formations, the clubs generous flags flick from north to south with military precision at 12.30pm daily. The dinghy park, surrounded by beautiful orange brick buildings, hugs the lake, clusters of trees providing welcome relief for the white flesh of the sailors as they contemplate the days racing.

Launching into the Ora is not so bad, only one amply wide wooden platform but gentle in descent, until you reach the end then it's 200 feet down. Re-entry is not so easy, generally the breeze will be force 5 and dead from behind so a late sail drop/rudder lift and a short prayer will be required. Some choose laser-esque type blast and spin into the very eye of the wind but boards and rudders can collect some rather speed sapping gouges this way.

Steve Watson is earning some brownie points to gain his International Jury badge and as he is sitting on the committee boat, is most able to provide some incite to what happens on the water.

Vice President Doug Latta is competing but is also providing some competitor views of the racing. Unfortunately, my main source of gossip and photography, Chris Brown from CB Trailers, was man down on arrival with gall stones and will be in hospital for the duration of the regatta. All this after towing 6 Solos to the venue and to add salt to the wound, the cruiserweight is missing out on classic Lake Garda conditions. Get better soon mate.

Day 1

There were huge smiles from the sailors after the practice day, saying in 30 degrees and force 4-5 with some beautiful wave patterns, where else in the universe can you find such, well anywhere in the UK this last week! Irony is a killer.

Race 1

The Ora is up and with the sun's UV rays doing there best to weaken the laminating properties of the sails, the fleet were keen to start. The PRO, who's name I have still to determine, set a very port biased line and though there seemed to be a few slightly early, it was proclaimed all clear. National Champion and clear favourite Charlie Cumbley claimed the pin and as others tacked off was able to head for the cliffs, Doug was next to him, probably as close as he would ever be. Cumbley was lifted into the cliffs and tacked on the inevitable header, powering into the top mark with Oliver Davenport in close pursuit. Olli has not had the best of seasons but is clearly in his element when the breeze is on. The course is a straight up and down windward/leeward and the fleet have a jolly old time as the sun continues to beat down on the bright white decks. Cumbley and Davenport extended on the fleet, while legs, still aching from the drive to the venue were now burning from the sustained hike mode (I am sure Doug's were not the only one's). The breeze had freshened and Cumbley took the win after 58 minutes of full on dinghy racing with Davenport and Law taking the other podium positions.

Race 2

To the relief of some of the lighter and/or less honed, the wind had softened and the start line was slightly squarer though it took two goes to get away. Andy Tunnicliffe, Tim Law led at the windward mark with 5813, the newest Solo here and owned by Innes Armstrong in third. The top two remained the same at the leeward mark but Cumbley had moved menacingly into third and at the gun took the win in comfortable style from Law and Tunnicliffe. Further down the fleet Claar van der Does (NED), our only female competitor was having a great time and finished 29th. The strength of the class personified in her enthusiasm.

Race 3

A starboard bias resulted in some bunching at the committee boat which will have pleased Steve as he had a good view. From my experience of sitting on the deck of that boat in 2014 I can only hope he hung on as the chop does knock it about! Steve explained to me that his Italian was more akin to that of Micheal Caine which limited his conversation with the all Italian race team.

With the other fleets of Melges 24's, 18 foot skiffs and possibly a few foilers, the PRO set a triangle sausage with a 1.5 mile beat, showers and carb building must have been fighting for priority in the sailors minds. Steve commented that the sausage would go down well before they get to the pasta.

Wind at 20 knots and another clean start, just. To be honest, from my experience of Italian race teams, I wonder if the allure of Prosecco plays a large part in the start line policing. Any who, at the top mark it is Cumbley from Peerke Kortekaas (NED) and Tunnicliffe. The 1.5 mile beat results in a very deep wing mark so not exactly full on planing angles but if you have the stamina then play every wave. Cumbley extends and is 20 lengths clear at the leeward mark, going on to stamp his authority on this Nation's Cup. I wonder if Andy Davis, Andy Couch or Mike Sims would have been close if they had been here? Flying dutchman Kortekaas finished a great 2nd and I heard his shout of exaltation from here on the IOW while Davenport Jnr took third to leave him second overall overnight. Behind him the fleet are hanging on in the large swell that has developed. Doug reports that one lucky sailor capsized near the cliff face and was only able to right his stead in the mouth of a cave while another rescued a nearby Laser sailor from drowning. Names yet to be discovered.

Results after Day 1: (top ten)

1st Charles Cumbley
2nd Oliver Davenport
3rd Tim Law
4th Peerke Kortekaas
5th Andy Tunnicliffe
6th Micheal Hicks
7th Gilles De Coombe
8th Vincento Horey
9th Gareth Henshall
10th Mark Lee

Full results can be found here. (PDF format)

Word is that day two racing is currently postponed as the Ora has kicked in early. Many boats in the dinghy park remain covered, let's hope that the wind drops slightly and most importantly, the sailors have taken the bungs out of their buoyancy tanks.

Magic Marine stands for performance based sailing gear covering a wide range of disciplines. The brand pushes to be one step ahead recognising the range of conditions that sailors are exposed to; where faster sailing, longer sessions and more extreme weather is experienced. The brand is driven by sailors, for sailors and is pushed by all that the water offers to us, as sailors. Rain, snow, wind or sun; we are 'Driven by the Elements'.

Noble Marine Insurance is covering our Solos home and abroad, 24/7 and there support helps keep the National Solo as one of the most popular racing dinghies in the UK.

Thanks to both for supporting the NSCA.

Related Articles

Scottish Solo Travellers at Loch Lomond
Enough oscillations to keep everyone on their toes On a lovely day Loch Lomond Sailing Club hosted the latest round of the Scottish Solo series. 16 boats entered from the Borders to Aberdeen and found sun and 10 to 14 knots of wind with enough oscillations to keep everyone on their toes. Posted on 19 Jul
Solos at Leigh-on-Sea
Following on from the Vintage Solo event Following on from the Vintage Solo Championships on Saturday 14th July, twelve Leigh boats were joined by eight visitors for another day of perfect sailing on the Thames Estuary. Posted on 19 Jul
Magic Marine National Solo Championship hits 100
Three days to go, and there's 100 boats entered With just three days until measurement begins at Hayling Island for the 2018 Magic Marine Solo National Championship we have hit the magic 100 mark for entries. Posted on 18 Jul
Salcombe Yacht Club Summer Series Race 6
Club racing resumes as the Merlins leave town With Sharp's Doom Bar Merlin Rocket Week deemed a great success, club racing resumed at Salcombe Yacht Club last Saturday. Posted on 16 Jul
Inaugural Solo Vintage Championship
23 vintage boats bask in the sunshine at Leigh-on-Sea Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club welcomed 23 vintage National Solos to this inaugural Championship and they had also kindly arranged conditions not dissimilar to the town of Elounda, Greece. Posted on 16 Jul
National Solo Vintage Championship preview
NSCA President chews over his history with the class This Saturday sees the inaugural Vintage Championship for Solos, hosted by Leigh on Sea Sailing Club. There is an exceptionally strong fleet of older Solos at Leigh and the fleet has blossomed to well over 25. Posted on 10 Jul
Salcombe Yacht Club Summer Series Race 5
A glorious sunny Saturday in the harbour On a glorious sunny Saturday and at the top of the tide the summer series club racing took place with the backdrop of 120 Merlin Rockets arriving at Salcombe for their Merlin Week that starts on the Sunday. Posted on 8 Jul
Solo Nation's Cup at Lake Garda overall
Garda delivers with the efficiency of a Japanese bullet train With the efficiency of a Japanese bullet train, Lake Garda once again delivered the Ora right on time for the finale of the Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup. Posted on 4 Jul
Solo Nation's Cup at Lake Garda day 3
The sound of pain echoes around an Italian dormitory In reality it remained pleasant all day with around 10 knots from the south and some small waves, a welcome relief for many of the competitors. 46 competitors converged on the race area with room to relax before the start. Posted on 3 Jul
Solo Nation's Cup at Lake Garda day 2
The Ora arrives early I awoke with the piercing rays of the sun tracking across my duvet, and with that scene from the Bond movie filling my mind, exited from the bed before the laser beam could render me useless. Posted on 2 Jul