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National Solo End of Season Championship at King George Sailing Club - Preview

by Will Loy 24 Oct 18:10 BST
Pete Mitchell, 2nd overall at the Magic Marine National Solo Championship at Hayling Island © Will Loy

The Solo season finale takes place at King George Sailing Club this Saturday 27th October and a promising forecast of 17mph, with some fruity gusts in the 20s, should keep the sailors on their toes and my Fuji S1 busy capturing the action.

The EOS completes the ten-event North Sails Super Series with an additional qualifier taken from one of the six Area Championships: North, East, South, West, Midland and Scottish. There are currently 31 qualifiers with a further 24 needing to compete in the EOS to secure the minimum of four to be included in the North Sails Super Draw and a chance to win a brand new North P2 mainsail.

There are also many other prizes to be won and the only proviso is that you have to be at the prize draw to win! The one caveat is that any qualifier from abroad will be included in the draw and Hans Duetz from the Netherlands holds that distinction after competing at the Magic Marine Nation's Cup, Magic Marine UK Nationals, Harken Inland Championship and the Dutch Nationals. Well done to him, we hope to see more Dutch sailors competing in 2019 and maybe some Portuguese and French too.

Nigel Davies and Class President Doug Latta have eight qualifiers under their belts and their attendance at the EOS will ensure they have six Super Draw tickets in the hat, while Chris Brown, Andy Fox and John Steels will have five tickets though I believe John will be in the USA so his name, - should it be picked - will be re-drawn!

There are a further six qualifiers who will have four tickets each, eight with three tickets and twelve with two tickets. That's 94 tickets plus those of the 24 sailors needing the EOS to gain one ticket.

It really does pay to compete in as many of these majors as you can to increase your chances of winning.

Super Series Round Up

The Noble Winter Championship attracted 57 entries which represented the largest entry since 2010. Northampton SC and a brisk force 3-5 provided a suitable test with a biting wind reminding the sailors that this was indeed the Winter. Charlie Cumbley, 2017 Super Series champion, stamped his authority on the event from Ian Walters and Ian Maclean.

The Spring Championship, held at Draycote Water in a light to moderate breeze saw 54 sailors battle it out, with Ian Walters continuing his good form with the win from Pete Mitchell and Mike Sims.

Medemblik hosted the Dutch Spring Championship where the 17 strong UK fleet joined the 21 Dutch competitors for three days of fierce competition. North Sails' Lawrence Creaser took the win from Pete Mitchell and 2015/16 Super Series champion Andy Davis was third.

The Nigel Pusinelli Trophy: WPNSA put on another great event with Hyde Sails Richard Lovering dominating the six race series from Salcombe's Tim Law and the consistent Pete Mitchell. 38 competitors got a taste of the 2019 Solo National Championship venue.

The Magic Marine Nation's Cup, held at Lake Garda once again delivered a fantastic experience for the 48 entries. North Sails Charlie Cumbley collected his second win of the season from P&B sailor Oliver Davenport and Tim Law. Special mention to Peerke Kortekaas, first Dutchman in fourth overall, and setting a high benchmark for the Dutch fleet to follow.

On to the Magic Marine National Championship, held at Hayling Island SC in blazing sunshine until the final day when rain finally arrived in the UK following eight weeks of drought. Charlie Cumbley defended his National title from Pete Mitchell and Tim Law. The class joined the 100+ club with 104 entries, all using the same rig size of course! Special mention to Ellie Cumpsty who, had she not had to count a BFD would surely have finished in the top four. Using the same rig as the guys, albeit with the control lines for downhaul and kicker tested to an inch of their breaking strain, showed that the one design nature of the modern Solo is not just a dinghy for old men!

The Harken Inland Championship was contested by 67 competitors, slightly down on previous years but mainly due to some seriously inclement weather predictions. Fortunately the sailors were treated to two days of full-on racing, North Sails' Tom Gillard taking the title from HD Sails' Andy Davis and James Boyce.

ONK (or the Dutch Nationals to us) was held at Braassemermeer was hotly contested by 51entries with RS500 hotshot Pim van Vugt holding off Pete Mitchell and father Dave Mitchell; quite an amazing podium for the UK. Dave has sailed Solos since the early eighties and it is great to see the next generation following on in the class. There are other examples of this across the fleet and I followed in my father's footsteps so can really appreciate the emotion of it all!

So, going into the final event of 2018 it is Pete Mitchell who is in the box seat for the North Sails Super Series title. He has an unassailable lead from Chris Brown and Oliver Davenport. Lawrence Creaser is fourth with Nigel Davies and Vince Horey completing the top six.

Charlie Cumbley has three bullets but is competing at the Etchell Worlds in Australia, while I doubt Tim Law will make the journey from Devon. Andy Tunnicliffe and James Boyce are among those who could still reach the podium come Saturday afternoon.

I will be on shore to cover the on water action so come and make yourself famous, well, for 15 seconds at least.

A massive thanks to North Sails for their incredible generosity in providing one lucky qualifier with a new sail and also to our clothing partner Magic Marine and our insurance partner Noble Marine.

Series results so far: www.solosailing.org.uk/media/4899/super-series-2018-after-9-incl-best-6-events.htm

Class website: www.solosailing.org.uk

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