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National Solo Class Review of 2019

by Doug Latta 10 Feb 15:11 GMT
NSCA President Doug Latta in Solo 6000 © Will Loy

Doug Latta, President of the NSCA, reflects on the last year and the deep-rooted strength within the class.

2019 saw the National Solo Class widen it's appeal internationally, with a new fleet emerging in Portugal, while the already strong fleet in the Netherlands accelerated it's growth as a number of sailors from other fleets sold their boats and joined the class. With further emerging fleets in France and Belgium, and with competitors from eight countries sailing in the 2019 Nations Cup in Carnac, there is no doubt that this enduring class is still very much a force to be reckoned with. Not only did the event in France bring superb sailing conditions with warm and varied wind strengths, it brought a record number of boats to the Southern Brittany venue.

2020 sees the Class focus back on it's roots and live up to it's promise to support it's members up and down the country irrespective of whether they participate on the circuit or at club level. With a new Classic series, it is now possible to compete at local and national events in any boat over 20 years old or newer if they are not built from FRP. The interest already shown in this initiative amongst those who don't normally comment on our social media channels indicates we may be seeing some new faces on the circuit. For this year's inaugural running of the new CB Coverstore Classic Tour the six qualifying events range from smaller inland events, to regional championships as well as the Spring Championships and Inland Championships featuring their own Classics start, not to mention the third year of the Vintage Championships at the ever-welcoming Leigh-on-Sea SC.

Demo Boat

The NSCA invested in a brand new Class Demo boat in 2019 to help encourage sailors from other fleets to try the Solo and from there go on to purchase their own boats and join the fleet. I can report that to my knowledge and just a few months in, three people have now invested in new boats after sailing the demo-boat. 2020 sees a full Tour planned with the Demo boat, and to date the plans include the boat attending the following events:

  • Welsh Champs - Tata Steel 18/19 April
  • Southern Area - Lymington Town 16/17 May
  • Scottish Area - St Mary's 23/24 May (using the Scots own demo boat)
  • Midlands Area - Northampton 6 June
  • Northern Area - Llandudno 4/5 July
  • Nationals - East Lothian 9-14 August (using the Scots own demo boat)
  • Inlands - Grafham 12 September
  • Eastern Area - Brightlingsea 19 September
  • Western Area - Salcombe 10/11 October

While the boat is available to charter for these events, it is hoped the boat can be moved around clubs local to the main events so that club sailors can try the boat out, without charge. If you would like your club to be considered for a demo boat trial sail day (or longer), let us know some dates around the main calendar and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The demo boat will also be on our RYA Dinghy Show stand at Alexandra Palace on 29th February and 1st March if you would like to have a look at it and arrange a sail.

RYA Dinghy Show

Also at the show there will be an opportunity to sign up for Membership to National Solo Class Association, as well as the opportunity to see more Solos on the Marlow Ropes, Hyde Sails and Ovington Boats stands. Best of all the chance to meet up with friends and talk all things Solo! Take the opportunity to discuss your dinghy sailing needs with our key sponsors who will be available, North Sails, Magic Marine, Fernhurst Books, Noble Marine as well as a host of others who's help is so very much appreciated. It's guaranteed to be a great day out!

For the boat first conceived by Jack Holt in 1956, as the Solo approaches it's 65th year, it is very clear there is nothing old-fashioned about sailing a Solo!

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