Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

The Solo world before 2020

by Will Loy 6 Nov 2020 14:25 GMT
Charlie Cumbley wins the Solo Nationals at the WPNSA © Will Loy

It has been a desperately disappointing Solo sailing season. Fortunately though, the NSCA have some awesome videos to remind us when times were good, when the wind blew hard and the battle with the elements was our only challenge.

The Solo Class have built up a library of major event videos going back to 2012 and these are all freely available to view at solosailing.org.uk

Back in 2018 the Solo Nation's Cup took place, the iconic venue of Lake Garda producing classic Ora conditions for the 70 Solo sailors with Charlie Cumbley claiming the chicken dinner.

Marc Dieben, media expert for the Dutch association provided on-water video and managed to get a Go Pro on Charlie's Solo. This footage, now with Charlie's own audio analysis provides a rare insight into the mindset of a world class sailor at the top of his game from pre start to the finish line.

These videos provide invaluable information to the keen sailor, whatever boat you sail.

Background Info

Charlie Cumbley has four Nation's Cup and eight National titles in the Solo Class dinghy, an achievement only eclipsed by one other sailor, Geoff Carveth, who amassed an amazing eight World Championship titles (pre-Nation's Cup) and eight National Championships, the first in 1982 at Landudno.

Charlie learnt to sail messing about in boats on the river Teign where he grew up, it was a great environment to just enjoy being on the water, both his parents sailed and were heavily involved in Teign Corinthian YC, the local club who of course have always had a solid number of Solos involved. It was all relatively low key, racing club boats and on the yachts locally, and it was in his early teens he really got into the sport, racing a 420 and going to events and doing ok but he was 6 foot by the time he was 13/14yrs old so it didn't lend itself to helming a 420!

He messed around in whatever he could get his hands on until a local member Nick Whyte. who had always supported his sailing let him have a go in his Finn aged 16. 8 years later he had been able to sail a Finn on pretty much every continent with the likes of Iain Percy, Bart Simpson and Ben Ainslie who you just never stop learning from. Charlie stopped Finn sailing and went pro big boat racing for a couple of seasons then decided to give that up and get a proper job as an Accountant! Big mistake! 18 months in he was bored stiff and fortunately he got the opportunity to switch careers, joining North Sails UK in 2006.

Charlie won his first Solo National Championship in 2008 at Royal Torbay Y.C, his very first season in the class. He has also won titles in the Finn, OK, Phantom classes to name a few and has transferred his skills to win VX One, Etchells and lately the J70 Worlds.

The Boat

The Solo Class continues to remain one of the most popular single handers in the UK with strong fleets across the whole of the UK, in the Netherlands and Portugal. There are over 800 members and a race minded committee of enthusiasts who continue to work tirelessly to keep the Solo at the forefront of the sport. The class, since 1956 has produced champions, it attracts champions, raising the standard of the one design racing throughout the fleet while the diversity of equipment available allows the sailor to tailor the Solo to his/her requirements.

Video Collection

Will Loy started filming Solo events back in 2012 after being frustrated at the lack of photos of him racing Solos back in the eighties! He wanted to build up a modern video history of the class so that when Solo sailors were old(er) and uncompetitive they could log in and rekindle their fond memories. There are now more than 200 video entries and the channel has over 427k views.

The Solo Class look forward to 2021, some amazing venues in hopefully safer times.

Thanks to Charlie Cumbley at North Sails and Marc Dieben for the footage.

Starting

Upwind

Downwind

Related Articles

Salcombe Spring Series race 1
Starting with port tack flier by National 12; ending with horizon job by RS400 April 10th saw the first races of the Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series, with a Force 3 to 4 North Easterly on a flood tide. Race Officers Will and Mandy Henderson set the fleet on a beat to Tosnos Point, followed by a tight reach to Gerston. Posted on 12 Apr
Salcombe Yacht Club 2021 Commissioning Race
Back out in the harbour in a bracing north-easterly The dinghy racers of Salcombe Yacht Club reconvened for a postponed Commissioning Race on a bracing Saturday 3rd April. Race Officer Ian Stewart and his able assistant Wendy set a course to Gerston, Blackstone followed by two loops of the harbour. Posted on 6 Apr
Dell Quay SC Easter Mini Regatta
Solo class back to racing action The Easter weekend saw the return of organised Racing at DQSC for the Solo class in Chichester Harbour. Prior to the weekend a number of Solos had been out practising in the breezy and cold north-east wind. Posted on 5 Apr
Minz wins the virtual Concours d'Elegance!
Ben Saxton & Mark Jardine judge the RYA Dinghy Show boat of the show The RYA Dinghy Show wouldn't be complete without the Concours d'Elegance, and the event going virtual wasn't going to stop the prestigious trophy being awarded in 2021. Posted on 1 Mar
National Solos at the Virtual RYA Dinghy Show
Over 10 Committee reps manning the booth over the weekend Finally, it's that special weekend, the Dinghy Show, Class Association Stands, manned by enthusiastic Committee members, thousands of visitors, great deals on kit and optimism of a superb season ahead... it will probably be perfect sailing weather too. Posted on 26 Feb
100 boat entry limit filled
For 2021 Rooster Solo National Championship Just two weeks after opening registration for the Solo National Championship at Mount's Bay Sailing Club, the initial entry limit of 100 National Solos is full. In unprecedented times, the Solo fleet's resolve remains stronger than ever. Posted on 13 Feb
Solo class Vintage Tour 2021 preview
An extra incentive to 'go wood' The NSCA will be holding the Vintage 'Tour' in 2021 which provides competitors with the opportunity to get into the Solo open meeting circuit at a very affordable price. Posted on 28 Jan
Who is the fairest of them all?
Solo class getting set for the RYA Dinghy Show Concours d'Elegance The RYA Dinghy Show, which, as a result of the pandemic is being held in the virtual World, are running the Concours D'Elegance competition to find who will be the fairest of them all. Posted on 22 Jan
Chichester YC Frozen Toe Series
Series reduced to a single day, with the Cockerills taking the win Sunday 13th December should have been the final race day of the Frozen Toe series, instead due to weather and lockdown it was the first. Posted on 14 Dec 2020
Solid Solo victory for Dobson at Datchet Flyer
Opening round of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series Ian Dobson came out on top last weekend at the Datchet Flyer, which opened this season's Seldén SailJuice Winter Series with a record turnout of 134 boats and 188 sailors competing across the two days. Posted on 11 Dec 2020