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Solo Spring Championship at King George Sailing Club - Preview

by Will Loy 8 Apr 18:20 BST 13 April 2024
Davenport (6061) is the defending Solo Spring Champion © Lotte Johnson / www.lottejohnson.com

This Saturday, April 13, the Solo fleet assemble at King George Sailing Club to contest the Spring Championship and with the club website boasting that it is 'the finest sailing club in North London', the competitors will surely be in for a treat.

Salcombe Yacht Club claims to be one of 'the finest in the World' but you have to start somewhere and with a strong membership they must be doing something right.

I have had the pleasure to visit this venue on a number of occasions and can verify that the clubhouse, while shed-like in appearance, is full of the dinghy racing enthusiasm which the UK enjoyed in the 1970's. You really get the vibe that the racing out on the water is what this club ethos is all about, no need to lavish club funds on off-the water facilities, soon as the sailors are off the water they will have a quick beer (in North London's smallest bar) and then head off to watch Spurs, or if they are lucky, Arsenal. That said, I understand that a WW2 bomb is sitting on the bottom of the reservoir, marked by a buoy and, I would assume, constituted as an 'immovable obstruction' should a competitor be tempted to implement 1970 style luffing rights.

This reservoir, along with its brother, William Girling are designated as areas of 'special scientific interest', if that does not entice you to hook up the combination trailer then maybe the lure of some of the finest bacon sandwiches in the Borough of Enfield will, the positives are stacking up, albeit with a slim chance of detonation.

Kathleen, the storm which resulted in the cancellation of sailing across the country and included the Welsh Championship as a casualty is moving north towards Greenland and only a smaller storm, Lilian, is forecast to move through the UK early this week so the weather looks set to be pretty much 'fine'. Early weather predictions indicate 14-21mph and 18 degrees from the south west so it is time to peel open that kit bag and scape off the mould from those wetsuit boots you forgot to remove in October.

The Solo build quality, thanks to some of the 'finest FRP construction teams in the World' requires little maintenance, the main issue is getting yourselves 'camera ready' as the NSCA Publicity Officer is rumoured to be attending so, either sort your hair out or wear a hat, make sure you can still squeeze into that neoprene straight jacket or opt for shorts and T shirt, 18 degrees will be balmy.

I understand all competitors must enter before Saturday, this allows the teams to:

  1. Order ample amounts of bacon and beer,
  2. Inform emergency services should the bomb explode,
  3. Let Spurs know that the increase in road traffic is not for them,
  4. Allow adequate time to borrow some more trestle tables from the local church.
  5. Give me time to analyse who would provide the best deck cam footage (I have 4 NSCA cams with suckers).
When I say best I mean:
  1. Most informative to sail a Solo fast.
  2. Best chance of a capsize.
  3. Best looking kit, don't care how bad you are.
  4. Usually a subject connected with the sponsor so to massage future sponsorship opportunities.
Seriously though, this is a great sailing venue, the wind can approach from any direction as the reservoir is round and set above the skyline so minimal topographical influence.

The event forms qualifier 2 of the North Sails Super Series and getting a result in early can shape your season.

Former winners include Oliver Davenport, Tom Gillard, Charlie Cumbley, Tom Lonsdale, Andy Davis and Chris Brown but there are plenty of talented sailors who can get their names on the honours list so time to step up and hike out.

See you on the Water on Saturday and don't forget; Enter before Saturday. Join the NSCA (this is a must).

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