Solent East

Jim Saltonstall looks at a complex race venue
The eastern Solent is yet another popular part of the south coast for hosting both national and international sailing events. The clubs in the area include: Lee-on-Solent SC, Stokes Bay SC, Portsmouth SC and Seaview SC on the Isle of Wight. The access to all the mainland clubs is relatively easy, as they are all found just off the M27. Both accommodation and restaurants in the area are in abundance, as are camping and caravan facilities. This is a very popular spot, especially during the summer months and school holidays. So once again, book in good time to avoid disappointment. Race Area North Both Lee-on-Solent and Stokes Bay SC run racing along the mainland shore of the Eastern Solent, but it’s also a popular place for other clubs to run racing from, to or through. Wind Direction 340-070 degrees: The north-north-east sector is the shifty sector for this race area. Although the wind is blowing over relatively low land, the shifts are still quite significant. As with any offshore wind, the shifts will be more frequent and over a wider arc the closer you get to the shore. There are possible lifts on port tack near the apex of the beat, if the mark is within half a mile of the shoreline. Remember the wind shifts to the right as it leaves land and comes on to the surface of the sea. When the wind is coming from this sector, the advice is to get out to the race track in good time to identify the wind shift pattern - a great card to have up the sleeve of your drysuit, especially for the first beat. And don’t forget the basic theory in these conditions - work the shifts more up the middle and don't get to the laylines too early. Also watch