Rookies to invincibles

The bluQube Solo 1000 sets sail from Falmouth at the end of the month

Wednesday June 11th 2008, Author: Jerry Freeman, Location: United Kingdom
24 solo skippers of which ten are rookies, and two are women, and five from Netherlands, are signed up to take part in bluQube Solo 1000 that starts from Falmouth is less than three weeks time. For this second edition of the race, the competitors will follow in the footsteps of the original Petit Bateau held in 2004, a race made up of three Biscay stages, amounting to a new record distance of 1,000 nautical miles for the race. Starting from Falmouth to Kinsale, (185 nm), the race then goes to Santander (525 nm) before finishing at Camaret (290 nm).

The bluQube solo 1000, is the summer’s main event for UK amateur solo sailors. It takes place between 29 June and 12 July. There are many skippers, well known and not so well known, experienced or rookies, who are all keen to make their mark on this tough race and to test their endurance and skills in open ocean conditions.

As every year, Racing at Petit Bateau brings together the most important fleet of amateur solo racers. Among the skippers announcing their intention to take part in the 2008 edition we can find both the experienced and loyal to the solo circuit, as well as the rising young talent taking their first steps in solo racing offshore. Katie Miller will campaign her new Figaro for the first time, while Barry Hurley is bringing his new JOD35 from Dublin for their first race and Noj White, winner of the RIOW Solo, will be hard to beat in SX girl, a new X-37.

The 'invincibles' such as Paul Peggs (5th participation), Mary Falk (Transat), Nico Budel, (OSTAR winner in 2005), will fight it out to the bitter end for the top places in this open format race. All three are racing water ballasted boats, with hi-tech sail plans and state of the art gyro-stabilised auto pilots. Then you can’t take your eyes of the young and fiery such as 'Rocky' Nick Martin and Canadian Rod Knowles, (PB navigator of the year 2007) both in J105s and both from the hot bed of racing at Hamble, who will really put those invincible ones to the test.

The ten rookies entered to date confirm once again that Petit Bateau attracts new talent each year and is the leading solo racing venue for UK amateur sailors in a mixed fleet of monohulls under 40 feet LOA.

The bluQube Solo 1000 will have the pleasure of welcoming seven international sailors: the five from the Netherlands are Henk Bulthouse (J/109), Harry Vogel (Cayenne 40), Gilles van Delft (Waarschip 30), Bart Boosman (Franschman 30) and Maarten Ruschen in the brand new VQ32 on its maiden race. Sailing for Ireland are Dublin-based Glenn Ward in his Ker 10.7 and Barry Hurley in a JOD 35.

Paul Peggs, the Race Director explains: “With 24 entries, once again we see a particularly talented selection of sailors set off from Falmouth on 29 June with the same and sole aim: to win the bluQube solo 1000. In order to cross the finish line in Brittany, as winner, they will have to excel in all aspects of the singlehander's art; boat speed, tactics, strategy, weather analysis, and particularly maintaining the racing tempo through six hard nights at sea".

The 1,000 nautical mile course will see the skippers across the Celtic Sea, and twice across the Bay of Biscay in deep oceanic waters off the continental shelf.

Mylor Yacht club near Falmouth will host the Petit Bateau sailors for the fourth time in five years, at a welcome supper in their wonderful club house on Saturday 28 June, before starting the fleet on the 185 miles first leg at 09.30 on Sunday from a line in Falmouth Bay. This West Country 'secret' is the ideal location to prepare for a long solo race, the tranquil surroundings and the full serviced marina combine to meet all the skippers' needs.

Kinsale Yacht Club, in Ireland, welcomes the solo sailors for the third time, since the first race visited Kinsale in 2004 the port has become an almost permanent fixture on Petit Bateau courses because of its excellent facilities, friendly welcome and gourmet restaurants.

Expected arrival of the boats: 12.00 Monday 29 June
Start of the 2nd leg: 11.00 Wednesday 2 July (525 miles
The international harbour of Santander, a major gateway to Europe, in Northern Spain will host bluQube Solo 1000 for the first time. the fleet will be berthed on the special racing pontoon just up stream of the Royal Yacht Club of Santander.
Expected arrival of the boats: Sunday 6 July
Start of the third leg: Wednesday 9 July; 290 miles
Camaret sur Mer, will crown the winner of the 2008 edition of bluQube Solo 1000. It will be the second time that the race goes to this idyllic port in Brittany, the boats will moor in the Vauban marina.
Expected arrival of the boats: Friday 11 July
The prize giving and farewell party will take place at the Hotel Vauban in the afternoon of Saturday 12 July

Tracking

Petit Bateau has been promoting satellite tracking for shorthanded offshore races since 2005 and for the first time this year, thanks to the generous financial support of out title sponsors bluQube, all the boats in the fleet will carry satellite tracking devices allowing positions to be reported every two hours and displayed on the race viewer at www.oceanracetrack.com

The list of entries and more information about the race can be found on the group website at www.petitbateau.org.uk

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