Photo: AFP

Solo Offshore Racing Festival

Formidable roster of speakers for solo offshore racing's must-attended event

Wednesday January 19th 2011, Author: Jerry Freeman, Location: United Kingdom

The Solo Racing Festival organised by SORC will take place at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble on Saturday 12 March. The programme for the fifth running of the festival will cover all aspects of solo racing from the events to the boats and the people who sail in them.

La Route du Rhum is the biggest single-handed race in the world, with 85 boats starting last autumn's race from St Malo. British designer Nigel Irens had two of his boats in the top three of the Ultimates Class - IDEC and Sodebo. Renowned among French skippers for his super fast trimarans Irens will lead us through the key aspects of the fastest solo boats ever built.

Class 40 dispatched 44 boats across the Route du Rhum start line among them Marco Nannini aboard his Akilaria UniCredit, one of just three Brits present. Nannini will relate his tales from the high seas and the lessons hard learned in 21 days racing. His next adventure is the Global Ocean Race that starts in September from Majorca and we will get the latest update from Ollie Dewar on this doublehanded Class 40 race around the world with stops. 

The Mini class is the time honoured right of passage to a solo career and Pip Hare will update us on her training at La Grande Motte School and her qualifying races in her Pogo 2. Located at the same centre, the Artemis Racing Academy has made ground breaking strides with the first group of eight Figaro racers. Director John Thorn will outline his vision for this exciting project and provide some advice for the next group of applicants.

Following the very successful Round Britain and Ireland race in 2010, the Royal Western Yacht Club have reinstated their famous Two-handed Transatlantic race (TwoSTAR) to be held in June 2012, completing their suite of ocean classics with the OSTAR 2013. John Lewis will be outlining the plans for 2012 and 2013.

We hope that the mouth watering race fixture list will encourage more sailors to join in the fun next season and to convince you that we are mad, we have Sports Psychologist Ian Brown to help with goal setting and optimising your performance on the race course.

Solo Offshore Racing Club Race Director Peter Olden will present the full race programme for 2011 and the club's plans for the third running of the 1000 miles solo in 2012 that will also serve as a qualifier for the OSTAR.

The festival this year returns to a waterside venue, this time in Hamble, allowing the display of a selection of solo racing boats covering the full spectrum of the classes. Mini, both series and proto, Figaro 2 and Class 40 along with some of the leading short handed SORC boats.

Race promoters will be able to take advantage of time and space in this year’s festival to meet the skippers and deal with their questions. All the classes will be catered for; from the new Mini group racing in the Solent for the first time, SORC, Class 40 and the Oceanic races.

There may even be time for lunch!

Tickets on line via the Festival page at

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