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Mike Golding keynote speaker at the Solo Racing Festival

More from the must-attend event for the shorthanded sailor

Thursday February 24th 2011, Author: Jerry Freeman, Location: United Kingdom

Mike Golding, the UK's foremost solo ocean racer will make the opening address at this years  Solo Racing Festival, organised by SORC and taking place on Saturday 12 March at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble.

In addition to the many inspirational talks and presentations for shorthanded racers this year's festival includes a floating boat show with a selection of the latest short handed racing boats  on display from Minis to Class 40 via the Archambault A35, J/105, Figaro Beneteau 2, Sunfast 3200 and Projection 920.

New for this year is the 'Race Fair' for organising clubs to meet and greet their prospective skippers and hopefully sign up a few more boats for the 2011 season. Clubs and classes attending include SORC, the new UK Mini group, Class 40/Global Ocean Race and the AZAB with RCYC.

Alex Bennett skipper of the Class 40 Fujifilm, will be signing copies of his new book High Seas, High Stakes which recounts his experiences in ocean racing from Mini Transat, the victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the disaster of Team Phillips and the first Class 40 Artemis Transat with FujiFilm. Copies may be purchased on the day or via Alex's website.

The programme is designed to appeal to solo and two handed racers of all levels with inspirational and instructive talks. The speakers include top multihull designer Niger Irens whose 30m trimaran Sodebo is currently engaged in an attempt to better the record of 57 days held by his Idec design.

Ollie Dewar will update us on the Global Ocean Race for Class 40 that starts in September. John Thorn reports on the developments in the Artemis Academy in it first exciting season. Sports Psychologist Ian Brown, author of the Psychology of Sailing will talk about the winning mindset and Marco Nannini relates his adventures in La Route du Rhum aboard his Class 40 UniCredit.

Class Mini sailors have formed the UK-650 group and can look forward to their first season of 14 solo races in the Solent with a class start in the SORC Nab Tower race on 26 March and to the 500 mile doublehanded Fastnet race from Plymouth RWYC on 15 May. There will be two Minis on show afloat: the Pogo 2 Crean and the new Proto 794 Mad dog! Pip Hare may drop in from France where she is training in her Pogo 2 and several of the Mini Transat 2009 skippers will be present to answer your questions.

Class 40 enthusiasts are very well catered for with the OC design Spliff on display, a circumnavigation race coming up, Marco's tales of La Route, and Alex Bennett's book signing.

IRC racers dominate the boat show with Peter's champion A35, Solan Goose in pride of place, and a full 14 race series to look forward to. The big IRC two handed race this year is AZAB and founder Colin Drummond (RCYC) will be on hand to meet the crews of this record fleet of 70 boats.

Doors open for coffee and the Race Fair at 10.00, the first talk is 11.00

Tickets are available on the Festival 2011 page at

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