Southern Report March 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Southern Travellers 2018 Review
As I’m sat at home avoiding the snow I thought it would be good to put some thoughts together for the season ahead?

The Venues
The Southern Area Champs
This year we have returned to Bough Beech for a 1 day championship. This is the largest lake in our area and has a large home fleet. The club always attracts a great turnout as the open but flat water appeals to all tastes and you can’t beat the Apres sailing Cakes.

The Southern Area Series
The southern area series includes a broad selection of venues, and caters for all styles and athlete geometry. I think that this a major selling point for the area because our traveller winner must be able to win in a broad range of venues. It’s a bit like comparing grass tennis to clay court tennis, still tennis but different skills for each. This challenge is increased as we regularly share opens with the Thames travellers which adds some new faces and sailing styles ....
We have the open sea venues of Felpham and Hayling Island, which allows some footing v height challenges to be resolved. I think one of the highlights of my solo sailing career was downwind at Felpham last year.
The confined waters of Chipstead , Broadwater, Spinnaker, Papercourt and Frensham provide theatre like racing as the close proximity of the bank and trees keeps the fleet together and the winner must display excellent boat handling and calm nerves. (Don’t forget a pencil for recording the course !!!)
The Chichester harbour events (Chichester, Dell Quay and Mengham) provide a nice balance between clear wind but challenging tides?.
My favourite venue in the area must be Portchester SC, for some reason it always seems to provide a 20 knot see breeze, picturesque sailing with the castle and the hospitality of the fleet and club. You can’t beat a pint on the veranda after sailing and the winner has the additional challenge of ‘blowing their own trumpet’. (Have a look on youtube ?)

Runners and Riders 2018
The following is my attempt at generating my runners an riders for the 2018 series, apologies for any potential winners I have missed!!!.
With the large range of venues in the South many of our travellers have a chance of an open win, but who can string the consistency together to win the series?
The defending champ
Our winner for 2017 Fraser Hayden must have great odds to defend his title. Last year he showed consistency across all venues, can he repeat this in 2018

The never quite qualifiers
Martin Frary (2016 Series Winner), James Ross (2015 Series Winner), Guy Mayger (HISC Open Winner 2017) and Iain McGreggor (2 wins 2017) regularly win opens. Can they complete the series and can we get James away from his International Moth ?.
Finally how about any members of the Hayling Island fleet, they may be the strongest fleet but is it time for a HISC series member win?

National and World Champions
Richard Lovering may be new to Solo’s but he is the man with the National and World titles. If we can persuade him away from winning championships he must be No 1 favourite. Charile Cumbley may have won every Solo National level title multiple times and numerous other championships, but is it time he won the Southern Series !!!


Multiple Open Winners
Vince Horey, Ian Barnett and Steve Ede have trophy cabinets bigger than Manchester City, if any of these legends complete the series they may have a hand on the trophy
Getting faster all the time
Lawrence Creaser and Doug Latta are getting quicker all the time, showing speed at National level, could 2018 be the year they take the series win.

Tactical Nouse
Patrick Fell, Nigel Thomas, Andrew Boyce and John Reed regularly show pace and nouse, if they increase their consistency and improve their open water speed they may have a sniff of victory.
Dark Horses There are other players such as Alex Butler, Simon Derham, Tim Jackson, Ray Collins that can win opens and with increased attendance could be challengers

Not to be forgotten are the series interlopers, names such as Chris Brown, Ollie Wells and Nigel Davies could easily take the series if they can be attracted regularly to the South Coast...

Martin Frary- Southern Area Rep
I thought it would be good to introduce myself.
I have sailed Solo’s for the last 3 years, previously to that I have sailed a large variety of classes most recently Contenders. The list also includes 49ers, RS600, RS800, Lasers, Fireballs, Ents (when Vince was in his youth !!) and even an International Moth (It sank the 1st time I sailed it).

Favourite Venue
Probably anywhere with large waves, so Felpham, Stokes Bay or Lyme Regis must be on the list. Garda or Medemblik in Europe.
Another favourite has to be short tacking a BOD (Broads One Design), along the River Thurne in Norfolk.

My Tips for Solo sailing so far:
· Focus on sailing ahead of rig setting:- Coming from Lasers , I think as a class we get focussed on rig settings etc ahead of time on the water. Find a buddy and spend time just sailing.
· Time and distance: Getting off the line clear and fast is really hard (I still can’t do it). Find a mark and practice acceleration
· Centreboard Position: I think this is the key tool for fast upwind sailing. Practice sailing with it in different positions to find the optimum setting for the wind conditions. (It still surprises me how high up I position it in a blow



Solo Highlights:
· Medemblik- The sailing and social element is really great
· Close and friendly racing- The combination between strong local circuits and the Super Series, probably makes it the strongest UK circuit at the moment
· Varied venues, you can find an open every week and a venue that suits your taste
· Being able to race against my brother in a class that caters for our differing physiques- 70kg v 88 kg

Plans for the Southern Area in 2018
· Increase communication, I will try to use Facebook to increase pre/post event banter !!
· Open winner sharing, I would like to encourage Open winners to share their secrets post open victory
· Encourage the vintage fleet. How about a southern area series vintage boat winner ?
· Get the trophy back, engraved and presented to the winner at the end of the series.

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