Noble Marine Winter Championship Preview
Monday, February 19, 2018
Noble Marine Winter Championship 2018 Preview
The National Solo 2018 season kicks off on Saturday 24th February at Northampton S.C. when competitors from across the country will contest the Noble Marine Winter Championship.
Northampton S.C. has a strong relationship with the Solo Class, talented sailors including Richard Goodenough and Martin Lambert once flew the flag for the club and were regular Championship winners in the 1980s. Today those boots are filled by Oliver Davenport and Olly Wells, with other notable performers including Graham Wilson and Peter Warne regularly featuring at open meetings and majors. Pitsford Reservoir covers 413 hectares, was built in 1956 and opened by the Queen Mother. If the predicted northerly breeze comes to fruition then the PRO will have the whole lake to exploit which could bring tears to the sailors eyes.
The Noble Winter Championship forms part of the North Sails super series allowing qualifiers the chance to win a brand new North Sail or some other fabulous prizes at the EOS super draw in October.
The series really does attract all the top sailors and likewise many club and open meeting attendees who want the chance to grab some glory and bragging rights. It is also the quickest way to improve your own skills, sailing at different venues and against sailors other than the regular club fleet throws the “pecking order syndrome” out of the window.
The current holder of this event, and in fact the series is Charlie Cumbley, North Sails jockey, but he has an understudy in the shape of Laurence Creaser who is chomping at the bit to step out of Cumbley’s impressive shadow. With the ginger haired champ returning from a gig in Australia with undoubtably a bad case of sunburn, it could well be the time for Laurence to shine.
Local hotshot Oliver Davenport must be a serious threat, the topography of the Pitsford lake will have it’s favourites and Davenport will know his way around the cans. Still a junior, the former Laser sailor will be getting the most from his works P+B hull and rig so expect his name to feature in the report.
Olly Wells left P+B last year but we hope he will return for a special guest appearance, his presence on the water is always exciting to film.
HD Sails Andy Davis will be starting another campaign but I very much doubt he will be sporting the North sail he won last year in the super draw. I believe Andy is among many who have a new Solo on order and with sail numbers approaching 58??, I will have to re-learn them all for my video coverage! Davis is an absolute joy to watch, his silky smooth technique should be noted and copied by any sailor wanting to improve. Indeed, his style is very much like his fellow CEO at HD HQ, Jim Hunt, another sublime technician of the single hander.
Carsington sailor Mike Sims begins another pursuit of top dog and though his own unique technique is as chalky as Davis’s is cheesy, his dynamism has seen him to within touching distance of a National Championship, which must be his target. I love to see sailors as passionate about sailing as Mike is, and a victory on Saturday would be a great start to his year.
Martin Honnor had a fantastic 2017 and I recently saw his Solo for sale. I can only presume he is another with a new boat and it will be interesting to see how quickly he features at the pointy end of the fleet. I predict a major win in 2018 for Martin or at the very least a President’s “First to the Windward Mark” beer voucher!
Among other notable performers is our new Vice President and owner of Solo 6000 (won by Patrick Burns at the 2016 Inland Championship) who showed flashes of brilliance at the EOS 17. Doug will be taking over the reins of the NSCA at HISC in July which guarantees him water at every mark! Guy Mayger, the NSCA mag editor has also showed vast improvement in his speed on the water, though his snapback reversed cap and wrap around sunglasses have still to catch on among the fifty something sailors.
I could go on and on, Bonner, Brown, Davies, Lee, Gibb, and a whole cast of actors who will play out the 2018 season. We are always interviewing for bit parts and co-stars so please do buy or borrow a National Solo and become part of the continuing block buster series that is the National Solo Class.
The Ones Behind the Scenes
I must mention firstly, Noble Marine, our title sponsor for the Winter Championship and our class insurer. Phil Kilburn and his team keep us on the water 24/7 365 days a year with a fabulous service and Phil himself is a regular major attendee. Thank you for your continued support of the NSCA.
Our class clothing partner is Magic Marine and their support for the “class roots initiative” their title sponsorship of the National Championship and our Nation’s Cup in 2018 is incredibly generous and highlights the strength of our relationship. We will be providing our members with monthly discounted Magic Marine products and information from the team on how Magic Marine products can improve your game.
Lastly, weather forecasters are currently predicting a rather chilly day with a moderate northerly breeze, well it is the Winter Championship.
See you on the water.