Salcombe Gin Sponsor Announced
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
With around 2000 Vintage National Solos still being raced up and down the country there is no better time to purchase a competitive secondhand example. You may see this as a stepping stone to entry into the class or, like the members at Leigh on Sea, implement a club rule which embraces pre 4000 Solos, keeping chequebook racing out of the equation while still allowing wiggle room to pimp up your pride and joy.
I, myself have always had a soft spot for the older Solo, racing my father's red and yellow Jack Holt boat 186 at many open meetings and even the National Championship in 1994. The highlight was finishing inside the top thirty at the 2010 Inlands in a fleet of 97.
There is a wealth of competitive hulls out there just waiting to be cherished and pimped, new sail, mast and cleats go a long way in bringing you up to speed.
While the modern FRP example is uber easy to maintain the older versions require TLC and I see this lost element of owning a dinghy as a pleasure akin to having a shed. I spent many happy times bimbling my wooden Solos, moving cleat positions and applying paint and varnish, a dying art.
Another advantage of owning a vintage Solo is the huge range of hull shapes available. Builders of timber were not constrained by the modern construction method of FRP hence, rocker, bow entry, centreboard case position etc were built to the owners specification, a heavy sailor maybe looked for more rocker to take the ballast while a lighter sailor would maybe look for a flatter shape to maximise waterline length. While the builders of FRP provide a few proven shapes, the cost of producing a variety of plugs or tweaking existing ones is high.
With good quality second hand examples on the market for as little as £1200, new sail, mast and cleats can get you competitive against any of the newer hulls...albeit in a blue moon.
The NSCA, with generous sponsorship from Salcombe Gin are proud to announce the Inaugural Salcombe Gin Classics which embraces some of the stellar events on the 2019 calendar.
Leigh on Sea Vintage Championship 18 May
Nation's Cup Carnac 13-16 July
National Championship WPNSA 8-11 August
Inland Championship Rutland Water 7-8 September
NOT ALL GINS ARE MADE THE SAME
"OUR GIN IS HANDCRAFTED ON A BEAUTIFUL 450L COPPER POT STILL AT OUR DISTILLERY IN SALCOMBE. EACH BATCH IS DISTILLED WITH AN UNRIVALLED PASSION, CARE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL THEN BLENDED TOGETHER WITH DARTMOOR WATER TO PRODUCE AN EXCEPTIONAL GIN. WE DON’T COMPROMISE ON QUALITY, PERIOD.
UNLIKE MANY LARGER PRODUCERS, WE USE A MORE TRADITIONAL APPROACH KNOWN AS THE ONE SHOT METHOD AND DISTIL OUR GIN ACCORDING TO THE ‘LONDON DRY’ STANDARD, ALTHOUGH WE LIKE TO THINK OF IT AS ‘DEVON DRY’; LONDON DRY WITH DEVON SUNSHINE!"
Salcombe Gin will be providing some of their finest Gin to the top two at each event while a third competitor will also be awarded a bottle of Salcombe Gin based on his/her performance or authenticity of their Solo.
I will be attending each event, hopefully as a competitor in Solo 3847 'Top Drive' so please do make the effort to get your pride and joy to at least one of these events. Let's show our FRP counterparts the beauty of the older Solo is not just in it's looks but in the camaraderie of the sailors.