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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Solo class set for the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show

by Will Loy 23 Feb 10:54 PST 25-26 February 2023
The Southern Demo Solo will be on display at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show © Paul Davis

The Solo class will once again be manning the stand at Farnborough International this weekend, a tradition we have followed for so many years and at venues including Crystal Palace and of course Alexandra Palace.

I remember visiting the show with my dad back in the early 80's, marvelling at the beautifully built Lovetts before heading to the chandlery section to purchase a pair of Javelins and the latest spinnaker material spray top.

The Solo stand was always bustling with people, the demographic has not changed and I do not doubt that it will be mainly old blokes who are pulling inhauls and flatteners with quizzical expressions, some in wonder and some in disdain. That said, the female element of the class is possibly stronger than ever, testament to the slow evolution of the Solo, thanks to the development of rig options and controls. The longevity of the Solo still bemuses other newer classes, it doesn't foil, weighs 70kgs with only its pants on, but attracts large fleets at venues across the UK and in the Netherlands. I will not spoil the surprise, just come along to the Solo stand and see for yourself.

The Solo Committee is brimming with enthusiasm for a dinghy that has a racing pedigree and a history of Championships that dates back to the late 50's but do not think for a moment that the design is not cutting edge. Years of Darwinian evolution (AGM's that have, over decades, picked and chose only the very best ideas) have fine-tuned the Solo to the state of art racing machine that graces most UK sailing clubs today. OK, we could have probably got here sooner if we had accepted carbon battens, T terminals, sheathed foils, FRP construction and alloy rudder stocks when they were initially put forward in the eighties but it's not about the destination, the journey has been a blast.

One such craft will be displayed on the Solo stand, a Winder hull, matched with a Selden D+ and HD Sail. The Solo in question is the Southern Area Demo boat, following on from our two previous demo boats which have a proven track record of encouraging sailors to buy and race their own ones.

Save the questions for the team who will welcome you with a smile and a handshake, it's nice to be out of that Covid phase.

The Media team will be easily identifiable, Bainbridge have generously togged us out in their latest jackets, we may well be grateful for their protection if the solar vortex situation materialises.

We are on Stand E12, see you there.

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