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Noble Marine Solo Winter Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by Nigel Davies & Guy Mayger 2 Feb 09:59 PST 27 January 2024
Andy Davis wins the Solo Winter Championship at Chew © Will Loy

I've been kindly volunteered to put a few words together for all those unlucky Solo sailors who were not able to join us at Chew Valley. You missed a near perfect day's sailing!

I got there early, 09:40 for a 12:00 start. At least two thirds of the fleet had already arrived and I wondered what time they got up!

We were greeted by a cold dullish day and very little wind. I slowly got my boat together and chatted to David Winder, parked alongside, about the new boat he's building for me! I had a nice bacon and egg sandwich, cup of tea and a chat with the Torpoint boys. All very civilised.

By the time fleet of 35 boats set off from the shore a nice 8-10knt was blowing, still cold but for January it was more than ok.

Our PRO did a sterling job with the course, setting a Triangle Sausage Triangle, so three beats in about 35 minutes per race. The 4 races only took about three and a half hours and with only one recall! The wind was pretty stable with gusts of about 12knts coming down the lake.

Oli Davenport from P&B and Andy Davis HD Sails both had two wins each, Taxi just getting the overall win by one point. Next came Ben McGrane from Hyde Sails, Nigel Davies, well, from himself but does have a CB Cover Store jacket, and Guy Mayger, were the next three places all within 1 point of each other.

Ben was in a wooden boat 4257 proving there really isn't much between any Solo and it's all about the helm.

The format of four races worked well, race turnaround was fast and, although the races were short, we still had three beats, so they felt longer. I had a moment of fame leading the last race until the end of the run when Andy stayed right and just got to the mark ahead.

Andy showed good speed all day; it was like he'd been practising for some big event. For me it was a good day, I even won a bottle of alcohol-free wine! Was the class trying to tell me something?

Hope to see everyone at the next Super Series event in a few months' time.

Guy Mayger adds his take on the racing from the perspective of class president

Chew Valley laid on an excellent day's racing with close battles throughout the fleet. As always with Solos, small mistakes led to losing many places and I can confirm that if you got off to a bad start it was tough to pull back boats with everyone going a similar speed.

Of course, a bad start was one thing, but capsizing no more than 50 yards up the first beat of the first race gave, let's call him Jonny Coate, an extra challenge! Not to be deterred, Jonny came back with a nice set of single digit results thereafter... and kindly took the pictures of the prize-giving.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Swain was hot out of the blocks in race 1 showing his prowess as a front of the fleet sailor. Sadly, he was a little too hot in race 2, picking up an OCS. A real shame as Jonathan, Andy and I had a good race between the three of us having extended a little on the fleet behind.

As Nigel has mentioned, seeing Ben's performance in 4257 was very impressive. The wooden Gosling has been very well looked after and proved to be equally competitive with her FRP cousins. Of course, Ben is a very skilled sailor (and fun to race against), but it goes to show what can be achieved.

Finally, my thanks to Tim Wade who kindly delivered the prizes for the day and picked up a bottle of wine (with alcohol) for his troubles.

And of course, huge thanks to our event sponsors Noble Marine Insurance for their continued support of the Solo class. Next up in the Super Series are the Spring Championships, Saturday 13th April at King George SC.

With rumours of new sailors and new boats joining, the Solos are once again looking to be one of the strongest fleets to race in the UK. Add to that a bumper Nationals and Nations Cup at Brightlingsea in August, it's going to be an exciting 2024!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st6082Andy DavisSouth Staffs SC‑31214
2nd6049Oliver DavenportNorthampton SC1‑5135
3rd4257Ben McGraneNetley SC23‑8510
4th5911Nigel DaviesDraycote Water SC54‑9211
5th5691Guy MaygerHayling Island Sailing Club‑1525411
6th5775Tom LonsdaleWOSC‑1383718
7th5130Jonny CoateSouth Staffs SC‑2464818
8th5843Matthew ChapmanChew Valley Lake SC107‑11623
9th5838Mark CooperBurghfield Sailing Club9‑1361126
10th6093David winderHollingworth lake7910‑1326
11th6055Jonathan SwainCarsington4(OCS)131027
12th5615Andy CarterLeigh and Lowton SC6‑14121432
13th5901Charlie NunnTorpoint Mosquito SC18127‑2437
14th5642Steve RobertsTorpoint Mosquito SC1115‑231238
15th5704Jamie CuxsonShustoke SC17‑2516942
16th6066Tim WadeLymington Town Sailing Club‑2710152348
17th5210Neil WilkinsonShustoke SC14‑18171849
18th5353Chris MeredithChew Valley Lake SC191714‑2250
19th5902Ian BartlettSouth Cerney Sailiing Club‑2616181953
20th5726Andy JonesBurghfield Sailing Club819‑302754
21st5926John SteelsStarcross YC‑2322191556
22nd4792Gareth WilkinsonChelmarsh SC2020‑221656
23rd4809Stephen PenfoldChew Valley Lake SC3211(DNF)2063
24th5497Olly SaundersShustoke SC122824‑2964
25th5740Mike CosseyShustoke SC1623‑252564
26th5401Andrew BownesBarnt Green‑3027281772
27th5844Nick FisherTorpoint Mosquito SC222129(DNC)72
28th5976Toby PeacockChew Valley Lake SC2824(DNF)2173
29th353Jaye RickardsChew Valley Lake SC312621(DNC)78
30th5904Pat OversGrafham water25‑30272678
31st5675Maria E. FrancoNorthampton SC21‑31312880
32nd5671Simon DippleShustoke SC‑3333203083
33rd5731Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney Sailiing Club‑3429263186
34th5701Damian Gardner‑ThorpeChew Valley Lake SC293232(DNF)93
35th5905Steve MitchellTorpoint Mosquito SC(DNF)DNCDNCDNC114
35th5914Paul DavisLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNC114
35th5362Chris GoldhawkChew Valley Lake SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC114

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