Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Skippers Share Solo Spoils

12th May 2010
Irish Skippers Share Solo Spoils

Irish skippers Paddy Cronin  and Peter Olden won the out and return races of the Solo Offshore Racing Club's Poole and Back coastal race. Cronin won the out leg, being port hoist spinnakers the whole way to Poole,  sailing Rod Knowles’s J105 “Juliette. Olden took the return leg the next day, a close hauled beat from start to finish suiting his Archambault A35 “Solan Goose of Hamble”.

The Coastal series is a brand new event for the Solo Offshore Racing Club and the first two races to Poole and back were specifically designed to attract new skippers and give the more experience shorter races to hone their techniques early in the season.

Nineteen spinnakers went off from a start line Royal Thames mark at 0830 Saturday for the first leg of Poole and back with 8 knots of North easterly. First to hoist was “SORC virgin” Gareth Astley on his MG spring 25 Gibslind a couple of minutes before the down wind down tide start and judged it perfectly.  Also on time and away well was Paddy Cronin having borrowed J105 Juliette for the week end was soon lead boat with better breeze on the mainland shore while stronger tide tempting others out into the main channel. By Hurst Marco Nannini was ahead with his Class 40 and as he reached off down the main channel the rest of the fleet took the north passage and rhumb line straight for the finish off Poole which was a shy reach only easing at the last mile. The tighter angle from Hurst to the finishing line suited the Asymmetric boats with Carl Wilcox on his modified tweaked Projection 962 Wee Bear was perfectly suited with 85sqm asymmetric spinnaker  finishing fifth on the water well ahead of many faster boats. Glyn Deakin on his mini Crean was powering across Christchurch bay until a bowsprit block let go costing him a much higher place overall. Four boats and five skippers were on their first SORC race and while Mint Julip came a creditable fifth, the “tortoise beating the hares” was Chris Flewitt on his Contessa 28 “Tringa” coming third (and 3rd going home too). Also welcomed was Andy Oliver on Prim’Avel Mini Pogo he has recently bought for solo sailing on his first outing and while not yet collecting trophies certainly had lots of fun (for us watching too!!!) getting to grips with it especially when coming shy onto the breeze having rounded Hurst – we kept well clear. IRC first Juliette second Wee Bear third Tringa.

Arriving at Poole Quay around 1300 skippers had plenty of time to compare boats discuss IRC and a great meal at Da Vinci’s restaurant. Tides meant a welcome 1130 start Sunday morning into ten knots north easterly for the return leg beat to windward. Mike Saqui on Restless had an excellent start getting pole position at the pin end on Port tack while the majority of the fleet struggled to cross the line on starboard. Tidal atlas said less tide inshore and Ding Dong led Malice over to Bournemouth beach and up the shore, the main fleet tacking up the rhumb line, about half way up to Hurst the wind backed for quite some time which lifted the boats further offshore on to a lay line for Hurst and meant the inshore boats had to free off.  Through Hurst  with Solan Goose in front chased by the two J122’s the wind increased to about fourteen knots and Marco Nannini had his muscles tested short tacking the Class 40 to keep in the main channel favorable tide.  The first six boats finished within seven minutes , Jbellino taking line honors again as she did Saturday, but once the numbers were crunched Solan Goose was 9 minutes clear of SX girl second and Chris Flewitt’s Contessa 28 Tringa in third.

Published in Solo Sailing Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button