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Soling Day Sailor

The International Soling Class

HISTORY -The Soling was designed as a day racer/sailer (without any compromising cruising accommodations) In 1968 after a series of trials the ISAF selected the Soling (over a number of designs created for the occasion) to be the Olympic Three-Men Keelboat. Despite the subsequent appearance of vast numbers and varieties of similarly sized keelboats, its superiority continues to be recognised by its selection for every Olympics since 1972 until the Australian Olympics in the year 2000.

SAILORS - A major portion of the world's outstanding sailors have raced and/or are still racing Solings. Our Gold Medallists and World Champions include Paul Elvström, Buddy Melges, Robbie Haines, Jochen Schumann, Jesper Bank, Bill Buchan, Vincent and Gastao Brun, Glen Dexter, Mark Bethwaite, Dave Curtis, John Kostecki, Helmar Nauck, Marc Bouet, Larry Klein Manuel Doreste, Luis Doreste, Jeff Madrigali , Gustavo Warburg, Bill Abbot, Sergey Pichuguin.

STATUS - The Soling is the training ground for young (and not so young) sailors who aspire to be great. The Class provides the world's best competition within which the least is able to race against and learn the skills of the greatest. Because it provides such ease of handling combined with unusually sensitive responsiveness to sail and hull trim, the Soling is the boat most commonly used in commercial Sail-Training Schools all over the world.

VENUES - The Soling is raced in 41 countries on six continents. Its quickness, manoeuvrability, and tactical effectiveness suit it ideally for smooth-water lake and bay sailing. Although most of its active fleets are located on such waters, major championships are typically conducted at sea where its heavy weather abilities are best tested.

MATCH RACING - The Soling introduced Match Racing to the Olympics and to the world. Today it is the training ground for and means of entrance into the world of match racing. A glance at the ISAF Match Race Ranking List shows that the vast majority of the top ranked sailors - Russell Coutts, Ed Baird, Peter Gilmour, Magnus Holmberg, Roy Heiner, Chris Law - are either present or former Soling sailors.

FLEET RACING - Club racing takes place at numerous venues on both coasts and inland in the United States and Canada , in Australia , Japan , South Africa , Argentina and Brazil , as well as almost every country in Europe . National championships are conducted in 22 countries, continental championships on four continents, and a World Championship annually in rotation between those four continents. The Worlds were or will be conducted in the following venues: 1991 - Rochester, USA, 1992 - Cadiz, Spain, 1993 - Phalaron, Greece, 1994 - Helsinki, Finland, 1995 - Kingston, Canada, 1996 - Punta Ala, Italy, 1997 - Copenhagen, Denmark, 1998 - Milwaukee, USA , 1999 - Melbourne, Australia, 2000 - Murcia, Spain, 2001 - Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002 - Marblehead, USA, 2003 - Balaton, Hungary & 2004 - Porto Alegre, Brasil.

SAFETY - The Soling is essentially unsinkable and its multiple self-bailers and high floor keep it ""dry"" in the heaviest of weather. Measurement of continued compliance with the Class Rules and inspections during competition ensure the presence and proper maintenance of required safety equipment.

Soling Yacht in 50 knots

TYPICAL CREWS - Helmsmen can be of any size, age (average 40+), and gender. Middle crews tend to be large (200+ lbs), but many far lighter have been successful (including Billy Abbott's 125lb wife Joanne who finished fourth in the '96 Olympics). Foredeck crews are of intermediate size, their brains, experience, and skill being far more important than their brawn. All hike (when heeling requires) using comfortable harnesses with ankle attachments or straps. The Soling is a true three-men boat; all three are essential to success (although inexperienced middle crews can be quickly trained).

FLEET MIXTURE - The Soling Class has been remarkable for its ability to maintain an enjoyable mixture of club and Olympic sailors throughout its racing programs. The majority of competitors at a usual World Championship, although not Olympic aspirants themselves, enjoy going up against and frequently beating the best. By the same token most of the Olympic competitors are happy to contribute their skills and their knowledge to the enhancement of the local racing at their home clubs.

WOMEN IN SOLINGS - The Soling was the only gender-mixed class in the '96 Olympics. Many of its helmsmen are women and at least at the club level many of its crews. In part because its sail controls are so easily adjustable it is considered to be optimally suited for women's match racing. The Vice-President of the Class is Rose Hoeksema of Chicago .

MANAGEMENT ASHORE - The Soling is typically kept ashore on a trailer and can be easily wheeled by its crew to a hoist where it is launched in a few minutes. An ordinary family car with a standard trailer hitch is sufficient for towing to regattas.

SAIL AND RIGGING CONTROLS - The Soling has controls for every aspect of sail and rig trim - jib tack, halyard, sheet, and traveler, main Cunningham, outhaul, sheet, vang, and traveler, spinnaker sheet and quy, jibstay, backstay, and upper and lower shroud cars - led to both sides of the boat with cascaded increases in power which provide for fingertip adjustment

 

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