Solent Forts Race 2017

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Race report

The start was delayed until 12:30 for the sea breeze which eventually kicked in shortly after midday on the hottest day of the year so far. The first leg to Spitbank Fort saw the fleet reaching along the coast towards Portsmouth in a building breeze. The first three boats were F18s led by Simon Northrop and Josh O'Brian followed by Tim Neal and Bob Fry with Grant Piggott and Simon Farren in third.

The second leg to Nomans Land Fort saw the F18 of Nick Barnes and Stuart Smith move up to third with the first two places unchanged. With the breeze now dropping and the flow into the harbour mouth increasing the backmarkers were struggling to get out of the harbour mouth against the tide to start leg three (to East Winner Cardinal), and a couple of boats retired.

With the wind continuing to drop the Race Officer shortened the course after leg 3. The winning boat completed the three legs of the course in 3hrs 51minutes, sailing a distance (measured directly between marks) of approximately 20 nautical miles.


Summary results for the 2016 Solent Forts Race.
Position Sail number Class Helm Crew Club
1 GBR51 F18 Simon Northrop  Josh O'Brian Minnis Bay
2 GBR1577 F18 Tim Neal  Bob Fry Parkstone YC
3 GBR514 F18 Nick Barnes Stuart Smith Brightlingsea
4 GBR957 F18 Grant Piggott Simon Farren Weston
5 2688 F18 Matt Ilston Terry Hunt Hayling Ferry
DNF 063 F16 Megan Smith David Nickalls GWSC/Marconi
DNF GBR29 F18 Ghislain Melaine Max McCarroll WYL
DNF GBR519 F18 Andy Chapman Mark Taylor Hayling Ferry
DSQ GBR1588 F18 Nathaniel Ward Caleb Cooper Weston


Nathaniel Ward and Caleb Cooper chasing the fleet after a late start (photo Matt Welsh)
Nathaniel Ward and Caleb Cooper chasing the fleet after a late start (photo Matt Welsh)


Below is the route as tracked by Matt Illston and Terry Hunt. The legs are, going anti-clockwise from the top (and in race order), Spit Sand Fort, No Man's Land Fort and Winner South Cardinal. More details available on Map My Tracks.

SFR 2017 track
SFR 2017 track of Matt Illston's Tiger


About this event


The Solent Forts Race is a long-distance event set in the Eastern Solent, with Hayling Island and Portsmouth to the north and the Isle of Wight to the west. Originally open to fast catamarans, the race is now open to all as part of the Allen Endurance Series.

Race status