This year will see something a little different from the UK 18ft Skiff fleet as they launch the Solent Grand Prix Series.
In an exciting change of pace for the 2018 season, the UK fleet will be running all their racing on the Solent, launching from Calshot Activity Centre. They will be running a series of Grand Prix events over 6 weekends this summer. The racing will be a mixture of their usual Windward/Leeward courses and the inclusion of some “round the cans” courses to tour the Solent.
This racing format will bring the UK fleet together and promises to maintain high fleet numbers every week, keeping the crews sailing to the best of their abilities for the worldwide events they attend. It will also encourage wider members of the sailing community to join in and experience what great boats and fantastic racing this fleet has to offer. The skiffs have raced in the Solent in previous years, so are used to the sometimes challenging conditions the Solent throws at them. The Solent will also provide an array of spectator opportunities to see the skiffs in action. The feet will still run a National Championships on one of the weekends, but all crews agree they are chomping at the bit to be crowned the Grand Prix Champion of 2018.
The fleet will still be taking a break in their busy calendar to travel to Europe to compete against the continent’s best 18s. The European 18ft Skiff Grand Prix will have its first stop on UK shores at Calshot where the travelling boats returning from the JJ will be joined by more nationalities for the first round to be battled out on the Solent. The tour will then be visiting the usual favourites of Campione and Arco on Lake Garda, Italy, a new stop in Tegernsee in Germany and a pilgrimage to an old favourite in Sonderberg, Denmark. There have been many boats changed hands over the winter across Europe so the fleet expect to see some new faces in the mix.
The bumper calendar for 2018 is:
UK GP Round 1 :: Saturday 31 March 2018 – Sunday 01 April 2018
UK GP Round 2 :: Saturday 21 April 2018 – Sunday 22 April 2018
EURO GP Round 1* – Ammersee, Germany :: Saturday 28 April 2018 – Monday 30 April 2018
EURO GP Round 1* – Calshot, UK :: Thursday 17 May 2018 – Sunday 20 May 2018
EURO GP Round 1* – Tegernsee, Germany :: Saturday 09 June 2018 – Sunday 10 June 2018
EURO GP Round 2 – Campione, Italy :: Friday 15 June 2018 – Sunday 17 June 2018
EURO GP Round 3 and MARK FOY – Arco, Italy :: Saturday 30 June 2018 – Thursday 05 July 2018
UK GP Round 3 :: Saturday 21 July 2018 – Sunday 22 July 2018
UK GP Round 4 :: Saturday 11 August 2018 – Sunday 12 August 2018
EURO GP Round 4 – Sonderberg, Denmark :: Thursday 23 August 2018 – Sunday 26 August 2018
UK GP Round 5 and UK Nationals :: Friday 07 September 2018 – Sunday 09 September 2018
UK GP Round 6 :: Saturday 29 September 2018 – Sunday 30 September 2018
The new format of the Grand Prix series has been adopted to highly encourage participation from the wider sailing community and allow the fleet to grow. If you want to get on the water with us, in a skiff or otherwise, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. For more information, head over to www.uk18footer.org
With UK boats sailing in Australia at the JJ Giltinan in 3 weeks time, the World Championship Mark Foy being held in Italy and a calendar packed full of events, this is the year to get involved with the UK 18ft Skiffs.