Do I have to wear a lifejacket?
SORC strongly recommend all skippers wear a lifejacket and a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Skippers are required to “sail by” the committee before many races wearing a life jacket with harness attached. Many skippers also carry a water proof handheld VHF.
Do I need "Solo" insurance?
You are required to hold adequate insurance and in particular to hold insurance against third party claims in the sum of at least £2 million per event.
Cover must includes Solo racing and including overnight cover for applicable races. Check your policy. Newer boats are not a problem, however older boats may need a survey before cover can be attained or cover is offered third party only and/or rig/sails excluded.
TIP - If you are thinking of racing “next” year sort this before renewal as it’s a pain and possibly costly to have to change companies mid season.
Do I need a life raft?
Only for races specified as Cat 3 or above with life raft. E.g. Channel Week & Channel Weekends. Always check sailing instructions. TIP. Be very careful if buying or borrowing a used or indeed unused Liferaft – there are strict rules which need to be complied with. See ISAF regs.
How serious is it?
SORC's ethos is to include and encourage all aspiring soloistas with a fair and common sense approach. We run training events and workshops ashore catering for both the novice and the more experienced racers. Race competitors range in age from 18 to 60+
Whist shouting, aggressive boat handling and protests are very rare, and not encoraged, the keener skippers race hard. They are usually bang on the line and are very experienced with numerous podium finishes in events such as the OSTAR, AZAB, Transquadra as well as comopeting successfully in double-handed fleets with the likes of RORC, JOG, RSYC and so on. The more experienced skippers are always pleased to share their experience and knowledge with the "Newbies" to ensure they enjoy the challenge of racing their yachtg solo in the safety and company of others.
I am new to this, who could I have a chat to or contact?
Check past results see if you recognize anyone?
Check has anyone got the same boat as you?
Contact us to introduce yourself. Tell us what boat you have, where your home port is, what yoiu wouild like to get out of SORC? We will welcome you and introduce you to other SORC'ers. You will find and enjoy a very strong Esprit D'Corps withinb SORC.
Is there a safety boat?
On occasion a “SORC” rib is about and occasionally the start/committee boat may follow the fleet but these are NOT to be relied on to provide any safety cover. In the event of an incident any other yachts are under obligation to assist where possible eg. providing a tow. Requests for redress in a race will always be favourably considered where the race result has been compromised by offering assistance to a yacht in need of it.
The RNLI and Seastart (payable) are obviously available to all. You may be Solo but most the time other competitors will be within a couple of miles or less. All competitors should keep VHF on 16 and/or the frequency of the day e.g. 72.
My boat measures under 25ft and over 40ft can I race?
We have a preference for boats between 25ft and 40ft. It makes our logistical and safety planning easier and course setting less complicated. Boats outside this size parameters are welcome at our discretion, but we can't guarantee the courses we set will be suitable. We reach out to any sailor who relishes the unique challenge of solo yacht racing.
Weather & Declarations
The decision to race is always the skipper's. However, SORC races do not usually take place if winds are consistently over or reliably forecast to be over 25 knots for a prolonged time in therace area – see Notice of Race. It is essential and mandatory for all skippers to text or otherwise contact the Race officer at the end of a race, including if retiring.
What does it cost?
There are no annual subscription or membership fees in SORC. You become a SORC'er simply by racing with us. We are virtual volunteer run Yacht Club with no premises or salaried staff and so have low overheads. However we do incur costs in running the events, prize, and in maintaining the web site, so an Entry Fee is charged for individual races and/or complete Series. These fees often include some socials and occassionally clothing.
What no bar?
Most races involve an entirely voluntary get together the night before or after a race or both. These usually occur in a local Club or Pub. After Round the Island, Channel week and at the end of season prize giving’s occur, combined with a supper.
We don't need a Club House. A bar is adopted wherever the fleet goes, and lack of socials or conviviality within SORC is non-existent.
What rules apply?
Three main areas encompass SORC racing” Racing Rules of Sailing”, ISAF safety regulations and IRC ratings.
Racing rules of sailing
Most Solo racers have raced in some form before so will have a reasonable knowledge of the rules. Various “The rules explained” books exist for greater clarification. As all yachts are Solo common sense generally dictates a greater degree of space given between boats etc.
ISAF cat 4 & 3
Most SORC races are cat 4. This information can be downloaded from www.sailing.org/documents/isaf-regulations.php. You must check sailing instructions to confirm what category is applied. TIP - It is a good idea to highlight or make a separate list of physical “must have” items required.
All yachts are welcome to race but to be included in SORC IRC results you must have a current year IRC Certificate. This can be self-measured and submitted online through the RORC Rating Office, and is quite straight forward. Any changes made during the year must be amended on certificate (reduced fee). Such amendments and any other queries should be notified to the race officer/committee well before subsequent races – not on race day!
To compete in Channel Week or Ocean Race events there are qualifying conditions – see Notice of Race.
What sort of boats enter?
Typically IRC rated monhulls betweem 25ft and 50ft and occassionally Class boats such as the 650 Mini's and 40's. Within reason any boat is welcome so long as our safety regulations are complied with, any entry qualification criteria are met, and we are happy that you can compete without endangering yourself or others. The responsibility to race or not, is however yours!
Typically we run up to three Classes in each race, assuming sufficient entries. Class 1 and 2 are for IRC rated boats, and Class 3 is for non-IRC rated boats.