Dee Caffari and Mike Golding will speak at the Solo Racing Festival this Saturday

British yachtsmen Dee Caffari and Mike Golding lead a strong line up of single-handers speaking at this weekend’s Solo Racing Festival – held at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club on Saturday 28th February.

The third annual festival, organised by Racing at Petit Bateau, has attracted presentations from all the key solo racing classes including the Mini, Class 40, Figaro, Ostar Artemis Transat and the Vendee Globe.

Modern solo racing boats bare little resemblance to the yachts we are familiar with. They generally have moveable ballast, wide planing hulls, twin rudders and big head mainsails carried on carbon rigs, with a variety of of gennekers and assymetrics.

Marc Lombard: designer of the Akilaria class 40; Figaro 2; and the IMOCA 60’s, and Merf Owen: designer of Ecover; AVIVA; Kingfisher; and Fuji Film will both present their views on the design and engineering issues of these outstanding craft.

The progamme reads:

Doors open for registration from 11:00

The talks start at 11:30, first up is Chris Tibbs, the Cowes week weather man, with a talk on weather routing and the North Atlantic, followed by the Class Mini Azores race report from Oliver Bond.

Mike Golding will make an opening address at 13:45

The afternoon session begins at 14:00. Simon Curwen reports from the Figaro Solitaire – Andy Greenwood was the only UK entrant in last years race. Next is Ostar 2009 with Katie Miller and the organising team from the Royal Western Yacht Club. Top French designer Marc Lombard talks about his designs of Figaro 2 and Akilaria class 40.

The middle session is reserved for the Vendee and IMOCA 60 with more from Marc Lombard and Vendee skipper Dee Caffari. Chairman is James Boyd, editor of the Daily Sail.

The final session is Class 40 with Alex Bennett’s Artemis Transat race and Merfyn Owen, designer of the Fuji Film, Kingfisher, Ecover and Aviva. Class 40 world champion Miranda Merron is in the chair.

Festival tickets are £45 and available by online – click here for tickets .