2015 – The Year Of Sailing On The Solent

James CloseAmerica's Cup, Ben Ainslie Racing, J Class Yachts, Portsmouth, Rolex Fastnet, Round The Island Race, Solent

Yesterday  the sun shone down on the inaugural  Gosport Boat Jumble organised by Gosport Marine Scene. What a fantastic day!We had such a great time taking part.

The event was held at Haslar Marina and by 9am the place was buzzing as sailors searched for  bargains and obscure pieces of kit. The atmosphere, chatter and overall vibe confirmed that the Solent really is the hub of British sailing.

2015  is most definitely the year of sailing in the Solent!

Already the framework of the Visitor’s Centre for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is visible across Portsmouth Harbour. Set to become an iconic landmark, this building is a statement of  passion and commitment to sailing, celebrating and showcasing  innovation, technology and sustainability in the sport.

Ben Ainslie Racing Visitor's Centre

Ben Ainslie Racing Visitor’s Centre

Digital impression of the completed BAR Visitor Centre

Digital impression of the completed BAR Visitor Centre







The decision to be based in Portsmouth was because – in Sir Ben’s own words –  “Portsmouth has a great maritime heritage and we felt it was a natural home for the team’s permanent base in the UK. There is excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints”

Two America’s Cup World Series events are being hosted in Portsmouth in 2015 – between the 23rd – 26th July

Racing is set to take place just off the seafront with a free-to-enter Race Village. Spectators will be treated to an opening day followed by three days of racing, with practice races on the Friday followed by two races per day over the weekend. Ashore, the boats will be craned in and out of the bay daily, so visitors to the site within Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard area will have ample opportunity to see them up close.

As well as the America’s Cup World Series events, the Solent will also see at least three J Class yachts- Lionheart, Ranger and Velsheda – who will arrive in the Solent on or around 20 July and will be moored in Ocean Village, Southampton. They are due to take part in the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta from 27-31 July in and around the Solent, including a clockwise round the island race. The sight of these beautiful yachts in action is uplifting and inspiring to sailors and non-sailors alike; something not to be missed!

J Class Yacht Valsheda

J Class Yacht Valsheda

What else is happening on the Solent in 2015?

Don’t forget the Round The Island Race on the 27th June. The sight of hundreds of yachts making their way round the Isle of Wight is an awesome sight – both on and off the water.

J P Morgan Round The Island Race

J P Morgan Round The Island Race

Of course we cannot forget that 2015 is the 90th anniversary of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Fastnet Rock

Fastnet Rock

This race is on every sailor’s bucket list, and for good reason, as it challenges the mental and physical abilities of  crews and the technical abilities of yachts. To complete this race is an achievement in itself! This year the start date is the 16th August and the start line is from the Royal Yacht Squadron in West Cowes. This is a start that is worth watching!

So this really is the year of sailing in the Solent…. and that is without detailing all the many events that are taking place from the numerous sailing clubs along the Solent coastline.

Hopefully you will make it down to the Solent in 2015 – either on or off the water – and can share in the sailing buzz that reminds us that we are a maritime nation.

See you on the Solent!