Amid many challenges and changing time need, one area of offshore racing is unarguably gaining the popularity and that is doublehanding. World Sailing has recognized the unique discipline and quality of this sport and this is the reason that the sport ‘MTPKO’ will not be the part of the Olympics that will take place in Paris in 2024.
It is not like only Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore has got the recognition. Biennial 605 nm Rolex Fastnet Race is also getting a good exposure. In the race, there were 45 entries in the year 2013. It increased to 53 in the year 2015 and then it rises to 57 in the latest race. Presently, 63 doublehanded sailors have entered for the beginning of race starting from 3rd of August.
The boats present in IRC Two Handed are from Mark Stevens’ Hinckley 51 Kiva down to Will Sayer’s Sigma 33 Elmarleen. The boats in between include Sun Fast 3600s and 3200s, JPK 10.80s and 10.10s, J/122s, J/105s, J/109s, and A-35s. The boats in the row include Sigmas, Figaro IIs, Figaro 3s, and Swans. Now, the question is what is the doublehanded attraction? So, the answer is Deb Fish is doing offshore racing from past 20 years and for 12 years she is doing shorthanded with Rob Craigie.
When asked this question to her, he explained “This is a more challenging sailing. I have experience of sailing Fastnet and ARC. I have sailed it in both fully crewed and delivery back. It is a great experience racing doublehanded because it keeps you occupied always as you need to do everything.” When Rob Craigie was asked to share his experience, he said “When you are on doublehanded, you remain involved with the boat all the time. It involves a lot of work and focus, which I find good and lacking in other divisions.”