Intro to racing a CO32
Introduction to one-design racing
The Class Association runs a programme of one-design racing in the Solent running from May to September. We have strong relationships with most of the Solent-based yacht clubs and each year we get 5-6 of them to run our racing and provide a social event in the evening. The programme is a variety of courses from Windward-Leward to short 4-6 hour passage races reflecting the true versatility of our wonderful boat!
We all berth together in the closest marina and there is normally a pontoon party to allow skippers and crew to unwind and network after a hard afternoon on the race course. We also do the Round the Island Race and have our own class starts during Cowes Week.
The behaviour on the race course is considerate and non-threatening and we do all we can to help new-comers into the fleet.
Typically boats will race with 4-7 crew aboard for the inshore points series, but there are almost always some boats with 2 or 3 onboard, so don't let the number of crew be a blocker to coming along (see two-handed series below)
Two handed series
Alongside the racing that makes up the Contessa 32 Inshore Points Series, the Class Association also runs the "Chaos Two-handed Series", for which you can win the Chaos Trophy. The Chaos Two-handed Series runs throughout the same events as the inshore points series and the trophy is awarded to the best performing two-handed boat within the series. The Desmond Cheers Salver is also awarded to the top two-handed boat in the national championship.
The Contessa 32 is fantastic for two-handed racing, big enough to handle whatever is thrown at it while still being manageable by a small crew. While 'gorillas on the rail' are helpful in a blow, the design of the Contessa 32 is such that she still performs exceptionally well without this extra weight.
Racing two handed is a great introduction to racing your Contessa, it's easier to find crew and you can comfortably sleep onboard so don't need to find accommodation. Likewise, for old hands who are used to racing with a crew of six it can be a challenging alternative.
If you are interested in racing Single handed there is an excellent series of inshore and offshore races organised by the Solo Offshore Racing Club. In recent years there have been a couple of Co32's racing with SORC under IRC.
In the last few years Contessa 32s have raced in the OSTAR, AZAB, RBI and Fastnet races and finished well in class.
There is no specific Contessa 32 Offshore race series at this time but if you plan to race offshore please do contact the Association so that we can promote your exploits and our members can track your progress.
Last updated 13:38 on 21 November 2023