|Draycote Dash||23/24 Nov|
|Datchet Flyer||14/15 Dec|
|Brass Monkey - resail||18 Jan|
|Grafham Grand Prix||29 Dec|
|Oxford Blue||4 Jan|
|Bloody Mary||11 Jan|
|Steve Nicholson||25 Jan|
|Tiger Trophy||1/2 Feb|
The 470 silver medallist Luke Patience is ready to take a bullet in the ‘Balls this weekend at the London venue
Luke Patience is one of the star competitors at this weekend’s Datchet Flyer, the second event in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series. The Flying Scotsman is taking time out of his 470 campaign for Rio 2016 to do a bit of good old fashioned handicap racing in a Fireball.
It’s Patience’s first shot in the ‘Balls, so there’s never a better chance to try and get one over an Olympic medallist. That said, he’s got Fireball National Championship winning crew Richard Anderton to show him the ropes, so expect this team to be fast out of the blocks on Saturday.
Taking place on 14th & 15th December, this is the inaugural Datchet Flyer, sponsored by Badger Ales. Other notables include reigning Merlin Rocket National Champion and Endeavour Trophy Champion Nick Craig, testing his skills in the Devoti D-1 singlehander; Datchet sailor Ben Schooling, who leads a strong fleet of Musto Skiffs and the man to beat after winning the first event in the Winter Series at the end of November, the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash. Runner-up to Schooling was Michael Sims from Carsington, who will be looking to go one better in his Solo this weekend.
Stuart Jones is another Datchet native and a world-class Contender sailor, certainly capable of winning on home waters. The International Moths dominated last season’s Bloody Mary, and Olympic medallist Simon Hiscocks will be seeing if he can continue the foilers’ winning ways at this event and through the 2013/14 season, although the Great Lakes handicap numbers have since been adjusted to take account of the Moth’s speed last winter.
Organised by Datchet Water in close conjunction with SailRacer, this is the first winter event to use GPS tracking, enabling competitors and spectators to follow the action, and replay and rewind online at a later date.
Three races are scheduled for Saturday, with first warning signal not before 1145 hours. The intention is to run all boats on the same course with, depending upon numbers and class splits, two or three starts at 3 minute intervals. The Datchet Flyer concludes on Sunday with a pursuit race, which has been configured with an interesting twist to give the faster boats more time on the water. The fleet will be split into two, around the same course, with the slowest class and the mid-fleet class starting at the datum time. There will be two separate sets of fleet results, each with double point scoring.
As well as competing on the water, Luke Patience is also the guest speaker at the Saturday evening meal and black tie party on Saturday night. Guests will be greeted with mulled wine, mince pies and coffee before the party gets fully in swing. The black tie is optional … but only if you are wearing a frock. For the hardier campers (and glampers too) Datchet Water Sailing Club has a large open area suitable for tent and vehicle camping on site on the Saturday night.
Online entry for the Datchet Flyer closes at 11.59pm on Thursday night, 12 December 2013.
For results of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series after one event: http://events.sailracer.org/
and to enter other events in the Series: http://www.SailJuiceSeries.
Datchet Photo Credit ©: Homer Sykes/ Datchet Water Sailing ClubC