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 Nicholson25 Jan
Tiger Trophy1/2 Feb

Big Breeze could suit the ‘Balls at Brass Monkey


It’s looking windswept on the Yorkshire Dales this Saturday, which could be good news for the trapeze boats...

At last year’s Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey, the World Champion Fireball team of Tom Gillard and Simon Potts blasted around a windy Grimwith Reservoir to dominate the handicap event with two bullets. This Saturday is shaping up for another windy Brass Monkey, the sixth regatta in this season’s GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series.

For this winter Gillard has switched to a Solo singlehander, and after last weekend’s 320-entry Bloody Mary, it is another Solo - Michael Sims from Carsington - who takes the lead for the first time. Sims is entered for the Brass Monkey but would probably prefer a lighter forecast to play to the Solo’s strengths.

Instead it is looking set to be a fast-boat benefit, with the Fireball of Nathan Batchelor - this weekend crewed by Flying Fifteen World Champion Chris Turner - looking like a good challenger for overall honours. Tim Holden will be looking to go one better after finishing runner-up in his Contender at last winter’s Brass Monkey. Like the Fireball, the Contender singlehander revels in the strong winds where it can make the most of the trapeze and can plane all the way around the course.

Another boat that suits the strong winds well is the 29er, with an Escritt rivalry between two local brothers - Ian and Callum. Their dad Keith, one of the chief organisers of the Yorkshire Dales bash, will be racing his boys in the back of an RS400, a class which has a very good entry for the event.

With online entry already booked to capacity, there are 101 entries for the Yorkshire event. Fingers crossed that the weather plays fair with the Brass Monkey this time, after being forced to postpone from its original date on 27 December due to the gales that have lashed Great Britain for weeks on end. The Brass Monkey aside, all other events have managed to go ahead as scheduled, dodging the worst of the winter weather bullets.

After last weekend’s Bloody Mary, the nature of the scoring for the SailJuice Winter Series - which benchmarks all the events against the largest turnout - means there has been a bit of a shuffle in the pecking order. With the Bloody Mary effectively the scratch event in the Series, it’s important to score well at the big pursuit race. Sims’ solid 10th in the Solo puts him ahead of previous Series leader, Ben Schooling, although a 19th in less than ideal conditions for a Musto Skiff at the Bloody Mary keeps the Datchet sailor well in contention. A 7th place at Queen Mary for Craig Williamson moves the Laser sailor closer to the leaders, and he sits in 3rd place overall behind Schooling.

Overall entries in the Series are up 20% since last year, with 605 boats having taken part in the five events thus far. Online entry is closed for the Brass Monkey, and so if you’ve got half a mind to do one of the other remaining events in the Series - the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton Sailing Club and the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland - best to get your entry registered sooner than later.


Enter here: http://www.SailJuiceSeries.com 

For local info on the Brass Monkey: http://www.yorkshiredales.sc/index.php/component/jevents/icalrepeat.detail/2013/12/27/334/12/brass-monkey-open?Itemid=1


Top 10 after five events of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series


Solo - Michael SIMS









Musto Skiff - Ben SCHOOLING









Laser - Craig WILLIAMSON









Scorpion - Peter GRAY









Scorpion - Pete MITCHELL









Laser - Daniel WIGMORE









National 12 - Nick COPSEY









Enterprise - Ann JACKSON









Blaze - Martin SAVEKER









Icon - Mike LYONS










16/1/2014 14:23



Classes Entered

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