Multiple National Champion races his Merlin Rocket to handicap victory this winter
Nick Craig held off a late charge from some faster boats to win the 2014/15 GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series. The multiple Endeavour Trophy winner from Frensham Ponds Sailing Club raced with a number of different crews - Alan Roberts, Oli Wells and Toby Lewis - and won two of the events, the Datchet Flyer and the Oxford Blue.
The Series (also supported by Gul, Trident, Overboard and Lennon Sails) started out with some light airs events that played into the hands of the slow- to medium-handicap boats. But at the turn of the new year the breeze increased for a gusty finale to the Series. This brought some of the fast-handicap boats to the fore, not least Datchet Water’s Stuart Jones in his Contender who finished runner-up, and the best of a strong contingent of Fireballs, 3rd placed Ian Dobson (reigning GP14 World Champion) and Dan Scheiber.
Once again the Great Lakes handicap numbers produced some of the fairest racing in the UK’s mixed-fleet racing scene, with eight different classes represented in the top 10. The top 10 also produced an equal split between singlehanders and doublehanders, and trapeze boats and hiking boats. The quality of the fleet was also evident with five present or past World Champions represented in the top 10.
All the action was faithfully captured by Tim Olin, who travelled the length of the country to photograph all eight events in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series. Special thanks to the Great Lakes Group for continuing to refine the accuracy of the handicap numbers, including the integration of newcomers like the Devoti D-Zero and RS Aero classes. And thanks to all the volunteers and administrators that poured in all the enthusiasm and commitment to make the events happen this winter.
The prizegiving for the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series takes place at 1.50pm on Sunday, on the Main Stage at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace.
For results in the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series: http://events.sailracer.org/eventsites/content.asp?id=39820&eventid=195890
Photo © Tim Olin