Nick Craig is one of the big names lining up to compete at the opening event of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series next weekend. Multiple national and world champion, and winner of last season’s Winter Series, Craig is set to race his Merlin Rocket at the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash with Sarah Bines against some stiff competition in a wide range of classes.
Mike Lyons won this event last year, and will again be racing his Blaze at Draycote. Craig Williamson was runner-up at Draycote last year in his Laser, while Tom Jeffcoate and former Sailjuice Winter Series winner Rachael Rhodes will be fast in their Scorpion. However, last year’s regatta was light and it suited the hiking boats well. With a windy forecast this weekend, the trapeze boats could do very nicely, such as former national champion Kevin Hope racing his Fireball with class veteran Russell Thorne.
On Saturday the plan is to run four average-lap handicap races, with first race not before 11am. Then on Sunday it’s a 120-minute pursuit race. Straight after racing, Nick Craig will be doing a book-signing for his Fernhurst Book, ‘Helming to Win’, published to great accliam earlier this year. Nick will also be doing a 30-minute Q&A session, sharing the tips and techniques that have made him arguably the most successful amateur dinghy racer of modern times.
With a few days to go, there are already close to 90 entries for the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash. To secure your entry before the event fills to capacity (this happened last year at three events in the Series), go to
Discounted online entry closes very soon, at 2359 hours on 18 November.
FOUR OUT OF SEVEN
There are seven events in this year’s Series. You can take part in as many or as few events as you like. If you want to follow in Nick Craig’s footsteps and have a crack at the championship title, you need to count your best four results from these seven events. Competing at more than four events gives you more shots at getting a set of good scores to put on the board.
The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2015/2016:
Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2015
Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December 2015
Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
Sunday 27 December 2015
Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Monday 28 December 2015
Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
Saturday 2 January 2016
Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
Saturday 9 January 2016
John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 February 2016
FOR YOUR CLUB AND YOUR CLASS!
If chasing prizes for personal glory is not sufficient incentive already, this year you get the chance to compete for your Club and your Class! We will take the best three results from each team (club or class) at each event to find out who are the top-performers across the Series.
MUSTO Speed Challenge
Sailracer has already run a very successful MUSTO Speed Challenge during the summer, and now you get another shot at competing. The prize goes to the fastest boat matched to its corrected speed using the Great Lakes Handicap numbers.
Talking of the Great Lakes, the boffins who do all the number-crunching to produce these increasingly accurate handicap numbers have created their own website, which you can find here. http://greatlakes.org.uk/
It goes into the principles behind the process, and explains how the Great Lakes Committee works hard to produce the fairest handicap racing numbers possible.
PRIZES FOR COMPETITORS & CLASSES
Thanks to generous support from Series sponsors, we have some great prizes for competitors and classes. Along with longstanding sponsors, GJW Direct, Musto, Trident and GUL, Harken has just signed up as the Youth sponsor for the Series, providing lots of great prizes and a fine Trophy to be presented to the overall winning Youth Team. The final prizegiving is scheduled for the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace in London on the weekend of 5/6 March 2016. We will look back at highlights from the series and interviews. The 2015/16 season will see a number of new Prize Categories, including most travelled and top speeds.
Photo © Tim Olin