After three light-air events so far in the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series, the Grafham Grand Prix delivered some big breeze action on stormy Saturday, 30 December. An exciting day was in store, with 20-25 knots and gusts up to 30 knots. Of the 169 entries, only 73 took to the water for the three-race contest on Grafham Water.
David White and Jon Sweet’s Nacra F18 wins the fast division for the second year running, while Stuart Jones lapped up the 25 knot conditions at Grafham in his Contender, with Fergus Barnham and Andy Hunter (GP14) heading the slow fleet.
Results The conditions in race 1 took their toll on the fast fleet with many retirements. The wind dropped for race 2 and then picked up again towards the end of race 3. Those who competed enjoyed some thrilling sailing. The fast fleet was won for the second year running by David White and Jon Sweet from the host club in a Nacra F18, with scores of 2,1,1. The first race went to Michael Sims and Rich Nurse from Carsington who raced to second overall in a 505 ahead of other two other Five-Oh crews, Tom Gillard/Harry Briddon from Sheffield Viking and Neil Rabbitts/ Mike Priddle from Burton.
Stuart Jones from Datchet Water dominated the Medium handicap fleet with three bullets in his Contender. It was a tie for second place which went on countback to Dave Hall/ Paul Constable in Fireball ahead of the Flying Fifteen sailed by two Simons, Kneller and Dabson. In fourth place was Ben McGrane and James Stewart in a Merlin Rocket.
Fergus Barnham and Andy Hunter didn’t compete in the first heat of the Slow handicap but made amends in the next two to count a 2,1 and raced their Snettisham GP14 to victory. Tied for second were the Laser Standard and Laser Radial of Alistair Goodwin and Joe Scurrah respectively, but it was Goodwin’s win in race 2 that gave him second overall.
Next weekend is the King George Gallop, the replacement race for this year’s Bloody Mary after the Queen Mary event was cancelled. Of the 100-boat entry limit, 65 spots have already been taken including an entry by former Fireball World Champions DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend. Get your entry in soon before King George fills up.
Enter at: www.sailjuiceseries.com
The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2017/18):
Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
18 & 19 November 2017
Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
9 & 10 December 2017
Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
27 December 2017
Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
30 December 2017
King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club (replaces cancelled Bloody Mary)
6 January 2018
John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
3 & 4 February 2018
Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
17 February 2018
You can find out more about the Series here: www.SailJuiceSeries.com
Photo Credits: Tim Olin
Notes to editors:
Previous winners of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series
2016/17 Matt Mee & Emma Norris (RS200)
2015/16 Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe (GP14)
2014/15 Nick Craig & various crews (Merlin Rocket)
2013/14 Michael Sims (Solo)
2012/13 Tom Gillard & Simon Potts (Fireball)
2011/12 Peter Gray & Rachael Rhodes (Scorpion)
2010/11 Andy Peake (Musto Skiff)
2009/10 Olly Turner & Richard Whitworth (Merlin Rocket)
SailJuice.com is the ‘how to sail and race faster’ website, with hundreds of articles and exclusive interviews with National, World and Olympic Champions. Professional sailing journalist and editor of SailJuice.com, Andy Rice, came up with the concept of the SailJuice Winter Series (originally known as the SailJuice Global Warm-Up) as a way of increasing participation levels in dinghy racing during the off-season in the UK.
SailRacer manages event websites and processes online entry for major National, International, Youth and training events, providing online scoring, analysis and advanced sports presentation including GPS tracking and live video.
GJW Direct’s ‘All-inclusive Dinghy Insurance Policy’ offers outstanding premiums, taking the worry out of dinghy sailing and racing. The website, gjwdirect.co.uk/dinghy, offers the facility to get a quick quote and immediate on-line cover. This policy can be arranged by phoning GJW Direct on 0151 473 8000.
Photo © Tim Olin