The next event in the Great British Sailing Challenge offers dinghy sailors of all types and sizes the chance to race on the Medway estuary.


  Enter Now      The Wilsonian River Challenge offers adventurous dinghy racers the chance to branch out and try something a bit different from the usual open meeting. Taking place on 1&2 June, it’s the next event on the Great British Sailing Challenge calendar, and the format is designed to make the best use of the tidal conditions on the Medway River in this hidden away corner of Kent.

Richard Smith, reigning RS600 National Champion, is one of the key people to have put the new regatta together. He’ll be racing an RS800 with his daughter Ellie. “Saturday is all about the long distance race, and I think visitors are going to love the navigational challenge of racing in the estuary. It will be a bit of beating, reaching, running, and then after the first hour it will turn into a more standard race to keep all the boats in one place and finish them close together.” With a target time of 100 minutes, the long distance offers an opportunity for the faster boats to stretch their legs, while on the Sunday it will be three back-to-back short course handicap races that will work more in favour of the slower boats.

Ian Bullock has already made a name for himself running the successful Datchet Flyer event which takes place every December and he’ll be the principal race officer for the Wilsonian River Challenge. He’s looking forward to running some fair racing under the Great Lakes numbers that have proven to produce close handicap competition in the Selden SailJuice Winter Series.

Entry is open to all non-foiling monohull centreboard dinghies with a Great Lakes Handicap Number equal to or lower than the Topper 5.3 and Challenger Trimarans. So far there are entries already in for boats as diverse as 2000s, AltOs, Blazes, Musto Skiffs, National 18, Osprey, RS600, RS800, Solos, Streakers and Wayfarers.

For friends and family who aren’t racing, there’s plenty to do nearby including a visit to the historic Upnor Castle and the local area which is full of Britain’s maritime heritage.

The club is putting on food and social events throughout the weekend. Hot and cold food will be available from the galley on arrival including:

  • Food available for Friday night Competitors and Visitors
  • Breakfast served from 8am to 10.30am on Saturday from 7.30am to 9.30am on Sunday
  • Rolls to take afloat on request
  • Pasties and snack food available after racing on both Saturday and Sunday
  • Bar open all day for Soft Non Alcoholic and Alcoholic Drinks
  • Saturday Afternoon/Evening: The BBQ will be available from 4pm with live music in the Evening

Camping: There will be a limited amount of camping space( maximum tent Size 2 x 3 metres) and campervan space which will need to be applied beforehand on a first come first serve basis.

There’s plenty of accommodation nearby. The website www.visitmedway.org/getting- here/visitor-information- centre will give you all local B&Bs, Guest Houses, Premier Inn, Travelodge and other hotels. The nearest towns are Hoo St Werburgh and Strood.

Online entry is open at www.sailingchallenge.org . This is set to be one of the most exciting and out-of-the-ordinary events of the dinghy calendar in 2019, so get your entry in before it hits the 80-boat limit.


GBSC Calendar 2018/19


Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club

17 & 18 November 2018

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club

8 & 9 December 2018

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

27 December 2018

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club

2 & 3 February 2019

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club

16 February 2019

King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club

16 & 17 March 2019

Weston Grand Slam

19-21 April 2019

Wilsonian River Challenge, Wilsonian Sailing Club

1 & 2 June 2019

Bala Long Distance, Bala Sailing Club

22 & 23 June 2019

Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth

8 to 10 August 2019

Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club

17 & 18 August 2019

Grand Finals, Rutland Water Sailing Club

28 & 29 September 2019

How do I get to the Grand Finals?

The Grand Finals of the GBSC are designed to celebrate the best of everything in small-boat racing in Great Britain. So there are many ways to qualify....

Finish in the top 10 of the travellers’ series (based on your best three results)

Top qualifiers in a number of boat categories:

Fast Asymmetric

Fast Non-Asymmetric

Slow Asymmetric

Slow Non-Asymmetric



Best Improver

Most attended

Any boat valued at less than £1000

Top qualifiers in a number of age and other categories, for example:

Youth (Under 19)

Master (Over 60)


Two Generations (two people sailing together, minimum age gap of 18 years - could be parent/child but not necessarily)

There will also be a number of ‘wild card’ invites available based on various criteria.

Hang on, but what even IS the Great British Sailing Challenge?

It’s a series of handicap racing events that take place throughout the year, and it’s open to pretty much any sail-powered craft. The Challenge involve events throughout the whole year, running large regattas at a variety of inland and open water venues. Competing sailors will earn ranking points from each event they compete in, with the top 100 sailors invited to a winner-takes-all-final at Rutland Water in September, a celebration to bring together the best British sailors of the year.

Who came up with the idea?

The idea comes from the organisers of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series which has been one of the big success stories of the past decade. Organised by Andy Rice of SailJuice.com (sailing journalist and marketer) and Simon Lovesey of SailRacer (event organiser and GPS tracking expert) has completed its 10th season.



20/5/2019 07:02


Enter Now >>>>


2020 Great British Sailing Challenge

Draycote Dash
23-24 November 2019
Datchet Flyer
7-8 December 2019
Brass Monkey 27 December 2019
Grafham Grand Prix 29 December 2019
Bloody Mary 11 January 2020
King George Gallop 26 January 2020
John Merricks Tiger Trophy
1-2 February 2020
Oxford Blue 15 February 2020
Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club
4th-5th April 2020
Weston Grand Slam
11th-12th April 2020
Paignton Open for Single Handers (P.O.S.H.)
9th-10th May 2020
23rd-24th May 2020
13th-14th June 2020
Wilsonian River Challenge
20th-21st June 2020
Bala Long Distance
20th-21st June 2020
The Ullswater Ultimate
15-16 August 2020
Finals TBC


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The Great British Sailing Challenge is a series of handicap racing events that take place throughout the year, and it's open to pretty much any sail-powered craft. The Challenge will involve events throughout the whole year, with the target of around 100 boats taking part in each event on larger waters, and running events close to capacity on smaller lakes and reservoirs. Competing sailors will earn ranking points from each event they compete in, with the top 100 sailors invited to a winner-takes-all-final in Autumn 2019 to award the best sailors of the year. The series is managed by SailRacer.