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Draycote Dash 24/25 Nov
Brass Monkey 27 Dec
Grafham Grand Prix 30 Dec
Bloody Mary 12 Jan
Steve Nicholson23 Feb (re-scheduled)
Tiger Trophy 2/3 Feb

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RS600 wins the Draycote Dash


Peter Nelson takes the Draycote Dash from David Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe in a Merlin, with Andy Couch in a Phantom third.

With raging storms and lashings of brutal rain flooding parts of England overnight, the conclusion of the Draycote Dash looked uncertain on Sunday morning. With winds blowing in excess of 20 knots at the start of the 100-minute Pursuit Race, some competitors in the slower boats seemed reluctant to get on the water in time for their starts. Brenda Hoult’s Laser 4.7 from Hill Head led for the best part of a lap despite having crossed the line some minutes after her allotted start time. Some of the 90-strong handicap fleet stayed ashore, not wanting to risk their boats in the strong breeze skudding across Draycote Water.

But then the wind started to drop quite dramatically, sometimes to below 10 knots, and it was the turn of the Scorpions and Merlin Rockets to take up the battle for the lead. Considering the drop in breeze during the course of the race, the slower handicap boats that started earlier might have been expected to benefit. Yet it was the 505 sailed by Andy Davis and Mike Senior who came through to win the double-points, non-discardable Pursuit Race. This elevated them to 7th overall, but it was a 5th place for Peter Nelson’s RS600 that proved sufficient to give him overall victory in the Draycote Dash 2012, the first of six events in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series.

Third place in the Pursuit Race elevated David Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe’s Merlin Rocket to 2nd overall, with Andy Couch’s Phantom in 3rd place, just edging out another Merlin (Matt Biggs & John Hackett) and Ian Morgan’s Laser from the podium.

And so for the time being, Peter Nelson holds the lead in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, with the next event on 27 December, the Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Some competitors were rewarded for entering the series early, with Laser 2000 sailor Matt Sargent winning a signed copy of Asymmetric Sailing by Andy Rice, and former SailJuice Winter Series winner Olly Turner winning some Gul winter gear. There are further prizes up for grabs for those who enter before 20 December. With seven different classes in the top 10, early indications from the Draycote Dash is that the Great Lakes handicapping system is producing some of the fairest racing yet seen in UK handicap dinghy racing.

Rank Fleet Class SailNo Helm Crew Club PY
1st Fast RS600 920 Peter Nelson   Northampton Sailing Club 920
2nd Fast Merlin Rocket 3734 David Hayes Jonny Ratcliffe Hayling Island Sailing Club 980
3rd Medium Phantom 1345 Andy Couch   Rudyard Lake Sailing Club 1010
4th Fast Merlin Rocket 3743 Matt Biggs John Hackett Blithfield Sailing Club 980
5th Slow Laser 188781 Ian Morgan   Hill Head Sailing Club 1118
6th Fast 505 9088 Andy Smith Alex Davies Notts County Sailing Club 889
7th Fast Osprey 55 Mike Pickering Mike Priddle Restronguet Sailing Club 944
8th Fast 505 9063 Andy Davis Mike Senior Blithfield Sailing Club 889
9th Medium Scorpion 1987 Steve Hall Oli Wells Pinnell and Bax 1042
10th Medium Scorpion 2013 Peter Gray Rachael Rhodes SHSC 1042


Full Results


25/11/2012 15:14


Photo © Malcolm Lewin


Classes Entered