|Draycote Dash||24/25 Nov|
|Brass Monkey||27 Dec|
|Grafham Grand Prix||30 Dec|
|Bloody Mary||12 Jan|
|Steve Nicholson||23 Feb (re-scheduled)|
|Tiger Trophy||2/3 Feb|
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.
|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|
Photo © Malcolm Lewin