Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Tom Gillard discusses the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series

by Ben Schooling on 1 Apr 2013
Busy course at the Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water Paul Williamson
In the month following the conclusion of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, the clocks have changed to British Summer Time, yet Great Britain continues to be ice-locked in a chill easterly wind from Scandinavia.

Perhaps the Series should have carried on a while longer, although six big winter handicap events from November through to February seemed plenty at the time. Winners of the 2012/13 championship were Tom Gillard and Simon Potts in their Fireball.

'Most of the events were windy, which suits the Fireball,' said Gillard, the reigning World Champion who with ‘Pottsy’ received their prizes from Glen Wallis of insurance company GJW Direct at the RYA Dinghy Show in London. 'I’d not done a lot of sailing with Pottsy and this Series is the best racing you could do in the winter. It’s been great practice for us and set us up well for the season.' Pottsy, who used to crew for another former Fireball World Champion, the late Richard Estaugh, has yet to win the Worlds in his own right.

But he’s looking forward to helping Gillard defend his title as they look towards the 2013 Worlds in Slovenia.

Gillard enjoyed racing against a variety of classes. 'It brings the whole of UK dinghy sailing together, and a lot of really high quality sailors,' he said. 'One of the best moments was at the Grafham Grand Prix in the strong wind when we found we were as fast as the 505s upwind.'

Of course the Great Lakes handicap experts might have something to say about that. Led by Great Lakes chairman, Andrew Craig from Queen Mary Sailing Club, representatives from the six participating clubs met at Alexandra Palace to work through the numbers, analysing the trends from the data and making decisions on which classes needed adjusting upwards or downwards.

One class that surely can’t escape a downward adjustment is the International Moth, three of which ripped around the race course at a sensational pace to dominate the podium at the Bloody Mary. First of the non-foilers was the 49er sailed by Rick Peacock and Nick Murray, who were fourth at Queen Mary and continued to turn in a consistent performance to finish second overall in the Winter Series.

Flying the flag for the singlehanders were Pete Nelson aboard his third-placed RS600 and Craig Williamson sailing his standard Laser to fourth overall. Top-placed woman was Brenda Hoult in her Laser 4.7, although will she return next season in her recently acquired Devoti D-1?

'We also wanted to reward people who were talking about the Series or generally enthusing about it,' said Series founder Andy Rice from SailJuice.com.

'So we also gave prizes to people like Paul Williamson who travelled the circuit with his son Craig and took some great photos while he was at it. The 420 class were among a number of classes that have really got behind the Series and using it as the main winter focus for their fleet racing. And then we got a wonderful write-up from Musto Skiff sailor Ben Schooling who wrote up his exploits in the Series. Not only that but at the first Musto meeting of the year, Ben won the weekend and beat reigning World Champion Bruce Keen. It’s great to see sailors making the effort to get out in all weathers, and it’s that ‘can-do’ spirit that is part of what makes Great Britain great at dinghy sailing.'

According to Simon Lovesey of SailRacer who ran the Series website and online entry and payment processing: 'We had record entries, up 26% from the previous season and total entries of 783 boats. There were almost 100 different classes competing in the Series, with the biggest turnouts from the Laser Radial, Fireball and Merlin Rocket.
With more than 16,800 unique visitors to the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series website, it shows just how much interest there is in winter handicap racing.'

Prizewinners, Class, Prizes:

1st Tom Gillard and Simon Potts, Fireball (Gul/ Holt/ Sailjuice)
2nd Rick Peacock and Nick Murray, 49er (Trident/ Sailjuice)
3rd. Pete Nelson, RS600 (Holt)
4th. Craig Williamson (SailJuice)

Top Youth: Ben Hazeldine and Rhos Hawes, 420 (Holt/ Sailjuice)
Top Lady: Brenda Hoult, Laser 4.7 (Sailjuice)

Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

Related Articles

RS Vareo Volvo Noble Marine National Championship – Day 1
A warm but overcast day saw a fleet of 26 Vareos take to the water of the large reservoir in South Wales for three races A warm but overcast day saw a fleet of 26 Vareos (the largest for a good few years) take to the water of this large reservoir in South Wales for three back-to-back races this afternoon. The lake is about 1.5 miles long and a mile wide so plenty of room for the standard windward leeward course.
Posted today at 11:57 am
Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK National Championships – Day 4
It's easy to convince yourself that fit crews also have the upper hand. But on day four, this was anything but the case. Today the 400 fleet had wind. Sometimes when the breeze gets up and kicks against the tide it's easy to imagine that the big guns at the front are enjoying flawless manoeuvres and seamless mark roundings. It's also easy to convince yourself that fit young crews also have the upper hand.
Posted today at 10:33 am
RS800 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship - Day 3
RS800 Volvo Noble Marine Nationals - Thanks to the weekend entries, a larger fleet of 42 RS 800s left the beach on time 2016 RS800 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship - Thanks to the weekend entries, a larger fleet of 42 RS 800s left the beach (mostly) on time and headed out to the promised nine - eleven knot NE breeze. However, on arriving at the committee boat the breeze had built to a steady 15 knots+.
Posted today at 5:55 am
RS700 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship - Day 1-2
Thursday morning dawned with light airs and a forecast for light and variable breeze throughout the day. Thursday morning dawned with light airs and a forecast for light and variable breeze throughout the day. After a couple of hours postponement and some last minute bumbling the fleet took to the water in the vain hope of the breeze filling in. It didn’t but the Ians were improved...
Posted today at 4:37 am
RS800 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship – Day 2
38 RS800s made their way out to the bay for Day 2 of the Volvo Noble Marine National Championship. 38 RS800s made their way out to the bay for Day 2 of the Volvo Noble Marine National Championship. After a short delay, an eight - ten knot breeze filled in from the South West allowing racing to get underway in glorious sunshine – with the fleet managing to complete their full schedule of three races.
Posted today at 4:16 am
RS700 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship - Day 3
Race four saw Robbie choose the least favoured route to the right of the beat to clear the fleet at the windward mark. 2016 RS700 Volvo Noble Marine National Championship - The wind arrived at last on day three for a four race extravaganza. Race four saw Robbie choose the least favoured route to the right of the beat to clear the fleet at the windward mark. He held the lead to the finish. Big waves and traffic made for some white knuckle rides. Jerry Wales held on to a solid second. Neil Ashby finished third.
Posted today at 3:58 am
VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA - Day 1
73 boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. Seventy-three boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. With the odd lightning strike off Chesil Beach and a huge storm over Dorchester, the fleet were released to leave the shore once it was deemed safe enough to sail in Portland Harbour, with racing getting underway just 20 minutes after the scheduled 1pm start time.
Posted on 27 Aug
2016 Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK National Championships – Day 2 and 3
Among many questions that have arisen over last three days, the most pressing is how to stop the Oakey’s winning streak. 2016 Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK National Championships – Among the many questions that have arisen over the last three days, the most pressing for those at the front of the fleet, is how to stop the Oakey’s winning streak.
Posted on 27 Aug
Volvo Noble Marine RS200 National Championships - Final report
Excellent PRO Peter Jellis had to cram in six races in two days. Day 4 was a gnarly force three - four through a chop. Excellent PRO Peter Jellis had to cram in six races in two days. Day 4 was a gnarly force three - four through a chop. From this helm’s perspective (glorious mid-fleet mediocrity), that was hard work. Keeping the bow down and getting the foils to bite was the order of the day, and you could now bounce a coin off these abs.
Posted on 26 Aug
Volvo Noble Marine UK National Championship - Day 1
Day 1 of RS400 Nationals dawned with blazing sunshine. This lead to a two hour postponement before fleet were released Day 1 of the RS400 Nationals dawned with blazing sunshine. This lead to a two hour postponement ashore before the fleet were released to Hayling bay. Race one got away first time with only an individual recall for Kevin Podger and Heather Chipperfield who had mistaken the leeward mark for the pin end of the line.
Posted on 25 Aug