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Barton races Aero 7 to victory in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series Datchet Flyer

by Andy Rice 9 Dec 2019 11:21 PST 7-8 December 2019

Pete Barton raced his RS Aero 7 to victory at the Datchet Flyer, the second round of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series. It's the first time that an Aero has won a Sailjuice event outright. Barton, from Lymington, was very consistent through Saturday's three races, finishing 2,2,1 in the moderate breezes around a trapezoid course.

The Pursuit Race got going on the Sunday morning in breeze gusting over 20 knots. When the wind kicked up to over 30 knots, there was carnage across the race course and it was becoming dangerous for the competitors and the rescue crews, and the race had to be abandoned. The outing wasn't a complete waste, however, as the SailRacer GPS trackers were recording boat's maximum speeds. One of the top performers was that man again, Pete Barton, recording sustained speeds of over 14 knots in his RS Aero and hitting a peak speed of 17 knots. But with Sunday abandoned, it would be Saturday's races that determined the overall outcome of the competition, attended by a maximum entry of 100 boats representing 42 different dinghy classes from 52 sailing clubs.

Finishing in second place overall was the Datchet Wayfarer sailed by Andrew and Tom Wilson who won the middle race of the day. Scoring equal points were the GP14 of Pete Gray and Shandy Thompson along with the RS800 of Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire, the first trapeze boat on the leaderboard. However it was the GP14's 2nd place in the final race that broke the tie and gave Gray and Thompson the final spot on the podium.

Nick Craig and Arthur Henderson were 5th overall and second GP14, just beating the B14 of Mark Barnes and Pete Nicholson on tie-break. There were eight different classes in the top 10 with the GP14 and RS800 represented twice in the top flight. As well as diversity of boats, there was more than a 30-year spread of ages of the helms in the top 10, with ages across the fleet spanning from 11 to 79 years old.

First female was Ann Jackson who four years ago sailed her Enterprise to outright victory at the 2015 Datchet Flyer. Sailing again with her crew Alan Skeens, this time Jackson had to settle for 15th overall, finishing on equal points with last year's overall winners of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge racing their 2000. Competing in a strong Topper turnout, Datchet sailor James Crossley was first of the youth singlehanders in 19th overall.

There's a great sense of camaraderie among the Sailjuice competitors, especially on a challenging day like the Sunday, when everyone pitched in to help each other launch and recover. The Dunkirk spirit was there for everyone to see, as this excerpt from the Challenger class report points out: "Great excitement, wonderful experience, very challenging and equally exhausting. Thanks to the help of many fellow sailors and their own shore crew, Jack [Alderdice] and Val [Millward] arrived safely back on the shore no damage and all in one piece!" Read the full report here.

After two of the eight events completed, it's former Sailjuice Winter Series winner Pete Gray who holds the top spot. Currently there are four former Series winners in the top 10, proving that some people just can't get enough of cold-weather competition!

Overall Series scores here.

Run your Class Championship as part of one of the events

In case you hadn't already thought of it, why go to the hassle of organising your own class event when you can run it within one of the events in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series? Here's a few examples of classes that have already taken advantage of this season:

  • Hadron H2 - Inlands (Dash)
  • Blaze - Fire Cup (Datchet Flyer)
  • RS Aero - Winter Championships (Oxford)
  • OK - Winter Championships (Oxford)

Contact Simon Lovesey if interested in discussing using a SailJuice Winter Series event for a class championship and/or class winter series:

The next event in the Series is one that usually books out early, the Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey on 27 December. So be sure to get your entry in soon. If you miss that one, there’s still the Grafham Grand Prix two days later on 29 December, although even Grafham maxed out last year too! See the calendar below, and enter at

The Events

The following events constitute the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2019/20)

  • Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
    23 & 24 November 2019

  • Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
    7 & 8 December 2019

  • Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
    27 December 2019

  • Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
    29 December 2019

  • Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
    11 January 2020

  • King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club
    26 January 2020

  • John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
    1 & 2 February 2020

  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
    15 February 2020

  • Prizegiving, RYA Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace
    1015am Saturday 29 February 2020

You can find out more about the Series at

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