Please select your home edition
Edition
Savvy Navvy 2021 YY LEADERBOARD v2

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Chris Gandy 25 Nov 2013 10:58 GMT 23-24 November 2013

Text book sailing from Schooling at The Dash

Ben Schooling races his Musto Skiff to victory at the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash

Datchet Water's Ben Schooling raced his Musto Skiff to victory in the 2013 Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, the first event of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series.

After a slow start in the first race, Schooling hit form - counting a third and two firsts from Saturday's round of four trapezoid course handicap races. A third in the pursuit race was enough to seal the victory.

Sailed in a light northerly breeze all weekend, 96 boats competed, with classes ranging from a Topper to the RS800s.

With a few people late to the start in the first race, the fast and medium fleets got away cleanly. The slow fleet were over-keen and a general recall followed. With the wind dying off during the first lap, two Solos snuck through for a second lap and as the breeze returned they capitalised to take first and second.

The second race was won by the RS400 of Robert Gullan and Jack Holder of the Royal Southern Yacht club.

Due to a wind shift, race officer Tom Vian and his team quickly reset the course to get the final races of the day away before the wind and light disappeared. Races three and four were won by the event winner, Ben Schooling.

Sunday dawned marginally warmer with a slight increase in breeze for the 120 minute pursuit race. The course set was an epic trip around the lake, ensuring no corner remained unvisited. Tom Smith in a Topper led the entire first lap but was eventually caught by the Miracles of Sam Mettam/Harry Jones and Jeremy Davy/Ethan Plank. Positions were tight right through the fleet and the race was eventually won by the Scorpion of Peter Gray and Rachael Rhodes from Staunton Harold Sailing Club. With just minutes to go, the yellow spinnaker of Ben Schooling appeared behind the leading bunch although the leading Scorpion and Solo who were having their own downwind tussle just managed to hold on to finish in front.

On being asked the secret to his success at Draycote, Ben Schooling offered five observations about his performance:

  1. I've had a lot of practice this year in those conditions 4-14kts and since the Europeans my boat handling is pretty sharp. The Inlands the weekend before had been similar, if a little lighter.

  2. The Musto is able to get planing in relatively light breeze, before most other more conventional dinghies so I was able to use this to my advantage off starts to break into clean breeze early.

  3. Keeping my nose clean when passing other boats. It pays to give slower boats a wide berth when overtaking where at all possible. Cutting it too close can lead to luffing and other adverse tactics so I just try to avoid confrontation – going low of the rhumb line on reaches and climbing up to the mark at the end.

  4. The majority of the gains are made downwind so I was really trying to make the most of these sections, especially in the pursuit race, to make up ground.

  5. Having other competitive Musto Skiffs around also helped. I had a good battle with Sam Barker (recent Inland champion) and Ian Martin and we kept pushing each other round the course.

Draycote Water would like to thank their event sponsors Fernhurst Books for supporting the event and providing some very nice and worthwhile prizes. We hope the winners enjoy their new reading material! The next event in the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series is the Datchet Flyer on 14 & 15 December.

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash: (top six)

1st – Ben Schooling (Musto Skiff 487) Datchet Water Sailing Club
2nd – Michael Sims (Solo 5302) Carsington
3rd – Tom Gillard (Solo 5469) Sheffield Viking/Northampton
4th – Peter Gray/Rachael Rhodes (Scorpion 2022) Staunton Harold
5th – Alan Johnson/Paula Fisher (Enterprise 19876) SCYC & SSC
6th – Craig Williamson (Laser 200906) Staunton Harold

For full results visit events.sailracer.org/eventsites/content.asp?id=32025&eventid=179314 and to enter other events in the Series visit www.SailJuiceSeries.com.

Related Articles

Full steam ahead for Medway Marathon
Bala Long Distance cancelled, but Selden SailJuice Winter Series resumes on Saturday The Bala Long Distance has been cancelled for its July date after Bala Sailing Club had run out of time waiting for approval from Snowdonia National Park. However, the next event on the extended Selden SailJuice Winter Series is still going ahead. Posted on 13 Jun
Medway promises a marathon Sailjuice challenge
A 26-mile long distance departure from the norm Most events in the Selden SailJuice Winter Series are fast and frantic spins around a hectic short course, so the inclusion of the Medway Marathon is a 26-mile long distance departure from the norm. Posted on 5 Jun
Brown's Laser rings the Belle at Grafham
Round 2 of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series Alastair Brown sailed his ILCA 7/Laser to victory at the inaugural Grafham Belle on the last weekend of May. Posted on 2 Jun
Grafham Belle beckons the start of summer racing
A broad mix of dinghies ready to compete on handicap After the longest ever winter, sailors could enjoy something approaching more typical spring temperatures at this weekend's Grafham Belle. Posted on 25 May
Diverse dinghy line-up for Grafham Belle
Reigning Seldén SailJuice Winter Series champions are set to race Reigning champions of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge, are set to race their 2000 doublehander at the Grafham Belle on the weekend of Saturday 29 May and Sunday 30 May. Posted on 16 May
Grafham Belle set to ring the changes
Seldén SailJuice Winter Series set to continue this summer Even though the days are getting longer and warmer, the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series is set to continue with the Grafham Belle, a brand new multiclass handicap event being hosted by Grafham Water Sailing Club on Saturday 29 May and Sunday 30 May. Posted on 2 May
Seldén Sailjuice Spring Series
Encouraging Covid-compliant competition Sailors around the UK are being invited to enter a brand new event called the Selden Sailjuice Spring Series (SSSS) this April and May. If you want to find out more, there's a Facebook Live presentation at 5pm GMT this Monday 22 March. Posted on 20 Mar
A Winter Series for the Summer
Seldén SailJuice Winter Series being extended in to this spring and summer Now is the winter of our discontent... which is why the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series is being extended into this spring and summer. Posted on 12 Feb
The history of The Bloody Mary
London's legendary pursuit race Of all the events in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, perhaps the best known is the Bloody Mary. This Sunday evening, at 5pm GMT on 10 January 2021, two members of Queen Mary Sailing Club will run through the history of this great pursuit race. Posted on 9 Jan
Webinar: "The best handicapping system there is"
Tonight at 5pm GMT One of the key factors in the success of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series over the past 11 years has been the handicap numbers applied to the classes. Posted on 3 Jan