Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

Weston Grand Slam set for champagne sailing at Easter

by Andy Rice 17 Apr 2019 19:16 BST 20-21 April 2019
Weston Grand Slam © Weston Sailing Club

Online entry closes on Thursday evening for the Weston Grand Slam, the Great British Sailing Challenge event which takes place this Easter weekend. The forecast looks glorious, with sunny, moderate breezes in store for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Already a host of different craft have lined up for the three-day event, ranging in scope from the RS Aero and D-Zero to the Nacra Carbon 20 high-speed catamaran.

As part of the Great British Sailing Challenge, there are some small changes to the setup of what has already proven a very popular and successful event over the years. As a preview to the average lap handicap racing on the Saturday and Sunday, on Good Friday there is a chance to race against the clock in the Rooster Time Trials. Using GPS trackers provided by SailRacer, the race course will be open between 12.00 and 15.00, where you will be timed over as many laps as you wish to race, with the winner decided on the best average lap, adjusted to dynamic handicap according to the wind conditions experienced. Rooster have provided some great prizes for the top 3 and winners across GBSC divisions, with class prizes for those with three or more boats competing.

There is flexibility within the event for classes to run their own favoured format, and the Hadron singlehanders have opted for a one-day open meeting taking place on the Saturday only.

For the Saturday and Sunday, there will be three back-to-back races per day with the racing run under the tried-and-tested Great Lakes handicap numbers. Taking up the charge at the fast end of the fleet will be John Tuckwell from Bala Sailing Club, with other cat entries such as local sailor Jeremy Pilcher racing his Nacra 16 Solo Spi and another Weston entry, Jonathan and Sarah Batey in their Formula 18. Offshore veteran Nigel King will be out in his Phantom, taking on a wide range of hiking singlehanders including Peter Craggs' RS Aero 7 from York RI Sailing Club and Ian Morgan from Netley in his D-Zero. The Hadrons will be out in force for the class open on Saturday, with some looking to stay on for longer.

John Reynolds and Fran Howell's 4000 from Grafham Water should enjoy a good battle with the AltO doublehander sailed by Timothy Kift and Jo Wicken from Wilsonian Sailing Club, host of another Great British Sailing Challenge event later this summer. A trio of Challenger trimarans from Rutland will enjoy close battles with each other, Val Millward, Graham Hall and Jack Alderdice being well used to racing it out in busy handicap fleets at the Selden SailJuice Winter Series events.

With Rooster Sailing (www.roostersailing.com) providing the prizes for Good Friday, the local watersports specialist retailer Andark (andark.co.uk) are sponsoring the prizes on the Saturday and Sunday.

Camping will be free to visiting competitors who are welcome to camp and park their cars and boats in the large field adjacent to the club, overlooking Southampton Water. The camping field will be open from Friday morning until Sunday evening. The bar will be open during the day and on Friday and Saturday evenings. The galley will be open for breakfast, lunches and snacks. And everyone is welcome to attend the evening meal on Saturday night. Tickets can be booked and paid for (cash only) at registration.

For a great weekend's sailing over Easter, come and sail at the Weston Grand Slam. Online entry is open at www.sailingchallenge.org.

GBSC Calendar 2018/19

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
17 & 18 November 2018

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
8 & 9 December 2018

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
27 December 2018

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
2 & 3 February 2019

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
16 February 2019

King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club
16 & 17 March 2019

Weston Grand Slam
20 & 21 April 2019

Derwent Dambuster, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
11 & 12 May 2019

Wilsonian River Challenge, Wilsonian Sailing Club
1 & 2 June 2019

Bala Long Distance, Bala Sailing Club
22 & 23 June 2019

Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth
8 to 10 August 2019

Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club
17 & 18 August 2019

Grand Finals, Rutland Sailing Club
28 & 29 September 2019

How do I get to the Grand Finals?

The Grand Finals of the GBSC are designed to celebrate the best of everything in small-boat racing in Great Britain. So there are many ways to qualify....

Finish in the top 10 of the travellers' series (based on your best three results)

Top qualifiers in a number of boat categories:

  • Fast Asymmetric
  • Fast Non-Asymmetric
  • Slow Asymmetric
  • Slow Non-Asymmetric
  • Multihull
  • Sportsboat
  • Best Improver
  • Most attended
  • Any boat valued at less than £1000
Top qualifiers in a number of age and other categories, for example:
  • Youth (Under 19)
  • Master (Over 60)
  • Female
  • Two Generations (two people sailing together, minimum age gap of 18 years - could be parent/child but not necessarily)
There will also be a number of 'wild card' invites available based on various criteria.

Hang on, but what even IS the Great British Sailing Challenge?

It's a series of handicap racing events that take place throughout the year, and it's open to pretty much any sail-powered craft. The Challenge involve events throughout the whole year, running large regattas at a variety of inland and open water venues. Competing sailors will earn ranking points from each event they compete in, with the top 100 sailors invited to a winner-takes-all-final at Rutland Water in September, a celebration to bring together the best British sailors of the year.

Who came up with the idea?

The idea comes from the organisers of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series which has been one of the big success stories of the past decade. Organised by Andy Rice of SailJuice.com (sailing journalist and marketer) and Simon Lovesey of SailRacer (event organiser and GPS tracking expert) has completed its 10th season.

www.sailingchallenge.org

Related Articles

Great British Sailing Challenge Season 2
Racing for small craft of pretty much all shapes and sizes Like its sister circuit, the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, season #2 of the Great British Sailing Challenge offers handicap racing for dinghies and small craft of pretty much all shapes and sizes... Posted on 22 Dec 2019
Great British Sailing Challenge Grand Final
Horsfield & Burridge win at Rutland Water Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge blasted their 2000 to victory in a big-wind weekend for the Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge. Aside from the high calibre racing, the event was a celebration of the diversity of dinghy racing in the UK. Posted on 1 Oct 2019
Great Forecast for the GBSC Grand Final
More than 60 top-flight boats set for Rutland SC this weekend This weekend's Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge will see an entry of more than 60 top-flight boats from more than 40 different classes competing at this brand new event which takes place at Rutland Sailing Club on 28 & 29 September. Posted on 26 Sep 2019
Make sure your class is represented at GBSC Final
Great British Sailing Challenge concludes at Rutland With more than 50 accomplished teams or individuals lining up for the inaugural Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge, winning this event for the first time will be no straightforward task. Posted on 20 Sep 2019
Join some of the Big Names in Dinghy Racing
Rutland to host Grand Final of Great British Sailing Challenge Some well-known names will be taking part in the Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge, at Rutland Sailing Club on 28 & 29 September. This event also incorporates the Y&Y Battle of the Classes, so make sure your class is included. Posted on 9 Sep 2019
South-Westerlies beckon for the Ullswater Ultimate
A wide range of boats and sailing abilities are set to compete A wide range of boats and sailing abilities are set to compete at the brand new Ullswater Ultimate regatta this weekend, 17 & 18 August. Posted on 15 Aug 2019
Bala Long Distance Race
Catchpole and Coop lead charge of the 400s at Bala Light to moderate - and wildly shifty - breezes on Lake Bala played to the strengths of the RS400s who dominated the results at the Bala Long Distance, part of the Great British Sailing Challenge. Posted on 24 Jun 2019
Light and bright forcast for Bala this weekend
Bala Long Distance Race in the Great British Sailing Challenge It's a light and sunny forecast for this weekend's Bala Long Distance. Online entry closes on Thursday night, although you can still enter on the day for a higher fee. Better to enter now though... Posted on 20 Jun 2019
Bala Long Distance Race preview
Next stop on the Great British Sailing Challenge For those in the know, the Bala Long Distance has been one of those rare jewels of the summer scene in British dinghy sailing. Now part of the Great British Sailing Challenge, this year's race is on 22-23 June. Posted on 13 Jun 2019
Wilsonian River Challenge
Idyllic sailing conditions on the challenging waters of the Medway Estuary Warm southerly winds delivered idyllic sailing conditions for the inaugural Wilsonian River Challenge, and for Graeme Oliver's Musto Skiff in particular. Posted on 4 Jun 2019