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Craftinsure 2012
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The Mirror Book by Peter Aitken & Tim Davison
The Mirror Book by Peter Aitken & Tim Davison

Join some of the Big Names in Dinghy Racing at the GBSC Grand Final

by Andy Rice 9 Sep 19:28 BST
Bala Long Distance Race 2019 in the Great British Sailing Challenge © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

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...

After a series of qualifying events around the country, the Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge is set to take place at the end of this month at Rutland Sailing Club. The weekend of 28/29 September will bring together some of the best-known names in small-boat racing to take part in this inaugural event. It's going to be a celebration of the diversity of handicap racing in the UK.

Love it or loathe it, handicap racing is here to stay, thanks to the huge diversity of classes that are raced across the country. The past decade has seen the growth of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series into one of the most established and successful circuits of the annual calendar. This has been the first year of the Great British Sailing Challenge, a series of open events that culminates in the Grand Final, for which many sailors from many different classes have competed in order to qualify for the Finals. However, there are still places available for certain classes, as the aim is to represent as broad a cross-section of small-boat racing as possible.

Current names include Maria Stanley, first ever female winning helm at the RS200 Nationals; Emily Mueller, 2018 Optimist National Champion; Penny and Russ Clark who have burst to the top of the international scene in their first season racing the 505; Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge, 2000 National Champions and winners of last season's Selden SailJuice Winter Series.

The event will also incorporate the Y&Y Battle of the Classes, so to make sure your class is represented, Class Associations should contact Simon Lovesey:

With Dave Wilkins as the Principal Race Officer, with all his experience of running multiple editions of the successful John Merricks Tiger Trophy every February, competitors can expect great race management from David and his experienced team at Rutland Sailing Club.

Results will be scored using the Great Lakes version of the PY handicap numbers, and other prizes will be awarded based on performance measured by the SailRacer trackers.

Great Britain's most prolific dinghy photographer Tim Olin will be there to capture all the action, and there will be live updates of the racing during the weekend.

More than 750 sailors have competed in the qualifying events during the season, and now it all comes down to the Final at Rutland.

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

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