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A soft Monkey and a stiff Grand Prix?

by Andy Rice 25 Dec 2019 08:25 GMT 27 & 30 December 2019
Launching at the Brass Monkey in 2017 © Tim Olin /

Defending champions Colin and Oli Murray could be hard to stop in their massively-canvassed Norfolk Punt at this winter's Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey, the third event of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series. With a soft easterly forecast, the Murrays will start as one of the favourites in a maxed-out entry that includes many big names and former winners of the Series.

The reigning champions of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge, will be ones to watch in their 2000. Other former Sailjuice winners include Nick Craig, who last year finished runner-up at the Brass Monkey in a D-Zero; this year Nick is trying his hand in the Hadron singlehander. Matt Mee won the Series in an RS200 a couple of seasons back but for the Monkey, Matt is joining a legion of stars who are competing in the GP14. Former GP14 World Champion Neil Marsden will be another one to watch in this competitive fleet.

The RS200s are fielding the biggest entry with nine boats on the start line, followed by seven Musto Skiffs including former champion Ian 'Bov' Turnbull. There are also six RS400s and five Contenders competing, although the singlehanded trapeze sailors would probably prefer a stiffer forecast for the Monkey.

Anyone looking for stronger breeze might want to get their entry in for the Grafham Grand Prix just two days later on Sunday 27 December. Last year the event was maxed out with a few days to go, and with already more than 150 entries with the best part of a week until the event, it would be wise to book sooner than later. There's a forecast of moderate to strong breeze which could suit a different bunch of boats compared with what's expected to be a soft Monkey.

Get your entry in ASAP at

The Series so far...

Meanwhile, here's a round-up of the Series after the earlier events at Draycote and Datchet Water.

With two rounds completed, and already 30 boats completing both events, the overall rankings are starting to take shape, although with six events to go and four to qualify we will have to wait until the new year to see any firm patterns.

Series Overall

With four previous Series winners and several class champions in the top ten, the 2019/20 Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series is set to be one of the closest fought. Currently at the top of the leader board is 2011/12 Series winner, Peter Gray (GP14), with Steve Cockerill (RS400) second and 2014/15 Series Winner, Nick Craig (GP14) completing the podium.

Top Class Sailing Chandlery Top Class
With a star-studded team, the GP14 class holds onto top spot, but with Pete Barton's historic win at Datchet, the RS Aero 7 class jumpS five places to 2nd overall and defending champions the Laser class drops to third. Standings are based on the best three results for each class from every race. The top class wins Sailing Chandlery vouchers to be allocated to boats completing the most events and outside individual prizes.

Top Club Trident Top Club
Draycote Water SC manage to hold onto top spot, but being pushed hard with Burton SC up three places to second, and Datchet up five to third overall. Based on the best three results for each club from every race, with the top club winning Trident vouchers.

Speed Wall SpeedSix Challenge
With the epic conditions experienced on day 2 of the Datchet Flyer it was the Contenders that clocked the fastest sustained speeds on the SailRacer GPS trackers.

Great British Sailing Challenge Rankings
The Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series sees the start of the 2020 Great British Sailing Challenge qualifying rounds across various scoring groups, based on group extracted results from each race, with a discard every third race

GBSC Youths
1 George SUNDERLAND (Laser)
2 James CROSSLEY (Topper)
3 Alastair BROWN (Laser Radial)
Full results

GBSC Juniors
1 James CROSSLEY (Topper)
2 Antonio PASCALI (Topper)
3 William SUNDERLAND (Laser Radial)
Full results

GBSC 19-30
1 Alex HORLOCK (Comet Trio MK2)
2 Thomas GILLARD (Scorpion)
3 Ellie CRAIG (RS Aero 7)
Full results

GBSC 31-60
1 Steve COCKERILL (RS400)
2 Peter GRAY (GP14)
3 Nick CRAIG (GP14)
Full results

GBSC Masters
1 Tim BIRD (505)
2 Philip MEAKINS (Osprey)
3 Graham HALL (Challenger)
Full results

GBSC Top Lady
1 Ellie CRAIG (RS Aero)
2 Emma PEARSON (Europe)
3 Val MILLWARD (Challenger)
Full results

GBSC Fast Asymmetric
1 Steve COCKERILL (RS400)
2 Mark BARNES (B14)
3 Colin MURRAY (Norfolk Punt)
Full results

GBSC Slow Asymmetric
1 Simon HORSFIELD (2000)
1 Alex HORLOCK (Comet Trio MK2)
3 Luke FISHER (RS Vareo)
Full results

GBSC Fast Symmetric
1 Philip MEAKINS (Osprey)
2 Martyn LEWIS (Fireball)
3 Richard SMITH (RS600)
Full results

GBSC Slow Symmetric
1 Peter GRAY (GP14)
2 Nick CRAIG (GP14)
3 Thomas GILLARD (Scorpion)
Full results

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 or the Great British Sailing Challenge during the summer months? 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 Events:

The following events constitute the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 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

  • Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
    30 December 2018

  • Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
    12 January 2019

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

  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
    16 February 2019

  • Prize-giving, RYA Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace
    10:15am Saturday 29 February 2020

You can find out more about the Series at

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