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Grafham Belle set to ring the changes for summer sailing

by Andy Rice 2 May 20:37 BST 29-30 May 2021
The Grafham Belle will take place on 29th & 30th May 2021 © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

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.

The event will run along very similar lines to a typical Winter Series event, with most types of dinghy from Laser 4.7 as the slowest handicap class up to RS800s as the fastest. With a limit of 75 boats, and seeing how quickly the winter events have filled up in recent years, entry is likely to fill up fast!

Sailing has already proven itself to be a COVID-safe activity over the past year, including at the successfully-run Datchet Flyer last December, the only event from the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series to have escaped the effects of UK lockdown during the colder months of 2020/21.

Co-organiser of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, Simon Lovesey, has been promoting the continuation of sailing wherever possible within COVID guidelines, via his non-for-profit organisation RestartSailing which he established during National Lockdown #1 in spring 2020. Simon said: "We are working with sailing clubs that are keen to make things happen wherever it is possible to do so in a safe, COVID-compliant manner. While other clubs have not been able to go forward with their planned events, it's great that Grafham is going ahead with the Grafham Belle. With its long foreshore and multiple slipways, it should be very possible for everyone to launch and recover their boats whilst maintaining good social distancing."

Racing will be run under the Great Lakes handicap numbers which have been developed over the past decade from the Winter Series results, using adjusted numbers from the standard RYA PY handicap scheme.

All the boats will carry GPS trackers provided by SailRacer, which help spectators to follow the action both on site and online, and also determine the results from some of the sub-category competitions as part of the Great British Sailing Challenge (GBSC).

Download the Notice of Race here.

Prize and Ranking Categories

  • SpeedSix Challenge for fastest boat on handicap
  • Trident Top Club
  • Craftinsure Family Ranking
  • RestartSailing Top Class
GBSC Youth, GBSC Junior, GBSC 19-30, GBSC 31-60, GBSC Masters, GBSC Top Lady

GBSC Fast Asymmetric, GBSC Slow Asymmetric, GBSC Fast Symmetric, GBSC Slow Symmetric

Dave Philpott from Grafham Water Sailing Club commented: "We're really looking forward to hosting so many different classes at the Grafham Belle. We get so many enquiries from a lot of different fleets and it's not possible to accommodate all those requests, so a multiclass handicap event like this is a good solution for the club and for visiting sailors as well as our club members."

Co-organisers Andy Rice and Simon Lovesey are working with title sponsor Seldén Mast to continue to run the 2020/21 edition of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series through to a concluding event at Rutland Water, the rescheduled John Merricks Tiger Trophy on the last weekend of August.

"The focus for me and Simon has always been to maximise participation in small boat racing by whatever means we can," said Andy. "With so many summer regattas and national championships being cancelled already, and the ever-present problem of too many of the smaller classes trying to organise single-class open meetings where they can't even guarantee a turnout of 20 boats, we're looking to offer a more sustainable option with the multi-class handicap events throughout the spring and summer.

So if you want to find out more, either as a competing sailor, class or sailing club, please contact Simon on: simon.lovesey@sailracer.co.uk

The Events

The following events are in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series (Summer Edition!):

  • Grafham Belle, Grafham Water SC, 29-30 May 2021
  • Bala Long Distance, Bala SC, 19-20 June 2021
  • Wilsonian River Challenge, Wilsonian SC, 26-27 June 2021
  • Tiger Trophy, Rutland Water SC, 28-29 August 2021
You can find out more about the Series at www.SailJuiceSeries.com

Over the winter Simon and Andy have been busy hosting some informative and entertaining Facebook Live sessions looking at the history of dinghy sailing from a number of angles.

www.facebook.com/SeldenSailJuiceWinterSeries

To give you a flavour of these Facebook Live specials, here's a list of the webinars hosted so far this winter:

The Facebook Live events hosted so far...

Facebook Live - History of the Tiger Trophy
fb.watch/3CaKv8q3cz

Facebook Live - Innovating for Better Racing
fb.watch/3Cd8SPHLbd

Facebook Live - History of the Bloody Mary
fb.watch/3aWorFCHRv

Facebook Live - Great Lakes Handicap System
fb.watch/2Ua5cxXeEn

Facebook Live - Winter Winners, Past & Present
fb.watch/2Uak0QX6-p

Facebook Live - History of the Draycote Dash
fb.watch/2UaefNdGJE

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