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GJW Direct 2020

Iconic GJW Direct Bloody Mary Pursuit Race is back – are you brave enough?

by Katie Osborne 2 Dec 2022 16:12 GMT 7 January 2023
The Bloody Mary © Alex Irwin /

Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) is excited to announce that the iconic GJW Direct Bloody Mary pursuit race is back.

Following a two-year break thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bloody Mary, the 6th leg of the SailJuice Winter Series, will take place on 7 January 2023 at QMSC in Ashford, Middlesex.

This world-renowned event, once again being sponsored by insurance company GJW Direct, is open to all non-foiling dinghy classes with a PY number equal to or lower than an International Topper, as well as to selected keelboat classes.

Tony Bishop, club secretary at QMSC, said: "When the Bloody Mary takes place at Queen Mary Sailing Club in January 2023, it will be the 47th time we have hosted this event. It is a magical experience to see hundreds of boats representing more than 100 sailing clubs and over 60 classes descend on our reservoir for this frenzied, chaotic but unforgettable race. It's not for the faint-hearted but few who take part regret it. We are calling on all those brave enough to sign up now."

The last Bloody Mary we hosted here at QM in 2020 was amazing. There were 288 entries, representing 59 classes from 120 clubs, with 95 juniors and 23 Grand Masters. Our 2023 event promises to be bigger and better than ever as many sailors get back to racing following the pandemic. The QM team is busy making all the preparations behind the scenes to ensure all participants get the very most out of the day."

Jez Entwistle, of GJW Direct, said: "We are delighted to once again be sponsoring the Bloody Mary pursuit race. 2023 will be the fourth year we have been involved and it is always a privilege to be there on the day and watch up to 300 boats battle it out on the water. We wish all participants the best of luck in the race."

The two-and-a-half hour race starts at 12 noon with the slowest boat going first followed progressively by the faster boats, according to their handicap rating.

If you're brave enough to take part in this classic race, see the Entry Form, Notice of Race, and Sailing Instructions. Online entry will close at midnight on 6 January 2023 and once again there will be an entry limit, so early entry is advised to avoid disappointment.

The entry desk on the day will be open from 8am until 12pm.

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