Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

The usually fierce Tiger looking mild and moderate next weekend - Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series

by Andy Rice 29 Jan 13:15 GMT 3-4 February 2024
Ben Whaley & Lorna Glen finish 3rd in the John Merricks Tiger Trophy 2023 © Tim Olin /

One of the great classics of the cold season takes place next weekend, 3 & 4 February, when Rutland SC hosts the John Merricks Tiger Trophy. It's the seventh event of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series which has seen good turnouts over the past number of months.

As ever, Olympic silver medallist David Wilkins will be running the racing on the water as well as being a driving force behind the ongoing success of this long standing event. David has earned a reputation for sending the fleet out to race even in stormy conditions where other race officers might fear to tread.

However, while the Tiger has a name for being brisk and breezy, next weekend is looking like a mild and moderate affair on the long-range forecast. The racing looks set to be spot on for some great competition.

Even with the closure of the John Merricks Sailing Trust, the event continues to support other sailing-based charities. "We have put together big plans this year for deprived young people with the fleet of four RS21 keelboats we now have at Rutland," said David. "We also are running programmes with local schools. That is just a small snapshot of what we hope to do. So the funds will be put to good use. Who knows, we may find another John Merricks!"

The Saturday night dinner is always a highlight of the weekend, and competitors can book their spot via the Series website

Already there is a strong entry of 420s, a class which has always had a close association with the Tiger Trophy. John Merricks was a 420 World Champion before he went on to win an Olympic silver medal with Ian Walker at the 1996 Games.

Missing for the first time in the history of the event are Dave Hall and Paul Constable who usually race their Fireball to great effect at Rutland and have maintained their commitment to the Tiger Trophy for more than two decades. However this time Dave and Paul are about to contest the Fireball World Championships in Australia and everyone associated with the Tiger Trophy wishes them all the best downunder.

Meanwhile here's an update of the Series so far after six events and last weekend's King George Gallop...

GBSC extracted Results, based on different ranking categories

Overall in the Series after six events

A total of 406 boats have now achieved ranking points. After the second discard, Sam Pascoe (Musto Skiff - Castle Cove SC), holds onto the top spot, with last winter's runner-up Ben Flower (ILCA 7 - Paignton) still second, currently in Australia at the Laser Worlds, although he will be back for the final event, the Oxford Blue. Dan Vincent (Musto Skiff - Stokes Bay/RNSA) moves up 5 to 3rd, Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine (420 - Draycote) are up five to 4th overall. With two events to go, there are currently over 100 boats that could qualify, so still much to play for.

Top Class

An impressively diverse 48 different classes were represented at the King George Gallop, ranging from Toppers to Musto Skiffs and 505s, ILCA 6s saw off their faster sibling ILCA 7s to be Top Class at King George. The four Merlins put up some good results to take third place at the Gallop. Overall with 78 different classes having now competed this winter, ILCA 7s are still Top Class, but the ILCA 6s are up two to close the gap, with RS200s third. Top Class rankings are based on the best three results for each class across every race.

Top Club

Hosts King George SC were the top club at the Gallop, followed by Bowmoor and last winter's winners Great Moor SC. Overall after 18 races, Draycote holds onto the top spot, with Great Moor moving up one place to second and Bowmoor up five to third overall. Top Club rankings are based on the best three results for each club across every race.

Top Lady

With Imogen Wade (420) and Georgia Booth (Fireball), in 2nd and 7th overall at the Gallop, the ladies were close to the top. Overall Imogen holds onto the top spot, from previous winners Ellie Craig (RS Aero 6) and Val Millward (Challenger - Rutland SC).

Top Lady results so far

Top Youth

Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine (420 - Draycote Water SC), wore the No. 1 vest and saw off a big youth contingent at the Gallop, to lead this age category overall, from last winter's winner Finlay Cochrane (ILCA 6 - Yorkshire Dales SC), who also tops the Junior rankings.

Top Youth results so far

Fast Symmetric

Roger Blake and Jonathan Osgood (Osprey - Great Moor SC), have been putting in consistent results, competing in 16 of 18 results, and now climb to the top of the Fast Symmetric rankings.

Fast Symmetric results so far

Fast Asymmetric

The Musto Skiffs dominate this group, taking the top four places, with Sam Pascoe (Castle Cove SC) 1st, followed by Dan Vincent (Stokes Bay) and Rob Richardson (Royal Windermere YC)

Fast Asymmetric results so far

Slow Symmetric

This is the largest group, making up over half of all entries. After a stunning performance at King George, Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine (420 - Draycote Water SC) move to the top, followed by Ben Flower (ILCA 7 - Paignton SC) and Jamie Blake (ILCA 7 - Great Moor SC), third

Slow Symmetric results so far

Slow Asymmetric

Previous series runner-up, Luke Fisher (RS Vareo - Emberton Park SC), is dominating this group, with the RS200 of Ben Dearden and Alice Carter (Yorkshire Dales SC) moving up to second and fellow classmates, Ben Whaley and Lorna Glen (Parkstone SC) down to third.

Slow Asymmetric results so far

Seldén Sticker Competition

The photo of Corneille LePrince from the Greig City Academy was the winner at King George. The young sailor was the top ILCA 4, and 29th overall from a very competitive entry of 79 boats, with some of the country's top sailors competing.

As seen on TV

Greig City Academy sailors were featured on the BBC last week... Watch on iPlayer

Facebook update

Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice will be doing an online update via Facebook, set to go out at 1900 hours on Tuesday 30 January:

Next Event

Yes, don't forget to enter the Tiger Trophy at Rutland SC on 3 & 4 February 2024. To sign up...

The Events

The following events are in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2023/24:

  • Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club - 18 & 19 November 2023
  • Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club - 9 & 10 December 2023
  • Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club - 27 December 2023
  • Gill Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club - 30 December 2023
  • GJW Direct Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club - 6 January 2024
  • King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club - 20 January 2024
  • John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club - 3 & 4 February 2024
  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club - 17 February 2024
  • Prizegiving at RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, Farnborough - 24 February 2024

You can find out more about the Series at

Related Articles

Fairer Racing = Higher Participation
Zoom Meeting to get more boats on the water through better handicapping The organisers of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series are running a Zoom meeting to explore the future of handicap racing, and how advances in technology can be used more widely to create a more attractive playing field for fair racing on the water... Posted on 22 Mar
Pascoe's emphatic victory this winter
It's hard to recall a more dominant performance in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series It's hard to recall a more dominant performance in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, with Sam Pascoe winning all but one of the six events in which he competed. Not since 2011 has a Musto Skiff won the Series, when Andrew Peake took the overall prize. Posted on 6 Mar
Changes afoot for Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series
Great weather and excellent attendance contributed to one of the most successful editions in 2023 Great weather and excellent attendance contributed to one of the most successful editions of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series in its 15-year history, so why change anything? Posted on 23 Feb
Fisher's Vareo wins gusty Oxford Blue
The concluding event of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series Perennial performer in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, Luke Fisher tacked and gybed his RS Vareo to victory in the final event of the season, the Oxford Blue... Posted on 21 Feb
Oxford Blue to conclude a Windy Winter
Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series concludes this weekend At the end of a predominantly windy Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, the long-range forecast points towards light to moderate breezes for the Oxford Blue. Posted on 13 Feb
420s dominate fleet but Pascoe wins the Tiger
30-knots at Rutland during Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series Various boats enjoyed their moment to shine at the Tiger Trophy but once again it was the unstoppable Sam Pascoe who powered his Musto Skiff to overall victory at the seventh event of this season's wild and windy Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series. Posted on 6 Feb
Osprey edges 420 for Gallop victory
One of the tightest finishes ever in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series So close were the points between the top three at the King George Gallop in north London, it took a while before it was confirmed that Ben McGrane and James Ross had sailed their Osprey to the narrowest of victories. Posted on 23 Jan
Warming up for the Gallop
Ice thawing in time for Saturday's Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series event While the cold weather is set to get even icier this week, it should thaw just in time for this Saturday's King George Gallop, event No.6 in this season's Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series... Posted on 16 Jan
Pascoe back in Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series lead
Propelled by GJW Direct Bloody Mary triumph It's incredibly hard to win the GJW Direct Bloody Mary, let alone get alone get close twice in a row. After finishing runner-up last year, Sam Pascoe defied the light winds at this year's 185-boat pursuit race to win. Posted on 9 Jan
A moderate breeze for the GJW Direct Bloody Mary
Event 5 of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series taking place this Saturday at Queen Mary SC After a windy first few events in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, Event No.5 - the GJW Direct Bloody Mary - is looking like it will be light to moderate breeze this Saturday... Posted on 3 Jan