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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Changes afoot for next year's Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series

by Andy Rice 23 Feb 17:12 GMT
Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series founder Andy Rice out in his Musto Skiff during the Oxford Blue © Tim Olin /

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?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So the saying goes. So after one of the most successful editions of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series in its 15 year history, why consider changing anything? Co-organisers Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice are looking to move elements of the Series in a slightly different direction whilst wanting to keep the core of its success intact.

"Simon and I are always interested in where we can take things next with the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series," explained Andy. "Not all of the innovations we have brought in have been met with universal acclaim, far from it in fact. There was some resistance to introducing advance online entry via a website, rather than accepting cash and cheques on the day, believe it or not. Now it seems like a no-brainer.

"Moving from standard RYA PY handicap numbers and adopting the more radical Great Lakes numbers drew conspiracy theories that we were changing the numbers for dubious motives, but I think mostly people can see after a decade of Great Lakes experience that their numbers are producing very fair racing for many more classes than used to be the case.

"And GPS tracking of the races is not only there for entertainment purposes but is also proving to be a very useful back-up for cross-referencing the accuracy of finishing positions and resolving scoring queries."

One of the less controversial moves was to bring in a photographer for the Series, the indefatigable Tim Olin who goes out in all weathers to take such amazing photos of so many different boats and sailors.

New Life for Old Boats

The Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series has always attracted the very best sailors, such as former season winners like Peter Gray, Nick Craig, Tom Gillard and Rachael Gray, Simon and Katie Horsfield, and Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane. "It's great to see such high-calibre competitors," said Simon Lovesey, "but we also want to attract other sailors who can't necessarily afford state-of-the-art equipment. We're really pleased to have seen such an upswing in youth and junior participation this winter, particularly sailors from Greig City Academy using old Lasers that they have refurbished themselves, and Edward Clifford and Alex Standley racing their 65-year-old Norfolk Punt around the circuit. That's what we'd like to see more of in the future."

Seldén Mast's Richard Le Mare agrees. "One of the reasons why Seldén has continued to support the Sailjuice Winter Series over the past five years is we really want to support the grassroots of the sport. It's not just because we love the sport, which of course we do, but ours and other marine businesses depend on the grassroots being healthy. There's no shortage of boats in boat parks around the country, there's far too many of them sitting under mossy-green covers, unloved and mostly unused. So anything that can be done to get those boats out sailing again is something we at Seldén are very keen to promote."

With that in mind, Simon is drawing from various data sources including SailRacer GPS tracking to create an 'Old Boats Ranking', and is looking for broader support from the industry. "We're reaching out to the trade to back this initiative with prizes to help people upgrade their boats. Like Richard and his colleagues at Seldén are saying, this has the potential to work for everyone in the sailing world."

If you'd like to find out more and get involved in this initiative, please email and/or say hello at the prize-giving this Saturday (see below).

Coaching Support

Many sailors across the fleet are using the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series to hone their skills. Where else can you compete against 100 boats and some of the country's top sailors in some very close racing? Next winter we will be introducing coach support from an event briefing session, dinghy park coach advice and post-event debriefing based on video and tracking content from the racing.

New Ranking Categories

Many sailors compete representing the forces (ASA, RAFSA, RNSA) or their school, this winter there will be new extracted rankings for Forces and Schools.

Handicap Forum - 26 March

Your chance to understand how handicaps work and contribute to new developments.

More updates at the Prizegiving

Simon and Andy will be talking more about their future plans this weekend at the prize-giving for the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series. It takes place this Saturday, 24 February, at 1015am on the Main Stage at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in Farnborough.

You can find out more about the Series at

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