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Toughest British Winter Series about to kick off

Eight events in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2013/14

Now in its fifth season, this Winter Dinghy Handicap Championship will test sailing skill and sheer persistence across eight of the biggest events of the chilly season...

The GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series kicks off with the Draycote Dash on the weekend of 23/24 November 2013.

Here are some facts on the Series:

Big Numbers
Participation in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series has grown massively year by year. Last season we saw a 20% increase in entries, with 783 boats representing 91 different racing classes. And it has got more competitive each year, with a much wider spread of winners from many different classes. The Series gathered a massive following last winter, with more than 42,000 visitors to the Series website,

Four out of eight
Two brand new events - the Datchet Flyer and the Oxford Blue - feature in this year's line-up, along with the six that made up last year's Series. This season you must count your best four results from these eight events. Of course, you're welcome to enter and compete in as many events as you like - all eight if you're mad and bad enough to take on the challenge! This will give you more shots at getting a set of four good scores to put on the board.

The Events
The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2013/2014:

  • Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club - Saturday 23th & Sunday 24th November 2013
  • Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club - Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December 2013
  • Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club - Friday 27th December 2013
  • Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club - Sunday 29th December 2013
  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club - Saturday 4th January 2014
  • Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club - Saturday 11th January 2014
  • Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club - Saturday 25th January 2014
  • John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club - Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd February 2014

Find out more at

Great Lakes handicapping

Historically, handicap racing has had its 'bandit classes' which run away with the prizes more often than perhaps they should. Part of the aim of this Series is to iron out the imbalances and create fairer competition, rewarding the best sailors regardless of which class they are racing. It's an imperfect science, but our Great Lakes group of handicapping experts have spent the past four years analysing historic race data. There are a few changes to handicap numbers, but nothing like as big as we were seeing a couple of years ago. Why? Because the Great Lakes analysis is year by year homing in on the most accurate and fairest numbers for the many different classes that race in the UK. The proof? We're seeing a far wider spread of classes taking individual race wins and overall regatta victories.

Amalgamated Entry

SailRacer has done the number crunching to calculate the points scores for the past few years of the Series, and now for the second year Simon Lovesey and Brenda Hoult are running the online entry process for all eight events, as well as playing a big role in the running of the two new events at Datchet and Oxford. SailRacer's online entry system means you can enter anything from one through to all eight events and make a single payment, saving you time and guaranteeing your place in advance. A number of the events were oversubscribed last year, and we're expecting the same again this year. Enter early!

Is your boat eligible?

However! Please note that each of the events has its own criteria for what kinds of boat and class are eligible. You are responsible for checking that you are eligible to compete at each of your preferred events in the Series before submitting your entry online. A broad rule of thumb: If you're planning to race a monohull dinghy that's as fast or faster than a Topper, but no faster than a 49er (Big Rig), then you're probably OK. International Moths, keelboats and multihulls should be careful because they are likely to be eligible for some, but not all, events in the Series.

Live Tracking

For the Datchet Flyer and Oxford Blue events - SailRacer will be providing GPS Tracking, analysis and live updates from the race course for those wanting to follow the action in real time, and allow sailors to replay their races when they get home.

Prizes for competitors, classes & spectators

Thanks to generous support from Series sponsors, once again we have some great prizes for competitors, but also for spectators. More details to follow in the coming weeks...

In addition to title sponsor GJW Direct Insurance (, the UK's largest direct boat insurer, our silver-level sponsors are:

and we also have prizes from one of the Series' longest-standing supporters: Holt, renowned for their dinghy and catamaran marine hardware.

Enter Now!

Enter the Series here, The website will tell you more about the events in the Series, more about the Great Lakes handicapping process, and we'll keep you updated on everything else you need to know.


Posted: 26/11/2013
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