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Enter The Tiger!

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The John Merricks Tiger Trophy is event No.8 in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, and it’s happening this weekend...

The Fireball duo of Dave Hall & Paul Constable have never yet missed a John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Sailing Club, and the Fireball duo are among the early entrants to have booked their spot at the eighth event in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series. Hall & Constable are back to see if they can win the Tiger which they conquered in 2021.

Taking place on 4 & 5 February, the dinghy classic consists of a series of back-to-back races on the Saturday and a Pursuit Race on the Sunday. Once bitten by the Tiger, sailors come back year after year in anticipation of another hotly contested event backed up by great hospitality at Rutland Sailing Club. Principal race officer and Olympic silver medallist David Wilkins has a well deserved reputation for running exciting and fair racing on England’s largest reservoir.

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Up to four club-based RS21 keelboats are expected to take part in the competition, which also coincides with the first weekend of Six Nations rugby fixtures. “We’ll be off the water well in time for the England v Scotland match on Saturday afternoon,” says David. The Tiger is also open to other small keelboats and catamarans as well as the usual spread of dinghy classes.
As ever for Rutland, there’s a sit-down dinner on the Saturday night and a chance for old friends from across different fleets to catch up before the summer season gets going again and people disperse back into one-design competition.
To sign up to the Tiger Trophy and the final event of the season, the Oxford Blue, go here:

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Last year’s overall winners of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, Roger Gilbert & Ben McGrane, were also winners of an extremely Tiger Trophy in 2022, and will have to be at their best to beat 505 rivals Michael Sims & Carl Gibbon. Sims was overall series winner nine years ago hiking out his singlehanded Solo. Another interesting duel of trapeze boats will be the ongoing battle for Osprey supremacy between Pete Gray & Geoff Edwards versus Roger & Iain Blake.
Musto Skiff National Champion, Sam Pascoe, was recent runner-up at the Bloody Mary at the start of January. He’ll be up against last year’s World Championship runner-up Andy Tarboton. But will they and the other Musto Skiffs be able to beat Ben Schooling, who has won a number of events in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series over the years?
Currently the forecast is for mild conditions in light to medium winds from the west, so perhaps a gentler than normal Tiger is on the cards. After recent years have gone well for the faster trapeze boats, will this be one for the slower hiking classes? The recent King George Gallop was a good outing for the Enterprises, so maybe a chance for Paul Young & Nathan McGrory to move further up the rankings from their current 5th overall. Or others further down the Top 10 overall rankings, such as Finlay Cochrane (Laser 4.7) or James & Samuel Clancy in their Merlin Rocket.
With current overall leader Ben Flower absent on Olympic campaigning duty for Canada in his Laser, could the Tiger be an opportunity for the second and third overall competitors to pounce? Respectively, that’s Jamie Blake’s Laser in 2nd overall and Sam Mettam’s RS Aero 6 in 3rd overall.

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After so many years of cancellations due to Covid or lack of water, so far it’s been a successful 7 from 7 for this season’s Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, with a full schedule of 20 races completed this far. Here’s an update of how things stand with a month to go to the prizegiving on the Main Stage at the RYA Dinghy Show in Farnborough. 



No change for the top five, but a few more people qualifying and jumping into the Top 10. Of note, Series regular Jonathan Carter (Vortex - Rickmansworth) up 10 to 6th overall, and 13 year old Finlay Cochrane (Laser 4.7 - ILCA 4 YDSC), one of the youngest competitors also up 10 places to 7th overall.


Craftinsure Top Class 

66 different classes have now competed across the Series. For the King George Gallop, the Enterprises dominated, holding off a strong Merlin fleet, with the Toppers third. Overall the Laser (ILCA 7s) hold onto to top spot, with Laser Radial (ILCA 6s) moving up to second, demoting the RS200s to third.  Based on the best three results for each class across every race.  


Top Club 

89 clubs have now been represented across the Series. For the Gallop, hosts King George SC were the top club, fighting a close battle with local rival Fishers Green SC. Overall Staunton Harold SC who have held the top spot since the start, has been knocked off first place by Great Moor SC. Based on the best three results for each club across every race.  


Seldén Sticker Winner 

Nathan Clark (Topper - Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club) wins an R60 ratchet block from the Seldén range, thanks to his photo taken by series photographer Tim Olin at the King George Gallop.

Facebook Live - 6pm Tuesday, 31 January

Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice, series organisers, will be looking back through the events so far, and looking forward to the next, on Facebook Live.The winner of another Seldén R60 ratchet block will also be announced, based on which sailor’s photo by series photographer Tim Olin has featured prominently in social media. Join the live show this Tuesday...


Category Scoreboards

GBSC (Great British Sailing Series) extracted results, based on every race with one discard per every three races 



1) Rachael Gray (Scorpion - Staunton Harold)

2) Maddie Childs (Laser Radial (ILCA 6) - King George Sailing Club)

3) Ellie Craig (RS Aero 6 - Bfyc)



1) Finlay Cochrane (Laser 4.7 (ILCA 4) - Yorkshire Dales)

2) Freddie Sunderland (Laser Radial (ILCA 6) - Draycote Water)

3) Dilara Soyer (Topper - Draycote Water SC)


Age 31-60 

1) Paul Young (Enterprise - Midland Sailing Club) 

2) Peter Gray (Osprey - Staunton Harold) 

3) Jonathan Carter (Vortex - Rickmansworth Sailing Club)



1) Roger Blake (Osprey - Great Moor SC)

2) Ann Jackson (Enterprise - Burghfield Sailing Club)

3) Richard Sims (K1 - Carsington)



Fast Symmetric

1) Roger & Iain Blake (Osprey - Great Moor SC)

2) Peter Gray & Geoff Edwards (Osprey - Staunton Harold)

3) James & Samuel Clancy (Merlin Rocket - Desborough SC)


Fast Asymmetric

1) Jonathan Carter (Vortex - Rickmansworth Sailing Club)

2) Richard Smith (Musto Skiff - Medway Yacht Club)

3) Nigel Davis (RS500 - Draycote Water Sailing Club)


Slow Symmetric

1) Jamie Blake (Laser (ILCA 7) - Great Moor Sailing Club)
2) Paul Young & Nathan McGrory/ Alex Homer (Enterprise - Midland Sailing Club)
3) Rachael Gray & Amy Clay (Scorpion - Staunton Harold)

Slow Asymmetric

1) Luke Fisher (RS Vareo - Emberton Park SC)

2) Paul North (RS Vareo - Milton Keynes SC)

3) James Williams & Sarah Tuppen (RS200 - Chew Valley Lake SC)



The following events are in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2022/23:

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club

20 & 21 November 2022


Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club

3 & 4 December 2022

Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

27 December 2022

Burghfield Breezer, Burghfield Sailing Club

27 December 2022

Gill Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club

2 January 2023

GJW Direct Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club

7 January 2023

King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club

21 January 2023

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club

4 & 5 February 2023

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club

18 February 2023

Prizegiving at RYA Dinghy Show, Farnborough

25 February 2023

Website: www.sailjuice.com

Photo Credits: Tim Olin

Notes to editors:

Previous winners of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series

2021/22 Roger Gilbert & Ben McGrane (505)

2020/21 Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge/ Natalie Johnson (2000)

2019/20 Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge (2000)

2018/19 Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge (2000)

2017/18 Alistair Goodwin (Laser)

2016/17 Matt Mee & Emma Norris (RS200)

2015/16 Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe (GP14)

2014/15 Nick Craig & various crews (Merlin Rocket)

2013/14 Michael Sims (Solo)

2012/13 Tom Gillard & Simon Potts (Fireball)

2011/12 Peter Gray & Rachael Rhodes (Scorpion)

2010/11 Andy Peake (Musto Skiff)

2009/10 Olly Turner & Richard Whitworth (Merlin Rocket)

SailJuice.com is the ‘how to sail and race faster’ website, with hundreds of articles and exclusive interviews with National, World and Olympic Champions. Professional sailing journalist and editor of SailJuice.com, Andy Rice, came up with the concept of the SailJuice Winter Series (originally known as the SailJuice Global Warm-Up) as a way of increasing participation levels in dinghy racing during the off-season in the UK.

SailRacer manages event websites and processes online entry for major National, International, Youth and training events, providing online scoring, analysis and advanced sports presentation including GPS tracking and live video.

Seldén Mast Ltd is the world leader in dinghy spars. More races are won by Seldén Spars than any other brand. Dinghy spars are made using Seldén unique XPS aluminium with CNC cut tapers, automated welding and heat treating resulting in the highest quality and most consistent dinghy spars available. Seldén also produces about 400 carbon masts per year for boats including high performance dinghies and race yachts using state of the art Mandrel Filament Moulding Technology.

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