20 February 2024

The Oxford Blue brought the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series to a spectacular close last Saturday, 17 February. With 103 entries from 49 different classes it was Luke Fisher from Emberton Park SC who came out on top in his RS Vareo. 


After a winter of great breeze and mild temperatures, it was hard to imagine that Farmoor Reservoir would enjoy great conditions too, but it did! As the fleet launched from the edge of the reservoir, the wind was blowing a nice Force 3, albeit with some significant gusts and lulls to keep the competitors on their toes.


At times the wind gusted over 15 knots and at others it dwindled away to just 5 or 6, making it vital to change gears throughout the day as well as keep an eye out for the next favourable line of breeze. For all the chopping and changing, however, Fisher proved remarkably consistent with scores of 1,2,1 from the three back-to-back races around an excellently laid rhomboid course.


Former winner of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, Matt Mee, was racing a GP14 with Chris Robinson and the Burghfield team hiked their way to second overall, just one point in front of the dominant performer of the season, Castle Cove’s Sam Pascoe in his Musto Skiff. Pascoe struggled on the first beat of race one and had a lot of overtaking to do in order to come back to 10th place. He made amends in race 2, sailing brilliantly throughout to take the race win away from Fisher, but couldn’t repeat the feat in the final race.



© Tim Olin: ILCA 7 Olympic campaigner Sam Whaley flying in his Waszp


So Pascoe finished third overall, with Paignton’s Ben Flower just missing out on tiebreak to finish fourth in his ILCA 7. Just a point back in fifth was another ILCA 7 sailed by Rob Holmes from Tynemouth. In sixth was Sam Blaker, the Thorpe Bay competitor winning the RS Aero Winter Championships in his RS Aero 6.


As ever the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series aims to offer something for every dinghy, and it was great to see the lesser-spotted Snipe of Peter Wolstenholme and Lloyd Robert finish in 8th place overall. 


There was the usual wide range of ages on the water, with 86-year-old Jeremy Vines working hard in the three-man National 18 and nine-year-old Jessica Willars racing with her dad Jon in a Miracle. Initially the Filey youngster took the helm but swapped places with her dad as the breeze picked up. It’s a long way from Filey in Yorkshire but Jessica was so inspired by the Tiger Trophy that she convinced dad to make the long drive south to Oxford. The 2023/24 season has seen a real upswing in youth and junior participation which bodes well for future winters and the sailing scene across the board.


© Tim Olin: Andy Rice coming off the start line in his Musto Skiff GBR534


The team at Oxford Sailing Club ran a very efficient day’s racing, with no black flags required for any of the nine starts across the day (Slow/ Medium/ Fast starts for three races). Racing got away on time at 1100 hours and everyone was coming off the water by 1400 hours, giving plenty of time for packing up, refuelling and prize giving.


Sustained top speeds from SailRacer GPS trackers

Sam WHALEY Waszp 2 17.48 kts

Sam PASCOE MUSTO 636 11.81 kts

Sam BARKER MUSTO 638 11.58 kts


Corrected top speeds from SailRacer GPS trackers

Sam BLAKER Aero 6  9.72 kts

Ben FLOWER ILCA7   9.3 kts

Luke FISHER Vareo 9.42 kts


Top Lady: Ellie Craig (RS Aero 6)

Top Local   Edward Francis O’Callaghan (ILCA 6 )

Top Youths - Daniel and Adam Larsen (RS Feva from Magdalen College School - 25th)  


Winner of the Seldén sticker competition, and one of many spectacular photos taken by Tim Olin during the day, are the 420 team from Great Moor SC, George Vincent and Jack Mawson.


Prizegiving for the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series takes place this Saturday, 24 February, at 1015am on the Main Stage at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in Farnborough.


Overall Results from Oxford Blue





The following events were 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 here: www.SailJuiceSeries.com