Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather sailed their 29er skiff to victory at the GJW Direct Bloody Mary, round five of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series.

14 January 2019

Monique Vennis-Ozanne has become the first-ever female winner of the legendary pursuit race, the GJW Direct Bloody Mary. Last Saturday produced a good breeze with some spiky gusts for the 242 entries, representing 56 classes from 98 clubs. The force three, gusting four and later five made for a lively outing that tended to favor the faster boats who started later in the afternoon.

Topper sailor James Crossley led from the second mark for two hours followed by Cameron Sword and Andy Peng also in Toppers. After two hours the 420 of Jack Lewis and Fraser Hemmings overhauled the Topper. Their lead only lasted 15 minutes until Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather in their 29er flew past them. As the clock ran down to the two and half hour finish, the 49er or Rick Peacock and Nick Murray was closing fast only 20 metres behind. The younger crew kept their heads to become the first 29er ever to win the Bloody Mary… and winning first Junior, first Lady helm, first 29er class prize and winners overall.


Monique Vennis-Ozanne said on coming ashore:
“It’s great! I’ve done it twice before in an RS Feva and a Topper and I can’t believe we’ve just won it! It was pretty hard racing and we’re just thinking ‘Come on, we’ve got to go’ as the 49er came towards us. It was so close and we know they were catching us, but they ran out of time. It was quite windy so good for the skiffs.”

John Mather said:
“It was fantastic! Good conditions for the asymmetric, a little bit of a wind shift meant we could hold the kite better on some of the runs. We were getting a little bit worried with the 49er and hoisted the kite on the penultimate run, but had to drop it a bit early, so it was nerve-wracking at the end. I’ve done it a few times, including in the Toppers at the front, so we knew to avoid the more traditional boats, stay out of the way and do our own thing. I learnt to sail at Wimbledon Park and sailed at Queen Mary quite a bit so am quite familiar with the wind and how shifty it can be – you’ve got to be ready for anything as the shifts can hit quite quickly. I’m sure the feeling of now winning the Bloody Mary will sink in when we’ve got the trophy home!”


Well done to all who took to the water today. The Top 10 places were:

29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather
49er (224) Rick Peacock and Nick Murray
29er (2433) Oliver Evans and William Garman
420 (54487) Jack Lewis and Fraser Hemmings
420 (55242) Megan Ferguson and Bettine Harris
RS800 (1166) Ralph and Sophie Singleton
2000 (22334) Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge
Laser (214100) Jack Hopkins
Musto Skiff (544) Ben Schooling
Osprey (1356) Ben and Simon Hawkes

First Lady Helm: 29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne
First Queen Mary Helm: RS400 (1441) Mark Oakey
Grand Master: Merlin Rocket (3764) Tim Fells
First Junior Helm: 29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne

Class prizes were also awarded to:

29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather
RS Aero 7 (2439) Tim Hire
RS 200 (1688) Maria Stanley and Toby Lewis
RS 400 (1441) Mark Oakey and Dan Martin
Solo (5675) Tom Gillard
Topper (48232) James Crossley
D-zero (66) Nick Craig
Laser Radial (204122) Andrew Kerr
Laser (214100) Jack Hopkins


Next event on the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series is the John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club which takes place on 2/3 February.



The following events constitute the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2018/19:

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
17 & 18 November 2018

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
8 & 9 December 2018

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
27 December 2018

Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
30 December 2018

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
12 January 2019

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
2 & 3 February 2019

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
16 February 2019


You can find out more about the Series here: