6 March 2024

Not since 2011 has a Musto Skiff won the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, when Andrew Peake took the overall prize.

Sam Pascoe showed signs of greatness last season when he finished runner-up at the GJW Direct Bloody Mary. Winning this year’s Bloody Mary was one of many high points in the Castle Cove competitor’s winter season.

Usually the Musto Skiff is raced almost exclusively on windward-leeward courses. One-sail reaching is very difficult, standing on the trapeze and trying to sheet in and ease the mainsheet one-handed as the tiller hand works to luff and bear away through every gust and lull. But Pascoe knew he was going to have to improve his skills in this area if he was going to be successful over the winter.


The huge diversity of course configurations in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series demands an ability to think and respond in the blink of an eye to changes of wind speed and direction, as well as the high-traffic hecticness of 93 different types of sailing craft in limited space.

Through all the randomness of multiclass handicap racing and some really challenging wind conditions, Pascoe managed to win at the:

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash

Datchet Flyer

Gill Grafham Grand Prix (Fast Fleet)

GJW Direct Bloody Mary

Tiger Trophy

The only one that Pascoe attended but didn’t manage to win was the last of the Series, the Oxford Blue, when he finished in third behind winner Luke Fisher’s RS Vareo and Matt Mee and Chris Robinson’s GP14.




Pascoe travelled the circuit together with fellow Ovington Boats employee Sam Barker with their double-stacker from Dorset. The two Sams added an extra metre to their mainsheets to be able to cope with all the trapeze reaching in the Series and their boathandling got better throughout the events, also being pushed hard by other Musto Skiffers from Stokes Bay SC, Rob Richardson and Dan Vincent (fourth overall in the Series).

After all his efforts travelling up and down the country to different events, Sam Pascoe was gutted not to be able to make the prizegiving at the RYA Dinghy Show. But with a prior commitment to attending a friend’s wedding, it was top 2.4m keelboat sailor and Sam’s sister Megan Pascoe who came up to accept the overall trophy on her brother’s behalf. She said Sam will be back next year but most probably it will be competing off a more difficult PY number set by the Great Lakes handicapping group.

To watch the recording of the Prize Giving, go here:


Ben Flower has been as committed as he can be to attending events in the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series whilst campaigning hard on the Olympic circuit in his ILCA7. With the ILCA7 World Championships taking place early in the year in Australia, Flower was absent from some of the events but made a return for the Oxford Blue and did enough to hold on to second place overall ahead of two Musto Skiffs in third and fourth overall, respectively Sam Barker and Dan Vincent.


Young sailors from Draycote Water, Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine, were solid performers throughout the series in their 420 and were fifth overall ahead of Oxford Blue winner Luke Fisher in his RS Vareo.

While the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series continues to attract Great Britain’s very best amateur sailors, and even a few from the professional ranks, the organisers are looking to extend the appeal to young up-and-coming sailors who can’t necessarily afford new boats or coaching support.

Three-time winner of the Series, Simon Horsfield, is looking to offer remote and on-site coaching for next winter’s events, and there are moves to create favourable handicap numbers that take account of older boats being slower than their brand new equivalents. 

There will be an online forum on 26 March to discuss the Future of Handicapping in great detail. You can sign up here:

Handicap forum registration


Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice are keen to work with class associations looking to increase engagement and activity, so please send an email to simon.lovesey@sailracer.co.uk if you want to talk through ideas and ways of building interest and activity on the water.



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