Break out the bikinis
The long-range weather forecast for this weekend suggests that this will be one of the mildest Bloody Marys that we’ve seen in some years. With temperatures pushing up to 10°C and moderate to strong breezes from the southwest, the conditions are looking a good deal kinder than they did for last year’s sub-zero freezathon.
Online entry for the event closes later today, although you can enter on the day. Also, make sure you’ve signed up to the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2011, of which the Bloody Mary is the second event in this four-event, one discard travellers series. Entry to the Series is free, and it enters you into a competition with hundreds of pounds worth of prizes up for grabs, not just for the top sailors but for competitors throughout the fleet.
The first event was the Grafham Grand Prix which took place last weekend, but you can still rack up a good set of results because this year’s series counts your best three scores from the four events in the series. The other two events take place a few weeks from now, the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton Sailing Club, and the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water.
Last weekend the Phantoms dominated the singlehanded division at Grafham, taking the top five places. However it’s less likely we’ll see such single-class dominance at Queen Mary. The Bloody Mary organisers started to use their own Portsmouth Yardstick numbers in last year’s event, and have planned to do the same this year. Queen Mary Sailing Club’s Andrew Craig explains the reasons behind this approach:
“In setting start numbers (our focus, rather than PY numbers), we have continued the process begun in 2009 of using all available data from other clubs and previous Bloody Marys, not just RYA and Class-provided PY numbers. The 2010 RYA PY number movements have all been in the right direction but are generally less than needed to reflect the potential of each class on our large flat water lake. In setting start numbers for the 2011 race we have adjusted almost half of the RYA and class-provided PY numbers. In some cases we have used boat specifications (length, beam, hull weight, sail area, trapezes) to help validate our numbers.
“Last year we moved the Laser and Radial forwards 4 minutes in the starting order, an increase of 30 in their underlying PY number. Based on the small but high quality fleet that raced in January 2010 we see no need to adjust this further. We moved the Phantom back 3 minutes, a reduction of 30 compared to its 2009 PY number and the National 12 and Merlin back by 2 minutes, equating to a reduction of their PY numbers at the time by 15.
“We have moved forwards some of the newer classes where there is now enough results data to justify doing so, and moved back some the of the higher performance development classes where published handicaps were not keeping pace with actual speed increase. A constant challenge are the foiling Moths and RS600s which we moved back 5 minutes last year, a reduction in their PY numbers of 45. They now set off after 75 minutes of the 150 minute race has been sailed.
“We believe that by making these changes we have opened up the opportunity to win to a wider range of classes than ever before. Against what is always exceedingly stiff competition and sometimes atrocious weather, we are confident that any boat that wins the Bloody Mary will have fully deserved it.”
The Bloody Mary is the first of four events in this year’s SailJuice Global Warm-up, with competitors counting their best three results from the following events:
Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Sunday 2nd January 2011
Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
Saturday 8th January 2011
Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
Saturday 29 January 2011
John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th February 2011