Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis sailed their Merlin Rocket to victory in the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water last weekend. Biggs and Hollis have now scored consecutive wins in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, after winning the Doublehanded division of the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy the previous weekend.
A total of 164 boats contested a light-airs Tiger Trophy, with the Merlins and Phantoms dominating the top 10, much as they had the previous weekend at Northampton. Biggs and Hollis won the pursuit race, and winning one of the two handicap races the following day was sufficient for overall honours ahead of Merlin rivals, Stuart Bithell and Ed Gray in second. First singlehander in third overall was Andrew Wilde's Phantom.
Series leaders in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, Andy Smith and Tim Needham, could only manage 39th in their 505. They now slip to 2nd overall with Pete Barton's Cherub taking up the lead. Barton, sailing with his third different crew in three events, Bonnie Moody, didn't shine either at Rutland. The light airs made Barton question whether he should have been using his T-foil rudder, which never really came into play in the light, sub-planing conditions. However, 20th was sufficient to move Barton ahead of the 505 in the overall standings, with just the Hoo Freezer remaining to determine the overall outcome.
The SailJuice Global Warm-Up combines four of the biggest winter handicap racing events into a unified series, to find out just who is tough enough to race their way through Britain's toughest winter in more than 20 years. There are more than £2,000 of prizes up for grabs, not only for the winners but for sailors throughout the fleet.
The four events of the Series are:
Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club 9th January 2010
Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club 30th January 2010
John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club 6th/7th February 2010
Hoo Freezer, Hoo Ness Yacht Club 28th February 2010
Prizes include a two-day ‘Learn to Fly' sailing course in Spain. This is not just any sailing lesson, but an opportunity to learn how to sail a foiling Bladerider Moth at Pro-Vela's spectacular Performance Sailing Tuition centre in Mar Menor, Spain. Rooster Sailing is supplying £300 from its technical sailing clothing range, and Holt is offering £300 of gear from its High Performance Hardware range. Hyde Sails is offering a voucher for £200 worth of sails or accessories. Yachts & Yachting is providing annual digital subscriptions to the UK's leading performance sailing magazine, and SailJuice.com is giving annual subscriptions to its ‘How to Sail Faster' website.
To find out more about the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, including the Notice of Series, How to Enter (it's not too late, even at this stage), and more about the prizes on offer, click here: