The Bloody Mary Pursuit Race was run for the 39th time this weekend at Queen Mary Sailing Club started by double Olympic Gold Medallist and club member Sarah Ayton. This was also the second leg of the SailJuice Global Warm-Up series. The race again took place in decent conditions with a good breeze and double digit temperatures following six days of gale force winds which meant the day before we were still putting the club back together again. This attracted 302 entries in 63 classes from 104 clubs from as far afield as Rock.
31 Toppers went off the first start in a force 4-5 breeze and led the race for two hours. Amongst the Toppers, the lead changed between Felix Crowther and Matthew Stephens with Matthew Stephens eventually pulling clear. Lasers, Solos and Fevas were in hot pursuit mid race but it was a Fireball helmed by Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton that eventually overtook them followed by a National 12 and a Merlin Rocket. Their lead did not last long since with 20 minutes to go the first foiling Moth shot past them all followed by three others and the International 14 of Sam Pascoe and Alex Knight was closing on the Fireball. With the finish boat ribs at full throttle, the Moths extended their lead till the end of the race.
Overall winner and also winner of the Hyde Sails Foilers Trophy was Jason Belben from Stokes Bay in an International Moth. Mike Lennon, Ricky Tagg and Peter Barton followed him home also in their Moths.
Winner of the Ladies Helm was Vikki Payne from Emsworth SC in a 29er. The first Queen Mary Helm was Valentin Nadyelkov in a Laser and first junior was Sam Barker in a Laser Radial from Castle Cove. Winner of the Grand Master prize was Jeremy Vines from Lymington in a National 18. Winner of the first Sailability helm was Margaret Foreman from QMSC in a 2.4m. There were 18 class prizes (for those fleets of 6 or more)
Prize winners walked away with a bag of goodies including vodka and tomato juice, London Sailsports vouchers for the youngsters and free subscriptions to sailjuice.com.
The winners thanked the volunteers and staff of the Club who worked so hard to make the whole event from arrival through launching to racing such a success.
For full results go to www.thebloodymary.org.uk