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Class Committee updates

As you may recall at the Nationals our long serving class chair stepped down. He was replace by a dream team duo of David Valentine being support by Martin Latimer to ensure there is no conflict of interest with David also being the UK dealer.

Paul is staying involved with the class and reverting back to his original role of being our Webmaster.

The contact pages have been updated so they go to the correct people.

Notice of AGM and Nationals length survey

The D-Zero Class Association AGM will take place a Brixham Yacht Club on the 25th June 2022 at approximately 19:30 (after the Saturday evening meal).

AGM Agenda for this year:

1) Welcome
2) Apologies for Absence
3) Chairperson Report
4) Treasurer Report
5) Membership Report
6) Builder Report
7) Technical Report
8) Nationals venues going forward – next 3 years all booked in
9) AOB

Last years AGM minutes can be seen using this link (anyone with the link can read):

At last years AGM we agreed to survey the membership with regards to the length of the Nationals as some people has indicated a longer event might be popular. We have created a survey here, please complete it:

D-Zero Class AGM – 25th June 2022 @ 19:30

The D-Zero Class Association AGM will take place on the 25th June 2022 @ 19:30 (approximately) at Brixham Yacht Club.

All D-Zero owners are invited to attend but only fully paid up Class Association members are entitled to vote.

An agenda will be published shortly, in the meantime if you have anything you would like to raise please submit it to the Class Chair by clicking here.

Merry Christmas 2021

It is that time of year again, the D-Zero Class would like to wish all D-Zero owners and the wider sailing community a very Merry Christmas and (hopefully) a very Happy New Year.

I think we can all agree that 2021 has been a very strange year. We all started off in another lockdown but there was optimism for the sailing season with the vaccine rollout.

Unfortunately the Winter Series events didn’t take place with the exception of the Draycote Dash where our poster boy Tom Southwell took the honours and with it the W that goes with being the Winter Series Champion.

Poster Boy and current Winter Series Champion Tom Southwell

As we moved towards the start of the traditional sailing season it was clear that events early in the year were unlikely to take place with many events either being postponed or called off. Our own Nationals, scheduled for June, were no exception and the Class along with Largs sailing club took the early decision to push the event back to August to give it the best possible chance.

We had a very successful event with the class joining the 50 boat club for the first time and our designer, rapid sailing and all around good guy Dan Holman obliged us with his presence and duly took the title. He didn’t have it all his own way though especially on the first day where he was pushed hard by the likes of Nick Craig, Arran Holman and Gavin Fleming.

Yours truly giving it some at the 2021 Nationals at Largs

Our thanks go to Largs and our event sponsors RSK and Tunnocks for sticking with us despite the delay.

Unfortunately the Nationals being later in the season had a knock on effect for the Inlands which were only a couple of weeks later at Burton SC. Tom Southwell became Inland Champion just pipping 2020 Inland Champion Gavin.

From there the final major event was the Northern Championships at a D-Zero class favourite Yorkshire Dales. A newcomer to the fleet, Will Hitchman, overcame his day 1 race 1 woes where his sail was ripped during a capsize to take the title.

Will Hitchman trying to sail on at the Northern Champs

At the time of writing we have had 2 events on the 2021/2022 Winter series with the 3rd event due to take place at Burghfield. The Brass Monkey and Grafham Grand Prix have been postoned.

Looking forward to 2022 we are just putting the finishing touches to the calendar and will have it published very soon. We have a couple of new venues on the calendar at clubs where D-Zero fleets are starting to form so please do support them if you can.

Finally from me, I am stepping down as Class Chair at the 2022 AGM so this is my last official Christmas message. It has been a pleasure to represent you as D-Zero owners with Devoti as well as organise events and help the class grow. We do need a new Class Chair so if you think you can help do get in touch. I will happily advise and guide from behind the scenes.

Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year, I look forward to see you on or off the water in 2022.

Notice of AGM – 21st August 2021 at Largs SC

The D-Zero Class Association AGM will be held on the 21st August 2021 at Largs SC. It will be after the class dinner so should start around 20:00. If you have anything you would like to raise at the AGM please let the Class Chair know.

Current Agenda:

  1. Welcomes
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Approval of 2019 AGM minutes
  4. Class Chair Report
  5. Membership Report
  6. Treasurer Report
  7. Technical Report
  8. Builder Representative Report
  9. Nationals and Inalnds 2022 – Venue announcement
  10. Nationals and Inlands 2023 and beyond
  11. AOB

The 2020 AGM Minutes can be found below:

RSK D-Zero National Championships – Food choice

The caterers and Largs SC have asked that we make our food choices as soon as possible. Please complete the form below:

2021 RSK DZero National Championships – Notice Of Race

It has been one heck of a wait since we all went to Weymouth but the 2021 National Championships in Largs are well and truly on the horizon.

Sponsored by RSK and Tunnocks and anticipating a record turnout this championship looks set to be the biggest and best yet. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Scottish west coast, Arran, the Isle of Bute and the Kintyre Peninsula this promises to be a championship to remember.

Hosted by Largs Sailing Club the Notice of Race can now be downloaded from the event page (click here) together with more information on the venue, the surrounding area and places to stay. Racing will be over 3 days Friday to Sunday 20-22 August , with an informal warm-up race on Thursday 19 August – our very own Round The Island, of Cumbrae.

Enter now and secure your place and accommodation for the event and a Scottish summer holiday.

On The Origin Of The D-Zero

We all know it is a fantastic boat giving us great fun racing and that ear to ear smile but it was time to find out a little more about the origins of the D-Zero from designer and current national champion, Dan Holman.

Dan, you designed the D-Zero, the boat we all enjoy sailing so much. Thank you! This is famously based on your Punk design. Can we get a potted history of how the boat came about?

Thank you guys – the passionate owners and sailors are a great reward to me.

As for the Punk, I’d spent most of my teens and early 20s laser sailing, owned something like 10 lasers, raced at the highest level against some legends of the sport so I was really lucky in that regard. Probably the best and worst moments of my life were in those days’ of laser sailing.

By 2004 I came 3rd in the Olympic trials and was pretty stale and burned out not to mention broke so decided to quit the full time campaigning that I’d been doing for the previous 18 months and join the real world. I had 2 lasers at the time and sold both. I was doing a bit of windsurfing at the time for light relief. I got a job and started working but decided that I still missed having a boat and sailing. I didn’t want another laser as I had been there, done that and also I felt that as a product it was pretty flawed and well overpriced for what it was, and even back then one certainly got the impression that the massive margin wasn’t being ploughed back into the class or the sport.

I loved the “art” of unstayed narrow singlehanded hiking boat sailing and felt that I wasn’t catered for in the market. Nobody wanted to do something modern because it was not going to sell 3000 boats a year, but of course you didn’t need to sell 3000 boats to be economically viable. So I decided to have a go at one myself – I was a qualified Naval Architect, how hard could it be? I’d always wanted to design boats but it seemed that a career in yacht design was difficult to get established in, so I pooled in my laser money, and scraped together various other savings and got to work.

The approach I took was completely artistic insofar as I wasn’t aiming to do it commercially and sell boats, but to get the no compromise effect that I wanted, it meant a making full set of female moulds and loads of custom parts. So for three of the best years of my twenties I spent every evening and weekend day working on designing and building some aspect of the boat. I was very lucky insofar as my father had some workshop space in Cornwall, as well as an understanding of many of the processes, not to mention the all-important sympathy to my cause, so I abused that privilege heavily, and saw an awful lot of the M5 and A38 between Cornwall and Bristol where I was living.

I designed and had at least some part in building every part of the boat apart from the blocks and ropes so it was a very long winded but rewarding process. I had the moulds done by early 2008, found a builder to help do the actual lamination (Jamie Stewart, who was at the time building a lot of the RS dinghies under subcontract) and after a lot of commissioning and assembly etc I launched the boat in the Autumn of 2008, had a big party and couldn’t have been prouder of the outcome.

How much change occurred between your Punk design and the Devoti boat we are now sailing?

Quite a lot changed. Probably the biggest single change was the move to a bailed cockpit which made it much deeper and nicer ergonomically. I’d already moved away from the wishbone boom for a number of reasons, I had made a log of over 100 minor or major changes that I had made to the Punk Boat, and speculatively designing V2 before the Devoti introduction happened.

The D-Zero is a bit fuller in the ends to make it easier to sail or more forgiving. Then there were a load of features to accept some of the Devoti parts and components. The laminate / construction method is a little bit different between Punk and D-Zero. I’d worked with North and Selden on a v2 Punk rig which still works to this day, but Devoti had a relationship with Compotech, so the North sail that you see now was built around that mast and spar set. We used foils that Devoti had invested in for the D One. The under-floor sheeting was parked – it was cool but higher cost and higher friction.

Were there any features on the Punk you would have liked to have seen on the D-Zero and what ruled them out?

Devoti gave me pretty much carte blanche on the hull design itself and that was pretty much where I wanted although if more prototyping had been allowed who knows where we would have ended up!

There are a few things on the Punk that are a bit custom and a bit special that make it that bit crisper and sweeter, that I would have liked to have retained, relating to construction and rig, but I accept that this would have resulted in higher cost so all of this sort of thing is a bit of a compromise and there will always be value engineering.

In working with Selden on other dinghy design projects, and seeing the RS Aero, I really love working on the product design of custom parts with Selden as having that sort of “Jewellery” can really set the boat off as a product, so it would have been nice to have been partnered with them in that regard. Essentially, with a project like this, whilst it was my “baby” and I had poured a lot of sweat equity into it, Devoti were making an actual financial investment, taking the risk, so there is always some back and forth there.

On the whole it went well and was pretty frictionless.

We have all recently seen your work in the International 14 and congratulations on getting 2nd place in the worlds in Perth.  What other dinghies are you working on?

Thanks very much. Perth feels like a long time ago already! I hadn’t done much designing since the 2016 Fusion dinghy with Glen Truswell, which I was very proud of and continues to sell well. Designing, building repairing and modifying the i14 has taken most of my time in the intervening period. That said I’m always keen to keep my crayons sharpish so this year I have a largely mature 30ft IRC race boat that has sadly been parked for coronavirus reasons, I have drawn a version 2 of my “Cuckoo’s Nest” i14 pulling in all the lessons from the first one, and I’m getting close to halfway through a new rotormoulded dinghy. So I guess its been a busy time in the vacuum left by a reduction in sailing.

I want to build a sports car as well, so I’m sketching and making models for that a lot at the moment as well.

So not much going on then! If the car turns out to have any of the quality and flair of the D-Zero, I’m getting one! Anything else interesting that we can quote you on?!

I think that most of my quotable thoughts would not be “woke” enough for 2021. Having said that, I think that looking at the cradle to grave cost and environmental impact of electric cars, they are not an improvement on internal combustion, or at least they only reach a tipping point when a substantial majority of the electricity that powers them is supplied from renewable sources. We should punitively tax all new vehicles above around 1500kg.

 A few second hand ones that I always liked:

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Einstein

“I was just wondering whether there will ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark.” Gareth Keenan  – for George Cousins

Thanks for you time Dan, and thanks for the D-Zero.

D-Zeros at the Virtual RYA Dinghy Show

Probably the worst kept secret in the class at the moment… The D-Zeros will be there at the Virtual show. Various members of the Class Association committee have been working on the class stand and getting the content together, you can see an screenshot of it below:

Entry to the show is free, you can register here:

The show is open from 10:00 to 17:00 each day and member of the Class Association will be on hand to staff the chat feature and deal with any enquiries the Class will get. We know it won’t be the same as the normal show but do drop by and say hello if you are visiting.

RSK D-Zero Nationals 2021 – Date change to 20th-22nd August 2021

New Date for the 2021 RSK D-Zero National Championships

After having to cancel the 2020 National Championships due to COVID restrictions and having set a new provisional June 2021 date, the D-Zero class association with the support of Largs Sailing Club has now taken a positive decision to set August 20th to 22nd  for the RSK supported National Championships; by moving the event to later in the year Paul Jefferies, class chairman, feels that the event is much more certain to go ahead and gives an opportunity for entrants to plan well in advance which should ensure a good level of entries and hopefully meet the class ambition to top the 50 boat entry target.

Paul says “we must thank Largs sailing club and our event sponsors RSK Group and Tunnocks for their tremendous support and for sticking with us. The new August ‘21 date also means that for those wishing to extend their holiday in Scotland entrants could opt to make a week of it and join in the hugely popular Largs Regatta Festival the following week …. What a great way to get back into active sailing!”

D Zero, Vortex, Must Skiff and RS 200 Championships Largs Sailing Club 18th 19th May 2019

With top sailors such as Dan Holman, Nick Craig, Steve Bolland and Alistair McLauglin in the class, the D-Zero fleet is enjoying healthy competition, well supported open meetings  and growth and the boat is proving to be one of the UK’s most exciting hiking single-handers. The nationals are set to be an exciting and enjoyable event set on great sailing waters at a club renowned for its excellent race management and hospitality.

Note – Designed by Dan Holman and further developed and built by Devoti (of Olympic Finn fame) the D-Zero is a fast modern, lightweight racing dinghy built of carbon and modern composites raced by men and women from 50kg to 105kg and ages from 15 to 70yrs of age. Fleets are to be found UK wide from North Scotland to the West Country. UK sail numbers are now reaching toward the mid 300’s 

UK Dealer – David Valentine –

Class Association –

Event Sponsor –

Sub-sponsor –

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