Category: Open Meetings Page 1 of 32

Chiechester Harbour Race Week 2022 – Report

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Just a few – this is B Fleet. A has a separate start boat and course.             Photo Credit : Peter Hickson

An annual race week, previously known as Fed Week, and changed to reflect a more focused sailing week aimed at sailors from RS Elite to D-Zero to Optimist, and attracts sailors from all over the world and around 400 boats of varying classes.

In recent years the original drag-race between RS Aero 9 and the Devoti D-Zero has been widened (no pun intended) to include the Hadron H2 which further challenges all the sailors, and provides some interesting tactics and boat differentials and adds numbers to the fleet.

Winds are usually good, and the race area is within Chichester Harbour between Hayling and Thorney Islands and Itchenor / Witterings (except for the Elites who sail in the Bay), and managed under 4 different race starts, though it’s very busy – tides, wind management, tactics, strategy etc aswell as avoiding multiple classes – which provides very challenging for all sailors.

Day one, with 14 boats registered, the wind was building nicely to a good F2 with potentials to increase further as usual. Valentine/D-Zero got off to a good start from a Itchenor end startline, driving hard for East Head, with others chasing hard. Thinking there was wind over on the infamous Winner Bank, he unusually tacked away instead of trusting usual form of flying up the beach and through the waves. Southwell/D-Zero followed thinking Valentine knew something. Others flew up the beach and benefited, and after a couple of laps and a few miles, Millett/Hadron H2 took the bullet chased by a few D-Zero’s of Weeden and James Jenkins, then split by another Hadron 2, then more D-Zero’s. The Aero 9 had obviously got scared with the competition and downsized to a 7 rig changing fleets. Plenty of discussion in the bar afterwards, and all enjoying the social side of the week, with plenty of stick for all.

Day 2, Valentine and Southwell were out for revenge. Southwell led off the start in a little more breeze than Monday, chased hard by Jenkins and Valentine. The start this time was the Thorney/Hayling end towards the Emsworth Channel. Jones and Valentine from the pin end went hard left out of the tide and maybe a little eddy off Thorney and soon had a strong lead. Not looking back Valentine continued to build on the long beat, and despite some long downwinds and at the higher end of sailor weight (Ed: unusually polite ?! ) he managed to hold off the others over the 2 and a ½ laps of sausage / triangle, and was pleased to take the bullet. Southwell and Jenkins followed home, then Weeden and Millett losing some of their form from the day before. More discussions whilst the steel band played on the verandah.

Sailboats on the water

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Valentine nailing the finish (left) and Jones/Valentine just seen on right of the left hand shot at the pin. Photo Credit: Ollie Blake (apologies for poor quality as downloaded from a video)

Day 3 and plenty of nerves, Valentine just had to repeat yesterday twice more to wrap it up, no pressure then, Southwell wanted to repeat last year’s fortunes and beat Valentine, the Hadrons wanted to show their worth, and only one small error is punished quickly which is good for all sailors, keeping everyone on their toes. The wind was light so we were held ashore for a while, giving the chance for us to discuss Hadrons and D-Zero in all their detail. Finally, the PRO thought we had a chance so we left heading South off the Winner, with an interesting start on full flood and heading North. Flag Z was up, though holding off the start was fun. At the gun, Jenkins got away, Valentine tried a pin end port flyer, which nearly worked, tacking onto starboard into the flood. Word was to stay in the flood till the weed line and then tack onto port, however no weed line appeared and several were caught in the eddy just off HISC, letting the Hadrons sneak into contention. Others had headed right out of the tide though aiming to shoot to Pilsey Sands and then starboard tack to the flood down to the mark. Looking right, there was a dark wind patch coming in fast as we got 100m from the windward, though also some heavy rain cloud. As there were a few Hadrons and D-Zero’s ahead of me, all I was thinking was I’ll catch them on the next beat. However, as James Jenkins was 20m from the windward mark, with Jones, Millett and Weeden slightly to windward, a rib appeared with an abandonment flag flying. Head back to the start area, and then see. A beautiful wind-filled reach whipped us over the tide and back to the start boat where AP over A was flying. That was the end of Day 3 and Jenkins with a good potential of a win. A picture containing water, outdoor, sport, day

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James Jenkins showing flat is fast ! Photo Credit: Neil Shawcross

Day 4, and some Westerly wind already when Valentine arrived on the course, though several sailors had started early with a good HISC breakfast – food of champions obviously. Southwell had disappeared 

Back to the usual Itchenor end start line, and a little closer to shore. James Jenkins and Valentine had spotted the Fireballs firing off at the pin end, and James rocketed off the line heading for East Head and low, with Valentine a little further up the line and in the tide. Jones went for the Pilsey Sands trick to try and get the eddy/slower tide effect, though quickly tacked back onto starboard. Holden in his Hadron was driving hard, and was consistently a threat. First roundings and it was still Jenkins from Valentine, and then another Hadron challenging. Jenkins then pulled away on the sausage downwind, and despite Valentine beating fast to the finish, another 50m was needed to take James. Three Hadrons took the next 3 places, all improving their form across the course, then Weeden, Jones and Boylin completing. Some had taken a rest day.

Day 5 and all to play for, as several places were separated by one point only. A slightly more North westerly wind and in good form was present, so pressure on ! Southwell was back and keen to show his worth, though Valentine had gained 2nds and 3rd plates before and was after the kill. James Jenkins was keen to gain a hard earned win, and the Hadrons and D-Zeros were keen to keep us all honest – Millett, Weeden and Jones weren’t finished just yet. A good start from Southwell, with Valentine and Jones pushing on, though James Jenkins had a nightmare start and was chasing from the back, with the more mature (Ed: polite and diplomatic) Peter Jenkins ahead of him after his rest day. More triangle / sausages with long beats and downhills, ensuring the sailors worked the tides, wind and waves. At the last mark, Southwell was ahead of Valentine and slightly higher, with Williams / Hadron on Valentines transom, and Jones only a boat length away, and yet Millett and Weeden hanging on in for contention. Southwell tacked away and then back for the layline, though Valentine thought he’d use the earlier start time and flooding tide to his benefit and stayed on course. As pressure built, Williams came over the top of Valentine and held to the finish. Valentine doing a quick look back and count to see if he’d snatched victory from Jenkins. On landing, and sorting trollies, Jenkins confirmed he was some way back, though a good fun week was had by all with no sailor taking more than one win !

Valentine rewarded with a bottle of Chichester Harbour Gin and a 1st plate, Jenkins in 2nd separated by a point, and Southwell in 3rd.

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The more mature Peter Jenkins working hard in the breeze !   Photo Credit: Peter Hickson

Next year’s week is 14th -18th August 2023, well worth an entry in your diary – lots of water action for all types of dinghy, great socials every night, a sandy beach for family or relaxing before/after, accommodation on site, super-easy entry online, with even easier sign-on/off by sailevent on your mobile, great prizes from Marine Superstore, Chichester Harbour Gin and Optimum Time, and fun though challenging racing every day. 

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Stewartby Open Meeting 2022

Stewartby D-Zero Regatta

On the 3rd and 4th of September Stewartby sailing club hosted their first D-Zero regatta, on entering the site we were welcomed by a fantastic water sports loch [Ed: translation for suvverners – lake/reservoir etc] with generous grounds and club house. 

The event entry was refreshingly relaxed with a simple sign on sheet and had attracted 10 intrepid sailors with 7 of them visiting boats, some had even travelled almost 500 miles to sail a new venue! Not much wonder with a complimentary bacon roll on Saturday morning, a great BBQ after racing and another complimentary full English breakfast to fuel everyone through Sundays racing. A group of people on a sailboat in the water

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Saturday’s weather gave us some light airs and warm weather, the winds were shifty which are apparently the norm at this location. The light shifty winds made for some close racing and it became clear it was a venue where you can never give up as many places could be exchanged on a single beat, some sailors seemed to be missing the swell and salt of the sea while others were obviously feeling the heat and decided to roll the boat on the run to get a quick refreshing swim “Paul Jefferies”. Apparently, a certain big man from the Norf was attacked on the start line by a relative newcomer [Ed: cant have known the D-Zero etiquette] not once but twice though put the offender right with “I’ve told you on the last start not to do that”. All good humour and passionate racing. The winners for day one were Race # 1 Colin Glover, Race # 2 Gareth Farr, Race # 3 Gareth Farr, leaving the top 3 after day 1 being # 1 Gareth Farr, # 2 Gavin Fleming, # 3 Colin Glover. 

Sunday brought more wind and a bit of cloud cover, again some nice tight close racing was seen with multiple boats coming into marks all at the same time leading to some on the water rule schooling for all. David Valentine wins the award for best save on the run, guess he wasn’t feeling as hot as Paul was during Saturdays sailing! Also, apparently there were a few interactions at the windward and leeward marks, with the word Protest used, though it went no further with some shaky hands once ashore [Ed: who would get involved in such a thing ! unbelievable]. The winners for day two were Race # 1 Gareth Farr, Race # 2 Gareth Farr, Race # 3 David Valentine. This left the top three of the weekend being # 1 Gareth Farr, # 2 David Valentine and # 3 Niel Ritchie. A group of sailboats on the water

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Overall we had a fantastic weekend with good competitive sailing and great company, here’s to next years event. The Race Officer stated it was a pleasure [to be the PRO] for such a well mannered fleet !

Boat NumberNameR1R2R3R4R5R6NETPosition
18Gareth Farr31111DNC/1171
66David Valentine564521172
326Niel Ritchie846252193
353Scott Munro783336224
74Paul Fefferies477443225
158Gary Tomkin659884316
183Gavin Fleming232DNC/11DNC/11DNC/11297
351Colin Glover125DNC/11DNC/11DNC/11308
152Colin Clasper10108765369
129Jim Strother99106773810

Stewartby Open 3rd/4th September NoR and details

On the 3rd and 4th of September the class travels to a new venue on the D-Zero circuit and a club with a fledgling D-Zero fleet!

You can find the full notice of race here: https://www.swsc.org.uk/article/swsc-d-zero-open

The salient points are:

  • Free bacon butty for Saturday morning arrivals
  • 3 races per day back to back
  • 13:00 start Saturday, 10:30 start Sunday
  • On site camping available, £5/pitch
  • Saturday evening meal £5/head (more details to follow)
  • Cooked Breakfast Sunday £3.50/head
  • Bar Open Friday and Saturday evenings
  • Entry fee £30 adults, £20 under 18s

There is interest at Stewartby so lets show them what friendly and close racing we have in the class!

D-Zero Southern Champs @ Shoreham 16th/17th July

Shoreham Sailing Club are delighted to welcome the D-Zero and Wayfarer fleets to compete at their Southern Championships on 16 – 17 July 2022.

Come and experience the best sea sailing in the UK, with easy sheltered launching in the harbour and a short sail out to sea, Shoreham is renowned for its wonderful clear waters, fantastic waves and regular sea breeze.

All information about the event including online booking can be found on the Shoreham Sailing Club Website

Event merchandise is also available, t-shirts are £15, Polos are £19 and hoodies are £25. Order before the 8th July ideally by email to merchandise@shorehamsailing.org, remember to mention you want the D-Zero southern champs merch.

Zippy Zero goes rogue at the Nationals

Hello folks,

Guess what?

I had a whopping good time at the Nationals in Brixham last week. It was the ultimate D-Zero heavy weather event, with winds clocked as gusting over 40 knots on the second day.

The Owners planned to do some racing against eachother, but we boats knew that it was really the 2022 International D-Zero Freestyle Championships, with special awards for the fastest capsize, deepest nosedive, highest jump and wettest spraychute. We had even hired photographer Georgie Altham as our judge and she produced some excellent photos of our athletic efforts.

The first day saw the race team put on two races on a huge quadrilateral course. Most of us boats played nicely at first, although the wind was already over 20 knots in the first race. Big Niel Ritchie took an early swim on the downwind leg, chasing leader Nick Craig. His capsize scored too low in points, so he sped past us whilst we were in 5th place, to try some other tricks.

Poster Boy Tom Southwell had his boat too tightly under control to do any dump moves, which gave him a second place in the Owner’s Race, but null points on the whacky freestyle scoreboard.

My Owner failed to release my kicker on the final reach, so I put in a boom- end-wave-drag, which, with a nice Owner archback, can score quite highly, especially if the Owner can then be ejected into the water on the cockpit side, allowing plenty of time for a decent turtle. I did this full trick, opting for some extra points by retracting my daggerboard for a streamline look. Her Ownership spoilt the finish by hauling out over my transom like a drunken seal and kneeling over my near-empty dagger slot, shouting “hello” down it. Null points.

The day’s capsize category was won by Billy McCarlie, who scored a 15th and 9th in the Human Race and a gold medal in the aforementioned archback capsize, with extra points awarded for the long drawn out sequence and terrific facial expressions plus token extra weight hand overboard to assist possible recovery.

The overnight leader, Nick Craig, scored two straight wins and did not allow his boat to compete in the freestyle event.

Overnight runner-up was Jon Bassett from Largs, whose boat practiced hard in the Submarine category; qualifying for the finals in this popular underwater event which would be hotly contested the next day. Billy McCarlie’s boat also performed well in this category.

The following day, the wind had freshened. It was a long squally run to the start area and a much reduced fleet gathered at the start boat.

With less than a minute to go, Owner ground on my downhaul, only to see my mainsail slide a foot down the track. After several failed frantic attempts at re-hoisting and locking it off, she tied the halyard tail off on my mast track and set off in pursuit of the departed fleet with my peculiar reef in place.

My boom was low, we were last boat on the course and faced a perilous run in big seas with no kicker. Owner was gibbering a lot of rubbish about not gybing in case her head came off, so I withdrew from the freestyle head splattering category, which was won by Gordon Stewart with a meaty forehead cut and black eye on the sail home.

Elsewhere, Jon’s Bassett’s boat was still trying to win the Submarine category and in a wonderfully opportune moment, its tiller extension departed company downwind. Jon’s boat performed a magnificent pitchpole, in which it dislodged all of its mast chocks (extra points) before capsizing. 

The daring boat won double gold for highest jump and best free-dive and was captured on film by Georgie. Remarkably, cool Jon recovered his chocks, righted the boat, sorted out the mess and went on to finish 5th in that race.

At the other end of the fleet and after 3 laps of low-sail mode cruising in a gale, the RIB kindly whisky-flagged  me, meaning I could count my last place and relax to watch the leading boats of Nick, Tom, Niel and Darren Williams come in to the finish line.

Meanwhile, Owner was trying to balance on my tiny foredeck in her own personal freestyle competition. She attempted to jury rig my sail by strapping the useless halyard onto the boom. This was quite challenging in the large seas and fierce winds, wedging the tiller over with a foot and working over a raised daggerboard. The end result was a sail raised to 4” below the masthead, with half kicker but no downhaul available. Thus we raced for the rest of the day.

The following two races were dominated by Nick, Tom and Niel. David Valentine refused to let his boat heel, so he came third in the spray category, second in the submarine group and finished 5th overall in the Owner’s Race, with a consistent set of results and very wet and rusty tin sailing gear.

In 6th at his first DZero Nationals was Willie Todd from Largs, finishing with an impressive 4th place in the final race.

Another worthy mention must go to Martin Walker of Shoreham SC, who won the Lanterne Rouge, showing great endeavour in completing all the races. His boat also performed well in the archback capsize category.

So ended our feisty Nationals. No boats broken and everyone got out alive. Owner and I managed our best Nationals result in tenth place, so I’ll keep her for another year.

Congratulations Nick Craig, for a well-deserved win and well done to everyone who went out and to those that didn’t. You all made it a great Nationals. Also thank you to our sponsors, Barracuda Bay.

Lastly, thank you Brixham Yacht Club – you were superb!

Zippy Zero 333

D-Zero Nationals Report – wild and windy at Brixham

The 2022 D-Zero Nationals at Brixham Yacht Club, kindly supported by Barracuda Bay beachwear, kicked off on Thursday evening with everyone searching for a forecast they liked but one thing was for sure, it was going to blow!

Several early-birds got there in plenty of time, and some sailors were out Wednesday & Thursday practicing in the bay, with the hope of getting ahead of the pack, though winds were light and very few waves. Others sampled the local foods and refreshments.

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Racing started on Friday with the long run out from the shelter of the harbour into the full force of the wind and building waves. The brave and foolhardy made it to the racecourse with gusts into the mid 30knts pushing the limits on the gybes. The leading pack was quickly established, lead convincingly by supremo Nick Craig with Tom Southwell, Niel Ritchie, Jon Bassett and David Valentine troubling his transom.

The trapezoid course allowed close competition on the uphill, some awesome reaching to a wild bearaway and downhill playing in the waves, rewarded by another fun reach to complete a lap, and with at least 3 laps to challenge everyone and allow close racing.

The second race brought even more wind and the D-Zero showed just how well it could cope with the confused waves and sea. Most of the fleet went left and was surprised by those coming in from the right with Jon Bassett leading Nick Craig for the first lap until order was restored and Nick Craig powered away. Two races of around an hour were enough and the fleet enjoyed the long beat back against the waves so that stories of battles fought could begin in the bar.

One thing for certain was the sailors were, despite their tiredness, still managing to have a happy grin on their faces, and pleased to have the Brixham team helping recovery on the slipway, led by the Commodore in his wetsuit greeting everyone in the water.

Boats were checked over, with a few ropes being replaced, though otherwise only tired limbs were apparent.

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After an excellent fish n chips at the club and sticky toffee pud or ice cream sundaes, day two arrived with sunshine, a little more breeze and three races scheduled. Another long run to the race area and the fleet was starting to master the conditions. Race 3 saw Jon Bassett leading round the windward mark but getting to know the wet stuff when he remembered the lack of tape on the tiller extension. Tom Southwell, Niel Ritchie and Darren Williams pushed Nick Craig all the way round the course and started to make it all look easy. A tight fleet and true one design class made mistakes costly and gave close racing for everyone.

Race 4 and there was no let up in the wind with gusts of 42knts recorded across the course. Liz Potter put in a stunning performance after a poorly rigged halyard slipped in race 3 she sailed the rest of the day with no downhaul, still claiming and 8th and 11th in race 5. David Valentine had a great last leg battle with Darren Williams and Willie Todd, though managed to hang out further and pip them at the line after a very fast reach with seconds between them at the gun.

Very few capsizes even in some super gusts, with the D-Zero helping the sailors to keep sunny side up, and creating some fantastic shots for Georgie Altham @ Photoboat as everyone scorched round the course.

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Race 5 and Nick Craig was a clear winner with Tom Southwell and Niel Ritchie fighting for silver and Jon Bassett and David Valentine scrapping for 4th. Willie Todd after a good series made his presence felt with 4th and the ever-present Darren Williams was again in the mix. Three races and we were done. The upwind beat home in the rain and disappearing coastline pushed sailors to the end, though again the fun and chat as we crossed each other was superb and cheerful, and clearly everyone was having a great weekend.

It has been interesting to see a variety of sailors over the weekend dealing with the conditions, and again, no ultimate height or weight was recorded with the Top 10 sailors ranging between 5ft 6in and 6ft 4, male and female, and 65kg to 100kg; though all had the same grin when they came back in…

Day 3 and the wind had built again. The Race Officer made the call to abandon racing on a wise safety reasoning though probably to everyone’s relief (apart from Nick Craig who was keen to go “I just love sailing”) and that was the Championships. 

After 5 punishing and challenging races the D-Zero had once again shown what a fantastic, fast and well-built boat it was with no breakages in the entire fleet. Fastest sailor was Gordon Stewart who was clocked at just under 17 knots carving through the chop, though was also a snorkel diver at one point as he charged through the waves not being able to see where he was going through the spray.

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Special mention for Simon Boylin, whom after deciding enough was enough, took the yacht he was staying aboard out to the course with a number of other sailors to watch the action, along with crab sandwiches and beers.

Final scores: 

1st & 2022 National Champion – Nick Craig
2nd Tom Southwell
3rd Niel Ritchie
4th Jon Bassett
5th David Valentine

1st Lady: Liz Potter

Full results can be found by clicking here.

Georgie Althams photos can be found by clicking here.

Lantern Rouge (most points without a DNS/RTD etc.): Martin Walker

Thanks go to the sponsors Barracuda Bay, Principal Race Officer Peter Lytton, Commodore Richard Spreckley leading his team all over the weekend and for being in the water to assist recovery on the narrow slip, plus everyone at Brixham Yacht Club, and our UK dealer dzero.co.uk who supported with splicing and spares as necessary.

Photo Credits: photoboat.co.uk Georgie Altham

The UK D-Zero Class Association – 28 June 2022

D-Zero Nationals – Wind forecast looking good

If you are still sitting on the fence then hopefully the wind forecast for the coming weekend will persuade you….

A bit lighter on the Friday but champagne conditions looking good for the rest of the weekend! Along with spot prizes from Barracuda Bay clothing and sunshine on the English Riviera, what more could you ask for?

You can find the entry form by clicking here.

D-Zero Nationals 2022 – Runner and Riders

With less than two weeks to go to the 2022 D-Zero Nationals, supported by Barracuda Bay clothing, at Brixham YC its time for the Runners and Riders List, the most accurate prediction of “form” that will no doubt fuel a frenzy of on-line betting and office sweep stakes across the nation. Before you rush to place your bets, and get excited about Euro Lottery sized windfalls  here’s the low down and options for spreading your risk.

Firstly you could look at the top of the entry list for guidance, which to me would have you risking your life savings on Paul Jefferies becoming our new National Champion, justly deserved after years of taking flak as class chairman, with Martin Latimer on the second step and “Tin Man” Dave Valentine one step down in third ……… Tim Weedon would make history by beating multiple national, european and world champion Nick Craig into fourth place. Am I on my second large whisky? …. toooo right I am. In your dreams guys ………

The fleet talent scouts, and Bet Fred stand-ins, have also been out looking to see who’s been sneaking in some pre-event training. Zippy had Liz Potter out at a winter European Training Camp (sailed in Aero’s which despite the heat didn’t melt!). Liz followed this up  with a training regime that included a sortie to the POSH regatta, other intense sailing outings and even an outward bound style 60 mile white water canoeing epic – serious stuff …. Could this be Liz’s year? The Largs bunch, ever hopeful, have been training in all sorts of weather; looking good in the heavy stuff with their San Francisco rolls perfected Billy McCarlie and Martin Latimer are looking forward to finishing some windy races with their masts upright. Jon Bassett is fast and looking confident and after a 3rd in the recent Noble Largs SC One Design D-Zero Fleet just behind a very quick, but sometimes too enthusiastic Niel Ritchie, Jon could be a top 5 contender this year. What about the Stork you might ask; well he’s entered, fit and ready to fight – he flies!

With no Dan Holman and a few top names missing this year Niel Ritchie could be a good bet for a top three and David Valentine is keen to show his windy weather pace. In the light stuff Tim Weeden could do well and Paul Jefferies is also fresh from beating up the opposition at Hunts SC. If the cameras are out “Poster Boy” Southwell will turn up the wick he can’t resist the limelight!

So with the dreaming over lets take a deeper dive into the entry list see what form says about who’ll take this year’s silverware:

Odds  on favourite has to be Nick Craig, beaten by COVID and Dan Holman last year. Nick has a record of winning numerous titles in various boats and recently took the D-One Gold Cup with 8 straight wins The smart money will be on Nick, but the odds won’t make you rich. 

Who else could give Nick a fight …. Stork in the light stuff, Niel Ritchie in heavy weather, David Valentine (if he’s doctored enough of the new boats), Tom Southwell if there’s film rights on offer … who knows?

In the mid fleet the Liz Potter, Jon Cowper, Gordon Stewart, Billy McCarlie, Martin Latimer, Mick Green (rumoured to be running a new boat and new sail) will carry on their usual battle that they all enjoy be it at Nationals, Northerns or Opens ….. if points for “being there” bring people to the front who knows what surprises they might deal out. 

So its all to play for ashore and afloat at Brixham on 24th-26th June, there’s no doubt regardless of who takes the top slots the winners will be the guys n girls of the D-Zero fleet who will no doubt have an epic event in an epic boat, fueled no doubt by a little epic socialising.

Watch this space for the real results

Roll of Honour – D-Zero National Champions

Dan Holman – 2015

Ian Morgan – 2016

George Cousins- 2017

Steve Bolland – 2018

Dan Holman- 2019

No Event – 2020

Dan Holman – 2021


Sure bet for MC Jock of the Day – David Valentine

RSK D-Zero National Championship 2021 at Largs Sailing Club - Overall
Not at Brixham to defend his 2022 Nationals title – Dan Holman

 
Nick Craig, fresh from his D-One Gold Cup win – is it his year to take the D-Zero title too?

D-Zeros at the Noble Marine Largs Regatta

Hi all, this is Zippy the D-Zero 333 reporting from Scotland after a very windy weekend of racing at Largs. I’m lying quietly in an empty car park this morning and my gel coat hurts after ten hours of serious wave bashing on the Clyde.

The event was the annual LSC One Design regatta, sponsored by Noble Marine and was a shared event with the Musto Skiffs, RS 400, RS 200 and Lasers. Ours was the biggest class, of course, with 16 of the 65 entries.

It was delightful to be back in a boat park full of pointy nosed perfection, from 6 different clubs. There was a strong Largs turnout with 9 local boats, most of whom I can understand by now. However, the Aberdonians are a completely different ball game. I asked Niel Ritchie’s boat how it was and it replied “Och, just Chavinawar “. I guessed this meant “I’ve just had a new kicker upgrade and my cover has a small tear by the port gunwale”. Whatever Chavinawar meant to DZ326, it resulted in a stormingly fast performance on the first day, with a 1,2,1 in the first three races for Owner Niel. Ian Baillie from Dalgety Bay SC was also having a great day, with a 2,1,2,2 in the difficult choppy conditions.

My Owner was having the sort of day that had me rolling my eyes, thinking that she’d got into the sailing talent gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t watching. We ended the day in the Lanterne Rouge position and my number was drafting on eBay.

The final race of the day was won by Largs D-Zero newbie, Willie Todd; the wind dropping and shifting to allow him to work his magic. Also performing well was Aberdonian Scott Munro, clocking a third place in race 4, beating his club mate Niel, who had to return to the line after an OCS. The other OCS was me, but I continued on oblivious to my error, to round off my bad day.

The following morning, I checked in with Niel’s boat again. “Foos yer doos?” It asked me. I hid under my boat cover to open up my Compendium of weird boatspeak. It translates as “How are your pigeons?” I popped up and responded with Chavinawar. I didn’t know how to elaborate on the pigeon situation, or mention that the seagulls had long been blown off their perches, as the wind was belting down the Clyde at 25 knots by then. We set off on a “Sailing by Braille” reach, with water pouring over our Owner’s heads on every wave.

Four more races ensued, with Ian giving a performance masterclass ending in 3 wins and a 2nd. Niel put in a spectacular capsize at the windward mark on race 5, scuppering his chance of winning the event. Scott’s boat was also throwing some shapes at the top mark, although he was nimble enough to save the day. As we passed the crash zone, I offered the Aberdonians several renditions of Chavinawar before scootling off downwind, trying to keep my nose out of the water.

The final 3 races were a battle for 3rd place onwards. Jon Bassett from Largs put in a consistent series to take 3rd overall from youngster Jamie Briggs and Scott in 5th.

Ian Baillie wins the D-Zero class at the 2022 Noble Marine Largs Regatta

Francis (the destroyer) Neill, another Aberdonian, had a better second day, finishing in 6th. He did offer to run over my sails between races, which worked to keep me upright.

Further down the fleet, Owner and I had a better day and enjoyed some close racing with Billie McCarlie from Largs and Mick Green (Rossendale). I have quietly shut down her eBay account.

Largs sailor Andy McDaid had borrowed a D-Zero for the event, swapping for his usual laser. He proved to be fearless and dexterous, clocking a 3rd in race 5. The Laser should be history now! A special mention to Andy MaCintyre from Loch Tummel, where a new D-Zero fleet is starting. We look forward to visiting you for an Open next year!

Jon Bassett takes 3rd place at the 2022 Noble Marine Largs Regatta

Commiserations for the injured, elderly and insane who were unable to complete all the races. I suspect they were just ashore with binoculars spying on the competition in advance of our Nationals at Brixham next month. Congratulations to Ian for a well deserved win and to Niel for a close runner-up.

Finally a huge thank you to all at Largs sailing club and to my fellow racers in all fleets. We had fun.

Until next time,

Chavinawar.

Zippy Zero

Full results for all classes can be found be clicking here.

The D-Zero 2022 Nationals Entry form can be found by clicking here.

2022 Gill D-Zero Open at Grafham Water SC

Mixed conditions for the Gill D-Zero Open Meeting at Grafham Water Sailing Club 14/15th May 2022

16th May 2022

Report by Colin Glover

Glorious sunshine but very little wind welcomed the 14 D-Zeros for the first day of the Gill D-Zero open at Grafham Water SC. The event was being shared with both the RS600s and the Streakers for their respective Inland championships. 

Following the mid-morning briefing delivered by Principal Race Officer Peter Curtis, the fleets promptly left the shore to (slowly) make their way to the racetrack at the western end of the lake. Following a short wait for the shifty average wind direction to be calculated the race team got the event underway. 

Photo Copyright Paul Sanwell/OPP

On the first beat David Valentine and Neil Washington went right and very quickly generated a good lead on the rest of the fleet. Neil decided to not ‘bang the corner’ and tacked to cover the rest of the fleet. David held his nerve and continued to go right and rounded the windward mark with a significant lead followed by Neil and Colin Glover in third. The first reach was light and the front boats from the D-Zero fleet caught up with Streakers (despite a 4 minute time advantage). Unfortunately for David he approached the second mark of the trapezoid course amongst the Streakers and suffered the consequences losing a significant portion of his lead. Down the first run Tom Southwell went low and also took a significant chunk back. Gordon Stewart also picked up a puff of wind and reeled in the front few boats. At the start of the second lap Neil had taken the lead followed by Colin, Gordon & Tom.  This remained the order for the final lap with Neil pulling out a commanding lead on the next three boats. Unfortunately, the rest of the fleet got stuck in a hole at the second mark of the second lap with Ben Stevens eventually leading in the second pack of boats. With the wind dying, race officer Peter consulted with the fleet reps and quickly made the decision to abandon the rest of the days sailing. 

Photo Copyright Paul Sanwell/OPP

Day 2 dawned with a much more favourable easterly wind forecast of 10 knots with gusts into the late teens. Once again the fleets headed out to the western end of the lake where the race team were waiting. The plan was to make up for previous days lack of wind by running four races. The race team promptly started the sequence and got the racing underway. John Aston from the home club sailed excellently, leading from the first mark, and back on-form following his uncharacteristic result in the previous days race. John was followed home by Colin and Gareth Farr from Stewartby Sailing Club,  who joined the event for the seconds days racing. 

Race 3 was once again started promptly and David Valentine cleared the windward mark in first place after John, Colin, Neil and Paul Murphy overstood the lay-line and ended up close reaching into the windward mark on port. To the amusement of those nearby Neil dropped his mainsheet on approach to the mark and fell out of his boat. He quickly clambered back on board and didn’t lose out too much. Gareth worked hard on the second reach of the first lap and took the lead from David. Tom Southwell had a fantastic final reach and Colin looked nervous as a significant chunk of distance was taken back.  Final results were Gareth followed by David, Colin and Tom.

Photo Copyright Paul Sanwell/OPP

Race 4 was delayed while the race team amended the course to address a 20’ wind shift. Most participants welcomed this delay and the rest after the 18 knot gusts contended with in race 3. Race 4 got underway and Colin approached, and hit, the windward mark first and immediately did his penalty allowing Gareth and John to pass. At the beginning of the second beat John was leading but slightly misjudged a port starboard incident with Gareth and John conceded his penalty. Unfortunately John didn’t recover from this error and Colin, Neil and David took advantage. The final race of the weekend got underway and was initially led once again by John. However, at the start of the second lap John and Colin tacked immediately after rounding the leeward mark whilst Gareth, David and Tom went further wide, and benefited from a huge lift. Entering the final downwind leg of the event Gareth was leading followed by John and David. Neil and Tom displayed their usual rapid downwind speed and overtook David. Colin went hard right down the run, gybed and reached into the penultimate mark just beating the others.  Final positions for race 5 were Gareth followed by John, Colin & Neil. A tired fleet sailed the final beat back to shore where the generous prize giving sponsored by Gill was held. 

Overall results were Gareth Farr from Stewartby sailing club in first place followed by local Grafham Water SC sailors Colin Glover, Neil Washington and John Aston in second, third and fourth respectively. 

Photo Copyright Paul Sanwell/OPP

Overall results

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 14, Scoring system: Appendix A

RankClassSail_numberHelms_NameSailing_ClubRatingR1R2R3R4R5TotalNett
1stD-Zero18Gareth FarrStewartby Sailing Club (15.0 DNC)3.01.01.01.021.06.0
2ndD-Zero351Colin GloverGrafham Water Sailing Club 2.02.0(3.0)2.03.012.09.0
3rdD-Zero71Neil WashingtonGrafham Water Sailing Club 1.04.0(5.0)3.04.017.012.0
4thD-Zero3John AstonGrafham Water Sailing Club (11.0)1.09.05.02.028.017.0
5thD-Zero66David ValentineEmsworth Slipper Sailing Club 6.0(9.0)2.04.06.027.018.0
6thD-Zero328Thomas SouthwellLee on the Solent 4.06.04.0(8.0)5.027.019.0
7thD-Zero7Richard MajorGrafham Water Sailing Club 7.07.06.07.0(8.0)35.027.0
8thD-Zero181Gordon StewartNHEBSC 3.0(11.0)8.09.09.040.029.0
9thD-Zero144James Williams-MitchellNA 9.08.0(10.0)6.07.040.030.0
10thD-Zero218Paul MurphyGrafham Water Sailing Club 8.05.07.0(15.0 DNC)15.0 DNC50.035.0
11thD-Zero152Colin ClasperStewartby Sailing Club (15.0 DNC)10.013.010.010.058.043.0
12thD-Zero8Joe ConstableGrafham Water Sailing Club 10.012.011.0(15.0 DNC)15.0 DNC63.048.0
13thD-Zero203Chris EverittYorkshire Dales SC 12.013.012.011.0(15.0 DNC)63.048.0
14thD-Zero247Ben StevensGrafham Water Sailing Club 5.0(15.0 DNC)15.0 DNC15.0 DNC15.0 DNC65.050.0

The D-Zero fleet would like to thank Grafham Water SC and the race team led by Peter Curtis for a fantastic weekend of D-Zeroing and to Gill for the generous sponsorship. 

More photographs of the event can be viewed at the Grafham Water SC Photo Gallery

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