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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.

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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

YDSC Inland Championships – Cancellation

Sadly due to receding water, launching conditions, and latest Yorkshire Water media outputs, YDSC and the D-Zero CA have taken the very difficult decision to cancel this years Inland Championships – trust understandable for all !

YDSC and the CA wish to ensure the usual fantastic conditions and welcome, and have requested we come and join YDSC in 2023 !

So, next event is Hunts on 22nd October – hope to see you there ! 🙂

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!

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.

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.

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.

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): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yd44sZkSWud26di9nVCNz_9WCMNIbsiqEIA7grKxigw/edit?usp=sharing

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: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ATFG2A/

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?

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