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Thanks to Chris Jeffries for the below report-
South Cerney SC D-Zero Open
The South Cerney D-Zero Open Meeting took place on the weekend of 11th/12th March 2017. Running over two days and in conjunction with the RS300 winter championships, the schedule was for three back to back races on Saturday afternoon followed by a further three races on Sunday morning.
The forecast early in the preceding had promised so much, but as so often seems to happen, by the time the weekend rolled around it appeared that WindGuru had run out of colours and the six competitors were met with light and variable winds on Saturday.
With a light South-westerly breeze Race Office Paul Kimmens had set a course that gave a beat the full length of the lake, ensuring that the ability to find the available breeze was handsomely rewarded both upwind and downwind. All three races followed a similar pattern with a close and compact fleet for the first lap before fragmenting into smaller boat on boat battles after the second beat.
In Race 1 Rob Lennox showed his mastery of the tricky conditions to sail away into a commanding lead followed by Graham Cooper in second. Tom Southwell and Ian Morgan continued their Netley rivalry for 3rd and 4th, Tom staying ahead as Ian was not finding the Lake conditions to his liking. At the back of the fleet Kian Andrews and Chris Jeffries were enjoying their own battle.
The wind picked up a little during Race 2 and this time it was Tom who sailed a flawless race to take the win from Rob in second followed Ian in third, whilst Kian, Chris and Graham were swapping places constantly until the last run where Chris managed to find the dying breeze to pull ahead into fourth.
Following a slight delay whilst the RS300s were a little too enthusiastic at their start, the last race of the day saw Rob reassert his dominance and following an initial battle with Ian, again build an unassailable lead. Kian had a fantastic charge through the fleet over the last lap and a half to overtake Ian at the last mark. Chris found himself in a comfortable gap in fourth whilst Graham just held off a recovering Tom who inexplicably seemed to be having problems making his usual progress!
Racing was completed in time to watch the rugby and Saturday evening allowed those competitors staying over to enjoy a fantastic curry night laid on by the club with a few beers and plenty of conversation before retiring to tents and vans for the night.
Sunday dawned to the gentle patter of rain on canvas and a mirror-like lake with no hint of wind. Despite postponing the start in the hope of the breeze filling in, by 11am it was apparent that there was going to be no imminent improvement and therefore unfortunately further racing was abandoned. Consequently the final results were determined by the combined score from the 3 Saturday races.
Congratulations to Rob Lennox who won with 4 points. Tom Southwell and Ian Morgan were tied for second and third with 10 points with Tom taking second thanks to his first place in race 2.
Thanks to all the helpers, volunteers and competitors for making a successful event in spite of the weather. It was great to see fierce but friendly competition at all positions throughout the fleet!
Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3
|Position||Helm Name||Sail No||Club||R1||R2||R3||Points|
|1st||Rob Lennox||195||Barnt Green||1||2||1||4|
|2nd||Thomas Southwell||217||Netley Sailing Club||3||1||6||10|
|3rd||Ian Morgan||1||Netley Sailing Club||4||3||3||10|
|4th||Graham Cooper||174||South Cerney Sailing Club||2||5||5||12|
|5th||Kian Andrews||156||Mount’s Bay & Penzance SC||5||6||2||13|
|6th||Chris Jeffries||111||South Cerney Sailing Club||6||4||4||14|
After the official reports, here is Rob Lennox’s inside view and report from the ‘Battle of the Classes 2016’…
I was lucky to represent the D-Zero class at this year’s Battle of the Classes alongside the more obvious choice of the National Champion Ian Morgan.
The event was held on the last Sunday of the Southampton Boatshow to be a showcase of dinghy racing right by the show, with entries restricted to 2 per class.
The joining instructions came with a detailed timetable from 08:30, so I arrived at Southampton Water Activities Centre at a respectable 10:00. The boat park was already congested but was about to become much more so with the arrival of two National 18s which each seemed to need 3 boat parking spaces! I was able to squeeze alongside an Aero so I was able to show off Dan Holman’s superior design.
With Netley Sailing Club being just around the corner, I wondered whether Ian would arrive by boat, but he drove in at a sensible 12:00, bragging that he lived just over the bridge.
The 12:30 briefing contained an alarming list of hazards to watch out for – big ships, fast ferries, youths driving Honda powered RIBs, yachts being test sailed, boat owners not knowing the rules of the road. To cap it all there would be an exclusion zone for a fly past! All this with a reaching start just off the pontoons for maximum spectator fun.
Ian and I launched together after a delay to allow a Europe sailor to refix her tracker and an Albacore to take ages hoisting their mainsail at the bottom of the ramp. A long beat out to the racing area in the strongest wind of the day followed, making me think I’d be tired on the drive home. We arrived in the starting area just as the sole Mirror was setting off, 23 minutes before us.
The start line was very short especially as we would be the most busy start time with Scorpions, Aero 9s, and Blazes all going with us on a fast broad reach. There wasn’t much room behind the start line either, you were soon marshalled by the youth challenge RIBs if you did. In fact, keeping out of everyone’s way was so exciting I managed to miss the fly past altogether! As it was, I nearly took out the eventual race winning 420 as it began its approach to the line.
As usual, some of the classes seemed to be late for their starts, but I just knew that wouldn’t happen to us. In the end, Ian and I got cracking starts (some might say I was borderline OCS) and I managed to lead the group on a fast reach. The course had us bearing away on to a run around a corner with moored ships so it was a difficult call to know how close to them to go. Ian made a much better job of the short run than I (sounds familiar?) and then we were on to the only beat on the course where we began to be held up by the Finns who had started one minute ahead.
The next leg was a long, very tight reach, on which it was hard to go below a slower boat (especially if it had large sails!) in case you ended up not fetching the mark, so we pretty much marked time until the next run back to the starting area and another lap.
On the next long reach we had another parked-up moment, this time well to leeward of a yacht – I could not believe how much it was affecting the wind. Eventually we were able to break clear of the Finns on the beat and we were able to put good distance between us, the Finns, and the Aero 9.
On the next lap I was able to pick up a gust and overtake Ian, managing to stay ahead of him for a whole lap before he did pretty much the same to me.
Time was running out for us now though, and according to the trackers as the 90 minutes elapsed, Ian was 16th and I was 18th.
It was a day and course to either be in a slow boat near the front or to be in a dramatically fast boat able to pull through on every leg. Nonetheless it was an enjoyable experience and I think we performed respectably.
Rob Lennox GBR195
Ian Morgan has also edited & shared some on-board footage (before the battery died!)
For the full results covering all classes, please click here
Just a quick post to let our site subscribers know about some changes to the class site.
There is now a list of Committee Members on there along with a contact form for each person so if you have any questions you can drop us a line.
Class Association membership will be open very soon, we are just awaiting the final setup of the all important bank account.
The menu at the top of the site has been tweaked and streamlined as it was getting a little confusing.
We have also added a Class Forum/Message Board as we are aware that not everyone does social media so the committee felt it was appropriate to have a separate facility on the class site.
Click here to surf on over: https://www.d-zerosailing.org
Having waited (im)patiently for a delivery date for my D-Zero I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I could collect my boat from the Grafham demo day on the 26th July. As you can imagine I was excited and keen to get out in the boat ASAP. Turning up at Graham and wandering over to see the guys as they got ready for the demo day I got chatting to a member from Grafham who had not sailed for 2 years due to a foot injury and was a little nervous about taking the boat out. He got over that pretty quickly and soon disappeared out into the lake in the light winds. Then came the time to take ownership of my new boat, one of the ex-demo boats (and the one from the stand at the dinghy show with the rather nice black carbon foils). It has just come back from Devoti having been back to the factory for refurbishment prior to me taking ownership. I just wanted to unpack it all there and then and go for a sail. Sadly time did not permit this as my good lady wife was expecting me home. I did have a full day sailing pass for the Sunday though.
Sunday dawned. The gods according to Windguru gave the wind as being light to moderate in the morning and dropping off a little through the day, how wrong they were!
The first race was hardly representative as the wind was up and down and from random directions. After a reasonable start and rounding the windward mark in 2nd behind a Fireball the wind proceeded to shut down and shift randomly. Position in the race depended more on luck than anything else. Still the boat felt good in the puffs of wind and definitely showed potential. Despite the wind I managed to squeeze out a 3rd in the Fast Handicap fleet being beaten by 2 Lasers and came off the water with a big grin on my face.
For race 2 the fleets change. Lasers and Solos went off in to their fleets and there is 1 handicap start so this time the line was much busier with boats ranging from an X1 right through to several British Moths, Comets and a few Optimists. The wind had increased a little from the morning race and had steadied but I decided that being over the line was the place to be so went back to restart losing about a minute and a half and getting to the windward mark almost dead last. As the wind was steadier and I was getting a better feel for the boat and what was likely to make it go and not go I made good progress through the fleet ending up 3rd on the water by the finish. Once the spreadsheet had done it’s work it came out I was 5th behind 3 British Moths and the Comet. Not a bad result given I had gone back at the start. I did get a much better feel for the boat and was starting to work out the transitions between points of sail much better and working out where to sit. It was surprising how much further back you can sit when going upwind without causing the stern wake to become all messed up indicating excessive drag.
For the final race of the day the wind has picked up a little more and planing was possible in the gusts. The boat was really starting to come alive and the grin on my face was definitely evident. The boat responded well to being worked upwind with trimming the order of the day to keep the boat flat and moving fast. I had a great battle with a Fireball that lasted for most of the race. Offwind they were (usually) faster but upwind I found I could make some really big gains by outpointing them and having similar boat speed (yes I was surprised, Fireballs usually fly upwind). We did have a little chat as we went round, they were commenting on just how ‘right’ the boat looks on the water and eyebrows were raised when they found out I was sailing off 1044 PY. The boat felt really good for the entire race. My only real mistake was not moving back during a couple of the mark rounding in the puffs where the nose had a tendency to bury. It popped back up readily enough once I moved back though, one thing to make a note of. I finished second on the water behind the X1 but ahead of a Fireball and won on the spreadsheet. I am wondering how long they will let me keep 1044 (although 1 day of racing was hardly representative).
Needless to say there was a lot of interest and several people wanting to have a go, some just to see if it goes as good as it looks and other with a possible interest in buying one.
So the first outing was a resounding thumbs up from me, I have not enjoyed my sailing that much in a very long time and cannot wait to get out in on the water again. I was not even that annoyed about having to go back in Race 2 for being over the line!