Category: Zippy Zero Blog Page 1 of 3

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-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.

Zippy Zero at the 2021 Northern Championships

It was a mild October weekend and the DZeros were beginning to gather for the end of season Northern Championships at Yorkshire Dales SC. This report is brought to you by Zippy Zero, one of the boats competing at this fine annual event.

The high winds forecasted had put off several potential entries, but my Owner (Liz Potter) and the Class Chairman (Paul Jefferies) had arrived early on the Friday afternoon to avoid the traffic and decided to set off for a delightful sunset cruise around the lake perimeter to count the buoys and check that they’d rigged us correctly. It’s a peculiar thing how the humans can still mis-rig us after all this time, then whizz off to a blustery start line on a screaming reach with half rudder before realising the errors in their rigging efforts. They then face an agonising re-rig, using two fingers, a chin or two, a shoulder and some teeth to maintain control and get to the start on time. We boats raise one eyebrow and mutter “really?”. There were mutterings before we’d even left the trollies.

The following morning, 16 boats were lined up on a windy lake slipway. Will Hitchman’s boat had a raised eyebrow and was inspecting its Owner’s borrowed wetsuit boots, kindly loaned by Francis Neill when Will discovered he’d left his at home.

The first race started promptly in a very blustery, shifty Southerly Force 5-6. Many boats were making their Owners practice water starts, followed by rail riding skills. Those who were rubbish at it were practicing capsizing techniques.

The day progressed like something out of the latest James Bond film, but with the cool cars being replaced by us even sexier boats.

After 20 minutes of racing, Ian Baillie was in the lead. The rescue boat was on standby next to the leeward mark and managed to get the buoy’s rope caught around the propellor (have they used that in a James Bond film yet?). Several boats then rounded a different mark instead and the RO Movie Director Richard shouted “cut” – raising a flag to end the fiasco and started us again. Plenty of raised boat eyebrows and several sighs.

The race re-started with Ian, Tom Southwell and Niel Richie making a clean getaway from the fleet. Will suffered a huge capsize at the gybe mark and Francis-the-Destroyer ploughed into the disaster zone.

In the wings, someone from the movie crew shouted “cut”, so Francis planed across Will’s sail, locking his gps target locator on the boots he’d lent Will earlier, cleanly ripping the sail’s head off. As the movie plot was clearly becoming more sinister, more than a third of the film cast departed the set to avoid the difficult sailing conditions and risk of another decapitation.

Rhodri Thomas went on to win the race from Tom and Niel.

Race 2 saw Will return with a replacement sail. The wind continued to howl and shift wildly. Owner and I had a few swims to keep us from overheating, amongst a few others. Niel went on to win from Tom and Will in the brutal sailing conditions, with Rhodri, Jon Bassett and Gordon Stewart following closely behind.

Race 3 saw Will and Ian make a clean break from the fleet soon after the start. On the first upwind cross, Ian ducked beneath Will, only to be hit with a huge gusty lift which capsized him. Further in the race, just ahead of us at the gybe mark, more capsizing was going on. This time, a raft of 3 boats were upturned. Cue Francis the Destroyer (muhahaha) looking for more heads to chop off. He located Andy Spencer and fired his underwater missile. Once again, the Director called “cut” and the boat obeyed, slicing the sail on impact.

This was becoming a horror movie of epic proportions and I can only blame David Valentine for not being there to edit the script. Instead, he had sent his flunky and poster boy, Tom to star in one of the leading roles.

Unfortunately, that race’s 4th left Tom just short behind Will, Niel and Rhodri, but still in the Oscar nominations at the end of the days’ racing.

A tired and drenched collection of boats and humans came ashore that evening and they enjoyed a hearty supper provided by YDSC superb new caterer Karen Laxton. The sailors spent the night snuggled up with wet sails and damp gear in tents and vans, listening to the 30 knot winds outside.

The next morning, I found myself all packed up and ready to go home, in anticipation of the heavy rain and even stronger gales.

However, the wind had calmed down a bit and Mick Green, who was racing his brand new DZero (both on and under the water) persuaded my Owner to put on some bigger (is that possible?) and braver pants, man-up and get out there. Well said Mick. She, in turn, passed that message of camaraderie onto Jon Bassett, who was also thinking of leaving the set for a new movie. Such is the DZero fleet enthusiasm and support for eachother, that I’m thinking the title of our Hollywood production should be “One Zero is never enough”.

The fourth race was started in much more manageable winds, although they were even shiftier. The race was led and won by Ian, with Andy Spencer sailing a superb race with a replacement sail, coming in 2nd. In third was Tom, but more significantly, the series discard had now kicked in, putting Will in first place overall. Interestingly, Will’s sail number is Triple 07 (307). Perhaps our movie’s Bond character had revealed himself at last. He went on to win both of the last races, to become the DZero Superhero Northern Champion.

The competition before the final race was so tight that only 4 points separated the top 5 boats, with Tom, Niel, Rhodri and Ian all possible winners, but finishing in that order overall. Jon put in his best races of the weekend, including a 3rd and 4th, finishing 6th overall, justifying going out for that second day.

Despite the increasing wind in the final race, we also had a better day, finishing 7th overall, just behind Jon.

Mick secured the Lanterne Rouge of the weekend by being the last boat to complete every race.

So, the curtains came down upon our final event of the year, The plot had it all; heroes, villains, unbelievable storylines. We had a great Director (thanks, Richard and race team), superb Producer (Richard Paynter – our local DZero rep and event organiser, with assistant Lee Carter) fabulous location and set (YDSC), excellent canteen (Thanks Karen), film crew (Thanks Paul Hargraves and Alice Carter) and terrific cast (fellow DZeros afloat and onshore – Abby, Ed, Paul).

See you all at the Red Carpet Premiere next Spring!

Zippy Zero 333

Zippy at the RSK D-Zero Nationals

I’m Zippy Zero, the wee McBoatie, who has just returned from the D-Zero Nationals in Largs. It was an epic event, which we have all been looking forward to.

The day we had all been waiting for finally arrived. The 2021 D-Zero Nationals at long last. 54 boats lined up in the Largs car park and a piper playing his bagpipes to send us out to sea.

I left my berth first and was fitted with a cool and kinky nose stud, which was the race tracker, and mooched off to the slipway to watch the crazy offshore wind doing gusty off-hill bombs at Force 5. I was quite alarmed at the prospect of getting through them to get to the start area, especially with half-baked foils not quite ready to go. As it was just me and Owner and only one of us gets to freak out at a time (and let’s face it, it’s never her turn), I managed to throw in a capsize on leaving the shore just to check if she had all her marbles on board. Thankfully she kept calm and we were back up before too many boats noticed. After a lengthy postponement waiting for the course to be set and re-set, we got away cleanly on the trapezoidal course. It was tricky and gusty, but Dan Holman got an early lead to win from Nick Craig and Gavin Fleming.

In the second race, I was determined not to lose Dan, my man (and superhero) so easily, so I snuggled into a tidy gap that I knew he’d left for me. It all got a little cozy in there with moments to go, but a gaggle of boats were over the line and we had a general recall. The naughty boat flag went up and we had another go. This time, Dan got away to win from Joel Walker and Nick.

No wind was forecast for Day 2, but luckily it was wrong and we had a pleasant breeze to take us to the start line. The pleasant breeze became a strong breeze with heavy showers, creating some dense D-Zero mayhem at the windward mark. I stayed clear of most of the trouble, collecting some flotsam from the others en-route, including a water bottle and Martin Latimer’s hawk, which landed in my cockpit for a change of scenery and better food. Dan won, followed by Nick, Jono Shelley in Storky’s boat and Niel Ritchie. 

After a number of recalls, Race 4 got away in a dropping breeze. It was another win for Dan, with Jono, Arran Holman and Nick in the chasing pack.

Race 5 was postponed with seconds to spare on the start line. We all drifted around in the dying breeze, waiting for a steady wind which never came. I hung around at the homeward side of the course, anticipating a scram for the slipway, but the race was well and truly won by Paul Jefferies, who showed a speed not to be seen again on the Largs racecourse.

The rain arrived in time for the fleet beach clean activity and increased throughout the evening and Championship Dinner. Dan had used up all his luck for the weekend by then and the Gods of Scottish Precipitation evened up the scoreboard by filling his tent by the bucketload, even adding a little spider as garnish in the middle of one puddle.

The wind was sadly not to return, so the following day we crowned Dan the defending champion of 2021, with Nick runner up. Jono Shelley had a great couple of days sailing a D-Zero for the first time and finished a creditable 3rd.

In 4th was Arran and 5th Joel Walker. A few special prizes were awarded; our young person was Jamie Briggs in 26th and our first not-so-young person was Billy McCarlie having a stellar Championship and finishing 11th. My Owner Liz Potter was first lady in 30th and a special mention goes to Mike Forbes, who in 49th place, took the coveted Lanterne Rouge, by being the last boat to complete every race – magnificent, given his also not-so-young status and this being his first dinghy event after 50 years!

Stacey Bray (28th) also deserves a mention for travelling all the way from Porthpean to Largs for one day of racing, due to his daughter getting Covid. Another Covid interruption came via Nick’s wife, resulting in an early departure for him from the Championships.  I asked my Owner about this Covid thing and she tried to explain about this often debilitating illness which starts with a cough. I looked up some of these new words in my Healthy Boat Compendium and found the closest word to debilitating was delaminating; that’s not good news people. Also, I read that a cough is the expelling of air from an internal cavity. In my world, that’s a leak. Also not good news. So, for all those people who have had to stop racing because of Human Delaminating Leaky Disease, I wish you well.

On Sunday, the double gun signalled the end of the Nationals. Next came the moment to pack up the circus and say farewell to all our friends and fiends. Loading up his triple stacker, David Valentine forgot to allow clearance for the recently added low car park barrier. Luckily there were enough Owners around to stop him, record the moment and offer words of advice, plus a silly hat to remind him to drive carefully.

Thankyou to all who helped run the event, to the amazing Sir Boyd Tunnock who fed our Owners Tunnocks and RSK who also gave us sponsorship. Great photos by Tim Olin and cool snout gear Simon Lovesey! 

Lastly a huge thank you for all my fellow Zeros for entering and making this Nationals the biggest one yet! You’re a great bunch. See you soon!

Zippy Zero 333

Zippy goes to Aberdeen and Stonehaven

Photo Copyright Liz Potter

Hello all from Zippy the D-Zero, writing to you from a little harbour on the East coast of Scotland. This weekend was the meeting of our D-Zero Owners and us boaties at the Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club Regatta, incorporating our open meeting and Northern Travellers event, sponsored by DZero.co.uk.

Another far visitor was Mick Green from Rossendale. He failed to bring appropriate clothing for the cooler Scottish climate, so was seen fashioning a collection of ladylike knitwear borrowed from his missus.

Photo Copyright Bob Yeamans

The first day saw us set off from the little harbour to tackle four races in an offshore gusty force 4.

The Race Officer set up a quadrilateral course and we set off from the start line in a blustery first race. The fleet leaders managed to get clear on the first round and finished in the order of Nick Craig, Ian Baillie and Niel Richie. Jon Bassett finished fourth.

Race 2 had me eyeing up the pin for my start, but above me, Nick was bearing down into my starting space as he was too early. There was a crunch on my hull and I picked up my first scratches. Nick was over and had to re-round, whilst I was pushed onto the pin. Not a great start.

Jon got away cleanly and led for the first lap, followed by Niel. I caught up on the second leg, picking up a nice windstream, which was enough to give me water on the rest of the fleet and scooted me into third.

Unfortunately Niel’s boat’s transom went around the mark too slowly, so I gave it a little nudge to help it along. Owner was not too pleased and we had to perform some pirouette dance moves in penalty, which put me at the very back of the fleet once more.

On the final lap, I had worked hard to get up to seventh and had Basil Brush firmly in my sights, when who should show up but my friends the dolphins. My owner hailed Basil Brush, who busied himself scanning the horizon (look out behind you!) so I sneaked past him to windward to take another place.

Sadly, the karma of fair sailing got me back as Basil got a decent puff on the finish approach to accelerate him past me. Rats!

Photo Copyright Bob Yeamans

Race 3 had us starting mid-line and steaming ahead to round the first mark just behind Nick. There we stayed until the penultimate lap, when Ian and Jon passed us upwind. Billie McCarlie and Niel also got through on a lucky windshift on the final leg, leaving us in sixth.

There followed a delay, as the wind shifted round further and the course was re-laid. Nick was fast off the line and led the race for a comfortable win, followed by Ian and Niel. I was chased by Billie’s boat, after having sent the dolphin squad to go and engage him in diversional activities. Billie’s boat responded by slapping one of them with its daggerboard, so there was a purposeful mission in my stealthy covering that lasted for the remainder of the race.

So ended day 1, after over four hours of sailing in strong gusty winds. The tired little boats trooped into the harbour to be met by the shore crew with our trollies and cakes!

On day 2, we awoke to a drizzly sky and a flat calm, windless sea. The Race Officer put up a postponement until 12, when a decision would be made about cancelling the days racing. Contrary to the weather forecast, a pleasant onshore breeze enticed us out and continued to build to 10-15 knots as the day went on.

Race 5 was won by Nick, after a clean start, closely chased by Ian and Jon. The trio maintained their finishing order for races 6 and 7.

Race 6 was the chance for Largs’ sailor Stuart Moss to shine. His boat had a great race in the top five, with owner Stu jubilantly fist pumping the air halfway up the last beat, with energy worthy of a deep-fried Tunnock’s Teacake. His moment of glory was short-lived as he was caught out by lighter wind on one side of the course towards the end of the race.

Photo Copyright Bob Yeamans

By the final race 8, the fleet tiredness was beginning to show and there were a number of bumps and infringements going on, followed by boat twirling. We passed series leader Nick as he was twirling, although he worked his way back up the fleet to take the win, adding to his seven other first places.

Jon battled with Ian on the final leg, gaining an advantage that allowed him to tack for the finish line inside Ian. Unfortunately, this left no room for Ian on the finish line and he was sailed the wrong side of the committee boat. There were strong words yelled by Ian to his boat, who then refused to co-operate in the forthcoming tack and sat head-to-wind until an apology was offered.

As a result, Billy slipped through – into third place, his best result in the series – as did Niel and fellow ASYC member Scott Munro. By the time Ian and his boat had made up again, they clocked a sixth place, which would become their second discard.

The top three performers were Nick, Ian and Jon – with Niel finishing fourth.

And so ended a great weekend both on and off the water. Thank you to the club for hosting us and to my fellow boaties for the company and laughs. Thank you to their Owners for entertaining us, as always.

See you all at Largs!

Photo Copyright Liz Potter

Overall Results:

PosHelmPts
1Nick Craig6
2Ian Ballie12
3Jon Bassett17
4Niel Richie20
5Billy McCarlie28
6Scott Munro32
7Gordon Stewart39
8Liz Potter42
9Mick Green52
10Stuart Moss57

Zippy and Friends at West Kirby and Dee Regattas

Another week, another D-Zero event and more watery stories to tell you, as 8 visiting D-Zeros joined our 3 local boats at the West Kirby and Dee Sailing Clubs Regatta Weekend! The event was also part of the Northern DZero Travellers Circuit and the visiting D-Zero’s travelled a combined 1919 miles each way to be with us. Top traveller was Niel Ritchie from Aberdeen and Stonehaven (347 miles), followed by Billy McCarlie, Martin Latimer, Alistair “Storky” Mclaughlin and Jon Bassett (257 miles). Gordon Stewart clocked 198 miles from North Herts & East Beds and Ed Deacon travelled 190 miles from Hunts SC. We’re not competitive really. Really.

The Regatta event started on Friday with West Kirby SC’s annual Round Hilbre Island Race. As the visitors were still busy working and driving, the race was excluded from the Travellers Event, so it was left to me and Mick Green to sort out the D-Zero honours (he won our last Island contest!).

The race began with a light airs downwind start, which is always a bit of a laugh for us boats! I tootled along the line, measuring the perfect space between me and the Committee boat to reach and run off into when the time came. Then with ten seconds to go, who should appear approaching my precious space and barging into my closing slot but Owner’s husband in his A Class Cat “Zippy Eater”. It growled at me to get out of the way or there’d be three Zippies, so I bore off to avoid a bad accident, not to mention a lot of marital grief. Both of us were OCS, having to re-round the start boat and try again. “Zippy Eater” was so annoyed that it stopped to take a major mouthful of the start boat anchor line. Ooops. I was out of there as quick as possible. The rest of the fleet hadn’t got too far, as it was a slow plodding run against the tide in a sloppy sea. We set off towards the shore side of the course, leaving Mick and the majority of the 40 boat fleet to wallow above the sandbank mid-channel. With me was a Finn, a Laser, a couple of Falcons and the Grumpy A Class.

After an hour, a very black, wet and low cloud appeared from my side of the shore and with it came a pleasing Force 3-4, which rapidly increased to a more worrying force 4-5. This propelled me on towards the mouth of the estuary and 8-foot standing waves. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet sat in a windless stupor on their sandbank, waiting for their turn. By the time we rounded the windward mark, my cockpit was a snakepit of tangled mainsheet, kicker and other stuff from the continuously dumping waves. After a quick sort-out, I set off downwind, surfing like a loon towards the shallower waters inside the island. As I was first dinghy, I had to be pathfinder for the fleet and closed my eyes tightly, hoping there was no sand at the troughs of each wave. On we reached for half an hour until the Committee boat loomed into sight. We finished 2nd overall, with Mick taking 9th place. At the prizegiving, I collected 3 bottles of Trapper’s Hat beer from our sponsors, Brimstage Brewery. They happen to be Owner’s husband’s favourite and I hope they were shared out to soothe his pain in coming last on handicap.

The following day, my friends had all arrived and we lined up on the seaward fence to swap news and admire the vast expanse of no water, which is the Dee estuary. The sailors were promised that when the tide arrives it comes in fast, so be ready! All of the wind had been used up the day previously – mostly by me on that last reach – and we set off for a light airs afternoon of racing under the flag of Dee Sailing Club’s Regatta.

After a tricky start, which involved most of the fleet being swept down tide of the line at the 5-minute gun and failing to reach the start in time, the sneakier DZeros of Alistair Storky Mclaughlin and Niel Ritchie made a clean getaway. Niel held the lead until the ultimate leg, but, when pushed to the limit by Storky’s continuous beaking and pecking, capitulated into 2nd at the finish. I was one of the late starters but managed to weasel my way into 3rd place by the end. The second race was led from the start by Storky, who pulled out his lead magnificently on the third lap, when his boat got challenged by the late arrival of an RS300. As Storky is RS300 National Champion, he was having none of that and raced boat for boat to the finish, leaving the rest of us D-Zeros dragging in his wake like debris behind Haley’s Comet. The leader of this debris was Jon Bassett, followed by yours truly and Niel Ritchie, meaning that Mr Storky had won the Dee Regatta, with myself and Niel battling for second place on equal points, which Niel won on countback.

After us boats had been showered and lovingly dressed in our pyjamas, the Owners went off to Dee SC to enjoy a magical evening in the sunshine on the lawn. The beers were downed, the band played and our owners feasted on Hog roast, some dressed in their Hawaiian shirts and flower garlands, to embrace the D-Zero event’s tropical theme.

The next day was the turn of West Kirby’s regatta. One of the local Solo sailors, Martin Hartley, outed his guilty secret of wanting a D-Zero, but we boats are as rare as gold dust to buy at the moment. One of the club’s newest Owners, Paul Holmes, who was unable to make the event, kindly loaned him a boat and he went on to score a creditable 9th and 6th that day. We look forward to welcoming him into our home fleet soon!

The wind had increased a little that day, but was blowing offshore, making for a tricky shifty race in significant tides. Storky revelled in these conditions and had no problem securing another distanced win from Niel and Jon. I was happily bobbing along behind Billy McCarlie in 5th place, having overtaken Martin Latimer on the previous reach. I rounded the leeward mark and tacked off to avoid the filthy air spewing out behind a gaggle of Albacores ahead of me and zoned in on the lay line for the finish. As I tacked back, an even filthier air-spewing Martin Latimer came trucking over the horizon to beat both myself and Billy at the finish. My book on “101 ways to overtake Martin Latimer” has changed its status from Mothballed to Work in Progress.

In the final race, it was another clear win from Storky, whose boat went faster than a seal on Viagra with a broom up its unmentionables. In second was Niel and third was Jon, with Gordon Stewart closing in behind them in fourth place. This outstanding performance gave Storky the series which he had won before his discard. The rest of us boats all squabbled over his first place discard rather enviously, but the overall second and third places went to Niel and Jon, with me (and Owner Liz) coming fourth.

The outdoor prizegiving was a happy affair, with a whole table of prizes just for us D-Zeros, sponsored by David Valentine and DZero.co.uk. Owner put up a painting for the winner, signed by all the competitors. It’s called “D-Zeros coming ashore in light winds with no-one to collect their trollies.”

Luckily, we boats had plenty of help on the slipway (thankyou fans and volunteers); also in the boat park (thankyou Nathan Sandall for our boatie air bnb). Thankyou also to the Flag Officers at both Dee and West Kirby sailing clubs and to the army of workers behind the scenes. Once again, thanks to the Round Hilbre sponsors “Brimstage Breweries”

Well done Mr. Storky!

It was a truly magnificent weekend!

Zippy Zero 333

Zippy’s Trip to Shoreham

Hello from Zippy Zero, the chatty DZero, with tales of my latest adventures on the South Coast; this time at Shoreham Sailing Club Open.

The club is one of the latest DZero breeding centres and 8 of the 9 home club boats were competing at this new DZero venue. Together with 10 visiting boats, the fleet set off from the sheltered harbour out to sea for a series of 6 races on an Olympic course over the 2 days.

We had travelled South from West Kirby the previous day in the heaviest downpours I’d seen in a month. Alright for Owner in her nice dry car – I had a full-on colonic irrigation experience on the M40 and I fear my underpants will never be the same. I digress. We arrived late that night to the YHA on top of a hill that was so high it was in a raincloud. Foggy, wet, eerie. No place for a boat, let alone the dirt track that I climbed up to get there. Brown underpants. Say no more.

Back at sea level the next morning, I was feeling much better. I’d forgiven Owner for her failings in my transportation and overnight accommodation and we tootled off to the start line in good spirits. She was quite alert given her age and the number of miles she’d driven that week and propelled me towards the start line at full speed as the gun went. Even better, there was a vacuous hole to leeward of me and I was feeling good! We rounded the top mark 4th behind Tyler Harmsworth, Thomas Southwell and Adam Thompson and I nipped, Zipped, dipped and whipped around the course until I could see the whites in Tyler’s eyes. The RO finished my Zippings with a firm gun, leaving me in 2nd place, ahead of Tom and Adam, but behind Tyler.

There followed a second hour-long race, but with a huge wind shift on the start line. Gareth Griffiths crossed the fleet on port tack whilst all of us boats tried to bite his transom as he squeezed by. But a good fly-by it was and he went on to finish 2nd behind Tom, who picked his way up the shifty first beat well. Local sailor Martin Walker kept the pressure on the leaders with good downwind boat speed to finish 3rd.

The wind spun once more and a new course was laid. Tyler made a clean break and led the race, with Andrew Spencer from Blithfield sailing his best race of the series and coming 2nd.

The end of the day saw Tom leading the series from Tyler and Martin and me (plus Owner Liz; yes she can have a mention) in 4th place.

So homewards we drifted, to the safety of the little harbour, until the rescue boat cut us off and stopped us in our tracks. This was to allow a shipping movement out of the harbour. When I saw the size of it, I nearly had a shipping movement of my own. I’ve often wondered, when does a boat become a ship? I now know that it’s when it can ride over Zippy and leave little behind. Me and my mates stayed well clear until the harbour was empty.

The next day I awoke to cool drizzle and grey skies. For a moment I thought we were in Scotland, but no, that was last weekend Zippy. The Race Team left early to set up the course, whilst us boats teetered on the slipway with our sails up looking for wind (and mischief). There was no wind and hence no opportunity for mischief. After an onshore delay, a zephyr arrived and we were beckoned out to sea.

After a poor start in Race 5, we picked our way to the pointy end of the fleet, where I set my sights on Gordon Stewart for overtaking purposes. I slid past stealthily on the reach and was dismayed to find him creeping back upwind of me like some sort of unwanted relative at Christmas. I felt the need to luff him and managed to wipe off my Klingon onto David Valentine, who was approaching on his finishing leg. I chose my moment to throw in an excellent double gybe and rounded the mark ahead of Gordon. Unfortunately, Owner hadn’t noticed the S flag (it was only 22 mins into the race after all!), so let Gordon tack off and lay the finish ahead of us. The three local sailors Martin, Gareth and Chris Handel took line honours, whilst David Valentine finished 6th, to give him a scoreline of 6,6,6. Beware fellow DZ’s.

By Race 5, we were joined by Shoreham Sailing Club’s Sunday handicap fleet and what a fine collection of boats came out to play – including some beautiful Merlin Rockets! We all had a long delay, whilst the wind swung around, courses were re-laid and the Commodore did some fishing off the RIB.

When we were all ready, Owner made another good start, tacking early to pick up the windshift. We arrived at the windward mark just behind Tyler and watched Martin overtake us both downwind on his slightly superior zephyr. He went on to win the race from Tyler, with me in 3rd. Ray Collins from Locks SC was not too far behind in 4th.

The wind was dying as well as swinging wildly by the last race. The RO got us away for a short race, which was led and won by Adam. Martin finished 2nd to take the series and in 3rd was Ian Patrick from Bough Beech SC, who had come for just the day. Another visitor, Noel West from Newhaven & Seaford SC clocked his best race result with a 6th.

Congratulations to the top 4; Martin, Tyler, Adam and Gareth all from Shoreham SC. Well done to Owner coming 5th and me as first visiting boat.

Martin Walker, overall winner

Congratulations to Shoreham SC for a very well run and enjoyable event. Also in their successful DZero breeding programme; there was another arrival as we watched on Sunday morning. Competitor Nigel Pybus sealed the deal on 324, taken on by Chris Handel for his son. Then there were ten.

Thank you to Steve Southall (280), finishing 11th, for co-ordinating the event and encouraging the visitors to come. We will be back I’m sure.

Next up is my home event at West Kirby and Dee Regattas, where I will continue to recruit competitors for our DZero Nationals in Largs this August.

It’s going to be a magical summer.

Zippy Zero 333

Photos are all copyright Warwick Baker / www.warwickpics.com

Zippy’s One-Design Adventures in Largs

Harken One Design Regatta, Largs SC

It’s Zippy Zero, THE DZero, reporting once again, after a tootle to Bonnie Scotland (544 miles round trip) last weekend and all packed and ready to go to Shoreham-you-can’t-go-further-South-without-rigging-me (562 miles round trip). 1106 miles in ten days. All for ME!!

So; our first Open meeting this year and it’s June already. What strange times we’ve had. Rest assured folks, sailing is one of the safest activities you can do that doesn’t involve snotting over eachother, so get out there and take our covers off please! It was great to learn that there were 44 Dzeros out there racing at 2 events last week. Lets see if we can all make it to Largs for our Nationals on 20th August. It’s a great venue and filled with enthusiastic local sailors and professional race crews to give us the best possible experience.

Back to our weekend event. It was great to catch up with my boatie friends and the Owners seemed very happy to be together again. I arrived a day early, hopping and popping behind Owner’s new camper van as she made her way up the M6. By the time we passed Gretna, it was very windy, but it was a reach, which is my favourite. Owner had plenty of practice veering between the motorway lanes in the gusts before we could do it for real on the race course.

Youth Ambassador Jamie Briggs (300) with speed off the line

The plan was to get there a day early for a tune up with the infamous fast Scots. We arrived to dark skies, white horses and cool temperatures, so the pre-race sailing day turned into a bimble day and I spent the morning in the boatpark having various therapies; upright, sideways and even standing on my head. Owner and friends examined my nether regions with lots of oohing and erring. The reason for the intense and embarrassing scrutiny stemmed from various complaints about decibel humming in my daggerboard area. It’s actually a digestion feature – all that weed, sea water and salt can make a boat a bit gassy at times; it’s known in the business as “Foil Chatter”. However, Owner wanted a solution for my little personal problem and discovered that my daggerboard’s trailing edge was jamming in the lower rear slot of the case, which was causing my vortex to mis-fire or something. A small Velcro suppository was carefully inserted into my daggerboard slot with eye-wateringly pointy pliers, assisted by Jon McBassett, whilst Sam McSloss held onto my nose tightly. Result! – my guts were silenced for the weekend. As a bonus, my hums are more tuneful and I smell a bit nicer.

On Saturday morning, 21 DZeros were all getting ready to hum with me. The wind was still blowing hard, but sheltered by Cumbrae it looked quite pleasant out there. All that changed once we reached the race area and got worse the closer we got to Cumbrae and the windward mark. Ian McBaillie from Dalgety Bay made a strong start and went on to win the race from Aberdeen & Stonehaven’s Niel McRitchie. This was much the theme for the day. I was blissfully unaware of the tussles at the front of the fleet, having my own demons to battle at the rear following a Flippy Zippy moment ending in a capsize on the first run. I did try to warn Owner that the waves were not to my liking, by offering her a little bit of Tippy Zippy which she ignored at her peril. She continued to play those naughty waves til “Boom”! I tried to help by sailing on anyway, with my boom in the air and sail set on a horizontal mast. Thus, we made rapid progress to the leeward mark with Owner clinging forlornly onto my daggerboard. Eventually she gave up riding the great white and swam slowly to the DZ control room to sort out my rig and try something else to get me upright. Needless to say, we were glad to see the finish line many laps later.

Billy ‘Smiling’ McCarlie (265)

There followed a long wait for the second race, whilst we watched the Musto Skiffs career around their larger course. Owner was looking chilly, so I made her hike as hard as possible in the next race to warm her up.

By the end of Race 2, we had been on the water for over 3 hours and Owner’s teeth had developed an alarming degree of foil chatter. She was cold and blue, so I took her home and dumped her on the beach. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet still had two more races and 2 hours of sailing to go!

By the following morning, the wind had changed direction but was still as strong. The windward mark was set by Fairlie, up towards the mouth of the Clyde and not too far away from the huge green conical channel marker buoy. From my little nose it looked 8 times the size of a DZero (my nose is small and it looked very scary). The buoy seemed to have a bow wave bigger than mine and appeared to be sucking me towards it. I kept well away.

Gabriele Dado (281) – Step 1: borrow a boat. Step 2: show the regulars what they should be doing

The courses were shorted today, but still involved very long beats against the tide. Between the last two races, I paused to play with two friendly porpoises that were leaping around my hull. The creatures were saying “we’ve come inshore because it’s blowing old boots out there and it’s coming your way”. Owner does not speak porpoise.

The Race Officer also did not speak porpoise.

Off we set for Race 7, which had us hardy boats screeching downwind in gusts of 28 knots. The penultimate leg was a multi-fleet graveyard of upturned RS400s, 29ers and Musto Skiffs. A few DZeros were also inverted, with only 9 boats finishing the race. The tenth boat to attempt finishing that race was one Mick Green, who was so far behind after his epic capsize routine, that the marks had been lifted and the committee boat had gone home as he scanned the horizon for something to round.

We managed a 7th place pipping locals Billie McCarlie and Willie McTodd on the last mark rounding.

Hunting in packs

Back ashore the winner’s podium was graced with the all round skills of Niel McRitchie, winning on countback with equal points from Ian McBaillie. Fleet newcomer Gabriele McDado was third in a borrowed boat and Rhodri McThomas from Dalgety Bay was fourth in his first DZero event. A special mention to another newcomer Andy McHutchinson from Loch Earn, who was only able to race one day, but had the impressive results of 2,3,4.

In fifth place was Jon McBassett with a tidy scoreline.

Billy McCarlie was my Lanterne Rouge boat in 6th place; the last boat to complete every race.

It was a series that showed the versatility of us boats and our ability to cope with all weights, ages and swimming ability. Well done Qwners – you really are great fun and we humour you well.

Well done also to Martin McLatimer, Jon McBassett and the race team at Largs who have worked so hard behind the scenes and at the event to pull this off.

On behalf of my fellow DZero dinghies, “We had a ball”

Zippy Zero 333

Dere’s a D-Zero in da house…

Hello everyone, from Zippy Zero, the charismatic and journalistic D-Zero racing dinghy.

I am slowly waking up from my long winter hibernation to discover two things.

One – I’m lying on a deeply padded sunlounger in The Household Conservatory and Two – I have undergone a metamorphosis and have changed colour to a hint of grey (so mature). I have also acquired a new sail number; 333 – half a devil. How interesting.

I’m thrilled with the changes; super smooth hull, latest bimbles, full set of foils (just kidding – been watching too much of the AC75’s on telly) and I’m really looking forward to going sailing. Hey, I might even be a silver surfer!!

Talking of sailing, I detect a bit of excitement in the human world, as the population starts stirring from their own enforced winter hibernation. I’m certain it won’t be long before we’ll be back to racing – even doing some travelling and visiting my D-Zero family across the country.

The early part of our racing schedule will depend on how healthy the humans are. Personally, I think the more time they spend on the water, the better. So, if you haven’t got a D-Zero yet, check out our stand at the Virtual RYA Dinghy Exhibition this weekend.

Our God, Maker, Deal-breaker and Tin-Man-Faker David Valentine will be offering advice, plus a special show offer on new boats. Also check out our website for information on the D-Zero pre-loved collection. You can also talk online to D-Zero Owners (including my Owner, although she is blonde and talks a lot – you have been warned).

With most of our racing calendar set in late summer, I’m really looking forward to my home club’s regatta weekend from June 25-27th. The event is a joint venture between neighbouring clubs West Kirby and Dee. It starts on the Friday with a round Hilbre Island race, to kick a few seal butts into orbit, before the regatta races held over the weekend. My D-Zero friends are most welcome, as are all boats who enjoy some salty, spicy sailing on the Dee Estuary.

Our Nationals have been moved from June to August and it seems that this will be the month to be in Scotland. The Jocky McNoo programme kicks off at Aberdeen and Stonehaven SC with their regatta (and D-Zero Open) on 14/15 August. A four day recovery and travel time brings us to the West coast for the RSK D-Zero Nationals at Largs SC from 20/22 August, followed by the Largs Regatta on 28/29th August. Here, I have an unfinished business date set up with a fearsome crocodile on the Isle of Cumbrae which we encounter as we race around the Island on the final day.

All this talk of sailing has made me feel quite tired, so I’m going to recline on my lounger and continue curing a bit longer.

Hang in there peoples and remember to cough far away from each other.

Remember. Far Cough.

Half-Devil Zippy 333

Zippys adventures in Wonderland – AKA Zippy goes to the dzero.co.uk Inland Championships

Welcome back to the tales of Zippy the Dzero; this time travelling to the DZero Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club. I’ve called this episode “Zippy’s Adventures in Wonderland” because it seems unreal to be on the traveller’s circuit again; off to meet up with my boatie mates across the country.

Traditionally, the sailing report for these type of events is written by the light-winged heroes, who see all from the vantage point at the front of the fleet. So, I’m sorry to disappoint you readers by admitting that this report comes from an under-achieving boat, who’s Owner sailed me like a heavy goods vehicle on the way to a test centre.

Having interviewed the main players, along with some of my other fans who stopped by Owner’s tent to welcome me back to the racing world, I have pieced together a story, which might be far from the facts. But it reads well and fits in with the final results, allowing for some personal vengeances, individual victories, figments of the imagination and too much time spent in isolation over the past six months.

As always, I like to set the scene before we get to the capsizing, breakages, penalty turns and tantrums.

After a sad summer of cancelled DZero events, Grafham Water SC bravely stood by the planned Inland Championships on the weekend of 5th/6th Sept. It attracted a total of 22 entries; 16 from ten visiting clubs, plus 6 local club boats. 

The wind was forecast as a fresh Westerly, gusting 20 knots. It did not disappoint and created some havoc for the first race.

Race Officers Nigel and Fiona Denchfield set up a trapezoidal course and the DZeros were away cleanly on the first start. David Valentine, the Dzero Dealer, led the fleet around the first mark in a brand new and unmodified boat that he was using as an experiment to see what happens with a standard 8:1 kicker and without any upgrades that us Zeros so enjoy. Well, “Plain Jane” was simply flying and David sailed a short distance after rounding the mark without using a rudder or controls as he was so busy fist pumping the air with both arms. He led the race for 2 laps, being overtaken by Gavin Flemming on the reach and followed by new Dzero sailor Harry Moffatt (age 22) in the boat borrowed from Paul Jefferies, who was having some appendix issues rather than sailing.

I was having some of my own appendix issues on the last run, as my mainsheet  

had flipped itself around the boom on the gybe and it got truly twangled, so it wouldn’t release. Owner did some dodgy circus manoeuvres on my transom trying to release it, whilst running by the lee, which didn’t help at all. In the end the whole boom had to come inboard to get sorted – all with gusts of 15-20 knots puffing in various directions. It was not quick.

The gust and shifts continued to make sailing hard work. On the second beat, a 90-degree shift caused four boats to capsize together. Think Synchronised Swimming. Seb Prowse, Andrew Spencer, Richard Major and Gavin all won gold for style and Gavin won double gold for rapidly making up the 150 metres he lost and was lying in 3rd on the last lap.

Local sailor, Neil Washington was close behind in 4th place and headed drastically inshore on the last run to look for the Convergence Zone.

May I butt in at this point and say that I was completely lost at this stage in the interview, as I usually go looking for waves or seals when I get bored of racing. It seems this Convergence thing really paid off for Neil, but even more so for Gavin, who looked behind him and decided he’d like one too. It propelled him past David Valentine and gave him a comfortable win, with Harry pipping David over the finish line to rob him out of second place. No fist pumping…of a happy kind anyway.

Race two saw David, once again, lead all the Zeros around the windward mark with Jane flying like a banshee and David fist pumping like an over-adrenalized teenager. Once again, it was to be Gavin who sailed a faultless race and took the gun from Tom and Steve Bolland.

Race three involved much place swapping between Steve, Tom, David and Neil, until Gavin got ahead on a shift on the second lap. Harry sailed a good final run, getting past David to rob him of a place once more at the finish.

So ended an exhausting first day of racing. We boats retired via our personal slipway and practiced a little social distancing in our self-made boat park on the grass by the camp site, just to see what it was all about. It didn’t last long as the Canada Geese came to snuggle up with us at bedtime.

Although the clubhouse and facilities were closed, the café provided packed lunches and hot drinks for sailors in the daytime. As the evening approached, the sailors staying overnight gathered at The Valentine Bistro (David’s Van) for a takeaway supper, sponsored by dzero.co.uk and beers sponsored by JonCowpers Beach Bar. Music by The Canadas.

Day Two.

The wind had dropped off. In the words of my interviewed Weatherman Washington “The cloud formation to the West gave a sense of fore coming doom with signs of turbulent mixing aloft.” In Zippy speak this translates as, be prepared to rig up facing any direction. Not only that but be prepared to sail in any direction on any tack on the same leg. Simples.

Race Four

The first game-changing shift arrived on the second beat. Luckily, we were on the correct side of it for once and reached into the windward mark. Tom, Steve and Neil all got it right too and finished the race in that order. David had been lying in the top 5 that race and sailed into a huge hole (but no rabbit, seeing as this is a wonderland story). There he stayed until the entire fleet had passed him, so that he could finish in last place.

Race Five

The winds became lighter and shiftier. As the placings were repeatedly shuffled and re-drawn, there was a new race winner; local man Richard Major, who had obviously been studying the wind patterns at Grafham for a long time. Close behind was Nigel Pybus, followed by Tom and Steve. Gordon Stewart was the rabbitless hole man of the race, finishing like David in 21st place.

Race Six

The wind was still very unstable. No more so then when it drastically shifted to the South West at the start. Of course there was chaos, including Richard over the line. The boats at the pin end were unable to cross the line. Tom was able to tack off early, but Gavin was caught out at the pin and had to gybe around to re-start on port. Weatherman Washington saw the writing on the clouds before the gun went and bore off, gybed round and put a friendly little tack in on top of Tom. The Weather Gods were very sympathetic towards Tom. Tom is kind, Tom is a Poster Boy and Tom tacked just short of the windward mark. So the Weather Gods lifted him gently and kindly around it. Neil Weatherman did not receive this generous gift and finished in second place behind happy winner Tom.

The weekends’ racing was so close, that the overall winner had to be calculated  

on countback, with the top three sailors being on equal points. Gavin won the overall Inland Championship Trophy and the prizes were awarded all the way down the fleet, sponsored by dzero.co.uk.

A special mention must go to an opportunistic sailor, Nigel Austin from Cransley SC, who spotted a large silver yacht replica at a car boot sale roadside on the way to the club on Sunday morning. He stopped to make an impulse purchase and presented the trophy to the first Cransley Sailing Club DZero; Nigel Pybus (8th overall).

Thus ended the DZero outing of the season so far. Lovely to see some old friends and make some new ones (Abby Freeley – welcome back to the DZero Class!) A huge thank you to Grafham Water SC; the race teams and shore crew. And a massive thankyou to our wonderful and supportive Class Man, David Valentine.

Next job for me is to find the nearest HGV driver training centre.

Zippy Zero

DZ187

Results;

1. Gavin Flemming; 1,1,1,4,9,(11) -16 pts
2. Tom Southwell; (10),2,9,1,3,1 -16 pts
3. Steve Bolland; 5,3,2,2,4,(7) – 16pts
4. Neil Washington; 4,5,3,3,(7),2 – 17pts
5. Harry Moffatt; 2,(8),4,6,6,3 – 21pts

Full results can be found by clicking here.

Photos below from the Committee Boat and are Copyright Nigel Denchfield

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