Robin Goff from the host club reports:
The Bristol channel looked like a mill pond when the 8 competitors arrived for Clevedon Sailing Club’s 2016 D Zero open race meeting. Sailors had travelled from as far away as Southampton and Northampton and were looking forward to similar challenging conditions as experienced for the 2015 meeting.
However, as it got nearer to the published start time, a gentle south westerly 5 knot breeze filled in and race officer Ian Hotchkiss set a figure of eight course in the bay. After the competitors took to the water and the preparatory signal was sounded there was a 180 degree wind shift so a running start ensued. Local sailor Robin Goff made an excellent start sailing in shore to stay out of the tide. Meanwhile, Ian Morgan and Graham Cooper found extra breeze further out in the tide and led the fleet to the first mark. Goff left his transit to the first mark too late and ended up rounding last, but using his experience of the tide managed to pull back to third by the end of the first lap. Up at the front the battle for first place between Morgan and Cooper continued with multiple place changing. Cooper eventually broke away and went on to take first place with Ian close behind him. Further back in the fleet the battle for third place started. Goff had elected to stay inshore again and once more was passed by the rest of the fleet. Toby Peacock then broke away from the pack and remained unchallenged for third place. Using his skills over the tide Goff finished fourth as the wind dropped and the rest of the fleet were forced to retire.
No other races took place due to the outgoing tide and the lack of wind. The results from race one therefore completed the open series.