Graham Cooper reports from Bala:
Five D-Zeros raced in the Bala Easter Regatta 2015 and were the largest class competing. Wind on Saturday was North Easterly blowing around 5 to 10 knots. The zeros raced in the Fast Handicap fleet off a PN of 1040, on a course with a good beat, run and a couple of reaches. Asymmetrics sailed a separate course, sharing the Windward mark.
Despite some big shifts that saw the windward mark being moved half-way across the lake at one point, the race officer did a great job of turning around 4 races on Saturday. Contrary to the forecast, we had plenty of sunshine and the wind didn’t die until late in the day. There were a few sore heads on Sunday due to excessive sun, not beer consumption! After awaking to still conditions on Sunday and with a mist hanging over the lake, as the sun rose a gentle breeze developed. There was some optimism that the Bala ‘micro-climate’ would defeat the big area of high-pressure sat over Wales, but by midday it had fizzled out and racing was cancelled for the day.
Race 1 was won by David Summerville with Graham Cooper not able to stay close enough up-wind. ‘Focus on the darker patches of water’ said Dave, but it all looked the same to Graham…perhaps he’d better go to Specsavers! Andy Jones chased Dave S to the finish in Race 2. Finding the best way up the beat, with the wind shifting around the hill on the North side of the lake, was key to winning. Graham was trailing Andy and Jeremy Cooper off the start-line in Race 3. Dave and Graham went left up the beat which paid off, with Graham finishing behind Dave who finished about 3 minutes ahead on corrected time. Dave said he got lucky with a patch of breeze that enabled him to plane the whole reach, but he does seem to be a very lucky chap! Race 4 saw Dave finishing first again…where’s Dan, Paul or Russ when you need them to upset the apple cart?
Overall regatta winner was our very own David Summerville, followed by a Solo, K1 and Fireball. Graham Cooper was the next D Zero in 5th place. Andy Jones was consistently finishing around 7th place; Jeremy Cooper’s results were steadily improving over the 4 races, finishing 5th in the last race when he beat Andy. John Cheslett has only been sailing for a year and started in a Phantom! Now that he’s enjoying sailing a D Zero John is expecting to make good progress, and was pleased with what he learnt over the 4 races on Saturday.
The RYA seem to have done a good job with the D Zero EN of 1040, certainly for the conditions at Bala on Saturday when there was a good spread of results throughout the mixed fleet.
John Cheslett lent his boat out for a sail after racing on Saturday and the young sailor showed some good boat handling and came in very impressed (but I gather that he is a bit of a talent in Topper circles!): another prospective customer.
There is talk of D Zero participation at the Emsworth D-Zero open on the 18th April and also the POSH at Paignton….would be good sea practice in prep for our Nationals at Calshot in May.
Link to full results: http://www.balasc.org.uk/ResultsReports/Results15/EasterHC.html