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.
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!
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,
Full results for all classes can be found be clicking here.
The D-Zero 2022 Nationals Entry form can be found by clicking here.