Nigel Austin dealing with the traffic. Photo Copyright Tim Olin

On the 18th February the D-Zero fleet gathered at Oxford SC for round 8 of their 2016/2017 winter series. The event was also the final round of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series 2016/2017. With the top 2 steps of the podium in the overall standings already secured all eyes were on the 3 way battle for 3rd place overall. The wind forecast looked promising initially but conditions on the day were best described as ‘up and down’.

With the large B fleet and all the boats in that fleet being broadly similar in PY it was clear that traffic management was going to be key as getting out in front and keeping clear wind was never going to be much of an option unless you got lucky at the start.

Tom Southwell being chased by Rob Campbell. Photo Copyright Tim Olin

In Race 1 Tom Southwell did the best job in managing the traffic to be the first D-Zero but at a lowly 47th overall. He was followed by series leader Ian Morgan and the late charging (in the series) Mandy Sweet. There was some question as to whether 2 or 3 laps were completed. Luckily Sailracer were doing their GPS tracking and checked the tracks and confirmed (possibly to some disappointment) that only 2 laps were completed. One D-Zero was heard to lament that they thought they only did the 1 lap they were so slow….

Race 2 was a different affair with Mandy and Ian doing the best job in the traffic and Mandy posting a 10th, Ian a 13th and Tom a 19th. This meant there was all to play for in the final race of the day with any one of these 3 able to take class honours.

Race 3 and Ian finally decided he should show the rest of the class that he could get out in front and lead them home as he had done in previous events. Coming home in 32nd overall he was the first D-Zero followed by Tom and then Mandy.

Ian Morgan at the oxford Blue. Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Overall this meant Ian took class honours in the event coming home 32nd overall, Tom 2nd in 38th and Mandy 3rd in 44th. The question was what had happened to Nigel Austin, had he done enough to hold of Tom in the overall D-Zero winter series standings? Despite being 84th overall he managed 4th in class which meant he took the final podium spot in the Winter Series from Tom by virtue of his first place at the Brass Monkey.

From here the class moves on to Alexandra Palace for the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on the 4th and 5th March. We are on stand F12 in the West Hall and have a great team of people on hand to tell you everything you might want to know about the D-Zero. The the first class Open Meeting at South Cerney a week later on the 11th and 12th March.

D-Zero class summary:

1st Ian Morgan (32nd)
2nd Tom Southwell (38th)
3rd Mandy Sweet (44th)
4th Nigel Austin (84th)
5th Graham Cooper (89th)
6th Rob Campbell (110th)

Full Oxford Blue result can be found by clicking here.

Full D-Zero Winter Series results can be found by clicking here.

Full GJW Direct Sailjuice winter series overall and class standings will be available shortly.