The weekend of the 12th/13th December saw Round 3 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2015/2016 and Round 2 of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series 2015/2016. As with last years event, and with the recent Draycote Dash, the wind forecast was looking ominous for the handicap races on the Saturday with a much lighter forecast for the Sunday some of the 13 strong fleet were having a distinct sense of deja vu. In the end 1 race was sailed on Saturday in survival conditions with a second handicap race re-scheduled for Sunday morning before the non-discardable double point pursuit race.

The weekend was another success for the class with all 13 entries making it out on the water. As, with the recent Draycoate Dash, the class was again 1 of only 2 classes to record 2 boats in the top 10 overall with David Summerville and Rob Lennox coming home 5th and 9th respectively. The rest of the fleet was then a little spread out through the overall results with Christian Smart completing the D-Zero podium. Full results for the Datchet Flyer can be found by clicking here. In the other categories running as part of the GJW Direct Sailjuice winter series Tom Southwell continues to lead the Harken Youth Category (click here for full standings) and Ian Morgan recorded the fastest speed of the weekend in the Musto Speed Challenge of 15.62kts (before deciding to sample the waters). We will update this report on the other categories once Sail Racer publish them as the D-Zero is well placed in the classes trophy as well.

David Summerville – GBR192 reports for the class:

Despite an inclement forecast for the Saturday, 13 hardy D-Zero sailors turned up for the Datchet Flyer on 12th and 13th December, only being surpassed in numbers by the Musto Skiff, who were re-running their previously cancelled Inlands. Total entry for the event was 102 boats.

Race 1
The fleet split was such that the D-Zeros were at the front of the slow fleet, with the fleet race course being an inverted P. Race 1 started in a solid 20 – 25 knots of breeze with gusts of 35 knots recorded later in the race. Ian Morgan rounded the weather mark with a decent lead, followed by Christian Smart, of Blaze fame, and David Summerville, with Rob Lennox of Lark and Laser fame in a good position to attack the leading bunch. Ian extended over the 2 reaching legs, and David passed Christian. At the bear away onto the run Ian capsized and floundered for a while, ultimately retiring. David passed him and extended his lead around the course, to finish 17th on handicap, mostly behind fast fleet trapeze boats, as the 2 fleets were combined using average lap time to compute corrected times under the Great Lakes handicap system. Christian finished 27th, Rob 29th and Gordon Stewart finished a creditable 31st. With the average wind speed now blowing over 30 knots all further racing was abandoned for the day, a wise decision by the race team.

Race 2
Sunday dawned wet with little wind across the reservoir. The race was eventually started in 5 knots of breeze. Rob Lennox made the best of the port biased start line and played the shifts well up the first beat. He had a clear lead at the weather mark, followed by David, Christian and Mike Corney. Christian and Mike passed David on the first downwind leg and after 2 laps the finishing order was Rob with a well earned 4th on handicap, Christian 7th, Mike 10th and David 11th.

Pursuit Race
With little change in the wind strength, and gusts of perhaps 7 knots at times, the Pursuit Race was started with the D-Zeros as late starters in the slow fleet. David, Rob and Christian emerged as close leaders at the first weather mark and started to hunt down some of the slower boats with Lasers and Radials taken out relatively early. As the race progressed David started to pull away from the pursuing D-Zeros, with Rob and Christian have a private battle all the way round the course. Later in the race David managed to pass an Enterprise, a Streaker, a Supernova and a Snipe, with only a single Enterprise left to take when the finishing signal was sounded. Final results for the Pursuit Race were David in 2nd, Rob in 8th and Christian in 9th, with Tom Southwell and Seb Prowse sailing well to finish 17th and 18th respectively.

Overall D-Zero results for the 2015 Datchet Flyer were as follows:-
David Summerville 5th
Rob Lennox 9th
Christian Smart 14th
Mike Corney 31st
Tom Southwell 35th
Gordon Stewart 41st
Graham Cooper 42nd
Nigel Austin 44th
Seb Prowse 45th
Rob Campbell 50th
Kevin Moll 51st
Alistair Hill 64th
Ian Morgan 80th

There are some photos from the lighter winds racing on Sunday here from Tim Olin:

From here the class moves on the Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales SC on the 27th December followed by the Grafham Grand Prix on the 28th December. The Grafham Grand Prix is also doubling up as a re-scheduled Grafham D-Zero Open so be sure to hang around for prize giving.