David Summerville sailing GBR 132 – Photo credit Gail Pearson

4 D-Zeros competed in the Draycote Dash at Draycote Water Sailing Club on the weekend of 22nd/23rd November. This was the first event of the 2014/15 GJW Direct Winter Series, which comprises 8 inland events on large reservoirs taking place between now and the end of January.

104 boats entered the Draycote Dash.

The Saturday consisted of 4 average lap handicap races, with slow, medium and fast handicap starts. The D-Zeros were given a GL (Great Lakes) handicap number of 1015 and allocated to the medium fleet, which also included Blaze, Scorpion, Flying Fifteen, Halo, Phantom, RS300, Icon, RS100 and Merlin Rocket.

Races 1 and 2 were sailed in 10 knots, gusting 12 knots at times, giving the D-Zero a good opportunity to stretch her legs. There was plenty of traffic all the way around the trapezoidal course, and the D-Zero showed good pace on all points of sail, with VMG comparing well to some of the assymetric boats down the run. David Summerville made the best of the conditions picking up 20th and 11th once the fleet results were combined, with Russ Hopkins and Steve Harvey trading places a bit further down the fleet, a few boats ahead of Simon Wigmore.

By Race 3 the wind had dropped to 7kts, allowing the assymetric boats to carry their kites on the tight reaches. Once again it was critical to maintain clear air around the course, with David picking up a 43rd and Russ beating Steve by 5 places, and Simon 2 places further back.

For Race 4 the dying breeze was down to 4 knots but unfortunately the race committee decided to proceed with the race in the dying breeze. It became increasingly difficult to maintain motion around the course, and David was again the leading D-Zero in 42nd, with Steve beating Russ in this one, and Simon sensibly opting out.

Overnight D-Zero results were as follows:-

32nd David Summerville
75th Steve Harvey
76th Russ Hopkins
92nd Simon Wigmore

Pursuit Race

On the Sunday a 120 minute, double-points, non-discardable pursuit race was held in a very light breeze of 3 – 4 knots. 3 D-Zeros proceeded to the starting area with Simon again very sensibly deciding not to compete. The D-Zeros were scheduled to start 30 seconds after the Flying Fifteens and at the same start time as the Halo, with the Phantom starting a further 30 seconds behind. In very difficult conditions the Phantom had passed all 3 D-Zeros within a minute of its start, with the leading Merlin Rocket of Nick Craig and Toby Lewis passing us by the first windward mark. One of the Halos had also built a commanding lead by this time, and went on to win the event overall. David pulled out a decent lead on the first 2 legs then fell into a light patch on the long reach across the lake, and was passed by Russ, who with his non-conventional standing position in the light airs sailed extremely well to extend his lead over the other D-Zeros and finish in 28th position, with David in 44th and Steve in 58th.

Overall results for the 2 days combined were as follows:-

36th David Summerville
55th Russ Hopkins
68th Steve Harvey
95th Simon Wigmore

Overall the weekend was a bit of a light wind affair, with races 1 & 2 being a highlight in particular, and lots of interest being shown on the D-Zero

Full results can be found here: http://gjw.sailracer.org/eventsites/content.asp?id=39670&eventid=195890