The Grafham D-Zero Fleet ready for action. Photo Credit Wendy Horton
Sunday 20th March 2016 saw the Grafham D-Zero fleet coming out in force to enjoy the first sail of Spring. 11 boats made it out on the water with a few others choosing to wait for the weather to warm up a little more before venturing out.
Neil Washington, Grafham D-Zero Fleet Captain says:
After a winter of mostly high winds, or no wind at all, it was nice to get a good forecast and see some boats out that had been sat in the dinghy park a while!
Andrew Everitt, currently a Laser sailor borrowed a D-Zero for the day and reports on his D-Zero experience:
Like many others up and down the country, I’m your average club sailor and sail a Laser. I get my kicks out of good, friendly, close racing and trying my best to improve.
I turned up at the club Sunday with the intention of sailing my Laser in club racing. However, Neil Washington told me there was a spare D-Zero going and would I like to take it out. I jumped at the chance and was pleased to see that there was a fleet of 10 other D-Zeros to race with.
My first impression was just how comfortable the boat was. The sailing position felt very intuitive. Upwind it felt very good. Hiking was rewarded without being painful. I also found it felt like it pointed higher than my Laser and the Aero. Downwind I found the boat very stable and I was able to sail it just like a Laser – sailing by the lee and heeling to windward worked well. The reaches were exciting and the boat responded and accelerated quickly to pressure. Gybing was very pleasant as the boat felt very forgiving throughout them.
I found it much easier to shift my weight around on all points of sail, helped by the spacious, clutter free cockpit.
The D-Zero feels very well balanced and the hull weight feels to hit a sweet spot between a Laser and the Aero.
The only problem I had was catching the boom on tacking occasionally. I did heed Neil’s advice and found sticking my back leg well behind me helped me to get lower down.
So how did I feel after my first race? Very good as it happens, I got a third place out of 11 boats. Must have been (and did prove to be) beginners luck! Though it does show how achievable it is to move from a Laser to a D-Zero and very quickly become competitive. I enjoyed sailing the D-Zero so much that I stayed in it all day.
To read Andrews full report on the D-Zero Facebook page click here.