Russ Hopkins Writes:
A shortage of water, leading to a muddy slip way. This was the message relayed back to competitors and the reason for a general postponement of the 2015 Grafham Grand Prix. This was a bit of a shame for the D-Zero fleet had attracted around 17 boats to the original event date.
The event was rescheduled for the 22nd February. With some competitors unable to make the new date 15 hardy souls utilised the excellent Sailracer pre entry system. Ready to pit their wits against other D-Zero sailors in the Suntouched winter series. Current series leader Russ Hopkins was literally jumping with excitement as the long range forecast looked as tasty as chips! Hopkins was also all too aware of David Summerville’s cruel plan to overtake Hopkins in the series standing right at the last event.
The morning of the event arrived and competitors were greeted with a pathetic 3-5knots and a lake that looked like glass. True to forecast the wind gradually built as the competitors rigged. Mandy Horton was sporting her new Blue rig. Perhaps the local hotshot knew what was coming. One thing for sure the blue rig not only looked great, but boy did it fly!
The fleet launched in docile conditions 3 races were planned, it looked like this was going to be a pleasant day. Our intrepid reporter was having issues! Was it the pressure of the dagger like stares thrown at him by Summerville. Was it the curry he had eaten the night before….who knows, who even cares, but the broken tacktick bracket and dead batteries in his go pro was obviously a sign that today was not to be Hopkins day.
The fleet set off with Hobin and Summerville heading left followed by Washington, Luckily for the rest of the fleet there was a general recall. At the second attempt at starting Hobin and Summerville again shot off. Tussling with each other throughout the race Hopkins and Woods again enjoying some big breeze close racing. First race ended with 1st Summerville 2nd Hobin 3rd Hopkins
The wind had built even further with some very nasty gust causing many sailors to take a quick dip. Hopkins and Summerville really had a good close race, with Hopkins trying every trick in the book to retain a lead over Summerville until the end of the race. This left things wide open for the Last race both in the event and the series. Second Race 1st Hopkins 2nd Summerville 3rd Aston
It was all to play for. All Summerville needed to do to clinch the Suntouched Winter Series title was to beat Hopkins. Some incredibly close racing took place amongst the Top 3 with the remainder of the fleet hot on the tails. Sadly for Hopkins experience took the regatta and the series. With Summerville taking line honours again followed by Aston and Hopkins in third.
I think it’s safe to say the fleet really enjoyed the series, with 25 boats entered in total the D-Zero sits in third place in the total entries league table happily above massive classes like he Solo! Only beaten by the Laser. This really demonstrates how far the class has come in its first year!
Overall the best sailor won…well done David.