On the 5th May the D-Zero fleet gathered at Hunts SC. The sun had decided to come out and play, unfortunately the wind decided not to and could best be described as variable in both strength and direction. this did not deter the 17 boats, 9 visitors and 8 locals, that headed out to the startline for race 1.
At the start south coast visitors Ian Morgan and Tom Southwell seemed to show the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels and it looked like they would be battling it out for the top spots. However they were to discover that what the wind gods giveth, the wind gods could just as easily take away with the Hunts locals using their local knowledge (aka luck) to close them down and make it a 5 way fight for the lead. Local sailor Jon Cowper thought he had it made when he managed to sneak away in his own personal little puff of wind. However the wind gods in their infinite wisdom decided to stop him at the 3rd mark from home and allow the rest of the chasing pack to sneak past.
Ian made the best of the opportunity with local sailor (and your roving reporter) Paul Jefferies sneaking through to second with another local Graham Cox coming through first in the gaggle of boats to complete the minor placings.
After the excitement of race 1 the fleet retired to shore for lunch in the sunshine and the inevitable discussions and lamentations (from some).
After lunch the wind lulled us all into a false sense of security and had filled in a little and seemed to be steady.
At the start it was Richard Major from Grafham who came flying off the line (relatively speaking) to build what appeared to be an unassailable lead by the end of the first lap. A battle royal was taking place behind between Ian, Tom, Paul, Jon, Harry Moffat (in a demo boat), Graham, Nigel Austin and Will Deutsch. Once again the wind gods decided to have some fun and Richards lead evaporated slowly as the chasing pack managed to find some pressure. First Ian got off the front of the pack and passed him. the rest of the pack still jockeying for position. With 2 marks to go Richard and Tom were in close company with your roving reporter a little way further back. Using his local knowledge (and a healthy slice of luck) Paul decide to go to windward of the anchored committee boat with Richard and Tom going to leeward. The wind gods smiled and Paul slipped past both Tom and Richard by the final mark (much to their disgust) and almost caught Ian on the line.
The finishing order was Ian, Paul, Tom and Richard.
It was that man Richard again who flew off the line and again built himself a huge lead. This time the wind gods let him have his moment of glory and and left him alone to take the gun. In the chasing pack it was Ian, Tom, Nigel and Harry. Paul decided enough was enough when the wind decided to die off completely and took an early bath leaving Jon and Graham to try and chase down the pack. Graham got away from Jon but didn’t catch the pack in front. At the line it was Richard with Ian getting the best of the pack to take second with Tom in 3rd.
Overall this meant Ian finally got the Hunts monkey off his back, his last trip to the club in similar conditions was not great. Paul took runner up spot for the 3rd time with Tom taking 3rd. The positions below were close with 3 places being decided on countback just behind the leading trio. With prizes going down to 7th place thanks to and extra boost to the prize pot by class distributor dzero.co.uk and North Sails there were a even more smiles on faces at prize giving.
In the Hunts v Grafham challenge (open to any Hunts or Grafham sailor who competes in both events) Paul Jefferies (2nd) is just ahead of Richard Major (3rd), and graham Cox (5th) so there is still all to play for at Grafham when the return fixture takes place in September.
|1st||250||Netley SC||Ian Morgan||1.0||1.0||(2.0)||2.0|
|2nd||188||Hunts SC||Paul Jefferies||2.0||2.0||(18.0 DNF)||4.0|
|3rd||169||Grafham Water SC||Richard Major||(7.0)||4.0||1.0||5.0|
|4th||217||Netley SC||Tom Southwell||(5.0)||3.0||3.0||6.0|
|5th||108||Hunts SC||Graham Cox||3.0||(10.5)||6.0||9.0|
|6th||191||Cransley SC||Nigel Austin||(6.0)||5.0||4.0||9.0|
|7th||66||Hunts SC||Harry Moffat||4.0||(9.0)||5.0||9.0|
|8th||181||North Herts and East Beds SC||Gordon Stewart||(9.0)||6.0||8.0||14.0|
|9th||42||Hunts SC||Jon Cowper||(8.0)||8.0||7.0||15.0|
|10th||158||Hunts SC||Gary Tompkins||(12.0)||7.0||9.0||16.0|
|11th||8||Grafham Water SC||Joe Constable||10.0||(12.0)||11.0||21.0|
|12th||122||Hunts SC||Ed Deacon||11.0||10.5||(12.0)||21.5|
|13th||119||Hunts SC||Will Deutsch||(14.0)||13.0||13.0||26.0|
|14th||193||North Herts and East Beds SC||Andrew Everitt||(18.0 DNF)||18.0 DNF||10.0||28.0|
|15th||Emsworth Slipper SC||Dave Valentine||16.0||14.0||(18.0 DNF)||30.0|
|16th||183||Hunts SC||Abby Freeley||13.0||(18.0 DNF)||18.0 DNF||31.0|
|17th||3||Grafham Water SC||John Aston||15.0||(18.0 DNF)||18.0 DNS||33.0|