The 17th February saw the hardy winter sailors from all classes gather at Oxford SC for the Oxford Blue. This included 3 hardy D-Zero sailors to decide who would be crowned as the D-Zero Winter Series champion for 2017/2018 and earn the right to carry the coveted ‘W’ on their sail. Netley SC club mates Ian Morgan and Tom Southwell were the only 2 in contention for the title with Nigel ‘I have been to all the events’ Austin having secured 3rd place already.
The forecast leading up the the weekend looked favourable at the start of the week but as that week wore on the wind seemed to drop off more and more. On the day the winds were light which favoured the slower hiking boats but led to a lot of traffic. This may explain why Ian posted an 84 in race 1 and Tom managed a 71. If Tom could keep this up then he could steal the title from under Ians nose.
In race 2 normal service was resumed by Ian leaving Tom some distance behind to post a 15 to Toms 34. Ian duly sealed the deal posting a 39 in the final race to Toms 58. Nigel Austin (the D-Zero serial traveller) posted a 77, 61, 64 and will now surely rename is boat the Morgan beater having beaten Ian in race 1…
So in the overall standings this mean Ian secured the D-Zero Winter Series title for 2017/2018 (and can leave the ‘W’ on his sail) but was pushed all the way by Tom this year with Nigel completing the podium. For full D-Zero Winter Series standings click here.
In the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series this left Ian in a respectable 6th overall (full series standings can be found here) . With the D-Zero class finishing 4th in the Dinghy Rope Top Class competition and could easily have topped the rankings with a few more entries.