In a year of firsts for the D-Zero the 10th and 11th October 2015 is definitely one of the stand out moments as 24 D-Zeros turned up to Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for their inaugural Inland Championships.
With a later start planned for the Saturday to allow those who had not travelled up the Friday night to stay in one of the many excellent local B&Bs (or with more local members of the D-Zero fleet in some cases) the unpacking and rigging of boats was a more leisurely affair than usual. With the late start also allowing for lunch to be had prior to briefing the whole morning became more of a social affair with old acquaintances being renewed and new faces being welcomed.
As briefing approached and everyone had registered there were 22 entries with 2 more travelling up to compete on the Sunday to make an excellent turnout of 24 for the weekend. Our Race officer for Saturday indicated that he would be setting a trapezoid course and that the D-Zeros, as the biggest fleet, would be starting first (no pressure there then).
The wind for race one was the lightest of the weekend. At the start there was one boat over (your intrepid reporter who, after going back, had a great view of the fleet battling it out upwind). At the windward mark David Summerville from Grafham Water SC had set down a marker and taken a lead he never looked like losing and was followed by Nick Miller from Morecombe SC in second. The rest of the fleet streaming round eagerly searching for an advantage over their rivals. With the fleet being pretty evenly matched there was little opportunity for large gains to be made with the lighter sailors making the best of the downwind legs and the heavier sailors managing to gain things back on the upwind legs. At the gun it was David, followed by Nick with Mark Bamber from Blackpool and Fleetwood in 3rd and Mike Corney from Queen Mary SC in 4th.
With the wind slowly building for race 2 some of the bigger sailors were out for revenge on their lighter counterparts after race 1. A packed start line saw some lose out as they got squeezed out and the shuffled down the pack in the resulting frenzy. Your reporter who was one of those to get shuffled (note to self: work on starts) didn’t get much of a view of the front of the fleet other than to note that David had escaped off the front of the pack being chased by Nick once again. This time the wind had built to allow for marginal planing on the top reach so those who could use the gusts could make some gains. There were battle royals taking place all through the pack with groups of boats vying for advantage over each other. At the gun it was David followed by Nick but this time John Turley from Yorkshire Dales SC found himself up near the front coming home in 3rd being chased hard by Jon Cowper from Hunts SC in 4th.
Race 3 took place in the best wind of the day. This time your roving reporter managed to be somewhere near the line at the start and had a good view of David and Nick as they sailed off upwind being chased hard by Jon Cowper, Mike Corney, Russ Hopkins and myself. Jon could not seem to live with the pace of those around him on the offwind legs and dropped back in to pack. Nick and David were having a battle royal at the front which seemed to last for a good part of the race with Nick getting the better of David at the line. Russ was battling away with Mike but then decided that the peaty waters of Grimwith Reservoir looked perfect for a dip and capsized on the last run. Luckily for Russ he decided swimming was perhaps not the best idea and righted his boat before he could be overhauled by the chasing boats. At the line the finishing order was Nick, David, Mike and Russ.
Overnight the leading 2 boats had a good advantage over the rest of the fleet with Mike a little out on his own in 3rd. With the points from 4th downwards pretty tight there was still a lot to play for on the Sunday.
As the fleet settled down to eat a superb meal laid on by Rural Recipes (the clubs incumbent caterers) washed down liberally with beer the chat inevitably turned to the usual in fleet banter. With some lamenting what might have been if only they were on the start line to others who enjoyed the sympathy of their fellow competitors when they made a mistake (and in some cases had a brief dip in the refreshing waters). A passing interest was displayed by some of the more devoted rugby fans to the England v Uruguay game. As the evening wore on and the temperature dropped those with camper vans or B&B beds to look forward too seemed happier than the few who had elected to camp.
Sunday dawned grey, cloudy, coo; and best of all there was some nice breeze blowing down the lake. At the hardy campers extracted themselves from their tents, cars and camper cavans and made their way to the clubhouse for breakfast they were greeted by the sight of the final 2 entries driving in. These 2 had only received their boats the previous weekend and had “Only put them together once and had a little play”. Hats off to them for choosing the inlands for their first competitive sail!
As breakfast was eaten the wind decided to die off leaving a few long faces. Happily as briefing rolled around it started to fill back in. With an inverse P course set by the race officer there were a few head scratches as some struggled to remember what an inverse P course was!
The start for race 4 was as competitive as ever with some winners and some losers. The left side of the beat seemed to pay initially intil people tacked back and saw those who had gone up the middle and the right hooking a big shift that carried them to the windward mark. This time Gareth Henshall from Shotwick Lake SC in his first competitive outing hit the front and had a handy lead which he never looked like losing. He was chased all race by David, Nick and Russ all to no avail. Back in the fleet the battles were resumed with a longer run allowing for some gains to be made as people hunted out the gusts as they came down the length of the reservoir. At the line it was Gareth followed by David and Nick with Russ in 4th. With Mike only able to manage a 7th this result all but sealed the championship for David with only Nick able to beat him if results went his way in the final 2 races.
A shift with around 30 seconds to go before the start gave the fleet the only general recall of the championships. With our start shuffled to the back of the sequence the fleet was just starting as the leading Contenders started their upwind legs. This led to them mixing it with the fleet at the top mark. With the D-Zeros having such close racing they had to pick their way through as best they could. David made no mistake this time and after a short but hard fought race he came home to take the bullet and with it become the inaugural D-Zero Inland Champion. Mike found his form again to come home second with Nick 3rd. Gareth could not seem to match his first race form and came home 4th. This result also meant Nick could not be overtaken for 2nd but Mike was by no means safe from Russ in 3rd.
With the championship sealed David decided to take an early shower (who can blame him it was a little chilly). Nick seemed to be enjoying himself though as at the start he ported tacked most of the fleet having spotted a big shift to the left. The fleet bearing down on starboard did not phase him at all as he calmly sailed on past and in to a lead he was never to lose. Gareth also rediscovered his first race form to come home 2nd with Mark Bamber coming home 3rd and Gordon Bennell from Shotwick also in his first competitive outing to come home 4th. But what of the battle to decide 4th overall? Russ manage to come home 5th and with Mike following him over in 6th this gave the final podium spot to Mike but a couple of points once discards kicked in.
So, after all the results were collated, David Summerville was crowned the inaugural Suntouched D-Zero Inland Champion. He was presented with the perpetual trophy that has commissioned by the class and made by Astins Sailing Sculptures. Nick Miller came 2nd, this was an excellent performance given that it was his first time sailing a D-Zero and first time in a dinghy for quite some time (hopefully we will see Nick back in a D-Zero again soon to challenge David). Mike Corney came 3rd, Russ Hopkins was 4th and Mark Bamber was 5th. John Cheslett from Bala who is not only fairly new to the class but also new to the world of dinghy sailing was awarded the D-Zero class prize for his efforts on Sunday where he ended up mixing it with the fleet and having a smile on his face (which was in complete contrast to Saturday). The top five plus John Cheslett won Sandiline clothing vouchers to spend with Suntouched Sailboats. Prizes were then awarded down though most of the fleet from Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club who privided additonal prizes on top of the already generous sponsorship from the D-Zero UK distributor Suntouched Sailboats.
To close the prize giving David Summerville thanked the club, the class, the caterers and the competitors (and anyone who was not included in the above) who went to make the event such a success. The next event for the D-Zero class is the final Training and open event of the year at Grafham Water where the class will also hold their AGM.
Thanks from the class to Suntouched Sailboats for their generous sponsorship of the event and continued support to the class. Yorkshire Dales SC for hosting an excellent event. John Turley from the host club for arranging the Saturday meal, ensuring everything ran smoothly and sorting out club provided prizes and finally Paul Hargreaves, the resident Yorkshire Dales SC photographer, for kindly allowing the class to use his photos in the report. More photos of the event can be found by clicking here.
Some quotes from the weekend, taken from the D-Zero class Facebook page:
Had a great weekend, thank you to everyone for making this newcomer to the fleet so welcome. – Mick Green GBR182
Great event, although as this was my first open meeting ever(away from my home club), Ive nothing to compare it to !!!! are they all as good as this? Thanks to all involved – Mark Heaton GBR151
Great weekend and good to see so many new faces in the fleet ! Looking forward to the Grafham Open next month, where there will also be new faces. – David Summerville GBR132
|1st||David Summerville||1.0||1.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||(25.0 DNC)||7.0|
|7th||Jon Cowper||10.0||4.0||7.0||10.0||(25.0 RAF)||7.0||38.0|
|12th||Gareth Henshall||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||25.0 DNC||1.0||4.0||2.0||57.0|
|14th||John Turley||9.0||3.0||12.0||17.0||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||66.0|
|15th||Gorden Bennell||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||25.0 DNC||5.0||7.0||4.0||66.0|
|17th||Toby Peacock||5.0||13.0||9.0||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||25.0 DNC||77.0|
|19th||Graham Cox||6.0||17.0||19.0||(25.0 DNF)||19.0||19.0||80.0|
|20th||Jeremey Cooper||15.0||16.0||20.0||16.0||15.0||(25.0 DNC)||82.0|
|23rd||John Cheslett||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||25.0 DNC||20.0||16.0||16.0||102.0|
|24th||Robert Campbell||17.0||19.0||18.0||(25.0 DNC)||25.0 DNC||25.0 DNC||104.0|