23rd – 25th May 2015 saw the New Devoti D-Zero fleet descend into Calshot sailing centre for their Inaugural national championships. In total 27 competitors made the journey, despite several challenges including a late venue change and challenging weather forecasts.
Running up to the event the class had enjoyed some very well attended open events and racing had proved very close. Dan Holman, the boat designer and former Laser and International 14 hot shot, had shown blistering pace however had been troubled at the recent Emsworth Slipper open by Stuart Jones (Of Contender fame) and David Summerville. David himself had put plenty of time into training for the nationals and had just peaked in time for the recent POSH regatta at Paignton.
The fleet awoke on Saturday morning to very light winds, with a forecast not promising much more and the wind direction due to swing halfway through the day. The conditions were perfect for a Sea Breeze, sadly this never transpired. PRO David Henshall expertly managed to fit in 2 out of the 3 scheduled races Dan Holman taking the first Bullet in some fashion closely followed by Ian Morgan and Neil Coussouard. The second race saw winds drop even further which saw the PRO shorten the course. David Summerville sailed the shifts fantastically tacking on the pressure and took the win. Holman was buried in the fleet after the first beat but managed to sneak up to second piping Ian Morgan again into third. So after Day One Dan Holman took ownership of the Wave Clothing Yellow Jersey www.waveclothing.co.uk , luckily the bright yellow jersey fitted him like a glove as it looked likely to stay with him for the event. The fleet the retired to the bar and enjoyed an excellent BBQ put on by Calshot, whilst watching the cruise ships head off to much more glamorous locations!
A few starry eyed competitors (some were drowning their sorrows following a slight misunderstanding around the course) made their way early for Breakfast and were greeted with a droopy windsock! Luckily this was short lived and following a briefing by David Henshall the wind filled in as promised so the fleet were sent out across Southampton water to the race area. The wind built steadily to a satisfying F3 with gusts up to 17knts. The D-Zero revelled in these conditions making easy work of the Solent chop and traffic induced wave pattern. Dan Holman was rampant again and enjoyed 3 bullets; he really was displaying a master class in how to pull together a regatta series. Ian Morgan was Bridesmaid again with only Stuart Jones upsetting the order. So Holman retained ownership of the yellow jersey for the second day!
Monday arrived and yet again the wind gods were playing ball with a gentle but workable F2 again the fleet set out. Hangovers not helped by the glare of Dan’s yellow jersey. PRO David Henshall was determined to make up for the lost race in day 1 (Thank the Lord as your reporter was looking likely to carry a BFD) So really close racing was seen across the fleet, Holman yet again showing blistering pace right out of the gate. Some highly tactical tussles were seen between David Summerville and Stuart Jones who were both very close on points heading in to the final day. David’s downwind ability and time spent in the boat paid off he took third place overall and the much coveted Masters title. Ian Morgan secured second place behind Dan Holman retaining the yellow jersey and securing his name not only as the class designer but as the first national champion.
1st Daniel Holman
2nd Ian Morgan
3rd David Summerville
Masters Champion David Summerville
Ladies Champion Kerry Morgan
The Fleet would like to Thank Suntouched Sailboats for all of their support as both suppliers and title sponsors, as well as Wave Clothing for sponsorship of the yellow jersey. Special mention must also be made to Sail Racer and GJW insurance for help and sponsorship of the first D-Zero National championships. It was an event to remember!