With just a few days to go and pre-entries now up to 27 the inaugural Suntouched D-Zero Nationals is looking like being a great success. So we thought giving a run down of the people to watch out for would be in order:
1/ Dan Holman
The designer of the D-Zero, and formerly Laser UK National Champion and Olympic squad member, Dan ensures that the bar is set very high for the inaugural D-Zero UK National Championship.
2/ Mandy Horton
A primary school teacher by day, Mandy is the current Europe Ladies National Champion and a fiercely competitive sailor at the light end of the Grey rig weight range. Has been known to mix it with the bigger boys at Grafham Water, when sailing her Blue rig in breeze.
3/ Stuart Jones
A former Laser sailor, Stuart has more recently been dangling from a wire at the front of the Contender fleet.
4/ Russ Hopkins
During the week Russ can be seen at the sharp end of a keyboard, but at the weekend he takes that message out onto the race course. Fiercely competitive he will undoubtedly be in the mix come the end of the Championship.
5/ Mike Pridham
Twice runner up in the Laser Masters World Championships in recent years, Mike hails from the Isle of Man and will always be a threat, despite his lack of competition experience in the class.
6/ David Summerville
A former Laser and Masters regional champion, David has also taken line honours as helmsman in the RORC Dubai to Muscat Race. Now in his twilight years he’s lost count of the number of grandchildren he has waiting to be introduced to sailing.
7/ Ian Morgan
A sailmaker by trade, Ian has won the Laser South Coast Travellers Trophy several times in recent years. Based at Hill Head Sailing Club, Ian will have very good local knowledge of the racing area and is firmly expected to be near the front of the fleet.
8/ John Aston
Another experienced Laser sailor from the large Grafham Water fleet of D-Zeros, John tied with David Summerville on points for the inaugural Grafham Water Open at the end of 2014. A Cambridge graduate in Mathematics, John is not averse to taking the odd risky punt on the upwind legs.
9/ Tim Weeden
Spearheading the entry from the Southern D-Zero stronghold of Emsworth Slipper, Tim knows how to make the D-Zero go fast and will bring some good local knowledge to the table.
10/ Jon Cowper
One of the entries at the Nationals from Hunts SC, picked up a race win at the inaugural D-Zero Open at Oxford, clearly not one to be ignored as long as he keeps the boat upright.
Aside from the rock stars at the front the mid fleet is expected to be fiercely competitive with any one of a number of other sailors capable of giving the guys at the front a hard time.