A sneak peak of the new Nationals trophy Photo Credit Neil Washington

With the early entry discount now over a late flurry of entries has seen number for the 2016 Suntouched D-Zero National Championships rise to 35. With 2 weeks to go until the event there are still a few ‘windguru watchers’ who are likely to make a last minute decision to join us that could push number up towards, and maybe past, 40.  This year’s D-Zero Nationals will be held at Highcliffe Sailing club over 3 days, 24th-26th June, with a total of 8 races scheduled. The D-Zero fleet is looking forward to the promise of some great wave sailing during the event. There is a possibility of charter boats being available for the event, please contact Suntouched Sailboats for information  More information about the D-Zero Nationals can be found by clicking here.

The class has also struck a deal with VR Sport Media to film days 2 and 3 of the championships. This will be done using on the water filming and possibly some still photography. They will also want to do interview with a few competitors each. We will encourage them to interview people from throughout the fleet as well as those that are at the sharp end so we can use this as a great promotional tool for the class both during and after the event. this has meant a change to the Notice of Race which will be published shortly.

This alongside the generous sponsorship from Suntouched Sailboats and Devoti Sailing mean that this years National Championships really will be an event that no D-Zero owner should miss. All we need is the weather and wind gods to look upon us favourably!

The D-Zero Class Association has also commissioned a new perpetual National Championship trophy, crafted by David Summerville in English Ash and stainless steel.

The new D-Zero Perpetual National Championship Trophy Photo Copyright Neil Washington

As Dan Holman will not be defending his 2015 title who will add their name to the trophy come 26th June?

A preview of some of the Runner and Riders by David Summerville follows. After David had written this Stuart Jones of Contender fame submitted an entry. As he did well last year finishing just off the podium her is surely one to watch this year as well:

1/ Ian Morgan

A sailmaker by trade, based at Hill Head and 2015 runner up, always fast with massive experience, he’s expected to be right at the front of the fleet.

2/ Neil Washington

Lacking in championship experience but very difficult to beat at Grafham Water during 2016, clearly knows how to make a D-Zero go fast and should be inside the top 10.

3/ Rob Lennox

Hailing from Barnt Green, and new to the class at the end of 2015, Rob has already taken several events this season. Vastly experienced and with championship winning pedigree, he’s always going to be one to beat at the sharp end of the fleet.

4/ David Summerville

Winner of the inaugural Inland Championship in 2015, and highest placed D-Zero in the SailJuice Winter Series, though David hasn’t done too much sailing in 2016 outside club racing at Grafham Water. 3 rd at the 2015 championship, he could make it into the top 5.

5/ Gareth Henshall

Another newbie to the class in late 2015, and based at Shotwick, Gaz brings squad experience from the Laser and is no stranger to sailing in waves and tides. Won the Shotwick Open and should be up with the leaders.

6/ Steve Bolland

Bristol Corinthian based Steve has the potential to do a Holman clean sweep, provided he can get to grips with the subtleties of the new boat. As a former multiple RS300 and Lark champion, he will be no stranger to the bars of Highcliffe.

7/ Mike Pridham

Mike has been on the Laser Masters World Championship podium on more than one occasion in recent years, and will always be a threat in a decent sized championship fleet. One of the early adopters of the D-Zero on the Isle of Man, finished 7 th in 2015 and should be right up there.

8/ Daniel Wigmore

A leading Laser sailor from Grafham Water, Dan has the fitness, youth and tactical ability to be right at the front of the Championship fleet, provided that he becomes fully conversant with the intricacies of the D-Zero. Top 5 material without a doubt.

9/ Jon Cowper

Event winner / runner-up over the past season, based at the growing Hunts fleet and continuing to get the most out of his D-Zero. Should be aiming for a top 10 finish.

10/ Tim Weeden

Leading D-Zero sailor from the Southern stronghold of Emsworth Slipper, Tim brings extensive experience to the Nationals. Finished 8 th in 2015 and should be top 10 once again.