Tag: devoti sailing

Prestwick sailors getting out amongst the wildlife…

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RSK D-Zero Nationals 2020 – Charter boats needed

We are not sure why you wouldn’t want to go to the 2020 RSK D-Zero national Championships in Largs….. However, if you know you are not attending and would consider lending or chartering your boat then please get in touch.

The Class Association and host club have had serious enquiries for people wish to come and join the fun with a view to joining the class if they like it!

So please fill in the form below and we can start putting people in touch….

2019 Harken D-Zero UK National and Open Championships – Report and Results

The D-Zero class held their 2019 UK National and Open Championships at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the long weekend of 21st to 23rd June 2019. This was a milestone event for that class as we celebrated not only our 5th anniversary but we also had the largest ever entry of 46, getting tantalisingly close to the coveted ’50’ club. Unfortunately a few had to withdraw due to injury meaning 43 boats took to the water over the weekend. With an enthusiastic Class Association, a lot of new faces and boat sales increasing the only way is up!

Most of the entrants had arrived on Thursday a few people went out to sample the waters of the harbour and there was an impromptu social organised at The Boat that Rocks just a short walk up from the academy. A great evening was had by all and the banter started (this was set to be a theme over the entire weekend).

Weymouth serves up Champagne on Day 1

The class was also looking to go green and reduce the use of single use plastics, especially drinks bottles. To help with this My Pinnacle Nutrition, a sports nutrition company part owned by a member of the fleet, stepped up and sponsored a bio-plastic based drinks bottle for every competitor. Thank you to them for stepping in and supporting the class in this initiative.

Day 2 and some bucks fizz to chase down the champers from day 1

2018 National Champion Steve Bolland (GBR11) takes up the story:

43 competitors, 8 races, 3 days of racing, 1 winner. 1 very clear winner.

‘It’s like going on holiday with 42 of your best mates’. Perfect weather, for 2 of the 3 days at least, and all wonderfully hosted by the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy from 21-23 June made for a wonderful event atmosphere.

Day 1 and the conditions were absolutely perfect – cloudless skies and 18-20 knots from the SW. If there’s one reason for going to Weymouth it’s for the waves out in the Bay and we had those in abundance. There were only two dangers to the almost unlimited enjoyment opportunities on offer, a race officer keen on brandishing flag U and the large number of jellyfish lurking just below the surface that could ruin your whole day if you hit one at speed. I imagine the jellyfish weren’t enthralled either.

The most high-profile transgressor of flag U in race 1 was pre-tournament favourite Dan Holman (Netley SC). He did, however, redeem himself with two bullets in the next two races, using his downwind pace to maximum effect. But there was no redemption for Gavin Fleming (Hunts SC). UFDd in race 2 he went on to capsize in front of the majority of the fleet at the first windward mark in race 3. I stand corrected, there were three dangers to the almost unlimited enjoyment opportunities.

At the end of day 1 and three super enjoyable races the overall leader was Niel Ritchie, making the epic journey down from Aberdeen & Stonehaven worthwhile, with a 1, 2, 3 scoreline, a little way ahead of Tom Southwell (Netley) and Ian Horlock (Exe). However, all this was forgotten as the fleet decamped en masse to the Cove Inn and subsequently the curry house. And back to the Cove again if you happened to be sharing a table with Christian Smart, gang leader of the Welsh contingent.

Conditions had moderated somewhat for day 2, the wind having swung to the SE and dropped to 11-12 knots, but still with a backdrop of wall-to-wall sunshine. Although Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) briefly led Holman in race 3 it was an exclusive Holman benefit after this as he posted three more race wins. By this time the fleet had concluded that he was quite useful and it was looking increasingly likely that the mortals in the fleet would be fighting for the minor placings. To whit, Bolland celebrated his two 2nd places as races wins as he moved into 2nd place overall ahead of a gaggle of boats separated by only 3 points – Iain Horlock, Stacey Bray (Porthpean), Ritchie and Southwell. All to play for on the final day…

Which dawned bright and breezy if you’d managed to sidestep Smart’s offer of a taxi ride to the bright lights of Weymouth following the BBQ, AGM and general frivolity of the previous evening.

Despite the wind dropping, going left, dropping some more, then going right it didn’t prevent Holman wrapping up the regatta with another two race wins, this time inside Portland Harbour. But not before David Valentine (Emsworth Slipper) had surprised the fleet as much as himself, by leading to the windward mark in the penultimate race. Holman was soon past though, aided by Valentine looking around to ensure his moment of fame had been captured by the video boat. Also going well in the lighter winds were Tim Weeden (Emsworth Slipper) in race 7 and Christian Smart (Pembrokeshire YC) in race 8, showing excellent recovery skills from the previous night’s entertainment. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was it for another year. Sponsored by Harken, the 5th anniversary D-Zero Nationals included the largest fleet ever assembled in the short history of the class. Dan Holman was the clear winner with Steve Bolland and Iain Horlock completing the podium. Next year we’re in Largs and we’ll all need to learn how to sail downwind if we’re going to challenge Dan.

Day 3, in the harbour on a grey day with light, shifty winds

In addition to the on the water action the class organised beach clean on Chesil Beach just over the road from the centre. This was supported by Surfers Against Sewage and the Dorset initiative Litter Free Coast and Sea. The pickers collected an impressive amount of waste which was duly disposed of by Dorset Waste Partnership. As a thank you to all who took park the UK D-Zero dealer, dzero.co.uk, bought everyone a drink upon our return to the centre.

What a load of rubbish….

At prize giving thanks were extended to the Race Officer, his team and all the staff at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy who ran a superb event with results posted by the time we came ashore along with the event sponsors Harken and Devoti Sailing. Sally Reynoldson from WPNSA thanked the class for choosing them as our host venue. The class is keen to return and plans have been pencilled in for the 10 year anniversary event already. Dan was crowned D-Zero National Champion for the second time having taken the inaugural Championship back in 2015 with Steve Bolland taking second and Iain Horlock coming 3rd. Liz Potter was the first lady and the other lady in the fleet, Emily Britton took home the youth prize as well as the coveted Lanterne Rouge. Richard Le Mare and Mike Corney were crowned Best Buddies (an ironic prize as it turned out they had not realised they were buddies). 2 special prizes were awarded to those D-Zero sailors who did something inexplicably silly over the weekend. The first went to Gavin Fleming for his superb capsize in race 3 making the windward mark much larger than it should have been. The second to Paul Murphy who thought the change of course signal in Race 7 was the end of the race so stopped, relaxed and had a drink before realising that everyone else was still going.

Steve also announced the results of a D-Zero fantasy league. With most people choosing Dan after his UFD in race one it was which 2 other sailors would make the difference. Gary Tompkins got it right and was a clear winner and took home the cash pot.

Full results can be found by clicking here and we know the class are eagerly awaiting the next blog from Zippy Zero (also known as Slippy Zippy).

Harken D-Zero UK Open and National Championships Preview Part 2

2018 National Champion Steve Bolland Photo Copyright VRSport.tv

Last week we brought you what has been planned for off-the-water activities at the forthcoming Harken D-Zero National Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (21-23 June). While we like to stress the importance of everyone having fun there’s also the small matter of who will be crowned National Champion come next Sunday.

While there’s always an unfancied dark horse lurking somewhere, ready to bolt out of the stables to put in a great run, on paper at least, the following are likely to be the main contenders.

Class Chair Paul Jefferies, apparently one to watch… Photo Copyright Paul Hargeeaves
  • Dan Holman. Where do we start with Dan? This will be his first time back in the boat he designed since winning the first National Championship in 2015. A former Laser National Champion he was 2nd in the recent 505 Nationals as well as 6th in the International 14 Worlds last year. If he can remember how to hike he’ll definitely be there or thereabouts.
  • Steve Bolland. Current National and Inland Champion and RS300 Champ. Nothing more than a one trick pony he has at least worked out how to make a single sail dinghy go fast. He’ll need to stay off the beer if he’s to emulate last year’s result.
  • Alistair ‘Storky’ Mclaughlin. If there’s any boat this man has never sailed, from International Moth to Flying Dutchman, I’ve yet to see it. Came a close 2nd at the 2018 Championship after only a week in the boat so he’s unlikely to be any slower this time round. Amazingly slippery in light airs he’s not too shabby when the breeze is up either.
  • Paul Jefferies. Class Chair, he pulled a rabbit out of the hat by coming 2nd at the recent Inlands, particularly excelling in the lighter airs on the second day. He’s taken delivery of a new boat since then so no pressure. One of the select band who’s competed in every Nationals so far.
  • Tom Southwell. A product of the youth academy, poster boy and another one who’s a perennial entrant, Tom won the winter series and has twice podiumed at the Inlands. Looking to make the breakthrough on the rough stuff and it’ll come as no surprise if he does.
  • Stacey Bray. A former top Tasar and Contender helm, 5th at last year’s Championship and looking to go even better this time round. If we sail out in the bay he’ll be one to watch especially.
  • John Aston. Another of the 100% club, John was a race winner at the Champs last year and was very quick in the medium breeze of the middle day. His green/azure/teal (delete as appropriate) hull is likely to be seen at the sharp end of the fleet.
  • If it’s windy then we know Gavin Fleming and Niel Ritchie can sail a bit. They were both swift in the strong winds at the Inlands and Gavin followed this up with a 4th at the Scottish Champs. Gavin won the Rossendale open in April (another windy one).
  • Dark horse. Could it be triple world champion Nigel Austin? Or one of the Cornish fleet who are rumoured to be considering a late entry. They are leaving it very late though. Or Tom Whitehead from the other end of the country who had some top results at the Scottish champs before calling it a day.
The (in)famous Zippy Zero. Photo Copyright Paul Hargeeave

Others to watch include UK Dealer, David Valentine, who’ll be resplendent in his bacofoil wetsuit if it’s a bit nippy, and probably even if it isn’t he loves it that much. Also watch out for Liz Potter, owner of ‘Zippy Zero’ who is going quicker all the time and the owner of a brand new mast. If you do anything remotely idiotic in her sight you know you’re going to be in the papers the following morning. https://www.d-zerosailing.org/category/zippy-zero-blog/

Harken D-Zero UK National Championships 2018 – Report and Results

Thanks to 2018 D-Zero UK National Champion Steve Bolland for his word of wisdom and VR Sport.tv for their excellent work making the videos:

Three days of sun, sea and sailing. What more could you want? Some rather nice people to sail against would help and we had those in abundance at the 2018 Harken D-Zero Nationals hosted by the Mount Batten Centre and Plymouth Youth Sailing.

To be honest, other than the sun, the forecast wasn’t looking great for the weekend with light to non-existent breezes predicted for all three days. A light northerly gradient breeze and soaring temperatures on day 1 augured well for a potential sea breeze though and it delivered in spades, kicking in at close to 15 knots, rock steady from the south.


Race 1 and with the tide just starting to ebb the choice up the beats was to go left, left, left or the other way. Pre-tournament favourite, Ian Morgan (Netley), led at the first mark from youth prodigy Charlie Ellse (Restronguet), having judged the layline to perfection. These two pulled out an embarrassingly large lead as the race progressed but it was looking like a Cornish benefit with Portpean and Restronguet boats closing out the top 5 – Stacey Bray, Darren Williams and Hugo Helene respectively.

For race 2, having decided that, after all, right was not the way to go up the beats, Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) took the pin end of the line, hit the port layline and led at the first mark and for the remainder of the race. Morgan took another useful 2nd ahead of Williams, new boy Alistair ‘Storky’ McLauglin (Prestwick) who had only bought his boat the week before, and Bray.

The Cornish contingent was once again all over race 3 like a rash, filling 4 of the top 5 places at the first mark and 3 of the top 5 at the finish. What do they put in those pasties? Although Ellse and Morgan led initially they did not pull out as they had in race 1. Bolland picked up a nice lift (on the left inevitably) on the final beat to edge in to the lead but could not hold off his attackers downwind and the finishing order was Ellse, Morgan, Bolland, Bray and Williams.

Overnight, Morgan and Ellse had built up a nice lead over Williams, Bray and Bolland but with a lot of sailing still to come.

Day 2 was again hotter than expected but with no gradient wind it was debatable whether the sea breeze would kick in in time for the late morning start. It did, but never really rose above 10 knots.

Race 4 was taken by Jon Aston (Grafham Water) via the unusual tactic of going up the middle of the beat and sailing the shifts. Bolland was 2nd at the first mark but dropped down to 5th. If the boy could sail downwind he’d be half useful. Ellie Craig was starting to show form and Storky and Bray both also had countable results. With overnight leaders Morgan and Ellse both having relative shockers the championship was wide open again at the half way stage.

For the third and fourth races in a row, Bolland and Storky claimed the pin end of the startline in races 5 and 6, even managing to stay out of each other’s way, mostly. This was becoming a habit, and a good one, as they recorded 1, 3 in race 5 and 1, 2 in the final race of the day. Having a one-way race track involving minimum thought was clearly playing to their strengths. Also going well and moving up the leaderboard were Jon Ashton, going extremely well in the lighter airs, James Edmund (Queen Mary), Tim Weeden (Emsworth Slipper) with Bray and Craig also putting in another couple of bankable results.

With one day to go the overnight leaderboard was somewhat different from the previous day, Bolland now holding a useful lead over Storky and Morgan with Bray, Williams and Ellse not too far behind.

The final day started off blisteringly hot and didn’t relent. Were we on the continent or something? However, with no gradient wind once again the sea breeze was slow in appearing. Would the hour’s postponement allow the breeze to fill in or would we all be heading for an early shower? Bolland was hoping for the latter but a fitful southerly began to build and we were sent out for the final two races.

Inevitably, Bolland and Storky claimed the pin end, or thereabouts, and were off like scalded cats up the left hand side of the beat. Both in the top few at the first mark they were smiling like Cheshire cats who hadn’t been scalded at all. By the bottom mark Ellse and Craig had established a slim lead but Bolland and Storky flew up the final beat to be 1, 2. However, once again Bolland showed his frailities downwind, dropping to 3rd with Storky taking the win from Craig.

However, despite having done just enough to take the championship with a race to spare, Bolland sportingly stayed out for the final race, keeping the fleet amused by capsizing on the first run for which he earned ‘Deck of the Day’. It sounded like that anyway. Thanks for the nomination, it will be an award I’ll treasure always. I had to take a short cut to see what was happening at the front but Ellse was using his athletic frame to good effect in the marginally stronger breeze, winning from Storky, Richard Major (Grafham), Craig and Edmund.

Packing up was a relaxed affair in the late June sunshine with much chat about the quality of the racing and next year’s champs at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.

Many thanks to title sponsor Harken, distributing an array of hardware to all in the fleet, Devoti Sailing and dzero.co.uk. Your support is valued. Also many thanks to the Mount Batten Centre, Plymouth Youth Sailing and the excellent race officering of Keith Kendall and his team.

Next up is the Clevedon open meeting on 7th July.

For those who were not there, or those who were and want to see where they got things right (or horribly wrong) the race tracks are posted on the Sail Racer website, click here to see them. Thanks to Simon and Claire from SailRacer who did a great job over the weekend with the tracking of the event and posting updates on social media during the the racing.

On to the overall prizes:

1st Steve Bolland GBR11 Bristol Corinthian
2nd Alistair Mclaughlin GBR22 Prestwick
3rd (and 1st youth) Charlie Ellse GBR238 Restronguet
4th (and 1st lady) Ellie Craig GBR195 Draycote Water

Spot prizes were awarded as follows:

Mid fleet prize – Seb Prowse GBR170 Queen Mary
Furthest Travelled (x2) – Martin Latimer GBR57 Largs and Alistair Mclaughlin GBR22 Prestwick
Fastest on the Speed Wall – John Aston GBR3 Grafham Water

Full Results can be found by clicking here.

Thanks to the generosity of our title sponsor Harken no one went away empty handed with a choice of bottles, bottles openers, sunglasses and stickers for every competitor. Thanks also to our hosts, Plymouth Youth Sailing and the venue Mount batten Watersports and Activities Centre for host ‘the best nationals yet’.

Finally Martin Latimer generously provided incumbent class chair Paul Jefferies with a bottle of whisky on behalf the the members of the Class Association for his hard work and for choosing to stay on as Class Chair.

The 2019 D-Zero Nationals are being held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the 21st-23rd June. this is the 5th anniversary for the class and preparations are already underway to make it the best nationals so far.

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