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Sailing Chandlery D-Zero Inland Championships 2018 – Report and Results

As the weekend of the Sailing Chandlery D-Zero inlands approached there was much chat about the forecast as in previous years it has looked pretty good only to change on the even of the event. Happily this year people turned up to see a good breeze blowing across Grafham.. For some though the event had started early the day before with a lengthy car journey. So a special mention to Niel Ritchie, Martin Latimer and Jon Bassett all from north of the border who made the long journey down to Grafham to enjoy the event event and the hospitality of D-Zero class chair Paul Jefferies.

At briefing PRO Nigel Denchfield announced we would be sailing a trapezoid course and were likely to all weekend. Nigel had done his homework with the assistance of Grafham D-Zero Fleet Captain Neil Washington and did a great job of keep the course optimal for the boat and the conditions all weekend.

So on to the racing, this is from the perspective of your roving reporter (as always) so those in the chocolates will get mentions if they were close enough.

Busy racing going upwind Photo Copyright Rodney Cobb

Race 1

Race 1 started in a building 10kt breeze with gusts up to 20 kts (bang on forecast). Up the beat it seemed to be Ben Flower showing the 30 boat fleet a clean pair of heels in the boat he had borrowed from current National Champion Steve Bolland (this was to become a recurring theme). As he happily sailed off over the horizon (the joys of youth, fitness and a bucketload of talent) your roving reporter was busy getting dizzy having misjudged ducking a starboard boat and then had a great view of the entire fleet. Luckily for me the conditions were to my liking and by the finish i had pulled myself back through the fleet having ignored the usual Grafham advice of ‘Go left…until it is time to go right’ as going to the right seems to pay for most of the weekend.

At the gun it was Ben Flower by a big margin from Dan Wigmore, Tom Southwell and David Summerville.

Race 2

For race 2 the wind had increased a little on average to 12kts but the gusts had calmed down to 15kts. Ben did the same as he had done in race 1 and the mere mortals of us in the fleet were left to (try) and chase him down.  There was close racing through the fleet and it seemed by now that everyone had realised that going left was not the way to go so the middle and right hand side of the course was pretty congested with very few clear lanes to be had.

Ben sailed serenely on to take the gun with another youngster in the form if Finley Boon sailing the DZero.co.uk demo boat crossing the line second with Tom showing a bit of early consistency and coming home 3rd.

Race 3

For race 3 the average strength had again come up a notch to a steady 14kts gusting 18kts. By now a fair few of the fleet were beginning to ache but not that man Ben who again sailed off into the distance. Behind him Dan recovered from a poor race 2 to post another second place with David Summerville completing the podium. There is a moral here as well. those close behind David had obviously not read the course in the Sailing Instructions and a couple of them missed out mark 4 of the reach to the finish (much to the concealed delight of those who were following) so John Aston found himself having to refinish several places down having corrected his mistake and Paul Murphy who had an excellent race did not discover until he got ashore.

After racing the fleet gather in the bar to have a good meal laid on by the catering team. there was the usual chat and banter with several people enquiring what the D-Zero poster boy Tom Southwell was doing in the sequence for race 1 where, with 3 minutes to go, he decided to examine the underside of his boat. His was not the only capsize during the day bu it was in front of the entire fleet and right next to the committee boat…

Tom Southwell demonstrating inversion  recovery Photo Copyright Rodney Cobb.

Sunday morning dawned and many aching sailors convened and there was a little dismay that the forecast was 100% correct and hard hiking would be required all day long. there were discussions on whether people were going to rake the rig and lose a little leach tension or try and tough it out. Mandy Sweet decided that the grey rig was just going to be too much and came on the water sporting her blue rig which was very distinctive. Others looked on enviously on the rapid ride out to the start line with a goodly number choosing to stay ashore.

A little line shy at the start Photo Copyright Rodney Cobb

Race 4

With the wind blowing a solid 15kts gusting 18kts the race officer set us off. Once again Ben gave a masterclass and came home to take the race win. You roving reporter was very well placed on the first lap of race 4 before deciding to bin it on the reach and lose several places as a result (that will teach me to laugh at those who didn’t survive the gybe, karma was definitely having day). I recovered to finish 8th but at the sharp end  it was Niel Ritchie who crossed second, recovering after a capsize himself (the one I was laughing at ironically) with Paul Murphy making up for his misdemeanour in race 3 to complete the podium.

Despite the increased wind strength the racing was still close (aside from right at the front) with people still pushing the boat even when at the limit of the winds they feel able to sail in.

Race 5

Race 5 started with the wind becoming increasingly gusty as the cloud started to break up. There were sustained gusts of 25kts at times coupled with small but significant shift to the west giving the mark laying team a bit of work to do during the race to ensure the bottom reach was still a reach. Ben had done yet another horizon job to clinch the title but behind him there was still all to play for. Not least of which was the Hunts vs Grafham trophy which was awarded to the best placed boat over both event from Hunts SC or Grafham Water SC. At the start of race 5 it was very close between your roving reporter from Hunts and Richard Major from Grafham (who had confidently predicted I was going down…).  At the finish I was 1 place ahead and held a slender lead in to the final race. Meanwhile at the sharp end Tom Southwell posted a second place to all but seal his runner up spot with David Summerville completing the podium.

Sending it in the breeze Photo Copyright Rodney Cobb

As a footnote to race 5 Mandy Sweet in her blue rig was showing some excellent speed both upwind and offwind. Aside from on the broader reach she seemed to be able to compete with the larger grey rigs boat on boat in the breeze.

So going into the final race. Ben decided he had enough fun and took an early shower leaving a race win up for grabs. Who wanted it more?

Race 6

The wind average was around 15kts but the big gusts had moderated slightly. The sun was making the wind shift around and this was to play an important part in the race. At the end of lap 1 David and Tom were fighting it out for the lead with your roving reporter happily sitting in 3rd place. As we had been doing all weekend the 3 of us went right, me more so than Tom and David. This proved to be a costly mistake with the middle left paying handsomely to group behind with Grafham Water D-Zero Fleet Captain Neil Washington coming through the lot of us to take the lead with Paul Murphy having another good race to come home behind Neil. What of Tom and David? Somehow Tom managed to give him the slip and complete the podium. With David only managing a 5th place this means Tom secure runner up sport with David taking 3rd.

As the fleet came off the water it was clear that everyone who has gone out had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and even the young and fit (except for Ben) were aching to a greater or lesser extent.

On to prize giving and D-Zero Class Chair Paul Jefferies thanked the event title sponsor Sailing Chandlery for their generous sponsorship with a little something for everyone on offer. The PRO Nigel Denchfield and his team for their slick race management throughout the weekend and Grafham Water Sailing Club for hosting the event. Grafham Water Commodore John Aston also thanked all the competitors for travelling and making the event the success it was.

Ben Flower receives the D-Zero Inland Champion Trophy Photo copyright Paul Jefferies

The Sailing Chandlery D-Zero Inland Champion for 2018 Ben flower also said a few words. thanking all of those involved for the great running of the event. the class for welcoming him and Steve Bolland for the loan of a boat. He said he would like to come and have another go as well. Perhaps we might just give hum a bucket to tow round to give the rest of us a chance!

Top 5 overall (full results click here):

1st Ben Flower – Hayling Island SC
2nd Tom Southwell – Netley SC
3rd David Summerville – Grafham Water SC
4th Neil Washington – Grafham Water SC
5th Niel Ritchie – Aberdeen and Stonehaven YC

1st Lady and 1st Blue Rig:

Mandy Sweet – Grafham Water SC

Endeavour Award

James Gerwat – Felpham SC

Furthest Travelled

Martin Latimer, Jon Bassett and Niel Ritchie

Hunts SC vs Grafham Water SC Challenge

Paul Jefferies – Hunts SC

More photos can be found by clicking here.

Hunts Open Meeting – Report and Results

On the 5th May the D-Zero fleet gathered at Hunts SC. The sun had decided to come out and play, unfortunately the wind decided not to and could best be described as variable in both strength and direction. this did not deter the 17 boats, 9 visitors and 8 locals, that headed out to the startline for race 1.

Race 1

At the start south coast visitors Ian Morgan and Tom Southwell seemed to show the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels and it looked like they would be battling it out for the top spots. However they were to discover that what the wind gods giveth, the wind gods could just as easily take away with the Hunts locals using their local knowledge (aka luck) to close them down and make it a 5 way fight for the lead. Local sailor Jon Cowper thought he had it made when he managed to sneak away in his own personal little puff of wind. However the wind gods in their infinite wisdom decided to stop him at the 3rd mark from home and allow the rest of the chasing pack to sneak past.

Ian made the best of the opportunity with local sailor (and your roving reporter) Paul Jefferies sneaking through to second with another local Graham Cox coming through first in the gaggle of boats to complete the minor placings.

After the excitement of race 1 the fleet retired to shore for lunch in the sunshine and the inevitable discussions and lamentations (from some).

After lunch the wind lulled us all into a false sense of security and had filled in a little and seemed to be steady.

Race 2

At the start it was Richard Major from Grafham who came flying off the line (relatively speaking) to build what appeared to be an unassailable lead by the end of the first lap. A battle royal was taking place behind between Ian, Tom, Paul, Jon, Harry Moffat (in a demo boat), Graham, Nigel Austin and Will Deutsch. Once again the wind gods decided to have some fun and Richards lead evaporated slowly as the chasing pack managed to find some pressure. First Ian got off the front of the pack and passed him. the rest of the pack still jockeying for position. With 2 marks to go Richard and Tom were in close company with your roving reporter a little way further back. Using his local knowledge (and a healthy slice of luck) Paul decide to go to windward of the anchored committee boat with Richard and Tom going to leeward.  The wind gods smiled and Paul slipped past both Tom and Richard by the final mark (much to their disgust) and almost caught Ian on the line.

The finishing order was Ian, Paul, Tom and Richard.

Race 3

It was that man Richard again who flew off the line and again built himself a huge lead. This time the wind gods let him have his moment of glory and and left him alone to take the gun. In the chasing pack it was Ian, Tom, Nigel and Harry. Paul decided enough was enough when the wind decided to die off completely and took an early bath leaving Jon and Graham to try and chase down the pack. Graham got away from Jon but didn’t catch the pack in front. At the line it was Richard with Ian getting the best of  the pack to take second with Tom in 3rd.

Overall this meant Ian finally got the Hunts monkey off his back, his last trip to the club in similar conditions was not great. Paul took runner up spot for the 3rd time with Tom taking 3rd. The positions below were close with 3 places being decided on countback just behind the leading trio.  With prizes going down to 7th place thanks to and extra boost to the prize pot by class distributor dzero.co.uk and North Sails there were a even more smiles on faces at prize giving.

In the Hunts v Grafham challenge (open to any Hunts or Grafham sailor who competes in both events) Paul Jefferies (2nd) is just ahead of Richard Major (3rd), and graham Cox (5th) so there is still all to play for at Grafham when the return fixture takes place in September.

Full Results:

Rank SailNo Club HelmName R1 R2 R3 Nett
1st 250 Netley SC Ian Morgan 1.0 1.0 (2.0) 2.0
2nd 188 Hunts SC Paul Jefferies 2.0 2.0 (18.0 DNF) 4.0
3rd 169 Grafham Water SC Richard Major (7.0) 4.0 1.0 5.0
4th 217 Netley SC Tom Southwell (5.0) 3.0 3.0 6.0
5th 108 Hunts SC Graham Cox 3.0 (10.5) 6.0 9.0
6th 191 Cransley SC Nigel Austin (6.0) 5.0 4.0 9.0
7th 66 Hunts SC Harry Moffat 4.0 (9.0) 5.0 9.0
8th 181 North Herts and East Beds SC Gordon Stewart (9.0) 6.0 8.0 14.0
9th 42 Hunts SC Jon Cowper (8.0) 8.0 7.0 15.0
10th 158 Hunts SC Gary Tompkins (12.0) 7.0 9.0 16.0
11th 8 Grafham Water SC Joe Constable 10.0 (12.0) 11.0 21.0
12th 122 Hunts SC Ed Deacon 11.0 10.5 (12.0) 21.5
13th 119 Hunts SC Will Deutsch (14.0) 13.0 13.0 26.0
14th 193 North Herts and East Beds SC Andrew Everitt (18.0 DNF) 18.0 DNF 10.0 28.0
15th Emsworth Slipper SC Dave Valentine 16.0 14.0 (18.0 DNF) 30.0
16th 183 Hunts SC Abby Freeley 13.0 (18.0 DNF) 18.0 DNF 31.0
17th 3 Grafham Water SC John Aston 15.0 (18.0 DNF) 18.0 DNS 33.0

Hunts SC D-Zero Open and Demo plus Hunts vs Grafham Challenge

The annual Hunts SC D-Zero open is getting close. This open is usually well attended with boats numbers up in to the teens. This year will also see a D-Zero demo day on the following day with people invited to stay on and show both the club and any prospective D-Zero converts just how great the boat is.

The open itself takes place on the 5th May 2018. the club will be open from around 08:00 for visitors and the first race is scheduled for 11:00. A break for lunch will follow with 2 further races scheduled for the afternoon. 2 races to count towards your score. Entry fees are £10/boat an you need to be a Class Association member. Temporary membership is available to anyone who borrows a boat at £5 for the event and can be paid on the day.

Also this is the first round of the Hunts vs Grafham Challenge, an idea thought up by Grafham D-Zero sailor John Aston. There will be a small prize (as well as bragging rights) for being the highest placed D-Zero from either Hunts or Grafham that competes in both events.

So if you fancy a challenge on a small bit of water that is very well suited to the D-Zero them come and join in the fun on the 5th May or come and have a go on the 6th May. To register your interest for a demo please click here to go to the UK dealers website. If that wasn’t enough it is the clubs annual open day on the 7th May, some of the club D-Zero owners will be about and happy to let people have a go.

Team Hunts go play on the Sea

The Hunts D-Zero fleet is very fortunate that one of them has a lovely house at St Osyth and offered to host a training weekend over the May Day Bank holiday.  Sadly Paul Jefferies couldn’t join us and a couple of others were MIA but Alistair and his daughter Elizabeth welcomed Jon, Will, Gary, Graham, Abby and Louise for the weekend.

How many D-Zero sailors does it take to rig a boat?…. Photo Copyright Will Deutsch

We were joined on Saturday morning by Ian Morgan, Morgan Sails and current D-Zero Class Champion.  Boats were rigged and Ian went over each boat suggesting minor modifications.  Most of us have changed out kicker straps so it is centred under the (fitting!) on the boom. Abby had her downhaul inverted for the others to copy, mast foot steps were changed around and chocks moved.

Ian suggested not using the kicker and instead first deploying the Cunningham.  When the Cunningham has run out of room then get the kicker involved.  A quick lunch later we dragged the boats down to the beach.  Abby was using the blue rig, and had the easiest passage under the various telephone and power lines…..  Ian and Chris Pell, who was our safety RIB for the weekend rowed over to the pontoon while the rest rigged and launched.

Off they go. Photo Copyright Will Deutsch

Off we sailed, led in the general direction of France by Louise Foreman – put the woman on open water and off she goes!  Chris and Ian caught us up, Louise was lassoed into line and to the tune of Ian’s whistle we were put through out paces.  We went quite a long way out and then had a 20 minute run back to the harbour, outpacing a yacht with 3 sails up!  Abby kept up with the grey rigs upwind but they left Abby behind on the run in.

Will decided running was boring and had fun reaching back and forth with a quick swim at the end.  Boats were trollied back to the house (many thanks to Alistair’s patient neighbours who had to put up with cars/boats/trailers all weekend) washed, snacks were found and drinks were poured.  Ian had been videoing the afternoon’s fun (great shots of sea….waves…oh – and sailors!).  It is interesting and instructive to watch yourself sail with expert commentary.  Louise provided supper, tall tales were told (Chris fell asleep watching the boxing) and sleepy sailors bedded down.

Sadly that was the last of the sailing as Sunday was a complete blow out.  It might have suited the training squaddies but not us.  Look out for the videos – especially of Louise flying in on the run!

Hunts SC Open 2017

John Aston at the Hunts Open. Photo Copyright Nikky Evans

On the 9th April 2017 the D-Zero fleet gather for their second open meeting of the year at Hunts SC. There was a full turn out of the local fleet, which has recently hit double figures, along with 5 visitors from as far away as Emsworth Slipper SC and Netley SC. Early morning fog greeted the early arrivals with barely a breath of wind. The forecast was for the fog to clear and the wind to fill in to a fairly steady 5-7 kts. By 10 am the fog had cleared but had taken any hint of breeze with it. RO for the day Colin Hall has set a course where the wind was before is disappeared and cheerfully announced that we would be starting on time…

Paul Jefferies at the Hunts Open. Photo Copyright Nikky Evans

Race 1

With the wind just starting to fill back in the decision was to go for the correct end of the line or go for the pin and find clear air. John Aston chose the pin and came out on top and was followed by Tom Southwell (who started closer to the committee boat end) with local sailor and fleet newcomer Gary Tompkins showing some good light wind speed to complete the top 3. Behind them the fleet was fairly bunched up but well enough behaved at the marks to avoid any discussion.

As the race went on the wind filled in from a more southerly direction make the long beat a simple enough fetch. Another local sailor in the shape of Paul Jefferies (coincidentally also your roving reporter) managed to sneak past Gary in to 3rd and the pair of them, being joined by Mike Gifford, set about trying to catch the 2 leaders.

Mike managed to get past Gary and was then pressuring Paul for the final podium spot in race 1. Paul also manged to gain an overlap of Tom on a couple of occasions as the front of the fleet closed up. No one managed to get the upper hand over the boats in front though and it remain John, Tom, Paul and Mike at the finish with Gary losing touch a little in 5th.

After the mental intensity of race 1 the fleet the broke for a leisurely lunch in the sunshine. Over lunch the wind filled in but was regularly swinging around 90 degrees making the setting of the course problematic for the race team.

With the course duly reset the fleet set afloat for race 2 in the oscillating southerly which had filled in to allow hiking at times.

Nigel Austin at the Hunts Open. Photo Copyright Nikky Evans

Race 2

With the fleet in sequence the wind decided it was was for a shift to the east making crossing the line on starboard problematic and left some thinking a port flyer was the order of the day. Your roving reporter found a gap in the starboard boats and broke clear up the first beat being pursued by John and Tom. At the windward mark they rounded in the order in close company and thoughts of another close race for the win were in peoples minds.

Over the next 3 legs Paul manged to escape the battle John and Tom a little and was able to go wind hunting up the beat rather than worry about the boats behind him. This paid of handsomely as he found a stronger puff just shy of the windward mark and planed off to the second mark and carried the speed off down the run never to be seen again by his pursuers.

The only issue he faced was coming across the entire Enterprise fleet rafted up at one of the marks later on in the race. He skillfully (or luckily) managed to maintain some speed to sail all the way around the outside at the mark to pass the whole lot in 1 go.

Behind him John and Tom were playing tactically with each other. This allowed Nigel Austin to sneak through in to second and another local sailor Jon Cowper coming through the complete the podium for race 2. Tom did get the upper hand over John to cross the line in 4th with Mike sneaking between them. This mean it was all to play for in race 3 with any one of 3 sailors able to take the open with a good result in the final race.

The fleet heading downind. Photo Copyright Nikky Evans

Race 3

With thought of glory seemingly getting the better of your roving reporter he found himself over at the start and struggling to get back. John Aston had a great start and led the fleet at the windward mark.

Much of what happened through the race became a blur but at the front John has got a small advantage over Mike with Nigel and Gary in pursuit of them. Behind them was a pack of boats who were constantly tripping over each other trying to get an advantage (and generally slowing each other down).

At the end of the race John took the gun to win both the final race and the event with Mike coming home second and Nigel coming home 3rd.

A quick bit of maths later and the top 3 were John Aston from Grafham, Paul Jefferies flying the flag for the home fleet in 2nd and Nigel Austin from Cransley coming home 3rd. Abby Freeley was the 1st lady coming home 10th overall. A special mention must be made of Louise Foreman who is probably one the the least experienced sailors in the D-Zero fleet and with support and encouragement of her fellow fleet members raced her boat for the first time last weekend and joined in race 2. Full results can be found below.

Photos courtesy of Nikky Evans can be found by clicking here (Facebook link).

The next event for the class is the Shotwick SC Open, more details can be found on the class events page by clicking here.

Full results:

Rank SailNo Helm Club R1 R2 R3 Nett
1st 3 John Aston Grafham Water SC 1.0 (6.0) 1.0 2.0
2nd 188 Paul Jefferies Hunts SC 3.0 1.0 (8.0) 4.0
3rd 191 Nigel Austin Cransley SC (7.0) 2.0 3.0 5.0
4th 193 Mike Gifford Hunts SC 4.0 (5.0) 2.0 6.0
5th 217 Tom Southwell Netley SC 2.0 4.0 (10.0) 6.0
6th 42 Jon Cowper Hunts SC 6.0 3.0 (7.0) 9.0
7th 158 Gary Tompkins Hunts SC 5.0 (7.0) 4.0 9.0
8th 54 Ed Deacon Hunts SC (11.0) 9.0 5.0 14.0
9th 108 Graham Cox Hunts SC (8.0) 8.0 6.0 14.0
10th 183 Abby Freeley Hunts SC 9.0 10.0 (11.0) 19.0
11th 66 Dave Valentine Emsworth Slipper SC (13.0) 11.0 9.0 20.0
12th 171 Ed Harley Hunts SC 10.0 13.0 (14.0) 23.0
13th 181 Gordon Stewart North Herts & East Beds SC (12.0) 12.0 12.0 24.0
14th 119 Steve Lane Hunts SC (14.0) 14.0 13.0 27.0
15th 118 Louise Foreman Hunts SC (16.0 DNS) 16.0 DNF 16.0 DNC 32.0

Hunts Open Meeting 2016 – Photo Gallery

All images are copyright to Nikky Evans. She has said that if people want the high resolution versions they can have them as long as she is credited if they are published.

Contact using the Webmaster Contact page to get the high resolution image if you want it.

Hunts Open 2016 – Report and Results

Rob Lennox showing high wind skills. Photo Copyright Nicola Evans

On the 30th April 2016 a good fleet of 13 D-Zero’s gathered at Hunts SC. The forecast looked light but OK in complete contrast to last year where the winds were best described as variable.

After a welcoming breakfast of bacon rolls with free tea and coffee and the usual D-Zero banter thoughts turned to racing. 3 of the local fleet could not sail for various reasons and generously leant their boats out to ensure a 100% turnout of local boats even if the usual people were not in them. Several question were also in the air. Could Rob Lennox carry on his winning form after he won the Emsworth Open the previous weekend? Could local sailor Jon Cowper make it a double after winning the Open the previous year? Could Ian Morgan manage to sail the right course and show his speed this year? Could the lighter sailors show the heavier ones a clean pair of heels in what was looking to be a light wind meeting?

The fleet launched eagerly anticipating the day of racing ahead.

Ian Morgan Photo Copyright Nicola Evans

Race 1

Race 1 was held in a fluctuating breeze that tried the race teams patience and resolve before the start. After a short delay we decided that average wind direction was good for the course and started the sequence.

The fleet got away and there was not much to choose between them. Ian Morgan rounded the windward first and looked to be getting away with the rest of the fleet sailing into a lighter patch. However on the next beat Jon Cowper used his local knowledge to overhaul Ian and take a lead he was never to lose. Back through the fleet there was close racing and the podium spots were always up for grabs right up to the finish. At the line it was Jon followed home by Rob Lennox who just held off a fast closing Ian and Mandy Sweet in her new blue boat coming home 4th.

The racing spirit was epitomised by the determination through the fleet with Bill Knights (in a borrowed boat), Gordon Stewart and Rob Campbell fight right up to the line for 11th to 13th place. Bill and Rob were separated by less than a boat length but somehow Gordon managed to sneak between them right on the line.

The fleet then headed ashore for lunch and cue the wind to build a little and stabilise.

Race 2

Race 2 saw a short postponement while the race team attempted to tweak the course as the wind had shifted and seemed to settle from the west. Just before the sequence started the wind decided that shifting southerly was the thing to do. A short postponement later and another tweak of the course (and another windshift back to the west) race 2 got underway. This time it was Rob Lennox who got away and seemed to be sailing away right up to the point where he hit a mark on the bear away and allowed Ian to close the gap and slip past. Ian then sailed away leaving the group of Mandy, Jon, Rob and Tom Southwell to battle it out for the remaining podium spots. At the line it was Ian leading comfortably from Mandy showing some great speed in her new boat, Tom taking 3rd with Jon and Ron 4th and 5th respectively.

All to play for in the final race then. With the wind looking to stay at marginal planing strength for the lighter sailors it looked like they would be in the hot seats.

Jon Cowper gets some speed on Photo Copyright Nicola Evans

Race 3

Race 3 was back to back with race 2 and the fleet were eager to get away. At this point the breeze seemed to be building a little and on the horizon was an ominous looking black cloud. there followed a battle royal up the first beat with no one really getting away and the the contenders fighting it out.

The the race team picked up some radio calls from nearby Grafham as the black cloud reached them and was causing a busy time for their safety boat crews.

The question was would the wind make it before the race finished? The answer was a resounding yes with the wind building quickly to a force 4 gusting 5 causing numerous capsizes including 2 of the contenders with Ian and Rob looking to sample the waters. Ian, after being in the water for an longer period decided enough was enough and headed back to shore. By this point Jon has built himself a handy lead and looked to have the meeting all sewn up for the second year in succession. Cue a heavy winds masterclass from Rob who sailed around the course like it was a balmy summer evening showing great speed and boat control to take the gun from Jon with Tom crossing 3rd just ahead of Dave Woods who was enjoying the stronger winds and was left ruing a swim himself otherwise he would have been in contention for the race win.

Back ashore and accompanied by the now legendary (according to the CVDRA) Hunts tea and D-Zero cakes the results were worked out and boats were packed away. There were smiles through most of the fleet and the varying conditions gave everyone something to smile about.

Overall Rob took the meeting on countback from Jon with Ian 3rd and Mandy in 4th.

Next up for the fleet is the POSH Regatta on the 7th and 8th May followed by the Largs SC Open on the 21st and 22nd May.

Full results:

Rank SailNo Club HelmName R1 R2 R3 Nett
1st 195 Barnt Green SC Rob Lennox 2.0 (5.0) 1.0 3.0
2nd 42 Hunts SC Jon Cowper 1.0 (4.0) 2.0 3.0
3rd 156 Hill Head Ian Morgan 3.0 1.0 (14.0 DNF) 4.0
4th 211 Grafham Water SC Mandy Sweet 4.0 2.0 (6.0) 6.0
5th 178 Hill Head Thomas Southwell (6.0) 3.0 3.0 6.0
6th 175 Rossendale Valley SC Dave Woods 5.0 (6.0) 4.0 9.0
7th 181 NHEB SC Gordon Stewart (12.0) 9.0 5.0 14.0
8th 171 NHEB SC Andrew Everitt 7.0 7.0 (14.0 DNF) 14.0
9th 3 Grafham Water SC John Aston 9.0 8.0 (14.0 DNF) 17.0
10th 193 Hunts SC Bill Knights 11.0 (12.0) 7.0 18.0
11th 188 Hunts SC Hannah Rose 8.0 10.0 (14.0 DNF) 18.0
12th 108 Hunts SC Graham Cox 10.0 11.0 (14.0 DNF) 21.0
13th 190 Cransley SC Rob Campbell 13.0 13.0 (14.0 DNF) 26.0


Hunts Sailing Club Open Meeting 30th April 2016 – Preview

Light Winds meant tactical sailing was the way forward at the 2015 Hunts Open meeting

The 30th April 2016 will see the D-Zero fleet gather at Hunts Sailing Club in Cambridgeshire for their 3rd Open Meeting of the year. Following on from last year where 11 sailors made the trip despite a dire forecast the club has ordered some wind and some sun for the 2016 Open Meeting. Early indications show that there should be at least a double digit entry with several people indicating they will be making the trip and a good home fleet of 5 boats all of whom are hoping to take part.

More details of the event can be found below:

First Race: 11:00am
Number of races: 3 with 2 to count
Entry fee: £8/boat
Other information: Bacon Rolls will be available for early arrivals. Entry fee includes tea and coffee. Keeper prizes for the first 3 places. There may be an opportunity to borrow a D-Zero for the event. Contact Paul Jefferies via the Webmaster contact page if you are interested.

D-Zero Upcoming Events April 2016

As the traditional 2016 sailing season starts please find below a short summary of the upcoming events for the month of April:

23rd April 2016 – D-Zero Open – Emsworth Slipper SC – More details and a quick preview are here.

24th April 2016 – D-Zero Open (Northern Tour) – Shotwick Lake SC

30th April 2016 – D-Zero Open – Hunts SC – Open Meeting SI’s. first race 11:00, break for lunch followed by 2 more races, 2 to count.

Hunts SC D-Zero Open Meeting Report 2015

Some of the D-Zero fleet discussing the weight of darker gel coat. Photo Credit – Paul Jefferies

On the 26th September 2015 11 keen D-Zero sailors gathered at Hunts SC. Many had travelled for several hours in spite of the dire forecast which predicted a paltry 2-3kts from the North with the actual wind that could best be described as variable in both strength and direction.

With sustenance in the form of bacon butties and tea/coffee on arrival included in the entry fee and the sun shining the day looked promising. Until you glanced out over the lake to see it almost mirror smooth with barely a zephyr of wind.

In typical D-Zero fashion people gathered round various boats to see what the latest pimps and bimbles were (as well as discussing the relative weight of dark gel coat pigments) and to look at one brand new D-Zero that was being launched that day.

Following a short postponement the fleet launched at 11:30 and headed out to the start line. The wind looked promising but it was just lulling us in to a false sense of security as it dropped off during the sequence. Unperturbed the race officer let the start go. With 2 of the local boats the only ones to spot the increased pressure out to the left the majority of the fleet went right and sailed in to one of the many holes. At one point it looked as though Nationals runner up Ian Morgan might have managed to dodge the holes only to tack into nothing about 20m from the mark to allow local sailor Paul Jefferies (your intrepid reporter) through to lead closely followed by Ian (once he got moving again) and then a large group. Cue the wind to drop and swing wiping out any advantage. This pretty much set the tone for the race with those that could find wind making large gains and those who missed out going backwards. Eventually though (more by luck than judgement Paul and Tom Southwell managed to escape the chasing pack and opened up a sizeable lead where they indulged in a battle for the rest of the race. Tom got ahead a couple of times but the local knowledge (aka luck) held good for Paul who managed to sneak across and take the bullet by the narrowest of margins from Tom. There was then a large gap to another local sailor, Jon Cowper who had a battle down the last run with Nigel Austin. Jon managed to sneak ahead taking 3rd with Nigel 4th.

The 3 event contenders battle it out in race 1. Photo Credit David Catto

There then followed a short break for lunch and right on cue the wind decided to stabilise.

Adter lunch with the wind seemingly holding we set off for race 2. Paul was far too keen at the start and ended up having to go back. The allowed visitor John Turley to lead the fleet up to the windward mark closely followed by local sailor Jon Copwer and another local Graham Cox. Paul pulled off a great comeback to round just ahead of the main pack in 4th. Cue yet another wind change of heart which allowed some of the lighter guys to come through. With the wind becoming increasingly more erratic in direction it was an eyes out the boat race, spotting and then getting to the pressure before the boats ahead. Those that did this came through and those that did not went backwards. With Jon having his hands full at the front being chased firstly by John T, Graham and Paul and later in the race by the fast charging Tom (with Ian coming through with Tom only to fall back into the pack again) it seemed that others could sneak past. Jon held his nerve though to take the bullet closely followed by John T and Tom.

This meant it was all to play for in the final race with Paul, Jon or Tom able to win the meeting. Sadly the wind was to have the deciding vote in this by shutting off completely during the last start sequence. With time pressing on and many people having a long drive home ahead of them the fleet collectively took the decision to abandon the last race and sail ashore.

The left Jon ‘hop-a-long’ Cowper at the top of the pile counting 1-3, Paul in second counting 1-4 and Tom in 3rd counting 2-3.

After packing away and snacking on cakes and nibbles provided by the Solo fleet who shared the event with us the prizes were given out.

The next event for the D-Zero fleet is the Inlands at Yorkshire Dales SC on the 10th/11th October 2015, click here to find out more.


Name Club Sail # Race 1 Race2 Total Position
John Cowper Hunts Sailing Club 42 3 1 4 1
Paul Jefferies Hunts Sailing Club 101 1 4 5 2
Tom Southwell Hill Head 178 2 3 5 3
John Turley Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club 103 6 2 8 4
Ian Morgan Hill Head 156 5 7 12 5
Rob Campbell Cransley 123 8 5 13 6
Nigel Austin Cransley 128 4 10 14 7
Dave Woods Rossendale Valley Sailing Club 175 7 8 15 8
Greham Cox Hunts Sailing Club 108 11 6 17 9
Jeremy Cooper Shotwick Lake Sailing Club 149 10 9 19 10
Gordon Stewart N.H.E.B 181 9 11 20 11
John Cheslett Bala Sailing Club 67 12 12 24 12


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