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Zippys adventures in Wonderland – AKA Zippy goes to the dzero.co.uk Inland Championships

Welcome back to the tales of Zippy the Dzero; this time travelling to the DZero Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club. I’ve called this episode “Zippy’s Adventures in Wonderland” because it seems unreal to be on the traveller’s circuit again; off to meet up with my boatie mates across the country.

Traditionally, the sailing report for these type of events is written by the light-winged heroes, who see all from the vantage point at the front of the fleet. So, I’m sorry to disappoint you readers by admitting that this report comes from an under-achieving boat, who’s Owner sailed me like a heavy goods vehicle on the way to a test centre.

Having interviewed the main players, along with some of my other fans who stopped by Owner’s tent to welcome me back to the racing world, I have pieced together a story, which might be far from the facts. But it reads well and fits in with the final results, allowing for some personal vengeances, individual victories, figments of the imagination and too much time spent in isolation over the past six months.

As always, I like to set the scene before we get to the capsizing, breakages, penalty turns and tantrums.

After a sad summer of cancelled DZero events, Grafham Water SC bravely stood by the planned Inland Championships on the weekend of 5th/6th Sept. It attracted a total of 22 entries; 16 from ten visiting clubs, plus 6 local club boats. 

The wind was forecast as a fresh Westerly, gusting 20 knots. It did not disappoint and created some havoc for the first race.

Race Officers Nigel and Fiona Denchfield set up a trapezoidal course and the DZeros were away cleanly on the first start. David Valentine, the Dzero Dealer, led the fleet around the first mark in a brand new and unmodified boat that he was using as an experiment to see what happens with a standard 8:1 kicker and without any upgrades that us Zeros so enjoy. Well, “Plain Jane” was simply flying and David sailed a short distance after rounding the mark without using a rudder or controls as he was so busy fist pumping the air with both arms. He led the race for 2 laps, being overtaken by Gavin Flemming on the reach and followed by new Dzero sailor Harry Moffatt (age 22) in the boat borrowed from Paul Jefferies, who was having some appendix issues rather than sailing.

I was having some of my own appendix issues on the last run, as my mainsheet  

had flipped itself around the boom on the gybe and it got truly twangled, so it wouldn’t release. Owner did some dodgy circus manoeuvres on my transom trying to release it, whilst running by the lee, which didn’t help at all. In the end the whole boom had to come inboard to get sorted – all with gusts of 15-20 knots puffing in various directions. It was not quick.

The gust and shifts continued to make sailing hard work. On the second beat, a 90-degree shift caused four boats to capsize together. Think Synchronised Swimming. Seb Prowse, Andrew Spencer, Richard Major and Gavin all won gold for style and Gavin won double gold for rapidly making up the 150 metres he lost and was lying in 3rd on the last lap.

Local sailor, Neil Washington was close behind in 4th place and headed drastically inshore on the last run to look for the Convergence Zone.

May I butt in at this point and say that I was completely lost at this stage in the interview, as I usually go looking for waves or seals when I get bored of racing. It seems this Convergence thing really paid off for Neil, but even more so for Gavin, who looked behind him and decided he’d like one too. It propelled him past David Valentine and gave him a comfortable win, with Harry pipping David over the finish line to rob him out of second place. No fist pumping…of a happy kind anyway.

Race two saw David, once again, lead all the Zeros around the windward mark with Jane flying like a banshee and David fist pumping like an over-adrenalized teenager. Once again, it was to be Gavin who sailed a faultless race and took the gun from Tom and Steve Bolland.

Race three involved much place swapping between Steve, Tom, David and Neil, until Gavin got ahead on a shift on the second lap. Harry sailed a good final run, getting past David to rob him of a place once more at the finish.

So ended an exhausting first day of racing. We boats retired via our personal slipway and practiced a little social distancing in our self-made boat park on the grass by the camp site, just to see what it was all about. It didn’t last long as the Canada Geese came to snuggle up with us at bedtime.

Although the clubhouse and facilities were closed, the café provided packed lunches and hot drinks for sailors in the daytime. As the evening approached, the sailors staying overnight gathered at The Valentine Bistro (David’s Van) for a takeaway supper, sponsored by dzero.co.uk and beers sponsored by JonCowpers Beach Bar. Music by The Canadas.

Day Two.

The wind had dropped off. In the words of my interviewed Weatherman Washington “The cloud formation to the West gave a sense of fore coming doom with signs of turbulent mixing aloft.” In Zippy speak this translates as, be prepared to rig up facing any direction. Not only that but be prepared to sail in any direction on any tack on the same leg. Simples.

Race Four

The first game-changing shift arrived on the second beat. Luckily, we were on the correct side of it for once and reached into the windward mark. Tom, Steve and Neil all got it right too and finished the race in that order. David had been lying in the top 5 that race and sailed into a huge hole (but no rabbit, seeing as this is a wonderland story). There he stayed until the entire fleet had passed him, so that he could finish in last place.

Race Five

The winds became lighter and shiftier. As the placings were repeatedly shuffled and re-drawn, there was a new race winner; local man Richard Major, who had obviously been studying the wind patterns at Grafham for a long time. Close behind was Nigel Pybus, followed by Tom and Steve. Gordon Stewart was the rabbitless hole man of the race, finishing like David in 21st place.

Race Six

The wind was still very unstable. No more so then when it drastically shifted to the South West at the start. Of course there was chaos, including Richard over the line. The boats at the pin end were unable to cross the line. Tom was able to tack off early, but Gavin was caught out at the pin and had to gybe around to re-start on port. Weatherman Washington saw the writing on the clouds before the gun went and bore off, gybed round and put a friendly little tack in on top of Tom. The Weather Gods were very sympathetic towards Tom. Tom is kind, Tom is a Poster Boy and Tom tacked just short of the windward mark. So the Weather Gods lifted him gently and kindly around it. Neil Weatherman did not receive this generous gift and finished in second place behind happy winner Tom.

The weekends’ racing was so close, that the overall winner had to be calculated  

on countback, with the top three sailors being on equal points. Gavin won the overall Inland Championship Trophy and the prizes were awarded all the way down the fleet, sponsored by dzero.co.uk.

A special mention must go to an opportunistic sailor, Nigel Austin from Cransley SC, who spotted a large silver yacht replica at a car boot sale roadside on the way to the club on Sunday morning. He stopped to make an impulse purchase and presented the trophy to the first Cransley Sailing Club DZero; Nigel Pybus (8th overall).

Thus ended the DZero outing of the season so far. Lovely to see some old friends and make some new ones (Abby Freeley – welcome back to the DZero Class!) A huge thank you to Grafham Water SC; the race teams and shore crew. And a massive thankyou to our wonderful and supportive Class Man, David Valentine.

Next job for me is to find the nearest HGV driver training centre.

Zippy Zero

DZ187

Results;

1. Gavin Flemming; 1,1,1,4,9,(11) -16 pts
2. Tom Southwell; (10),2,9,1,3,1 -16 pts
3. Steve Bolland; 5,3,2,2,4,(7) – 16pts
4. Neil Washington; 4,5,3,3,(7),2 – 17pts
5. Harry Moffatt; 2,(8),4,6,6,3 – 21pts

Full results can be found by clicking here.

Photos below from the Committee Boat and are Copyright Nigel Denchfield

Gavin Fleming wins the dzero.co.uk 2020 Inland Championships

Photo copyright Karen McLeod

Congratulations to Gavin Fleming the 2020 dzero.co.uk D-Zero Inland Champion. Winning on count back from Tom Southwell and defending champion Steve Bolland.

The hard work was done yesterday with 3 bullets. Today was a game of snakes and ladders. More to follow.

Full results are here: https://www.grafham.org/wp-content/uploads/_results/Opens/2020/DZero.htm

Dzero.co.uk 2020 Inland Championships – Overnight results

After a day of champagne conditions at Grafham Water Sailing club Gavin Fleming from Hunts SC leads the DZero 2020 inlands overnight from Steve Bolland of Bristol Corinthian Sc and Neil Washington from Grafham Water SC.

With lighter conditions forecast for tomorrow things and 3 more races to go thing could change but with 3 bullets in the bag Gavin could be hard to catch.

Full results can be found here https://www.grafham.org/wp-content/uploads/_results/Opens/2020/DZero.htm

dzero.co.uk UK D-Zero Inland Championships – Entry Update and Late Entries

With just over 24 hours to go until the online entry deadline passes the D-Zero class association are delighted to see that there are currently 21 confirmed entries for the event this coming weekend at Grafham Water SC.

We have also been advised by Grafham that it was an error to say entries will not be accepted on the day. In line with the Notice of Race it may be possible to enter on the day subject to there still being space. There is a £5 surcharge for entering on the day. Entry for the event is capped at 30 boats, this is a hard upper limit that cannot be extended.

So with the forecast currently looking good the only way to guarantee your place on the start line is to pre-enter by clicking here.

dzero.co.uk to sponsor the 2020 Inland Championships

The D-Zero class association are delighted to announce that the UK distributor for the D-Zero, dzero.co.uk, have stepped up to sponsor the 2020 Inland Championships at Grafham Water on the 5th and 6th September.

David Valentine from dzero.co.uk says:

dzero.co.uk are pleased to announce their sponsorship of the Devoti D-Zero Inland Championships to be held at Grafham on 5 & 6 September. With the current climate of on/off events, and RSK & Tunnocks kindly offering to extend their National Championships sponsorship through to 2021, dzero.co.uk as UK & Ireland exclusive distributor for Devoti Sailing D-Zero and Optimist want to ensure some worthy prizes for the main Class event in 2020. David Valentine looks forward to competing against another 29 D-Zero’s (limited for Covid safety), and despite the lack of quality Northern and Scottish sailors available, looks forward to some close racing over the weekend and well-humoured socially distanced post-race chat.

Paul Jefferies , Chair of the UK D-Zero Class Associaiton says:

We are delighted that dzero.co.uk have stepped in to sponsor what will be our main event this year. In these unprecedented times we appreciate the trading environment has been very difficult so for them to find the resources to sponsor us is amazing. We know that most of our sailors are just keen to get out and get some racing in next weekend but having some prizes on the table adds an extra attraction.

As a reminder event entry is online only via the Grafham Water website, click here for the entry page. Entries are capped at 30 so make sure you get your entry in early to avoid disappointment. Entries close Thursday 3rd September, Grafham have told us that late entry and entry on the day will not be possible.

2020 Inland Championships Entry now open

Current Winter Series champion Tom Southwell showing how not to line up for the start.

The D-Zero class are delighted to announce that entry to the 2020 Inland Championships at Grafham Water are now Open.

Entry is online only and must be made by 3rd September 2020 in order for Grafham to ensure they have the necessary resources in place. Grafham have confirmed that they will not be able to accommodate any late entries or entries on the day.

You can enter online by clicking here.

Lining up for the start at Grafham Photo Copyright Nikky Evans

In terms of local accommodation there are plenty of local hotels in easy reach or you can camp or campervan on site. If wanting to stay on site you must pre-book this also.

Please note there is limited access to the clubhouse meaning that there are no shower or changing facilities available. Please either come ready to sail or change on site as required.

D-Zero Inland Championship 2020 – Show of hands

In order to aid event planning Grafham Water SC have asked if we can give them an idea of numbers. If you are planning to attend the inlands please either indicate on the event on the class Facebook group. For those who do not use Facebook please comment on this article or fill in the D-Zero Chairperson contact form located here.

As we are sure you can appreciate the event format is not yet fixed due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation. Grafham are hoping to have a 2 day format as normal but this may drop to 1 day depending on the situation closer to the time.

With that in mind entry will only open on the 28th August on the Grafham Water Sailing Club website. You can view more details by clicking here.

We are intending to hold the class AGM on the Saturday evening of the event. If this is not possible then there will be an online AGM in the near future.

The Adventures of Zippy Zero – Zippy, Hannah and the Great Yorkshire Tea Monster

It’s Zippy, the Zero, checking in after another exciting weekend away, this time at the D-Zero Inland Championships at Yorkshire Dales. Despite the extreme wind weather forecasts depicting Storm Hannah’s track across the country for Saturday, 22 D-Zeros turned up from as far as Aberdeen, Glasgow, Devonshire, Sussex and Cambridge.

Ready to launch and fight with Hannah Photo copyright Paul Hargreaves

We set off on a wet Friday afternoon, with the hope of getting a practice sail in. After 4 hours of diverting off motorways, we approached the reservoir on it’s long scenic road, which Owner fondly refers to as the “Top Gear Run”; still the same as she remembered it last September, complete with speed trap grills and exotic birds lined up on the fences to admire my attractive rear end flying behind her vehicle.

The heavy rain was accompanied by low temperatures, so I got ditched alongside my fellow travellers, all in the same state of full waterproofs and total bedraglement. I noticed that some Zeros were wearing their underpants on top of their overcovers. These were obviously a Super Hero breed and I made a silent note to try out their cool fashion when no-one was looking. The Owners all disappeared to the clubhouse in search of warm drinks and a weather app which did not depict 35 knots of wind for the next day.

Carving through the tea Photo copyright Paul Hargreaves

Saturday dawned cold and wet, though not too windy. That was yet to come. A quick call home on my secret mobile informed me that West Kirby boat park had already seen gusts in excess of 50 knots and there were some boats that were lying down to evade the worst of it. Back at the Dales, us boats were rigged and ready to go afloat by 1pm. The first freaky Hannah gusts had begun and Owner had to sit on my nose for a while to stop me taking off before launching. The Race Officer started the race sequence on time and we set off minus half of the ​fleet. I shot off the pin end and tried to weather the huge gusts, rounding the first mark around 7th. I could see the leading boats ahead of me reaching to the first gybe mark and then a huge gust hit them and all I could see were plumes of spray the colour of cold tea, from the ochreous waters of Grimwith Reservoir. They fell over like sticks as they attempted to gybe, and there was so much debris by the time we got there with my cockpit full of the finest Yorkshire tea, that Owner did a carving gybe worthy of a Top Gear chicane and we shot off to the next gybe mark to manoeuvre through the next group of upturned hulls. By the second lap, some of the boats behind had caught up on the shift up the beat. We survived upright to finish 9th, with Aberdeen’s Neil Ritchie winning from National Champion Steve Bolland and Dalgety Bay’s Ian Baille in 3rd .

The wind continued to increase over the next race and the boat corpses continued to pile up at the gybe marks. The tea flew liberally and, on the tighter reach, Owner resigned herself to sailing by braille, occasionally filling her ears to avoid the biggest waves. By the last gybe mark of the day, we were still upright, but the Great Yorkshire Tea Monster had crept onboard and untied my mainsheet end and it was now being sucked out of the open transom by the denizen of the deep. Owner fought back bravely, retrieving great wodges of it and trying to re-tie a bowline, whilst screeching downwind, clinging to my tiller and performing strange windscreen wiper actions to remove the tea jets out of her eyes.

Sending the tea flying Photo copyright Paul Hargreaves

The Race Officer had somehow failed to hoist the shortened course flag, and was shouting at the race leaders Ian Baille and Neil because they had sailed to the wrong mark, so we all had to go another round with Hannah. The race was won by Steve Bolland, with Jon Bassett from Largs 2nd and his truly, God Almighty, Zero maker, overtaker with mast raker, David Valentine in 3rd place. By the end of the day, we were lying in 6th place overall, thanks to the swimmers, the absconders and my blistering downwind boatspeed. My Owner was a mere passenger.​

Once ashore, the action was far from over, as a small tornado passed down the reservoir, uprooting a new Zero from its trolley and decimating the tent of Jon Cowper on the shoreline. I am told that it’s not the first time he’s been troubled by passing wind and he joined the cold and homeless in the back of somebody’s car that night.

By Day 2, the winds had thankfully abated and changed direction, so we were given a fabulous reaching course, where I bagged a 5th place, behind the winner Steve Bolland, Prestwick’s Alistair McLaughlin, our Zero Assoc Chairman Paul Jefferies and Jon Bassett. For the next two races, the wind swung around and played havoc with us poor boats. The windward mark was pushed up into a far corner under a hill and the technique was to sneak up on it without the wind noticing. Two unsuccessful sneakers were Neil Ritchie, who got tacked by a large wind shift before he noticed and then let go of his mainsheet, capsizing with much oooooo noooooooo’s on top of Alistair Glen’s boat. Neil’s boat tried to insert it’s mast inside Alistair’s boom sleeve and it was all getting a little steamy as I zipped past, whilst the Owners were trying to disentangle them.

Owner looking happy Photo copyright Paul Hargreaves

I wasn’t very good at the silly wind game game and finished up with a mid-fleet discard. Ian Baille and Paul Jefferies took the first two dodgy wind race places, followed by Gavin Flemming from Hunts SC.

By the final race, the wind was behaving very badly. This made the mark roundings potentially hazardous. Luckily, the DZ Owners are a friendly lot and seemed to enjoy a lot of jovial banter with each other. I usually struggle to understand what they are saying, particularly if they are Scottish, but the exchanges which are most often passed are “Room”, which must be an offer to stay the night, “Starboard” (oh look, our booms are touching), “Up” (can I help you over the start line?). I even heard “Can I go?” called to every boat by a Scotsman on Port tack, even though he’d only arrived the night before and on outward appearances, seemed to be having fun. It was to be the last race, as the wind dwindled away and the time ran out. Tom Southwell ​was the last race winner, with Paul Jefferies enjoying the sneaky conditions and bagging a second, with Gordon Stewart in 3rd .

We were packed up in pleasant sunshine and the new Inland Champion Steve Bolland was crowned, with Paul Jefferies taking the runner up prize, followed by Tom Southwell. The prizes were sponsored by David Valentine of dzero.co.uk and Chichester Harbour Gin.

I came 11th overall, tying for points with Mr God Valentine, maker, heartbreaker and taker of 10th place on some obscure factor known only to the Genie inside the Sailwave programme.

It was a truly wonderful weekend, supported by a professional, warm and welcoming club, with great volunteers, fabulous food and underfloor heating. It was a weekend of winning and losing, give and take. I gained a brand new kicker, after seeing Mick Green’s explode in the windy race and I lost a trolley tyre on the Skipton roundabout on the way home. Owner lost critical places on the final short beat of the last race, but gained a whole load of new friends and some happy memories.

Next up is Largs in a month, so I have around 30 days to learn a new language. Until then;

“Awa’, an bile yer heid”
Zippy Zero 187

Dzero.co.uk Chichester Harbour Gin D-Zero Inland Championship 2019 – Report and Results

The last weekend in April saw the D-Zero fleet gather at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for their 2019 Inland Championships which were sponsored by the UK D-Zero dealer dzero.co.uk and Chichester Harbour Gin.

As the weekend approached a fair bit of attention was paid to the forecast with the late announcement that Storm Hannah would be venting her fury across the country on Saturday.

Charge! Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves

The early arrivals on Friday all canned the idea of going for a friendly sail in the afternoon as the rain fell giving the surrounding countryside a good wash. Thoughts soon turned to the evening entertainment and a good contingent of the early arrivals decamped to The Forresters in nearby Grassington for an evening meal and the usual D-Zero class banter to start. With the following day in mind though most of the fleet opted for an early night.

Saturday dawned and it was clear the Hannah was wreaking havoc with the sailing calendar with events to the south being cancelled or postponed. Not so for us. Dodging the rain and the showers boats were prepared ready for battle. Following a hearty lunch and briefing boats wee moved down to the shore ready to launch. At this point Hannah decided that a squall was just what we needed. Dave Valentine seemed to pay no attention and luanch anyway soon followed by Niel Ritchie who went of for a bit of a blast. Dave soon realised the rest of us were waiting and came back to cower on shore whilst the squall went through.

Gavin Fleming battles the breeze Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves

Race 1

Race 1 got underway in a good breeze. After a clean start, relative newcomer to the fleet Gavin Fleming showed everyone how to master the conditions and led us round the windward mark. From there he held on in the increasing wind and looked set for the bullet until the last beat to the line where he decided that getting stuck in irons would be a fun game to play and slipped down the order eventually crossing in 8th. For most people it was survival conditions but the big boys were having a ball with Niel Ritchie taking the bullet ahead of current National Chamopion Steve Bolland in second and Ian Ballie completing the podium.

Not so keen on this cold Yorkshire Tea! Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves

Race 2

Race 2 was back to back with race 1 and Hannah decided that there simply wasnt enough wind across the course so ramped it up another notch. What happened for most of the race your roving reporter cannot say but there were people hanging on for grim death and cpasized boats littering the race course.

The only event of note was that the race leaders seemed to have a navigational issue and headed off to the wrong mark. This left your roving reporter in a nett 3rd place only needing to bring it home. unfortunately this proved to be impossible and after a long swim I have the pleasure of being the only boat towed ashore.

Niel and Ian gracefully retired having realised their error. this left Steve to take the bullet followed home by relative lightweight Jon Basset and Dave Valentine completing the podium. Steve was heard to utter his phrase of ‘weapons grade wind’ to which everyone agreed.

So overnight Steve led from Dave and Tom. With many people counting at least 1 DNF/DNS Sunday could see everything change.

As the fleet relaxed in the clubhouse waiting for dinner it seemed that Hannah had one final trick up her sleeve. As we watched on a huge squall came down the lake, ripping spray off the surface, blowing 1 boat of its trolley (with only minor damage thankfully) and shredding Jon Cowpers tent and giving his bedding a shower.

After the excitement of the squall (too exciting for some including D-Zero poster boy Tom Southwell who took a nap on the sofa) Yorkshire Dales excelled themselves providing an excellent meal for the assembled competitors. Tom seemed to be energised after his nap and managed to consume the extra puddings, a total of 4 (perhaps he was hoping for more wind on Sunday). After plenty of banter some aching bodies retired to their accommodation whilst other once again made their way to The Forresters for more beer and banter.

Sunday dawned dry and bright with a gentle breeze blowing from the north, a complete contrast to Saturday. With an earlier start posted in the hopes of completing 4 races the fleet launched early and full contingent made their way over the start.

2019 Inland Champion Steve Bolland Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves

Race 3

on a crowded and slightly starboard biased line it was clear that getting off the line would be key. The fleet were a little too keen and combined with a shift the RO decided we should all come back and try again.

At the second time of asking, and under black flag, we got away cleanly. This time Steve and your roving report (and class chair) led the fleet up to the first mark. Not everyone was as successful with someone electing to take a dip right after tacking (apparently the mainsheet was dropped as they hiked out). Cue some encouragement from their fellow competitors At the windward mark Steve led closely followed by myself with Alistair ‘Storky’ McLaughlin in hot pursuit. By the next mark Storky had managed to sneak past me and set off in pursuit of Steve. It was not to be though and Steve took the bullet from Storky with me completing the podium. Notably Liz Potter in Zippy Zero (the resident class blogging boat) came home 4th seemingly finding the lighter conditions very much to her liking (also notable that Liz and Zippy were one of the few boats that didn’t take a dip the previous day).

This result meant Steve had 1 hand on the trophy but with the wind being fickle at times and no one really having a consistent series everything could change.

The Mr Happy of the D-Zero fleet…. Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves

Race 4

Race 4 got away immediately after race 3 and the chances of getting all 6 races in were looking good.

This time your roving reporter shot off the start line to lead at the windward mark followed by Ian and Gavin just ahead of a large chunk of boats. Steve was buried in the fleet, could he pull it back?

Ian and Gavin both got past me on the next beat but the wind gods decided to throw a curve ball with the wind bec
Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves oming increasingly fickle at the start of the second lap. Gavin seemed to miss the wind filling in allowing me back past and I set off in pursuit of Ian. Catching him quickly down the reach I was thinking of glory as Gavin found himself slipping back towards the chasing pack. Again it was not to be with Ian extending out down the final reach to take the bullet followed by myself with Gavin completing the podium.

This threw a lifeline to Steves’ rivals, could they take advantage? Cue another curve ball from the wind gods who decided a shift was in order. After a couple of attempts to get us away that were abandoned due to shifts, the wind dropping away completely then filling in from a different direction it looked as though that might be it.

The RO decided we had not had enough though and got us away for a 5th race.

Paul Jefferies gets his ‘game face’ on Photo Copyright Paul Hargreaves 

Race 5

With the wind now coming in streaks from the north east corner it was clear that whoever got in to one would be home and free, could anyone do that? The answer was yes with Storky getting away and showing the fleet a clean transom. Behind him it was very much a game of snakes and ladders with those who were dead and buried one minute finding themselves back up at the front the next. On the second lap you roving reporter decided there was nothing to lose by following everyone high on the run and decided to gybe off after spotting what looked to be some wind coming off the eastern shore. This paid handsomely and, much to the chagrin of the entire fleet except Storky (who was long gone) and Tom (who managed to stay ahead), I popped out in 3rd place. Only 2 and a bit legs to go for another goo result. With the wind filling in a little it seemed Tom and I were destined to battle it our for second. Tom managed to hook into some new breeze by the next mark and extended away leaving me to try and hold off Steve for 3rd.

After a nervy leg where the wind filled in behind I rounded the final mark just ahead of Steve with Gordon Stewart closing rapidly on us. Steve tried some Jedi mind tricks to try and encourage me to tack before the filling breeze reached us. In the end he tacked away from underneath and we drag raced to the line, me taking it by a boat length. Unfortunately for Steve he was OCS.

But what had happened to Storky who had crossed the line to silence? Turns out he was a little too keen at the start and was over along with Steve. This promoted Tom to race winner, myself to another second and Gordon to 3rd.

At this point the RO had decided we had enough and sent us ashore as the wind dropped further and became even more shifty. Back on shore people were speculating on the result. It looked like Steve had done enough to add the Inlands title to his National Championship title but who was second and third?

None were more surprised than myself to discover I had come second overall with Tom completing the podium.

At prize giving the host club, sponsors and competitors were all thanked. Richard Paynter from the host club announced the winners with Dave Valentine from dzero.co.uk presenting the prizes. Everyone agreed it was a great event and, thanks to the generosity of the prizes from the event sponsors and Yorkshire Dales no one went away empty handed.

Paul Hargreaves was on site over the weekend, you can see his excellent photos by clicking here. The class would like to extend their thanks to Paul for allowing us to use his photos.

W

Full results can be found by clicking here. A summary of the prize winners is below:

1st Steve Bolland Bristol Corinthinan Yacht Club
2nd Paul Jefferies Hunts SC
3rd Tom Southwell Netley SC
1st Lady Liz Potter West Kirby SC
Furthest Traveller Niel Ritchie Aberdeen and Stonehaven SC

From here the D-Zero class moves on to Largs SC on the 18th/19th May for the dzero.co.uk Chichester Harbour Gin D-Zero Scottish Championships.

DZero.co.uk/Chichester Harbour Gin D-Zero Inland Championships

At the time of writing entries are well into the 20s and the forecast is looking good for the weekend. So if you are still not sure then what else do you need us to do to change your mind? Entry on the day is possible but you must be a CA member to compete at the event (Event membership is available to non-boat owners who have borrowed/chartered a boat).

Yorkshire Dales are making their final preparations and are offering a meal on the Saturday evening as well as having the bar open for the usual post race chat and banter.

The current offering is Chicken with Coriander, CousCous and Rice with a selection of puddings for the princely sum of £10/head. There will be a vegetarian option available.

If you want the meal we do need an idea of numbers so the caterers can ensure they have enough to feed us all. So please either comment on the Facebook post to say you would like it or (if you don’t use Facebook) please complete the form below:

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