On the 22nd October 8 D-Zeros gathered at Hunts SC in Cambridgeshire for the penultimate meeting in the travellers series. 6 locals were joined by 2 visitors from Stewartby and Grafham. The day dawned bright and with the promise of a good breeze.
PRO David Cronk set a course that used the majority of the lake giving 2 good beats, a mix of reaching angle and a long run.
Race one saw locals Paul Jefferies and Jon Cowper show the fleet a clean pair of heels up the first beat with Colin Clasper rounding in 3rd. The gap between the top 2 fluctuated a bit but Paul extended away slowly to have a good lead by the finish with Jon coming home second and Colin keeping his nose clean for 3rd.
After a break for lunch and chat in the sunshine it was back out for 2 more races back to back. The wind was holding up nicely but a few holes were appearing to catch out the unwary. At the front it was business as usual with Paul and Jon leading round the windward mark with a gaggle of boats a short distance behind. The slightly lighter winds seemed to favour Jon and he was fighting hard for the lead for the first lap and a half until Paul slipped away to hold a handy lead by the gun with another local Ed Deacon completing the podium.
Having sealed the meeting Paul could have taken an early shower but decided to stay out for the 3rd race to enjoy the fun. With the wind starting to drop as forecast it was a chance for others to challenge at the front. The start was keenly contested with Paul being the furthest down the line but hitting the line at speed soon had him moving ahead. The race settled into a familiar pattern with Jon and Paul escaping off the front leaving a 4 way scrap behind between Colin, Ed, Gary Tompkins and Joe Constable for 3rd. Whoever out of Colin and Ed took 3rd would take the final podium spot at the meeting. Colin sailed a great final beat to just sneak over the line in front of Ed handing him 3rd place overall.
In the final race Rachael Clubb (1st Lady overall), sailing her new boat, was in touching distance of the fleet and seems to be getting up to speed nicely with Kath Gerighty not too far behind in her first outing in a borrowed boat, the usual D-Zero grin was clearly in evidence!
At prize giving Paul thanked all the volunteers who made the event possible and the D-Zero sailors for supporting the event.
The next event is this coming weekend at Ogston and is the final event on the calendar for the class with the Sailjuice Winter Series starting in a few weeks.
An annual race week, previously known as Fed Week, and changed to reflect a more focused sailing week aimed at sailors from RS Elite to D-Zero to Optimist, and attracts sailors from all over the world and around 400 boats of varying classes.
In recent years the original drag-race between RS Aero 9 and the Devoti D-Zero has been widened (no pun intended) to include the Hadron H2 which further challenges all the sailors, and provides some interesting tactics and boat differentials and adds numbers to the fleet.
Winds are usually good, and the race area is within Chichester Harbour between Hayling and Thorney Islands and Itchenor / Witterings (except for the Elites who sail in the Bay), and managed under 4 different race starts, though it’s very busy – tides, wind management, tactics, strategy etc aswell as avoiding multiple classes – which provides very challenging for all sailors.
Day one, with 14 boats registered, the wind was building nicely to a good F2 with potentials to increase further as usual. Valentine/D-Zero got off to a good start from a Itchenor end startline, driving hard for East Head, with others chasing hard. Thinking there was wind over on the infamous Winner Bank, he unusually tacked away instead of trusting usual form of flying up the beach and through the waves. Southwell/D-Zero followed thinking Valentine knew something. Others flew up the beach and benefited, and after a couple of laps and a few miles, Millett/Hadron H2 took the bullet chased by a few D-Zero’s of Weeden and James Jenkins, then split by another Hadron 2, then more D-Zero’s. The Aero 9 had obviously got scared with the competition and downsized to a 7 rig changing fleets. Plenty of discussion in the bar afterwards, and all enjoying the social side of the week, with plenty of stick for all.
Day 2, Valentine and Southwell were out for revenge. Southwell led off the start in a little more breeze than Monday, chased hard by Jenkins and Valentine. The start this time was the Thorney/Hayling end towards the Emsworth Channel. Jones and Valentine from the pin end went hard left out of the tide and maybe a little eddy off Thorney and soon had a strong lead. Not looking back Valentine continued to build on the long beat, and despite some long downwinds and at the higher end of sailor weight (Ed: unusually polite ?! ) he managed to hold off the others over the 2 and a ½ laps of sausage / triangle, and was pleased to take the bullet. Southwell and Jenkins followed home, then Weeden and Millett losing some of their form from the day before. More discussions whilst the steel band played on the verandah.
Valentine nailing the finish (left) and Jones/Valentine just seen on right of the left hand shot at the pin. Photo Credit: Ollie Blake (apologies for poor quality as downloaded from a video)
Day 3 and plenty of nerves, Valentine just had to repeat yesterday twice more to wrap it up, no pressure then, Southwell wanted to repeat last year’s fortunes and beat Valentine, the Hadrons wanted to show their worth, and only one small error is punished quickly which is good for all sailors, keeping everyone on their toes. The wind was light so we were held ashore for a while, giving the chance for us to discuss Hadrons and D-Zero in all their detail. Finally, the PRO thought we had a chance so we left heading South off the Winner, with an interesting start on full flood and heading North. Flag Z was up, though holding off the start was fun. At the gun, Jenkins got away, Valentine tried a pin end port flyer, which nearly worked, tacking onto starboard into the flood. Word was to stay in the flood till the weed line and then tack onto port, however no weed line appeared and several were caught in the eddy just off HISC, letting the Hadrons sneak into contention. Others had headed right out of the tide though aiming to shoot to Pilsey Sands and then starboard tack to the flood down to the mark. Looking right, there was a dark wind patch coming in fast as we got 100m from the windward, though also some heavy rain cloud. As there were a few Hadrons and D-Zero’s ahead of me, all I was thinking was I’ll catch them on the next beat. However, as James Jenkins was 20m from the windward mark, with Jones, Millett and Weeden slightly to windward, a rib appeared with an abandonment flag flying. Head back to the start area, and then see. A beautiful wind-filled reach whipped us over the tide and back to the start boat where AP over A was flying. That was the end of Day 3 and Jenkins with a good potential of a win.
James Jenkins showing flat is fast ! Photo Credit: Neil Shawcross
Day 4, and some Westerly wind already when Valentine arrived on the course, though several sailors had started early with a good HISC breakfast – food of champions obviously. Southwell had disappeared
Back to the usual Itchenor end start line, and a little closer to shore. James Jenkins and Valentine had spotted the Fireballs firing off at the pin end, and James rocketed off the line heading for East Head and low, with Valentine a little further up the line and in the tide. Jones went for the Pilsey Sands trick to try and get the eddy/slower tide effect, though quickly tacked back onto starboard. Holden in his Hadron was driving hard, and was consistently a threat. First roundings and it was still Jenkins from Valentine, and then another Hadron challenging. Jenkins then pulled away on the sausage downwind, and despite Valentine beating fast to the finish, another 50m was needed to take James. Three Hadrons took the next 3 places, all improving their form across the course, then Weeden, Jones and Boylin completing. Some had taken a rest day.
Day 5 and all to play for, as several places were separated by one point only. A slightly more North westerly wind and in good form was present, so pressure on ! Southwell was back and keen to show his worth, though Valentine had gained 2nds and 3rd plates before and was after the kill. James Jenkins was keen to gain a hard earned win, and the Hadrons and D-Zeros were keen to keep us all honest – Millett, Weeden and Jones weren’t finished just yet. A good start from Southwell, with Valentine and Jones pushing on, though James Jenkins had a nightmare start and was chasing from the back, with the more mature (Ed: polite and diplomatic) Peter Jenkins ahead of him after his rest day. More triangle / sausages with long beats and downhills, ensuring the sailors worked the tides, wind and waves. At the last mark, Southwell was ahead of Valentine and slightly higher, with Williams / Hadron on Valentines transom, and Jones only a boat length away, and yet Millett and Weeden hanging on in for contention. Southwell tacked away and then back for the layline, though Valentine thought he’d use the earlier start time and flooding tide to his benefit and stayed on course. As pressure built, Williams came over the top of Valentine and held to the finish. Valentine doing a quick look back and count to see if he’d snatched victory from Jenkins. On landing, and sorting trollies, Jenkins confirmed he was some way back, though a good fun week was had by all with no sailor taking more than one win !
Valentine rewarded with a bottle of Chichester Harbour Gin and a 1st plate, Jenkins in 2nd separated by a point, and Southwell in 3rd.
Next year’s week is 14th -18th August 2023, well worth an entry in your diary – lots of water action for all types of dinghy, great socials every night, a sandy beach for family or relaxing before/after, accommodation on site, super-easy entry online, with even easier sign-on/off by sailevent on your mobile, great prizes from Marine Superstore, Chichester Harbour Gin and Optimum Time, and fun though challenging racing every day.
Shoreham Sailing Club are delighted to welcome the D-Zero and Wayfarer fleets to compete at their Southern Championships on 16 – 17 July 2022.
Come and experience the best sea sailing in the UK, with easy sheltered launching in the harbour and a short sail out to sea, Shoreham is renowned for its wonderful clear waters, fantastic waves and regular sea breeze.
Event merchandise is also available, t-shirts are £15, Polos are £19 and hoodies are £25. Order before the 8th July ideally by email to email@example.com, remember to mention you want the D-Zero southern champs merch.
Just a quick update as things have been fairly quiet for the last few weeks. 7
We are in talks with a potential sponsor for the nationals, hopefully things will progress and we will make an announce very soon. On that note if you have not got your entry in please do so as soon as you can, we arer working closely with Brixham to get everything as ogranised as possible. We do know a few people have got accommodation booked but have not yet entered so please do get them in to help us with the organisational side.
Now for some bad news. West Kirby Council have decided to start work on a new sea defence a week before the West Kirby Regatta. As part of this they have commandeered a large car park, part of the West Kirby SC dinghy park and part of the marine lake. Lix and Zippy have thought long and hard about this and feel it is best if this event drops out from being a supported event as the sailing window is now very small with the use of the marine lake and lack of car and boat parking. You are free to travel to the event but it will no longer count towards the travellers trophy. Liz and ZIppy hope to see you all next year as the works should have been completed by then and things will be back to normal.
The 2022 Open Meeting circuit kicks off this coming weekend with a new venue on the D-Zero circuit. With a fledgling D-Zero fleet and a very keen local sailor do be sure to make the trip and show them what a fantastic boat and fantastic people we have!
The event is also shared with the Finn and Supernova classes, a chance to really show the boat off against some of its peers!
The fledgling D-Zero fleet at Bala SC have invited us as a class to come and join them for their August Bank Holiday Regatta for an open meeting. Just a week after the Nationals why not come and sail at one of the most scenic sailing clubs in the country.
Entry is possible at the club at the start of the event but they have asked that people pre-enter and book meals (it will not be possible to book meals if you enter on the day). If we manage to reach 10 boats we will even get our own start in the event.
Online entry can be done by clicking here, make sure you add the meals in to the basket before you checkout.
If you need any more encouragement the class is currently speaking to Bala about having our inlands there so why not come and get some cheeky practice in!
Held with plenty of attendees via Zoom, full minutes to come soon. For now, New Treasurer – Tim Weeden welcomed; New Technical Representative (and outgoing Treasurer) – Neil Washington thanked and welcomed again; and many items discussed including Marketing; Smaller Sails; 2021 events; and much more.