Tag: Northampton SC

D-Zero Winter Series Round 6 – The Steve Nicholson Trophy

After missing a year in 2018 due to low water levels at Northampton SC the popular Steve Nicholson Trophy made a welcome return to the winter sailing calendar.

3 D-Zeros made the journey to deepest darkest Pitsford Reservoir and were greeted with a gusty F3-5 wind blowing from the dam end of the lake.

The first race Gavin Fleming from Hunts SC showed Nigel Austin Cransley and Kevin Moll, also from Hunts, the way around the course. This was despite Gavin going the wrong way up the first beat (I thought we all knew the trick at NSC was to go left..well until it is time to go right). Luckily, with the D-Zero being a bit of a rocket ship in those conditions there were plenty of places to be made up on the offwind legs. At the finish Gavin had made his way through to finish 17th (once the spreadsheet had done its work) with Nigel and Kevin somewhat further back in 39th and 42nd respectively.

Race 2 was all about action on the start line. Gavin found himself on the receiving end of a port tack boat who couldn’t get out the way and there was a heavy collision. Gavin elected to give it a go though despite the damage which didn’t look too bad from the boat. Nigel on the other hand decided to have a chat with the committee boat managing to hit it no less than 5 times. The details here gets a little lost but Nigels wife, watching from the shore, remarked that the person doing that was ‘a right numpty’. What she said when she realised it was her husband we do not know. In the race Gavin learned from his mistake in race 1 and stayed to the left on the beats to come home 12th in the race. Nigel and Kevin seemed tied together on a piece of string in this one coming home 37th and 38th respectively.

Overall this meant Gavin took the D-Zero class honours and placed a respectable 12th overall at the event. Nigel (despite his adventures) and Kevin placed 40th and 41st overall. Full results for the event can be found by clicking here.

So in the D-Zero winter series Nigels 2nd in class means he jumps above Andrew for 2nd with 2 more events to go. Full winter series result can be found by clicking here.

From here we move on to Rutland SC for the Tiger Trophy an event that has lived up to its name in the previous few years with strong winds meaning it is not for the faint of heart. Andrew Spencer and Nigel are renewing their rivalry whilst series leader Tom Southwell looks to be sitting this one out. There is still time to enter online by clicking here.

D-Zero Winter Series Round 5 – The Bloody Mary

As the 12th January approached the hardy D-Zero sailors who had signed on for the 2019 Bloody Mary were watching the forecast with much trepidation. It looked like there might be a repeat of the event in 2015 when it was extremely windy. However, on the day the conditions were ‘nice to a bit full on at times’ rather than the wind apocalypse that was feared by most. The other big news was that Nick Craig, after his success at the Brass Monkey in light conditions, had returned for another go. This time he borrowed the UK D-Zero dealers personal boat for the event whilst waiting to take delivery of his own. Nick needs no introduction and already has some of his own ideas on making the D-Zero go fast despite his short time in the boat.  The current UK National Champion Steve Bolland also came out of hibernation for the day to test his mettle and enjoy some winter racing.

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

With some 242 entries for the event and the race being a pursuit it was always going to be about managing the traffic and passing the slower boats without losing too much time to them and getting involved in luffing matches. Nick showed the rest of the D-Zero fleet a clean pair of heels and managed to make his way through the traffic to finish 40th overall and take the D-Zero class prize. Steve Bolland took 2nd in class and 88th overall with Tom Southwell completing the class podium in 132nd overall.

Photo copyright Tim Olin

There were grins all round on the day especially from class stalwart Nigel Austin who was asked by Nick to check he had rigged the boat correctly. Nigel, being the fine upstanding fellow that he is, fulfilled his task admirably and nothing went awry.

So overall in the D-Zero Winter series the top 3 remain unchanged with Tom still topping the pile but the gaps are closing with Nigel and Andrew now tied on points for second place with the latter taking it on countback at present. Nick shoots up the standings to 4th place but is unlikely to do any more events in the series in a D-Zero as he has other commitments (including flying off to New Zealand for the OK World Championships, we wish him luck and fair winds).  There are a number of other D-Zero sailors who could get involved with the top 3 and with 3 events still to go anyone who has done at least 1 event can do enough to not carry and DNC scores. for full results please click here.

Photo Copyright Mark Jardine

In the Selden SailJuice Winter series overall standings Tom is now the leading D-Zero in 18th overall climbing 4 places with Andrew Spencer in 25th dropping a whopping 16 places Nick moves up to 45th climbing 40 places and Nigel is in 57th climbing 14 places.

In the Top Class standings the D-Zero remains in 5th place within reach of the classes in front. With 2 events still to go there is still all to play for.

From here the D-Zero Winter series moves on to the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton SC. This event is not part of the Selden SalJuice Winter Series and you must enter online. This can be done by clicking here, do not leave it too late though as this event is always full before the entry deadline arrives.

Entry Open for the 2019 Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy

Online entry is now open the for 2019 Steve Nicholson Trophy. This is also event 6 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2018/2019. Entries are limited to 120 so make sure you get your entry in early.

More details can be found on the event website at https://www.stevenicholsontrophy.co.uk/

D-Zero Winter Series 2018/2019

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

People have asked if we will be running the D-Zero Winter Series again this year. The answer is YES. The overall winner of the series gets to carry ‘W’ on their sail to denote that they are the Winter series champion (if they wish). The series this year will encompass all the events on the Selden SailJuice.com Winter Series along with the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton SC.

The series will consist of a total of 8 events with your 4 best scores to count.

Entry for the Selden SailJuice events can be done online by clicking here.

Entry for the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy will be available by clicking here (when they open it).

The full list of events:

17th/18th November 2018 – Draycote Dash, Draycote Water SC
8th/9th December 2018 – Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water SC
27th December 2018 – Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales SC
30th December 2018 – Grafham grand Prix, Grafham Water SC
12th January 2019 – The Bloody Mary, Queen Mary SC
26th January 2019 – Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, Northampton SC
2nd/3rd February 2019 – Tiger Trophy, Rutland Water SC
16th February 2019 – Oxford Blue, Oxford SC

D-Zeros Winter Series 2017 Round 6 Report and Results

The calm before the storm. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

On the 28th January 2017 the D-Zero fleet gathered at a not so cold Northampton Sailing Club for the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy which is also round 6 of the Winter Series. With 12 boats entered including series leader Ian Morgan, Rob Lennox and David Summerville it looked like Ian might have a job on his hands to lead the fleet home.

Unfortunately a combination of winter lurgy and injury cut the signed up fleet from 12 to 9. 2 of the victims were David and Rob leaving Ian with the simple task of navigating the traffic whilst keeping the rest of the D-Zeros behind him.

Paul Jefferies approaching the windward mark. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

Race 1 and with 55 boats on the line it was always going to be speed off the line which paid. Sadly something your roving reporter has found lacking recently and i was soon mired in dirty air so chose to go right a bit (against the local advice) to gain clear air. It seems the locals do not always know best and I was well up in the D-Zero fleet as the windward mark approached. Unfortunately the ‘go left’ advice meant a horde of boats approaching on port none of whom seemed to be paying any heed to the starboard tackers. Lets just say rule observance was a little lacking. Off on to the reach and the speed of the D-Zero really showed allowing me to take several boats, only for my hard work to be undone on the run by choosing the wrong side. After an indifferent bottom reach I could see some of the leaders has chosen to go right and come back across half way up the beat. This paid off and and i soon found myself catching Mandy and Tom as the traffic thinned out. By this point Ian was long gone but there was a good battle taking place behind with Eleanor Craig in a borrowed boat coming through.

The last lap called for some clever tactics to keep the fast approaching Eleanor behind and still try to catch Mandy in front who had dropped back from Tom as the wind increased a little allowing him to get away upwind. After the top end of the beat gave me optimism there was a late shift that was not in my favour and Mandys superior speed on the reach and run kept me as 4th D-Zero with only 20 seconds separating Mandy, myself and Eleanor at the line. Ian took class honours with Tom coming home second.

Back on shore for some welcome lunch while the double handers had their second race. The inevitable post race chat and it seems most people had a good race aside from Will who had sampled the Pitsford Waters on a couple of occasions and found them to be bracing.

Mandy Sweet making her way upwind in clear air. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

Race 2 saw Mandy come flying off the line never to be seen again aside from by Ian who started close to me but used his superior line speed to get away in clear air. Tacking off did not cost too much though and I was not far behind Tom at the windward mark with the rest of the D-Zeros battling with the traffic. The first reach put paid to most of the slower boats but with the wind dropping it was going to be tough to get away far enough. With the wind in a mess at the bottom of the beat it seemed I was destined to go backwards. Managing to play another ‘get out of jail free’ card I extracted myself and was closing on Tom by the windward mark. Cue the wind to start dying off. After a slow reach/run and reach Tom had pulled away a bit but there seemed to be a little more breeze on the right than across the course. With Eleanor closing quickly in the lighter winds I would have my hands full again. Happily tacking on the shifts through the lighter patch allowed me to hook into the stronger breeze at the top of the beat and end up on Toms transom and extend the gap on the boats behind me. Tom managed to sneak away on the offwind legs again so I set about keeping Eleanor behind me. At the finish I was 15 seconds or so behind Tom with Eleanor a further 15 seconds back.

Ian had taken class honours again from Mandy this time with Tom 3rd and myself 4th.

Back on shore and everyone seemed happy with their days racing as we set about packing up for the journey home.

Overall Ian led the fleet by some distance coming home a very presentable 4th overall in the singlehanded fleet beating some quality opposition in the process. Mandy was next in 18th overall followed by Tom in 21st overall. Full results can be found by clicking here. Tim Olin was also present taking photos on the water. His pictures can be found by clicking here.

Thanks go to Kevin Moll for lending his boat to Eleanor for the day. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and we hope to see her back in a D-Zero soon. Also thanks to Wendy Horton who was key minder and trolley dolly as well as unofficial photographer.

Upcoming Events January 2017

With entry for the Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales on the 27th December now full and a long entrant making the journey north attention is shifting to the January winter series events.

On the 2nd January we have the 4th Event of our Winter Series, the Grafham Grand Prix which already has entries in to double figures and promises of more to come from the large home fleet and other locals.

From there we move quickly on to the Bloody Mary on the 7th January for round 5 followed by the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton on the 28th January. there are currently 6 bats entered for each of these events. With entry to the Steve Nicholson Trophy capped at 120 and entries starting to come in thick and fast it is important that you get signed up if you want to go. Online entry links for all events are posted below.

2nd January 2017 – Grafham GP – Enter Here

7th January 2017 – Bloody Mary – Enter Here

28th January 2017 – Steve Nicholson Trophy – Enter Here

Steve Nicholson Trophy 2016 – Report and Class Results

Gordon Stewart uses his 3rd hand Photo Copyright Tim Olin

On the 31st January the hardy D-Zero winter sailors gathered at Northampton SC for the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy which is also Round 8 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2015/2016. With 8 pre-entries for the event the D-Zero was among the bigger classes. Unfortunately 2 sailors decided discretion was the better part of valour and stayed home in the warm rather than brave the windy conditions are Northampton.

Nigel Austin GBR191 reports on the event:

The wind forecast for the day seemed to be way off the mark as 6 D-Zeros waited patiently for their 12.30 start, alternately starting with the double handlers. Whilst it was “posted as full” there were 13 no shows in the singlehanded fleet alone out of 62, which is a shame as I’m sure that they could come with a better system to allow replacements. Saying that the start line on the first race was so biased for the pin end both Jon Cowper and myself bailed out at the last minute (as it was black flag) amid a phalanx of Phantoms and array of Aeros. It had ramped up to a force 4-5 by this stage and I think Kevin Moll had already had a swim. At the windward mark, myself and Rob Lennox managed to head Jon and Gordon Stewart. What followed was and a close fetch and two runs (yes sounds impossible but thats Pitsford for you, they do like their trapezoid courses, asymmetric friendly). During this first lap Mike Corney decided to join swimming club and realised that he should have put some more layers on (swimming trunks and a t-shirt is not really on!). So then there were 4. The second lap saw yours truly trying to follow the recent video advice on “sailing by the lee”, unfortunately I have a recording of my own of “how not to sail by the lee” and fell back to 4th behind Rob, Jon and Gordon.

After a hearty late lunch (NSC must lead the top nosh at clubs league) all 6 of us prepared for Race 2. The wind had actually racked up another force by the time the second race was due to start. Unfortunately Jons’ kicking strap webbing failed and he limped home. The start was as manic as the first one but it soon saw Rob miles ahead of Mike and myself, followed Gordon and Kevin. Kevin had sought advice from his fellow D-Zero sailors at half time and heeded it by sailing on the second run leg close to the shore, however having capsized and needing to be rescued, was unsure whether he would listen again! The order for the next 2 laps stayed the same but Gordon pushed me like mad and would have got me but succumbed to a spectacular downwind gybe on the last lap. We all limped back tired with smiling faces.

We were all packing up when the prizes when the tannoy announced I’d won the mid Fleet prize (turned out to be a can of McLube lubricant, trying to work out where to use it!). Before setting off Gordon, Jon and myself got hold of the provisional results and it appeared Rob got black flagged in the second race (which was a shame as he sailed effortlessly, any tips?). So surprisingly I was first D-Zero, followed by Gordon, then Rob, Jon, Mike and Kevin. A difficult gusty shifty day, full of differing experiences but fun!!

So after a fun day on the water where the final D-Zero results look as follows:

1st Nigel Austin (24th)
2nd Gordon Stewart (26th)
3rd Rob Lennox (36th)
4th Jon Cowper (38th)
5th Mike Corney (39th)
6ft Kevin Moll (45th)

Full Single handed results can be found by clicking here and a photo gallery from Tim Olin which can be found here.

This also causes some shake-ups in the Winter Series overall standings which will be released shortly.

From here the fleet moves swiftly on to the final event at, the Tiger Trophy at Rutland this coming weekend which will also complete the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series 2015/2016. With most of the major contenders entered it will come down to the wire. Can Ian Morgan overhaul David and take the winter series title? Any one of 3 people are in the running for the final podium spot with Tom, Rob and Nigel all capable of completing the podium. Tom is also in pole position in the Harken Youth standings, can he maintain this and can the D-Zero overturn the small advantage that the Laser has in the Overall Class standings?

D-Zero Winter Series 2015/2016 – Update

Following on from the postponement of the Grafham D-Zero Open Meeting the class committee have reviewed the Winter Series events and decided that as we are now having 8 events rather than 9 the number of events required to qualify will be reduced to 4.

We are trying to reschedule the Grafham D-Zero Open to be part of the Grafham Grand Prix and will make an official announcement regarding this shortly.

For those wishing to enter the Winter Series please be aware that 2 of the events are filling up rapidly. At the time of writing the Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales SC is over 50% full and the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy is booking up rapidly now that online entry is open.

D-Zeros at the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy 2015

Mandy Horton Sailing at the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Mandy Horton reports (thanks Mandy):

Seven D-Zeros travelled to the Steve Nicholson Trophy on Saturday. As the briefing was held, the lighter sailors among the fleet were quietly celebrating the apparent lack of wind on the lake. However, these celebrations were short-lived as the wind filled in and the breezy forecast came true with a few minutes to go until the start.

The high number of boats milling around the start line, combined with the increased wind, made it quite tricky to hear start signals and work out what was happening but most boats made it over the line eventually! David Summerville quickly became leading D-Zero, while behind there was some very close battles between the other D-Zero sailors. Positions kept changing upwind and then on the fast reaches, with Nigel Austin (possibly sailing his boat for the first time) and Mandy Horton continually swapping positions! Stuart Bailey was keeping the pressure up close behind. The wind seemed to keep increasing and there were some interesting gybe mark roundings as twenty boats hurtled towards the mark at the same time! Some of us chose to be quite careful with our new boats, preferring to avoid the shouting right by the mark! Unfortunately, David stopped for a bit of breaststroke practice part the way through the race, which allowed Russ Hopkins to close in on him a bit. The close racing continued right to the end of the race, with David taking 1st, followed by Russ, Dave Woods, Nigel Austin, Mandy Horton, Stuart Bailey and Gordon Stewart.

In race 2, the wind finally dropped a little and the racing was even tighter. David again led the fleet, with Stuart doing a great job in second. Behind those two, the rest of the D-Zeros were even closer together and again, positions kept changing on the reaches as the boats planed over the waves! The end of the race seemed like a photo finish behind the two leaders, as Dave, Gordon, Mandy and Nigel all crossed the line together, with Russ only a couple of seconds behind.

David Summerville leads the D-Zero fleet Photo Copyright: Tim Olin

The final results were: David 32nd, Dave 61st, Russ 63rd, Nigel 66th, Mandy 67th, Stuart 68th and Gordon 72nd. The breezy event and close racing were enjoyed by everyone and we are now looking forward to the Grafham Grand Prix, as well as the Tiger Trophy for those who are going.

Full Results can be found here: Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy Results

Some more photos of the event from Tim Olin can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48594582@N05/sets/72157650413422986/

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Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy this weekend at Northampton SC

This weekend will see round 6 of the GJW Sailjuice Winter Series take place at Northampton SC.

There are currently 7 D-Zeros signed up for the event. Series leader Russ Hopkins will be looking to consolidate his lead going into the final 3 events. Entry is closed for this weekend but there is a waiting list so if you fancy trying to enter speak to the chaps at SailRacer (details on their website).

After this weekend there are 2 events left. The Tiger Trophy at Rutland SC on the 31st January/1st February and the delayed Grafham Grand Prix on the 22nd February.


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