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.
The penultimate event of the 2022 D-Zero Travellers series is almost upon us.
On the 22ns October at Hunts SC in Cambridgeshire who now boast a home fleet of 13. This venue has always been a great leveller! Former Inland and National champions often find themselves back in the fleet with local knowledge and a good dose of luck often the key to doing well!
Basic detail are:
First Race 11:00 Break for lunch (we are very civilised) 2 more races back to back Best 2 scores to count £10 entry fee
The full NoR can be found here: https://huntssc.org.uk/index.php/sailing/open-meetings
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.
On the 3rd and 4th of September Stewartby sailing club hosted their first D-Zero regatta, on entering the site we were welcomed by a fantastic water sports loch [Ed: translation for suvverners – lake/reservoir etc] with generous grounds and club house.
The event entry was refreshingly relaxed with a simple sign on sheet and had attracted 10 intrepid sailors with 7 of them visiting boats, some had even travelled almost 500 miles to sail a new venue! Not much wonder with a complimentary bacon roll on Saturday morning, a great BBQ after racing and another complimentary full English breakfast to fuel everyone through Sundays racing.
Saturday’s weather gave us some light airs and warm weather, the winds were shifty which are apparently the norm at this location. The light shifty winds made for some close racing and it became clear it was a venue where you can never give up as many places could be exchanged on a single beat, some sailors seemed to be missing the swell and salt of the sea while others were obviously feeling the heat and decided to roll the boat on the run to get a quick refreshing swim “Paul Jefferies”. Apparently, a certain big man from the Norf was attacked on the start line by a relative newcomer [Ed: cant have known the D-Zero etiquette] not once but twice though put the offender right with “I’ve told you on the last start not to do that”. All good humour and passionate racing. The winners for day one were Race # 1 Colin Glover, Race # 2 Gareth Farr, Race # 3 Gareth Farr, leaving the top 3 after day 1 being # 1 Gareth Farr, # 2 Gavin Fleming, # 3 Colin Glover.
Sunday brought more wind and a bit of cloud cover, again some nice tight close racing was seen with multiple boats coming into marks all at the same time leading to some on the water rule schooling for all. David Valentine wins the award for best save on the run, guess he wasn’t feeling as hot as Paul was during Saturdays sailing! Also, apparently there were a few interactions at the windward and leeward marks, with the word Protest used, though it went no further with some shaky hands once ashore [Ed: who would get involved in such a thing ! unbelievable]. The winners for day two were Race # 1 Gareth Farr, Race # 2 Gareth Farr, Race # 3 David Valentine. This left the top three of the weekend being # 1 Gareth Farr, # 2 David Valentine and # 3 Niel Ritchie.
Overall we had a fantastic weekend with good competitive sailing and great company, here’s to next years event. The Race Officer stated it was a pleasure [to be the PRO] for such a well mannered fleet !
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.
Hi all, this is Zippy the D-Zero 333 reporting from Scotland after a very windy weekend of racing at Largs. I’m lying quietly in an empty car park this morning and my gel coat hurts after ten hours of serious wave bashing on the Clyde.
The event was the annual LSC One Design regatta, sponsored by Noble Marine and was a shared event with the Musto Skiffs, RS 400, RS 200 and Lasers. Ours was the biggest class, of course, with 16 of the 65 entries.
It was delightful to be back in a boat park full of pointy nosed perfection, from 6 different clubs. There was a strong Largs turnout with 9 local boats, most of whom I can understand by now. However, the Aberdonians are a completely different ball game. I asked Niel Ritchie’s boat how it was and it replied “Och, just Chavinawar “. I guessed this meant “I’ve just had a new kicker upgrade and my cover has a small tear by the port gunwale”. Whatever Chavinawar meant to DZ326, it resulted in a stormingly fast performance on the first day, with a 1,2,1 in the first three races for Owner Niel. Ian Baillie from Dalgety Bay SC was also having a great day, with a 2,1,2,2 in the difficult choppy conditions.
My Owner was having the sort of day that had me rolling my eyes, thinking that she’d got into the sailing talent gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t watching. We ended the day in the Lanterne Rouge position and my number was drafting on eBay.
The final race of the day was won by Largs D-Zero newbie, Willie Todd; the wind dropping and shifting to allow him to work his magic. Also performing well was Aberdonian Scott Munro, clocking a third place in race 4, beating his club mate Niel, who had to return to the line after an OCS. The other OCS was me, but I continued on oblivious to my error, to round off my bad day.
The following morning, I checked in with Niel’s boat again. “Foos yer doos?” It asked me. I hid under my boat cover to open up my Compendium of weird boatspeak. It translates as “How are your pigeons?” I popped up and responded with Chavinawar. I didn’t know how to elaborate on the pigeon situation, or mention that the seagulls had long been blown off their perches, as the wind was belting down the Clyde at 25 knots by then. We set off on a “Sailing by Braille” reach, with water pouring over our Owner’s heads on every wave.
Four more races ensued, with Ian giving a performance masterclass ending in 3 wins and a 2nd. Niel put in a spectacular capsize at the windward mark on race 5, scuppering his chance of winning the event. Scott’s boat was also throwing some shapes at the top mark, although he was nimble enough to save the day. As we passed the crash zone, I offered the Aberdonians several renditions of Chavinawar before scootling off downwind, trying to keep my nose out of the water.
The final 3 races were a battle for 3rd place onwards. Jon Bassett from Largs put in a consistent series to take 3rd overall from youngster Jamie Briggs and Scott in 5th.
Francis (the destroyer) Neill, another Aberdonian, had a better second day, finishing in 6th. He did offer to run over my sails between races, which worked to keep me upright.
Further down the fleet, Owner and I had a better day and enjoyed some close racing with Billie McCarlie from Largs and Mick Green (Rossendale). I have quietly shut down her eBay account.
Largs sailor Andy McDaid had borrowed a D-Zero for the event, swapping for his usual laser. He proved to be fearless and dexterous, clocking a 3rd in race 5. The Laser should be history now! A special mention to Andy MaCintyre from Loch Tummel, where a new D-Zero fleet is starting. We look forward to visiting you for an Open next year!
Commiserations for the injured, elderly and insane who were unable to complete all the races. I suspect they were just ashore with binoculars spying on the competition in advance of our Nationals at Brixham next month. Congratulations to Ian for a well deserved win and to Niel for a close runner-up.
Finally a huge thank you to all at Largs sailing club and to my fellow racers in all fleets. We had fun.
Mixed conditions for the Gill D-Zero Open Meeting at Grafham Water Sailing Club 14/15th May 2022
16th May 2022
Report by Colin Glover
Glorious sunshine but very little wind welcomed the 14 D-Zeros for the first day of the Gill D-Zero open at Grafham Water SC. The event was being shared with both the RS600s and the Streakers for their respective Inland championships.
Following the mid-morning briefing delivered by Principal Race Officer Peter Curtis, the fleets promptly left the shore to (slowly) make their way to the racetrack at the western end of the lake. Following a short wait for the shifty average wind direction to be calculated the race team got the event underway.
On the first beat David Valentine and Neil Washington went right and very quickly generated a good lead on the rest of the fleet. Neil decided to not ‘bang the corner’ and tacked to cover the rest of the fleet. David held his nerve and continued to go right and rounded the windward mark with a significant lead followed by Neil and Colin Glover in third. The first reach was light and the front boats from the D-Zero fleet caught up with Streakers (despite a 4 minute time advantage). Unfortunately for David he approached the second mark of the trapezoid course amongst the Streakers and suffered the consequences losing a significant portion of his lead. Down the first run Tom Southwell went low and also took a significant chunk back. Gordon Stewart also picked up a puff of wind and reeled in the front few boats. At the start of the second lap Neil had taken the lead followed by Colin, Gordon & Tom. This remained the order for the final lap with Neil pulling out a commanding lead on the next three boats. Unfortunately, the rest of the fleet got stuck in a hole at the second mark of the second lap with Ben Stevens eventually leading in the second pack of boats. With the wind dying, race officer Peter consulted with the fleet reps and quickly made the decision to abandon the rest of the days sailing.
Day 2 dawned with a much more favourable easterly wind forecast of 10 knots with gusts into the late teens. Once again the fleets headed out to the western end of the lake where the race team were waiting. The plan was to make up for previous days lack of wind by running four races. The race team promptly started the sequence and got the racing underway. John Aston from the home club sailed excellently, leading from the first mark, and back on-form following his uncharacteristic result in the previous days race. John was followed home by Colin and Gareth Farr from Stewartby Sailing Club, who joined the event for the seconds days racing.
Race 3 was once again started promptly and David Valentine cleared the windward mark in first place after John, Colin, Neil and Paul Murphy overstood the lay-line and ended up close reaching into the windward mark on port. To the amusement of those nearby Neil dropped his mainsheet on approach to the mark and fell out of his boat. He quickly clambered back on board and didn’t lose out too much. Gareth worked hard on the second reach of the first lap and took the lead from David. Tom Southwell had a fantastic final reach and Colin looked nervous as a significant chunk of distance was taken back. Final results were Gareth followed by David, Colin and Tom.
Race 4 was delayed while the race team amended the course to address a 20’ wind shift. Most participants welcomed this delay and the rest after the 18 knot gusts contended with in race 3. Race 4 got underway and Colin approached, and hit, the windward mark first and immediately did his penalty allowing Gareth and John to pass. At the beginning of the second beat John was leading but slightly misjudged a port starboard incident with Gareth and John conceded his penalty. Unfortunately John didn’t recover from this error and Colin, Neil and David took advantage. The final race of the weekend got underway and was initially led once again by John. However, at the start of the second lap John and Colin tacked immediately after rounding the leeward mark whilst Gareth, David and Tom went further wide, and benefited from a huge lift. Entering the final downwind leg of the event Gareth was leading followed by John and David. Neil and Tom displayed their usual rapid downwind speed and overtook David. Colin went hard right down the run, gybed and reached into the penultimate mark just beating the others. Final positions for race 5 were Gareth followed by John, Colin & Neil. A tired fleet sailed the final beat back to shore where the generous prize giving sponsored by Gill was held.
Overall results were Gareth Farr from Stewartby sailing club in first place followed by local Grafham Water SC sailors Colin Glover, Neil Washington and John Aston in second, third and fourth respectively.
Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 14, Scoring system: Appendix A