Tag: Oxford Blue

D-Zero Winter Series 2018/2019 Round 8 – The Oxford Blue

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/Sailracer

With the forecast looking to be mild and with a reasonable wind a good fleet of 8 D-Zeros made their way to Farmoor reservoir for the final round of the D-Zero winter series.

There were 3 starts and with the PY cutoff being 1030 the D-Zeros were pretty much the fastest boats on the startline which definitely gave us an advantage. Your roving reporter actually made it to this event so this report is more of a personal account of the day….

Race 1

For the first race of the day we had the pleasure of watching the faster boats from start one make their way up the beat. With a rapid fire sequence of 3-2-1-Go for the following starts we only had 6 minutes to wait until we were off. With the Aeros going the same way up the first beat it seemed that middle to left was the way to go. Your roving reporter found himself in a gap on the front row and shot off the start line and headed out left. Despite boats further down the line tack back the lift on starboard seemed to the holding firm with small twitches that were not worth tacking on (despite the protestations of a GP14 who had to tack off under me). When the shift came it was obvious and held all the way up to the windward mark leaving a very short tack to round and off on to the reach.

Photo copyright Tim Olin/Sailracer

Looking back the rest of the D-Zeros were still busy playing in the pack and there was just 1 boat in front of me. All looking good for a top result then as the lead i had over the rest of the chasing pack seemed to grow and the small breakaway group of leaders i was in sailed off. Things got a little more complex as we quickly found ourselves in the Aero fleet and having to pick our way through them, sometimes compromising ultimate strategy over keeping out of trouble.

A small scare on the last lap where I found a big hole and watched Tom Southwell ctching me rapidly but it was not to be for tom as the wind duly filled in for me and i sailed away to take class honours with Tom a little way back then a big gap back to Nigel who has got the better of the rest of the fleet to complete the class podium.

Race 2

Could I do the same again in race 2? This time the fleet seemed to favour the committee boat but watching the starts ahead of us there was still a good port shift up near the windward mark. Start almost furthest down the line in the fleet it was another good start in clear air. Approaching the windward mark it was initially not looking so good until the trusty port shift push the people coming in from starboard in to tacking leaving a clear way through.

3rd boat this time, the rest of the D-Zeros looking to be buried in the pack I allowed myself a wry smile which lasted for a fee seconds when I promptly binned it in to windward. I can tell you Farmoor is not warm at this time of year! At least my fleet mates didn’t laugh too much on the way past with a couple of familiar voices asking if I was OK.

Photo copyright Tim Olin/Sailracer

Time for damage limitation but by the time I got the boat back up most of the fleet were past. in to recovery mode and work hard mode to warm up. All seemed to be going well until a call for room illicted no response from an errant 420. Leaving me nowhere to go I had to barge in and then take a penalty dropping back most of the good work I had done.

Still by the finish I had got past the rest of the D-Zeros except Nigel and Tom. Tom had done a horizon job so no chance of catching him but Nigel seemed unaware of how quickly I was gaining. At the final mark he elect to round up and carry on. Having nothing to lose and feeling that port was the headed tack I did the opposite of Nigel and drove for the pin end of the finish. Not looking to see where he was just concentrating on boat speed. Heard a hoot, looked up and I had pipped Nigel by a couple of feet on the line. Much to my delight and his disappointment.

Between races it was commented to Dave Valentine that his mast looked a lot more raked than the rest of us. A quick bit of consultation revealed he had his mast mast in opposite to the rest of us. Dave, not being someone to shy from a challenge, elected to try and flip it on the water. All was going well until a gust caught the rig and flipped him in. Luckily there was a rescue boat on hand and he managed to get back upright and rig in position for race 3.

Race 3

With a pause whilst the course was rest due to the wind shifting would the same tactic still play? finding another gap on the line heading middle left seemed to be paying until a large right shift, followed by a left shift bought the fleet together at the windward mark. Still well up and still the first D-Zero round the mark things were going well. this time Tom and Nigel were both pretty close (as was the rest of the D-Zero fleet) so protecting positions seemed the way forward. Working on the old tactic of keep yourself between them and the mark seemed to pay until I inexplicably decided to go right to skirt a large hole. Tom and Nigel both went left. It looked like curtains for me until the wind gods smiled and shifted to carry me just across them. unfortuately on the reach an overzealous laser sailor decided to luff hard pushing me up to windward and almost to a halt letting both Nigel and Tom through. The joys of handicap racing!

Photo copyright Tim Olin/Sailracer

Now in chase mode the wind seeming to build towards the promised 15kts and my legs crying no more after the chilly dip earlier I wondered if I could catch the pair of them. Luckily for me Nigel came across an equally over zealous Solo sailor who took him right up to windward on the bottom reach allowing me through having gone low to stay on the wind. Unfortunately for me Tom used his youth and fitness to slowly get away upwind (not that I am bitter about that at all) but then seemed to put the brakes on offwind allowing me to close up. Traffic played its part again though with Tom managing to sneak through ahead of a bunch of Aeros and me left trying to navigate my way through them on the bottom reach to the final mark. At the finish line Tom was only 21 seconds ahead so a good result for me and what might have been without the energy sapping swim in race 2!

Photo copyright Tim Olin/Sailracer

Overall this meant Tom took class honours coming home 46th overall with your roving reporter in 52nd and Nigel a little way further back in 72nd.

In the Winter Series standings it meant that Tom is the 2018/2019 Winter Series Champion and may carry the ‘W’ on his sail for the next 12 months. Andrew Spencer to 2nd by a single point from Nigel Austin. Kevin Moll from Hunts SC climbs up to 4th with James Gerwat dropping to 5th. A more detailed round on this and the SailJuice winter series will follow shortly.

From here the class moves on the the traditional season start of the UK Dinghy racing with the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace. The class will be there on stand F12 and you can get a discount by using the discount code on this page.

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

Oxford Blue – Report and Results

Davis Summerville and Rob Lennox pick their way through the fleet at the Oxford Blue Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Last weekend saw Round 6 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2015/2016 and Round 5 of the GJW SailJuice Winter Series 2015/2016. With 13 D-Zeros entered the fleet once again looked like being one of the largest. Sadly 4 of the entries could not make it on the day with a combination of illness, injury and last minute family commitments. So 9 D-Zeros made it to Oxford in the wind and rain and they were greeted with a crowded race course with all 3 fleets on the same course. As with the Grafham GP getting a good start and finding a clear lane would be key.

Nigel Austin- GBR 191 reports on his day:

I have not known such a windy winter as 2015-2016, well not since the Indian takeway came to our village in 1995. And in Event 5 of the Sailjuice Series, 9 out of the 13 D Zeros registered were again treated to another 15 gusting 25 south-southwesterly (I think!).

From my perspective this was far better than last years drift, and tooled up with grippy toestraps, stopwatch (first time in 45 years of sailing I have used one!) and the traveller tighter than a ducks backside (due to Xmas grip cleat thing), I felt much more at one with the boat.

All three starts were obviously biased to starboard although they did have to reset for Race 3 as it had become a little too much!. In intermittent driving rain, three D Zeros (Dave Summerville, Rob Lennox and Ian Morgan) made it to the top of the fleet in all 3 races (well nearly, not sure what happened to Rob L in Race 1?), and generally disappeared off into the sunset (if there had been any sun). The remainder of the fleet found the RS Aero’s (who had descended en masse for their winter championship) were quite a challenge, and it was difficult/impossible to overhaul them (I blamed the tight fetch, dead run and broad reach, well it has to be something?!).

3 back to back races are OK as long as the restarts are fairly quick, but unfortunately they didn’t seem to be, so much so that I had time to do a first in a D Zero (no I didn’t win a race) – i managed to eat a Sherbert Fountain including dipping licourice whilst bobbing up and down between Race 1 and 2, the expected energy burst didn’t happen and in a frantic mid fleet finish, Tom Southwell and Russ Hopkins overhauled me, with Rob Campbell starting to threaten.

Gordon Stewart said he wasn’t having a good day in between races, but I am pretty sure it was capsize free (see Tom Southwell for details of capsizing prior to Race 3) and his 3rd race was his best result. Scott Derham didn’t unfortunately finish the third along with Russ, but both were in the mix in the first two races – I am sure there are sub stories etc?.

Overall, I think most of us ended with a smile, as the majority got better as the races went on (especially David S and Rob C), and whilst on handicap the D Zeros didn’t get as high as in previous events, we all pushed each other on, and I for one am ever grateful for the nuggets of tips I glean on and off the water, so I am sure we will soon be up there (well a little bit closer to Dave, Ian and Rob L etc).

There is still so much to learn about the D Zero, like how some folk fly upwind and some fly downwind (and some do both!) but at Oxford I am pretty sure all those who took part learnt a little more!

PS If you are erring on whether to go to the Bloody Mary – do, its such an experience and its bound to be a good wind – last year Russ H went past me as a blurr and that was the moment I said “I want to sail one of those!” – mind you 2 minutes later passed him in my Comet, after he decided to take a dip.

In the overall results David Summerville came out on top coming home 13th over all, Ian Morgan second in class at 28th over all and class newcomer Rob Lennox third in class at 29th over all.

Class results are given below, these will be used for the D-Zero Winter Series results which will be updated shortly:

1st (13th) David Summerville
2nd (28th) Ian Morgan
3rd (29th) Rob Lennox
4th (67th) Nigel Austin
5th (71st) Tom Southwell
6th (77th) Russ Hopkins
7th (83rd) Rob Campbell
8th (95th) Gordon Stewart
9th (100th) Scott Derham

Full results can be found here and a photo gallery from Tim Olin can be found here.

From here the fleet moves on to the Bloody Mary on the 9th January. A bucket list event for many sailors! With 9 grey rig D-Zeros entered and 1 blue rig the D-Zero is again one of the largest classes so if you fancy joining them there is still time to enter simply click here.

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