Tag: Oxford SC

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-Zeros at the Oxford Blue 3rd January 2015

Dan Holman comes 3rd at the Oxford Blue. Photo Credit: Sailracer

With early forecast promising Big Breeze 10 Dedicated D-zero sailors decided to dust off their hikers following the Christmas break. The Oxford Blue is the third open in the D-Zero winter traveller series and makes up part of the greater GJW Global warm up. This saw 150 others wintery sailing conditions as they pip their wits against fellow sailors in other classes.

Sadly as the event drew closer, what is now known as the Russ Hopkins effect came to play. The forecast switched from a fruity 15-20knts to an eye watering 2knt gusting 7. Sailors were greeted by a true to forecast cold and damp morning with little or no wind. With the promise of the wind returning from a fresh direction around Lunch.

Russ Hopkins the current series leader was feeling confident; he had trimmed his beard in anticipation of another strong result. Sadly Dan Holman had decided to borrow a boat and teach Hopkins a lesson…..

Jon Cowper, Dave Woods and an unidentifed D-Zero enjoy close some close racing Photo Credit: Sailracer

Race 1

Race 1 started in very little wind. Holman started well and led from start to finish. Hopkins started woefully (There is a pattern emerging here) and was last D-Zero around the windward mark. Both Stuart Bailey and Graham Cooper made good progress as the two lighter sailors in the fleet. James Brace started well and sailed the right way up the beat to find himself in a good position to attack the light weights in the first reach. Good work by James who had not sailed or raced a dinghy for nearly a year. Proof that fat lads and normal people can compete on a level in this fantastic new dinghy. Sadly James’ attention level was waning and he decided enough was enough and returned to shore. Deciding to practice what he was really good at…Consuming Bacon and drinking coffee. This left the rest of the fleet to compete with each other as well as the other classes. Russ Hopkins ‘Worked’ the boat well and managed to slip up to 2nd place on the final beat. Stuart Bailey held his third position well ahead of Dave Woods and Jon Cowper. Holman however really showed his class finishing well in front.

Race 2

Race 2 – After what seemed like an eternity (but more likely 40 minutes) the wind had settled into a more constant direction and had built to a nice 7-15knt. Most of the fleet were feeling the cold by now. Dan Holman however was rubbing salt into wounds by doing press ups in the boat cockpit to keep warm. Whilst James had built up the meat sweats as he devoured his third pork based roll.

Straight from the Start again Holman was properly on it! He led all D-Zero’s from start to finish almost a horizon style job! This left the rest of the fleet to compete amongst themselves. Some really close racing took place. Jon Cowper and Graham Cooper tussled with each other, both showing great boat speed. Closely followed by Toby Peacock. Russ Hopkins then followed having won a hard fought battle with Dave Woods.

Stuart Bailey and Toby Peacock battle for position Photo Credit: Sailracer

Race 3

Race 3 – The Final race of the day saw a clean start once again Holman ruled the roost, he was not seen again until later in the dinghy park. Such was his commanding skills. Again the fleet saw some fantastically close racing all tussling it out for that important 2nd place spot. Hopkins, Woods and Cowper were constantly cross tacking each other up the beats. Little mistakes were punished by losing a position; such was the close nature of the racing. Luckily for Hopkins he managed to call the beat right and seemed to have the legs on Woods down wind. This left the results after discard as follows:

1st Daniel Holman (Very Impressive 3rd Overall)
2nd Russ Hopkins (Not so impressive 50th Overall)
3rd Jon Cowper (60th Overall)
4th Dave Woods (66th Overall)
5th Graham Cooper (69th Overall)
6th Stuart Bailey (74th Overall)
7th Toby Peacock (79th Overall)
9th Jeremy Carry & James Brace (RTD)

Whilst Holman had taught Hopkins somewhat a lesson in sailing prowess, it was agreed by the fleet that Hopkins had won the class Christmas Beard Growing contest. As such Hopkins was the real winner. Holman walked away dejected, promising to shave. Proof that Press-ups in between races don’t make you a real man.

The next round of the D-Zero winter series is the Bloody Mary 10th January. The forecast currently looks pretty full on. Please don’t let that put you off. The Hopkins effect will no doubt turn this into a 3knt air rowing contest.

Full Results can be found here: Oxford Blue Results

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