Tag: prestwick SC

D-Zero Scottish Championships at Prestwick SC

Report by Jamie Briggs – D-Zero Youth Ambassador – The D-Zero Scottish National Championships – 25/26 September 2021 – Prestwick SC

The D-Zero Scottish National Championships were really something special this year with 20 sailors signed up though some notable absences due to injury and Covid. 

Some competitors arrived early on Friday evening, and the club kindly opened the bar and organised a Chinese takeaway.

On the first day, Saturday, it was looking like light winds at first but the wind whipped up to 12-15knts for the start of the first race, and then steadily increased. It was close racing on the exciting triangular course with massive waves to surf. The difference between first and last was tiny, with any mistake being very costly, and there was plenty of position changing throughout the fleet, and close racing known with the D-Zero. Ian Baillie lead the first two races, with Niel Ritchie taking the next 2 bullets. Jon Bassett was taking consistent 3rds and David Valentine, from below the border running consistently 4th, though got the better of Jon on the last race of the day. As one of the lighter and younger sailors, I was holding mid-fleet, though still enjoying the racing and beating many of the older sailors at their game – experience doesn’t always pay off !         The conditions took their toll on a number of sailors and their boats, including myself. Unfortunately, in the last race on Saturday my kicker broke and I had to retire back to the shore. The D-Zero class is so friendly and everyone rallied around with help and parts to get my boat fixed for the next day. 

Tired though excited sailors stayed for an Indian buffet, all part of the service offered, and shared tales of their sailing spills and thrills from the day.

Overnight results:

1st – Niel Ritchie – Aberdeen & Stonehaven, 2nd and by one point – Ian Baillie – Dalgety Bay; 3rd – Jon Bassett – Largs; 4th and by one point – David Valentine – Emsworth Slipper

On Sunday, the forecast was for higher winds, though the Race Officer did an incredible job, getting us racing despite the committee boat being unable to reach the race area due to a large swell. Extreme gusts and large waves made it survival conditions at times but exhilarating sailing in between. The ‘mental’ strong winds combined with the speed and stability of the D-Zero meant it felt like I was taking off on the reaches.  I would have to say it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a boat! 

Rhodri Thomas from Dalgety Bay took the first race, with Niel Ritchie hanging on to 2nd, and Ian Baillie in 3rd. I was performing much better with an improved kicker and Cunningham, so could depower the D-Zero and challenge the heavier sailors.

As only 2 races, I put everything into my last race, and managed a 3rd place, after one of the leaders made a tactical error of rounding the wrong mark. Ritchie has another great performance and led the way, followed by Baillie. Valentine dropped into 4th. A few capsizes for most, and some exciting gybes, planning off the waves and punching the beats, just having the two races was beneficial for all.

Videos were being taken by one of the patrol craft crews, showing off plenty of silly grins from the D-Zero sailors, surfing down many a wave. Shown on the Devoti D-Zero Sailing Facebook page, and kindly sent in by Grahame Pinkerton. Thanks to him and his cox for taking some great shots.

Neil Ritchie was the well deserved winner of the weekend – sailing away from the fleet on Sunday.

Prestwick Sailing Club did a great job at organising the event and whilst I did not sample one myself, I heard their Killie Pies were to die for. 

Overall it was an amazing weekend with great weather, a super friendly club, top class organisation, and brilliant sailing.

Since I moved into a D-Zero each event seems to attract more and more youth sailors, and the D-Zero is so much fun and I can’t wait for the next event. 

Jamie Briggs – 300 – D-Zero Youth Ambassador

Final Results

1st – Niel Ritchie – 326 – Aberdeen & Stonehaven
2nd – Ian Baillie – 336 – Dalgety Bay
3rd – David Valentine – 66 – Emsworth Slipper
4th – Jon Bassett – 306 – Largs
5th – Rhodri Thomas – 148 – Dalgety Bay
6th – Billy McCarlie – 265 – Largs
7th – Jamie Briggs – 300 – Largs
8th – Michael Green – 182 – Rossendale Valley
9th – Scott Munro – 338 – Aberdeen & Stonehaven
10th – Tom Whitehead – 128 – Prestwick
11th – Stuart Moss – 251 – Largs
12th – Eamonn Rankin – 242 – Prestwick
13th – Richard Bryant – 189 – Annandale
14th – Mike Grant – 281 – Largs
15th – David McClay – 188 – Prestwick
16th – Alan Henderson – 233 – Prestwick
17th – Samuel Sloss – 111 – Largs
17th – Stuart Khaliq – 141 – Largs

D-Zero Scottish Championships

On the 25th and 26th September the Scottish and Northern D-Zero fleets will convene at Prestwick SC for the Scottish Championships.

Entry to the event is available online and can be done by clicking here.

Prestwick have advised that the early entry discount has been extended until Wednesday of this week. With nearly 20 boats already entered it is sure to be another great event north of the border.

Prestwick sailors getting out amongst the wildlife…

Prestwick sailors and their friends out on the high seas. Send us more of your outings and sails…

The Adventures of Zippy Zero – Zippy goes to the tropics for the Northern Championships

Hi Folks, it’s Zippy the D-Zero reporting back after a visit to Prestwick in Scotland. Why the tropics I hear you ask? 24 degrees in Scotland at the end of September is as good as tropical, as far as my Northern Tundra cousins are concerned. My Owner nearly made the big mistake of not going, as the long-range forecast was showing gusts of 30 knots for the weekend. I shuddered to think of what might happened if we hadn’t gone…

As we English boats well know, the Scottish D-Zero fleet are descendants of an ancient group of Scottish warriors. From my research, it is unclear whether these are the Picti, who went into battle naked to show off their tattoos, or the Gallowglass, who were mercenaries that went into battle “pycked and scelected men of great and mightie bodies, crewell without compassion.” Yeah, that sounds like our guys.

The mercenaries sent word by Apple that my absence would be dealt with in the harshest manner. The nightmares about the Cumbrae crocodile came back to haunt me and I got hold of Owner’s Apple to confirm our entry. We travelled the next morning, Friday, and arrived in time for a little practice sail in a pleasant breeze. Once ashore, a few more boats arrived, and the Owners sat on the balcony quaffing cold ale and chewing on roasted body parts of absconding English competitors. My mates and I lay beneath the balcony ogling at the 3D sunset over the Isle of Arran on the Big Screen out to sea. Spectacular!

The next morning, more boats arrived until we totalled 16! The locals had maximised their numbers as much as possible by loaning out unused boats, which would otherwise have had to sit it out, watching from under the balcony. These happy, fulfilled D-Zeros were now busy trying to recruit new Owners! In fact, one sailor went on to buy one after the weekend! With racing starting at 1pm, there was plenty of time for Owners to do surgical rounds; poking and prodding at us all to see who had the coolest gear. My Owner got Doc Martin (Latimer) to fit a new traveller on me – an operation he completed with skill and sensitivity that defied his manly stance and compact toolbox. Thanks Man! Owner owes you a beer!

Finally, I was ready for the big launch. I was pushed off my comfy trolley onto the sand, whilst Owner dealt with my wheels. Left rigged and unattended with some of my naughtier buddies, I did some super-twirlies and filled my cockpit with sand via my open transom. Upon return, Owner had plot loss with me and the state I’d got myself into. I continued playing, accidently swiping at her head with my boom and flicking sand in her hair. One look at her face said it all. OMG MUM!!!!

No sense of humour has my Owner. She immediately banned me from writing the sailing report. Ooops – over to Her Toityness.

Sorry people. Owner Liz here. I’ve had to pick up the pen, as my boat was having an adolescent moment on Saturday and was temporarily banned from writing until it had an attitude re-adjustment.

I will take up the tale from here. The Saturday wind was offshore, and we set off on a gentle run which increased as we approached the start boat. After that, there were some huge gusts requiring full concentration to avoid an accidental capsize. I tried to land some water on Zippy’s deck to remove some of the cockpit sand dunes which had collected there during Zippy’s pratting around session on the beach. By the first start, the weather theme was set; shifty, gusty and very unpredictable. Above us and a boat length ahead, I could see Alistair McLaughlin’s boat, with it’s charismatic “S” on the sail, for Scottish Champion. Also “S” for Storky, his fleet name and, on this occasion “S” for Slightly Over the Line, resulting in an OCS. The boat carried on oblivious; a loose runner in the Grand National of tricky wind shifts, showing the way for followers Martin Latimer, who arrived first at the windward mark, Jon Bassett (who performed the first capsize of the day) and Niel Ritchie. Latimer lost a magnificent 7 places on the next beat, in an evil shift which favoured boats on either side of him, leaving him floundering in his own vacuous channel.

The second race started in a dwindling wind, which was now battling 180 degrees against a sea breeze which was trying to fill in under the tropical conditions. Before long, the Stork had flown and was already on the second leg of the course, whilst the chasing pack of Ritchie, Bailey and Alan Henderson were approaching the windward mark in different wind on a run. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet were still battling upwind in the gradient breeze.

The race became a jumble of shifting boat numbers, as the battle of the breezes continued to wreak havoc, favouring one boat and then another. Storky took the early break from the pack and went on to win by a large margin.

The wind continued to oscillate and drop, until to the relief of most, the RO postponed the final race and we headed back to the club for a well earnt beer and curry. In the twilight hours of another rosy sunset over Arran, with a cold beer in my hand, I forgave my boat for being a twat and re-instated its editorial privileges. Over to you, Zippy the Zero.

On Sunday morning, the fine weather had broken. The Easterly wind had a touch of South in it and, with that, the promise of a more consistent breeze, though lighter.

The four races were dominated by the home club’s Stork, who went on to take the series, hot on the success of his RS300 National Championship victory a few weeks earlier. The slippery little fella couldn’t be touched for speed or wiliness, even though he was sailing someone else’s boat!

Ian Baille from Dalgety Bay managed to take a couple of wins to finish as a well-deserved runner-up, followed by John Basset from neighbouring club Largs, with a consistent collection of 2nd and 3rds.

Niel Ritchie from Aberdeen and Stonehaven came 4th overall, after a strong start on day one, but fell victim to a few dodgy shifts towards the end of the series. I did see him pop a little turtle practice in between races and can confirm that he moves surprisingly well for a Gallowglass Scottish Warrior.

Owner’s fellow Englishman, Mick Green, who had travelled over 180 miles from Rossendale Valley SC was the first Englishman in a creditable 7th place, and, as such, made a quick retreat South of the border to avoid being offered up as bar snacks at the next Scottish meeting.

We finished a tactical mid-fleet in 8th place, to avoid the wrath of the fierce warriors and naked tattoo flashers and set off to complete the 568 mile round trip home.

Thank you to a very hospitable club and to their kind members who gave the visiting Owners somewhere to stay, so they didn’t have to sleep with me and my mates under the balcony.

Thank you to a very slick and efficient race team who knew that when the fun stops STOP. That doesn’t apply to my Owner, who should lighten up a bit.

The full results can be found by clicking here.

Until next time, toodles,


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