Tag: SailRacer

RSK D-Zero UK National Championships Report

Designer Dan – “At 54 boats, the 2021 RSK D-Zero Nationals – Largs SC – fleet was the largest collection of D-Zeros seen at our Nationals to date, and it is a testament to the energy of the class organisation and individuals in the Largs fleet that this years event was 30% up on entries. Further testament to the strength of the Scottish fleets was that approximately 75% of all Zeros delivered north of the border were in attendance” 

The size of the entry was swelled by some real talent including Nick Craig (multiple world, European and National title holder), Steve Bolland (Past D-zero and multi- RS300 Champ), Gavin Fleming (inland champ), Ian Baillie (RS300 past champ), Jon Shelley (Musto Skiff hot shot), Arran Holman (470 British Sailing Team Helm, 29er and Laser 4.7 hot shot) and the usual array of experienced and very fast D-Zero regulars. Rumour has it the Mr Craig had even been out practising with Tom Southwell, so his claim of being a bit rusty was probably rather exaggerated! 

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Friday’s forecast was not looking too great on any weather app, with light airs from the east off the hills but the PRO, David Kent, held his nerve watching the wind swing from 90 degrees to 180 only to swing back to an oscillating 100 degrees with windspeeds varying from 8-18kts. A sign of the keen racing to come was set by class chair Paul Jefferies showing his excitement by being well over the line (right in front of the race teams eagle eyes!). At the front of the fleet a pattern was already evolving with Dan dictating the pace and Nick Craig hot on his heels with Gavin Fleming (Hunts SC)  showing good speed to come3rd. Race two was another breezy affair ….  the conditions were holding and the fleet was excited, too excited, as the majority were over line and line on the first attempt. David Kent, never one to get ruffled and recognising the good humour and manners of the fleet restarted without a black flag …. The fleet responded with a clean start and proceeded up a shifty and gusty beat into some building waves and onto a great reach and tactical run. Dan led again but this time Joel Walker, GWSC, took an excellent second, with Nick Craig in third place. Gavin Fleming booked his discard with a 6th. After racing few beers were enjoyed ashore before the barbeque  and yet more beers (for many) wich fuelled the stories of hard working beats, telling shifts, a few spills and many fast reaches … the fleet loves a blast on its favoured quadrilateral courses.

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

An early start on Saturday saw not too many hangovers and some encouraging breeze, we’ll not mention the liquid sunshine!. It was to be another two surprisingly breezy and exciting races being run just off the club – much to the surprise of the fleet who had seen forecasts for depressingly light winds. Race three and the fleet was keen, even more keen than on Friday and the fleet was finally away on the 3rd attempt with a prompt, under a U flag, from the PRO that it was time to behave as he wanted to get three races in before the wind died. The right side was looking good, but in truth stars were born across the whole course. Showing that the D-Zero can carry all weights in varying wind strengths lightweight Dan led at the finish with lofty Nick coming second and lofty & heavier local man Jon Shelley coming through to 3rd and showing he can hike as well as the best of them, – even if he’s normally inclined to hanging from a wire in a corset! It was tight racing throughout the bulk of the fleet. Race four was started in a little less breeze, and with a tide pushing the fleet towards the line caution was the order of the day. The lighter wind was a warning of what was to come. Dan again controlled the race but Jono Shelley was pushing hard and the lighter Arran Holman was showing some great form. Nick Craig wasn’t getting it all his own way and finished 4th . Finishing order was 1st – Dan Holman, 2nd Jono Shelley and 3rd  Arran Holman. With an even lighter forecast for Sunday the PRO was keen to get a third race in for the day, but it wasn’t to be as the wind died to less than two knots – racing over for the day. In true D-Zero tradition race three turned into a race for the shore and a few beers at the bar – amazing how fast the mid-fleet and after-guard can be when the bar summons! The beach master and his team did a great job of getting all the boats and their thirsty helms ashore quickly …. Thanks guys.

Sunday morning awoke to a glassy sea and a lonely committee boat out sussing the chances of getting any racing started at all. There was brief excitement aboard the committee boat when the hi-tech on board instruments saw a gust of 1.5 knots – only for the team to realise it was caused by the rock of the boat as a few of the crew reached across the boat to get their mugs of tea! …… by 12.00 David Kent made an early call to abandon racing giving those who had travelled a good distance a chance to get home early. 

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Congratulations go to Dan Holman for yet another well-deserved National Championship win, to Nick Craig for a not unexpected fight to gain 2nd place and to local man Jono Shelley who showed great form to take 3rd place by one point from Arran Holman both, as with Dan, in boats loaned by class members who could not attend the Nationals.

Thanks go to RSK Group Director, and none to shabby D-Zero sailor, John Bassett for arranging sponsorship and some great prizes and to Sir Boyd Tunnock for agreeing to sponsor the live tracking and for a huge pile tasty Tunnocks product – food of champions! The class stumped up the cash to hireTim Olin to capture some great shots 

The standout points of the event were how friendly the class can be, how the top guys share knowledge so easily with the lower placed sailors, how the boats carry wide range of weights (this year from 55kg to 110kg) and that the age of the boat does not affect performance (Dan was in a 7yr old boat).  Sailors attending ranged from as young as 16 right up to 60 somethings men and ladies. Thanks to the people who travelled from as all point of the UK – Aberdeen to Porthpean in the South-West

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

The question remains would Storky, who had a bit of a health scare just before the regatta, have pedalled his boat as fast as Jono – we think he might just have … the 2022 Nationals at Brixham will be he chance to shine .No doubt Storky was probably putting himself under just as much stress watching the fun, but we look forward to seeing Storky back fighting fit next year.   

So to we leave it to Champion Dan Holman to summarise the proceedings “we only got half of the scheduled races in but the overall sentiment was that we beat the forecast, and great racing was had throughout the fleet in all of the races. It was great to see the hot shots not having it all their own way, with several established D Zero sailors consistently getting right in amongst it at the sharp end of the fleet. The rain was tolerable and more than made up for by an abundance of Tunnocks Teacakes, porpoises (although I didn’t see any), and some pre-launch bagpiping (N.B. this is not a euphemism.) Bring on next year in Brixham in June, come and get involved”

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

Overall Results

Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Rating system: PY, Entries: 54, Scoring system: Appendix A

1stDan HOLMANGBR119Netley SC (1.0)
2ndNick CRAIGGBR310Burghfield SC/Lee on Solent SC
3rdJono SHELLEYGBR22Largs SC (5.0)
4thArran HOLMANGBR7Hollowell SC 4.04.0(7.0)
5thJoel WALKERGBR110Grafham Water SC (6.0)
6thGavin FLEMINGGBR183Hunts SC 3.0(6.0)
7thNiel RITCHIEGBR326Aberdeen and Stonehaven YC (11.0)
8thJon BASSETTGBR306Largs SC 8.010.0(27.0)
9thTom SOUTHWELLGBR328Lee on Solent SC 9.0(12.0)
10thDavid VALENTINEGBR66Emsworth Slipper SC (15.0)
11thBilly MCCARLIEGBR265Largs SC>6017.09.0(22.0)
12thJonathan BRIGGSGBR215Largs SC 7.0(17.0)
13thWil HITCHMANGBR307Ogston SC 18.0(33.0)
14thGavin HOMERGBR106Dalgety Bay SC 16.08.0(21.0)
15thSteve BOLLANDGBR11Bristol Corinthinan YC (21.0)
16thRhodri THOMASGBR148Dalgety Bay SC
17thJames JENKINSGBR151Emsworth SC 13.016.0(19.0)
18thPaul JEFFERIESGBR74Hunts SC (29.0)
19thTim WEEDENGBR312Emsworth Slipper SC>6019.019.016.0(23.0)77.054.0
20thKeith SHARPGBR283Largs SC>60(40.0)
21stRichard BRYANTGBR189Annandale SC 10.034.0(38.0)18.0100.062.0
22ndMartin LATIMERGBR57Largs SC>60(32.0)
23rdPeter JENKINSGBR173Emsworth SC 14.024.0(33.0)
24thAndrew SPENCERGBR150Blithfield SC 23.018.0(25.0)
25thGordon STEWARTGBR181North Herts and East Beds SC

Full Results at – http://www.largssc.co.uk/sites/default/files/Sailwave%20results%20for%20RSK%20D-Zero%20National%20Championships%202021%20at%20Largs%20Sailing%20Club%202021_0.html

Other Links

Photos by Tim Olin


Live Tracking 


RSK D-Zero Nationals-Day one top 3

After 2 races in a gusty easterly breeze Dan Holman leads the 54 strong D-Zero Nationals at Largs. Nick Craig is hot on his heels with Joel Walker in 3rd

Follow the Live action with Sailracer Tracking by clicking here.

Photos from Tim Olin can be seen here.

Lighter winds and an early start await the fleet tomorrow.

RSK UK National Championships 2021 – Entry List

Current entry list, if you have entered but are not in the list contact the class chair to let him know!

TallyNameSail NoClub
1Paul JefferiesGBR74Hunts SC
2David ValentineGBR66Emsworth Slipper SC
3Martin LatimerGBR57Largs SC
4Ian Lloyd WilliamsGBR313Bala SC
5Tim WeedenGBR312Emsworth Slipper SC
6Joe ConstableGBR8Grafham Water SC
7Gordon StewartGBR181North Herts and East Beds SC
8Kevin MollGBR193Hunts SC
9Liz PotterGBR333West Kirby SC
10StorkyGBR22Prestwick SC
11Ian BaillieGBR336Dalgety Bay SC
12Jon BassettGBR306Largs SC
13Mick GreenGBR182Rossendale Valley SC
14Kevin SandoverGBR117Bala SC
15Billy McCarlieGBR265Largs SC
16Stuart KhaliqGBR141Largs SC
17Nigel AustinGBR191Cransley SC
18Abby FreeleyGBR115Hunts SC
19Stacey BrayGBR260Porthpean SC
20Simon LimbGBR160Largs SC
21Richard BryantGBR189Annandale SC
22Mike GrantGBR281Largs SC
23Keith SharpGBR283Largs SC
24Niel RitchieGBR305Aberdeen and Stonehaven YC
25Tom WhiteheadGBR128Prestwick SC
26Jonathan BriggsGBR215Largs SC
27Jamie BriggsGBR300Largs SC
28Glenn AndrewsGBR337Largs SC
29Lucie HopkinsGBR231Largs SC
30Gary TompkinsGBR158Hunts SC
31Ed DeaconGBR122Hunts SC
32James JenkinsGBR151Emsworth SC
33Sam SlossGBR111Largs SC
34Peter JenkinsGBR173Emsworth SC
35Andrew MacintyreGBR339Loch Tummel SC
36Joel WalkerGBR110Grafham Water SC
37Mike ForbesGBR228Helensburgh SC
38Steve BollandGBR11Bristol Corinthinan YC
39Nick CraigGBR321Burghfield SC/Lee on Solent SC
40Stuart MossGBR251Largs SC
41Gavin HomerGBR106Dalgety Bay SC
42David McClayGBR188Prestwick SC
43Lee CarterGBR103Yorkshire Dales SC
44Gavin FlemingGBR183Hunts SC
45Rhodri ThomasGBR148Dalgety Bay SC
46Karl BirdGBR341Nottingham SC
47Stuart PybusGBR195Cransley SC
48*Andrew SpencerGBR150Blithfield SC
49John PickettGBR314Leigh and Lowton SC
50Jon CowperGBR42Hunts SC
51*Dan HolmanGBRTBCNetley SC
52Tom SouthwellGBR328Lee on Solent SC
53*Arran HolmanGBR107Hollowell SC
54Eamonn RankinGBR242Prestwick SC
55*Wil HitchmanGBR307Ogston SC
56*Simon BoylinGBR311Emsworth Slipper SC

D-Zero Winter Series 2020/2021

Current D-Zero Winter Series Champion Nigel Austin

Following on from the announcement that the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series will be running the D-Zero class are pleased to announce that we will be running our Winter Series in parallel for the chance to have the prestigious W on your sail.

As you are no doubt aware the current Covid-19 situation means that this year you will need to pre-register should you wish to take part. The pre-entry link can be found by clicking here. Available numbers of spaces are expected to be reduced to make sure you get your pre-entry in sooner rather than later so you do not miss out!

The current events are as follows, please note some of them are down as TBC due to the rapidly changing situation and clubs being ready to accommodate travellers:

21 & 22 November 2020 – Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash (TBC),  Draycote Water Sailing Club
5 & 6 December 2020 – Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
27 December 2020 – Burghfield Brass Monkey, Burghfield Sailing Club
3 January 2021 – Grafham Grand Prix (TBC), Grafham Water Sailing Club
9 January 2021 – Bloody Mary (TBC), Queen Mary Sailing Club
23 January 2021 – King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club
6 & 7 February 2021 – John Merricks Tiger Trophy (TBC), Rutland Sailing Club 
13 February 2021 – Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club 

D-Zero Winter Series 2019/2020 Round 5 – The Bloody Mary

The 2020 Bloody Mary will go down as yet another very windy event. This did not deter the 6 D-Zero sailors who had signed up for the event. D-Zero poster boy Tom Southwell came out of hibernation again and was joined by perennial traveller Nigel Austin, local sailor Seb Prowse, class newcomer Gareth Griffiths, from the rapidly growing fleet at Shoreham, along with Emily Britton and Joe Constable.

Conditions on the day went from windy to nuclear (weapons grade could also be used). However Nigel didn’t seem to think so, here he is pointing out a small section that didnt have any white horses on it….

Out on the water Tom used his poster boy and sailing skills to lead the D-Zeros home placing 115th overall. Nigel led home Gareth Griffiths (who I am told magically transformed into Nick Craig mid-race) with the rest of the D-Zeros either retiring or taking the sensible option and staying ashore to watch the fun.

So in the winter series Andrew stays top of the pile despite not travelling to Queen Mary. Nigel closes the gap and Tom demotes Arran down to 4th. There are still plenty of races to go and with just 4 events required to not carry any DNCs there is still time to snatch the crown from Andrew. Will Tom defend his crown and save himself the chore of removing the W from his sail? Can Nigel find some form and get ahead of Andrew? Who knows…

The next round is the Steve Nicholson Trophy and currently only 1 D-Zero is entered.. Hopefully a few more will travel, you can enter online by clicking here.

D-Zero Winter Series 2018/2019 Results and Roundup

As the summer sailing season drew to a close in 2018 it seemed that some hardy D-Zero sailors still wanted more. So after a discussion the class decided to once again run the D-Zero Winter Series with the Series champion winning the kudos of being the hardiest D-Zero sailor and getting to carry the coveted ‘W’ on their sail for the next 12 months.

With people only needing to attend 4 out of the 8 events, the weather being kind the early signs were looking good for anyone to take the title. Especially as the previous Winter Series champ was sitting it out in the warmth of his lounge.

Round 1 – The Draycote Dash

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

In round 1 class poster boy Tom Southwell renewed his rivalry with Nigel Austin. They were joined by class newcomer Andrew Spencer. Unfortunately for Nigel Tom showed both him and Andrew a clean transom and sailed off to take class honours. Andrew also got the better of Nigel.

Round 2 – The Datchet Flyer

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

The 3 sailors from round 1 were join by 2 other, Seb Prowse and James Gerwat. On the Saturday the brutal conditions saw many non finishers including Seb who was ejected from his boat causing some minor damage in the process. The Sunday was much lighter and Tom duly led Andre and Nigel home with both James and Seb calling it a day and staying on shore.

Round 3 – The Brass Monkey

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

For round 3 a new face to the D-Zero and sailing royalty in the form of Nick Craig who had borrow the Class Chairs boat for the event. Unfortunately the weather meant only 1 of the 2 scheduled races could be sailed. Nick duly delivered and posted 2nd overall with the ever consistent Andrew coming home second and Mick green 3rd. Nigel had entered but was unwell and could not travel.

Round 4 – The Grafham Grand Prix

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

Grafham saw Tom return after missing out on the Brass Monkey. Could he keep up his perfect scoreline or would others have something to say? The answer is yes. Grafham local Joel Walker managed the traffic best and led the fleet home with Gavin Fleming from nearby Hunts SC taking second Tom only managing third.

This meant Tom was not as invincible as he had seemed and gave a glimmer of light to his challengers.

Round 5 – The Bloody Mary

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

Round 5 saw the return of Nick Craig. this time he had borrowed the UK Dealers personal boat whilst awaiting delivery of his own from Devoti. Steve Bolland also came out of hibernation to compete along with the usual suspects. Some of them may have wished they had stayed asleep though with the weather looking cold and windy. On the say conditions ranged from ‘nice’ to ‘a bit full on’. Nick carried on where he left off at the Brass Monkey and led the fleet home with Steve second and Tom only managing a third. The good news for Tom was that his series rivals were all behind him and with Steve and Nick unlikely to do any more events in the series the title was looking to be heading his way.

Round 6 – The Steve Nicholson Trophy

Tom elected to skip this event so it was an opportunity for Nigel to try and make up some ground. Unfortunately for him Gavin Fleming was also out meaning Nigel was relegated to second and the returning Kevin Moll chasing Nigel around for 3rd.

Round 7 – The Tiger Trophy

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

With Tom making a late entry to the Tiger all 3 of the series contenders were on the water. It was typical tiger conditions on the Saturday a cold, fresh breeze blowing across Rutland Water. Tom made the best of them to lead the class overnight with Kevin and Andrew giving race 3 a miss in the freezing conditions.

Sunday dawned cold and frosty and lighter winds. After defrosting it was Tom who again got away from the rest giving him class honours with Nigel getting the better of Ed Deacon to take second and third in class respectively.

With Toms class win he duly took the Winter Series with 1 event to spare.

Round 8 – The Oxford Blue

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

The final event of the series saw 8 D-Zeros on the start line. Could Tom, having already secured the title, take class honours and count a perfect score or would one of the others get in on the act? Nigel still had a slim chance of taking second in the series from Andrew but needed to take the class win to do so.

Tom was pushed hard by Paul Jefferies who was making his first appearance in the winter events. However, a costly swim and lack of youth and fitness from Paul meant Tom took the class win, Paul second and Nigel third.

Photo Copyright Tim Olin/SailRacer

Overall this meant Tom counted a perfect scoreline of bullets to be crowned D-Zero Winter Series Champion with Andrew pipping Nigel to second by a single point.

Full series standings can be found by clicking here.

In the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, which made up 7 of the events, Tom Southwell was the leading D-Zero in 25th overall, Andrew Spencer not too far behind in 32nd and the ever present Nigel Austin in 38th. Full series standings can be found by clicking here. In the Sailing Chandlery Top Class rankings the D-Zero came home 4th behind the Laser, Blaze and Aero 7 with not many point separating all 4 classes so a great achievement there.

Harken D-Zero Nationals 2018 – Discount Entry reminder and Entry List

With the National Championships rapidly approaching now is a good time to remind people that the early entry discount finishes on the 30th April. Do make sure you have got your entry in by then to take advantage and save yourself £14. Preparations are moving along nicely and we have already confirmed that VR Sport.tv will be filming and SailRacer will be providing live tracking for the event. So don’t delay click here to go to the entry form and get your entry in!

We have also been asked for an entry list, we know there are several people who have said they are definitely coming so expect to see the list growing over the coming weeks:

1 Paul Jefferies GBR188
2 Stacey Bray GBR260
3 Nigel Austin GBR191
4 John Aston GBR3
5 Joe Constable GBR8
6 Richard Major GBR169
7 Gavin Vaughan GBR232
8 Adrian Coates GBR230
9 Abby Freeley GBR183
10 Simon Wood GBR231
11 Tim Weeden GBR186
12 Paul Murphy GBR218
13 David Summerville GBR227
14 Krishan Bhogal GBR7
15 Steve Bolland GBR11
16 Neil Washington GBR71
17 Jon Cowper GBR42
18 Ed Deacon GBR122
19 Ian Morgan GBR250
20 Dave Woods GBR175
21 Charlie Ellse GBR 238
22 Stuart Brown GBR 239
23 Seb Prowse GBR170
24 Gordon Stewart GBR181
25 Tom Southwell GBR217
26 Jim Scott GBR123
27 Gary Tompkins GBR158
28 Ellie Craig GBR195
29 Mick Green GBR182
30 Peter Jenkins GBR173
31 Darren Williams GBR114
32 Hugo Helene GBR132
33 David Valentine GBR66
34 Pete McCoy GBR29
35 Martin Latimer GBR57
36 Tom Ballingall GBR185
37 Steve Bromley GBR267
38 James Edmond GBR208

Harken D-Zero Nationals 2017 supported by Suntouched Sailboats

Lining up for the start on Day 2. Photo Copyright Paul Jefferies

On fathers day weekend in 2017 the D-Zero fleet gathered at Royal Torbay Yacht Club for their National Championships. 34 boats had pre-entered but one was unable to make the trip at very late notice due to a relative being taken very ill, the class wishes them a speedy recovery. A number of the usual suspects were also missing this year due to such silliness as getting married, attending weddings, buying houses that need work and having babies. We hope their priorities will be corrected for 2018! Happily those missing in action were replaced by a lot of new faces such as Steve Bolland of RS300 fame, Martin Latimer and Jon Bassett who made the long trip from Largs and a whole host of people from the hotbed of talent located at Restronguet and Mounts Bay. Combine all of that with a generous prize pot from our title sponsor Harken, Live Tracking from SailRacer with our friends at Suntouched picking up the tab this meant the class could call in VR Sport TV to film all 3 days.

Tight racing on the downwind legs. Photo Copyright Paul Jefferies

Thursday evening saw a few early arrivals sampling the delights of Torquay with the table at Pizza Express gradually expanding through the evening.

On Friday morning the fleet were greeted with a forecast of glorious sunshine but sadly the wind forecast was not as good for the entire weekend prompting questions raning from if we would get a full series in to if we would get any racing in (depending on which forecast you believed). Our PRO Michael Currie announced that he intended to try and run 3 races on Friday as the wind was supposed to be the best of the weekend. With that the fleet launched ready for action…


Race 1

Setting off in a dying breeze from a packed start line the leading pair of Greg Bartlett and George Cosuins rounded the windward mark with a small lead over a chasing pack consisting of Steve Bolland, Ian Morgan, Paul Scullion and Kian Andrews. As the leaders rounded the breeze was dropping quickly leaving those mired in the pack with very little options to catch up. At mark 3 Greg and George rounded pretty much together with George electing to go right down the run to try and keep clean wind as Greg and the chasing pack went left. George soon realised the right would not pay as the chasing pack overhauled him. By the leeward mark Ian Morgan had made his way through to lead the fleet along the bottom reach on what would turn out to be the final leg with the wind dropping away to almost nothing. With George and Paul chasing him down though nothing was guaranteed At the finish Ian just held on from the fast finishing Paul with George 3rd.

Race 2

After a long postponement to see what the wind would do the fleet were greeted with the welcome sight of the breeze filling in from the east. A sea breeze according to the locals. It seemed to establish and was holding steady so after a re-laying of the course the race team tried again. Not content with a 180 shift the wind decided to shift just before the start causing a general recall. After a short wait as the wind did shift back and hold the fleet got away only from the breeze to start dropping off again.

At the windward mark it was Greg Bartlett who had got away from the fleet to have a big lead with Dave Bartlett rounding in 2nd and Kian Andrews in 3rd. With very little wind left now it was staying in pressure that would decide the race. With Dave dropping low and ending up having to put in a short tack to make mark 2 Kian got through to second. This was how it stayed to the finish with the race officer sending the fleet home in what was left of the wind.

This meant Greg Bartlett would be wearing the leaders jersey for day 2 (and surely becoming a target for the rest of the fleet).

Once boats were packed away the fleet headed back to the club for a BBQ and some socialising. Steve Bolland, deciding that the fleet were a bunch of lightweights, headed off out himself with some friends for the night (more on that shortly)….


Day 2 dawned and with a postponement of at least 1 hour due to a trawler race taking place in the bay (and no wind) the fleet set about with the inevitable bimbling, banter and annual maintenance that always takes place on a nationals weekend. As the postponement was transferred to the committee boat 2 things became clear. There were 2 boats in the line that still had covers on. 1 belonging to class chair Paul Jefferies who had aggravated a shoulder injury injury the previous day. The other belong to Steve of whom there was no sign. Speculation was rife amongst the fleet as to what had happened…

Race 3

Starting in a steady breeze that was holding just about 5kts the fleet was split as to which way to go. A new face at the front in the form of Jon Cowper decided hard left was the way to go and, to his surprise, found himself leading at the windward mark being hotly pursued by Kian, Darren Williams and Paul. Jon held on for the top reach. By the leeward mark Darren had pulled through to lead, Jon in second and Paul in close company. This time the fleet were sent round for a second lap. Jon elected to go left again rather than cover the leaders. This allowed Paul to get through to 2nd by the windward mark and set off in pursuit of Darren. At the finish Darren had done enough to hold Paul off with Jon coming in 3rd.

Race 4

With the wind holding steady, even increasing slightly up to 8 even 9 knots at times the lighter sailors were seen having to hike. The RO turning things around quickly and soon the fleet was in sequence for race 4. This time it paid to tack on the shifts and at the windward mark it was Paul being pursued by Kian, George and Greg with Mandy Sweet finding the conditions to her liking in 5th. On the following reach and run Mandy overhauled Greg to move in to 4th. On the second lap the leaders covering each other with Mandy electing to split and go left. At the windward mark the order was the same and looked like staying the same until George found some extra pressure down the run to sneak inside Kian at the leeward mark. With the race being shortened now the order stayed the same to the finish.

Race 5

Race 5 got away at the second attempt with the fleet a little too keen at the first time of asking. George led round the windward mark being hotly pursued by Paul and Ian with Jon Bassett from Largs popping up in 4th place. There was a small gap from the leading bunch back to pretty much the rest of the fleet who were all vying for position. The leading 4 then had a battle along the top reach and down the run with George managing to come out on top, Ian making his way through to 2nd with Paul slipping back to 3rd. The chasing bunch were starting to stretch out at Darren and Kian had found a way through and were now leading the chase. Jon Managed to roll Paul on the bottom reach to get himself up to 3rd by the end of the first lap. By the windward mark George was starting to stretch away as the pack behind him started to slow each other down. Paul had made his way back up to 2nd, Jon had slipped back to 3rd and Ian was now 4th. Darren and Kian had broken free of the chasing pack now and were trying to close the gap. Jon slipped back down the run and Darren caught him on the final reach to the finish. The order at the line was George, Paul, Ian, Darren, Jon followed by Kian. However there was a twist in the tail as Paul, Kian and Darren had all fallen foul of the black flag. This elevated Ian to 2nd and Jon to 3rd.

Race 6

Starting under the black flag the fleet were definitely more cautious this time. With a split forming almost immediately which side would the leaders come from? The fleet was tightly bunched at the windward mark but it was Greg who rounded just in front of George with Paul, Darren and John Aston chasing the 2 leaders. After the reach and the run Darren had pulled through to lead with George 2nd and Greg slipping back to 3rd. George and Darren continued their battle on the upwind leg with George gaining the upper hand by the windward mark, Darren very close behind and then a small gap back to Paul and Greg who had in turn pulled away from the chasing pack. At the end of lap 2 George had pulled out a handy lead on Darren who has a handy gap back to Paul. On the final lap the positions remained static with George putting a loose cover on Darren and Paul trying to take advantage to close on the pair of them. All to no avail as the top 3 did not change.

So after a long day on the water and 4 races to the good meaning 6 had been completed the fleet were ahead of schedule. George took over the yellow jersey from Greg. The overall standings were far from cut and dried with any one of 5 people able to take the championship.

The fleet then retired to the Royal Torbay Yacht Club clubhouse for a sit down meal followed by the class AGM. At this point in time Steve Bolland decided to grace the fleet with his presence. Perhaps lured back by the promise of dinner or maybe the fact that the bar was open and he needed to boost the takings again. Stories vary as to what happened to him but it would appear he had a very good night but couldn’t remember much of it. Once the meal had finished the class moved on and held their AGM (the minutes of which will be available shortly).


Sunday dawned, bright and sunny and without even a breath of wind. Tor Bay was like a millpond as the early sailors arrived in search of breakfast. The fleet were giving the vibe that they either wanted the 2 remaining races to be sailed or for an early end to proceedings as some had long journeys ahead. A brief discussion with the PRO and a plan was formed. He was confident that there would be enough breeze by the time the first warning signal could be sounded. Cue a hive of activity in the dinghy park as boats were uncovered, sails hoisted. As boats were launched it was clear the PRO was correct and people hurried to get out to ensure they did not miss the start.

Race 7

The fleet getting away cleanly and immediately splitting. Which side would pay today? The left had been the favoured side yesterday and with the wind from a similar direction would it pay today? At the windward mark the leading bunch had come from the left side of the course. Kian rounding in the lead with Greg in close company followed by George, Paul, Ian, Darren and Jon Bassett. This leading bunch had a handy gap back to the chasing pack. By the end of the lap Kian had pulled out a small gap from his pursuers and elected to loose cover them up the next beat. By the end of the beat Kian was still leading but with George now in 2nd, Greg slipping to 3rd. With positions staying fairly static now it looked set to be this way for the finish. George had other ideas and at the finish had almost overhauled Kian who just held on to take the bullet ahead of George with Paul coming home 3rd.

Race 8

With everything still to play for the championship was going to be decided on the last race. With a second discard also kicking in the final podium slot was also still up fro grabs. If Paul could win and George have a bad race the tables could be turned. At the windward mark it was Steve Bolland who headed the fleet having gone hard left with the 2 championship contenders in close company behind him with Mandy Sweet not far back in 4th. George made no mistakes on the next 3 legs and by the end of them had pulled through to have a handy lead over Paul with Steve slipping back to 3rd having Mandy for close company. Up the next beat George went hard left, electing to not cover his rivals but to go in search of extra pressure. this seemed to pay off as by the windward mark he had extended away from the chasing bunch with Steve coming through to second, Paul in 3rd and Mandy still in touch in 4th. Paul elected to go right down the run, looking for something that would help him overhaul Steve and George. At the leeward mark the positions had not changed. With the just the short reach to the finish Paul somehow found a way past Steve with Mandy closing fast on the pair of but not quite making it.

Once the race team had done their magic it was clear that George Cousins had taken the title of D-Zero National Champions for 2017 with Paul Scullion the bridesmaid for the second year in a row and Kian Andrews rounding out the podium. What was also clear was that the Restronguet fleet is the strongest fleet in the country currently with their sailors taking 3 of the top 6 positions (we are told Kian is a Restronguet sailor on occasions). The rest of us are clearly going to have to up our game to get anywhere near them!

The fleet then gathered for prize giving with the entire prize haul being supplied by our title sponsor Harken. Phil Rumbelow, the Rear Commodore from the host club, said a few words and thanked the fleet for being well behaved both on and off the water (there are those in the fleet who would prefer a bit more mischief off that water though). The first prize awarded was to David Valentine from Emsworth Slipper which was based on the Speedwall rankings. The prize was awarded to the sailor whom the Class Chair and Sailracer felt deserved a boost in performance. David won a Harken Speed Computer to help log and analyse his speed over the water. The next prize was awarded for the furthest travelled. This was a joint prize won by Martin Latimer and Jon Bassett from Largs.  The next prize was the ladies prize which was won by Mandy Sweet from Grafham Water who was our only lady this year. Mandy had a great series counting no results outside of the top 10 to give her 7th overall.

Then on to the main prizes with them being awarded down to 5th place for the general standing sand the ladies prize. Mandy Sweet from Grafham Water who was our only lady this year won the ladies prize. She had a great series counting no results outside of the top 10 to give her 7th overall. Ian Morgan from Netley surrendering his title and coming home in 5th and surely wishing their was more in the way of wind and waves, 4th went to Greg Bartlett from Starcross who had borrowed a boat for the event, 3rd to Kian Andrews from Penxance and Mounts Bay (and Restronguet), 2nd to Paul Scullion from Restronguet and the winner and 2017 National Champion George Cousins also from Restronguet.

With class chair Paul Jefferies thanking all at the host club and, in particular, the PRO Michael Currie and his team who managed to get in a full series of 8 races despite the forecast. thanks also go to Harken for being our title sponsor and providing the prizes and to Suntouched Sailboats for sponsoring the live tracking which was supplied by SailRacer.

The fleet all agreed that the weekend had been a great one with the glorious sunshine but and extra 5-10kts of wind would have made it perfect.

Full results can be found here: http://results.rtyc.org/hosted2017/dzero/dzeronat2017os.html

A photo album taken by the RTYC resident photographer can be found here: http://www.borderphotos2010.com/d-zero-nationals-rtyc.html

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