27 December 2021 – Burghfield Breezer, Burghfield Sailing Club
2 January 2022 – Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
8 January 2022 – Bloody Mary (TBC), Queen Mary Sailing Club
22 January 2022 – King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club
30 January 2022 – Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club (online entry here)
5 & 6 February 2022 – John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
19 February 2022 – Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
Entry for the Selden Sailjuice events can be done online by clicking here. Make sure you enter early, most of the events are full well in advance of the day.
There are 10 events this year and just 4 results are needed to count. So why hang your wetboots up this winter when there is plenty of good sailing to be had plus the chance to steal the coveted ‘W’ from our perennial poster boy Tom Southwell.
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
Due to a senior moment by the learned Class Chair there were 2 rounds of the Winter series on the 25th and 26th Janaury 2030, the Steve Nicholson Trophy on the 25th and the King George Gallop on the 26th.
This meant entry to the Steve Nicholson Trophy was down on previous years. 2 D-Zeros made the Journey to Pitsford with Gavin Fleming from Hunts attending his second event and Nigel Austin from Cransley looking to capitalise on the absence of current series leader Andrew Spencer and close the gap.
On the day it seems that Nigel was on fire taking class honours from Gavin to record his first class win of the series.
Moving on to the following day at the King George Gallop and Nigel was joined by Kevin Moll from Hunts who has been making great strides in his D-Zero recently and is now mixing it with the fleet at home.
Unfortunately for them both Nigels arch nemesis and D-Zero poster boy Tom Southwell decided he fancied and play and duly lead Nigel home in all 3 races to take class honours with Kevin rounding out the top 3. Kevin did later admit he was somewhat hampered by poor rigging and really must remember to rig his kicker correctly next time…..
So overall in the D-Zero Winter Series this means Nigel sneaks ahead of Andrew in the overall standings but Tom is looking menacing in 3rd counting 3 first places but also carrying a DNC. With 2 events left Tom can still take the crown if he can drag himself to Rutland for the Tiger Trophy or Oxford for the Oxford Blue.
Full D-Zero Winter Series standings can be found by clicking here.
In the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series the D-Zero is currently holding 4th place in the Sailing Chandlery Top Class rankings ahead of many other, much larger classes.
In the individual rankings Andrew Spencer in 16th still holds sway over Nigel Austin in 18th with Tom Southwell down in 46th but only having attended 3 events so far.
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.
So Christmas 2019 has come and gone, we hope that you all got some nice D-Zero goodies in your Christmas stockings this year.
The Christmas and new year period were busy in terms of the current winter series with rounds 3 and 4 taking place. A short report from each is below…
Winter Series Round 3 – The Brass Monkey
With 3 hardy D-Zero sailors heading north, including current series leader Andrew Spencer, it was a chance for him to extend his series lead. unfortunately for Andrew and young upstart by the name of Arran Holman was keen to come out and play. Following some frantic messaging for David Valentine of Dzero.co.uk asking for a boat as he was out of the country a loan boat was secured. Many thanks to D-Zero Membership Secretary Jon Cowper for the loan of his boat.
As seems to be traditional Arran headed north and delivered the good by coming 3rd in the only race that took place. This seems to be a bit of a D-Zero tradition with sailing legend Nick Craig having borrowed a boat the previous years and placed it second on his first competitive outing. Nick went on to join the class, will Arran follow suit?
Arran wasn’t the only D-Zero sailor to go well, Mick Green coming out of Winter hibernation for the day rounded out the top 10 with Andrew not too far behind in 14th.
Winter Series Round 4 – The Grafham Grand Prix
A couple of days after the Brass Monkey the D-Zero were out in force at Grafham being the second biggest class with 12 entries it was going to be a competitive day on the water.
Unfortunately for us mere mortals Arran had held on to Jons boat for the event and showed us all a clean pair of heels in all 3 races. He did so well that he won the medium fleet, definitely a good effort given the D-Zero is one of the slowest boats in the medium fleet! After only managing a 17th in the first race he followed that up with a 3 – 1 to take the spoils.
Behind Arran the racing was much closer with those who were able to manage the traffic best getting the best results. Neil Washington from Grafham managed this the best and placed 35th overall with Andrew Spencer taking 3rd on the class podium and 40th overall.
In the winter series this means Andrew has a commanding lead over Nigel Austin with Arran currently in 3rd but unlikely to sail any more events. Looking at the entries going forward it is by no means all cut and dried, anyone who has done 1 race can still challenge Andrew to the Winter Series title.
Looking ahead to 2020 the D-Zero Scottish fleet are definitely on a mission. With 2 new sponsors on board already for the Largs Nationals in June and promises of a good level f entries already it could that that going north will be ‘en vogue’ this year….
The more eagle eyed of you may have noticed they have even taken over the class website with a tartan twist….
North of the border, and at the venue for the 2020 National Championships, D-Zero sailors have been putting in some serious practice with D-Zeros taking the top 5 spots at the Harken Largs Winter Series. Jon Bassett narrowly edging out Alistair ‘Storky’ McLaughlin in the short fleet on countback in the 18 race series with Alan Henderson completing the podium. You can read more on this by clicking here.
Down south the D-Zero Winter Series kicked off with rounds 1 and 2 of the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series. For the first event, the Draycote Dash, 4 D-Zero made the trip. With a reasonable breeze on Saturday Andrew Spencer from Burton SC showed the fleet the way around the course over the 4 handicap races and being 46th overall prior to the double point pursuit race. Nogel Pybus was not too far behind in 52nd with Nigel Austin 61st and class newcomer Robin Freeland in 86th Sadly the wind gods didn’t come to play Sunday and the race was cancelled leaving the overnight results as the final results.
A couple of weeks later the Datchet Flyer took place. Historically this event has served up wind in spades, enough to tempt class poster boy Tom Southwell away from the south coast for the weekend. Tom duly delviered and led the 3 D-Zeros home and was 39th overnight on Saturday with Andrew 60th and Nigel 74th. The winds decided that they would again influence the Sunday racing but this time with too much wind. With well over 30kts recorded across the racecourse racing was abandoned leaving the Saturday results to stand.
From here the series moves on to Yorkshire Dales for the Brass Monkey on the 27th December followed by Grafham Water for the Grafham Grand Prix on the 29th December.
Entry for all the Winter Series events except the Steve Nicholson Trophy can be found on the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series website. The Steve Nicholson Trophy can be entered by clicking here. Please note the winter events do tend to fill up so get your entry in sooner rather than later!
With the traditional Dinghy Sailing season coming to an close eye can now turn to the chilly months to come. Fortunately D-Zero sailors are a hardy bunch and love to keep sailing all year round.
For those who fancy something a little different there are a lot of opportunities to get out on the water over the winter months….
D-Zero Winter Series 2019-2020
Yes, it is back again and the winner gets to sail with the coveted ‘W’ on their sail. Current holder, and D-Zero poster boy, Tom Southwell has been absent for a little while but hopefully he will make a return to defend his title and let the boat make him look good again.
The event are as follows, all except the Steve Nicholson Trophy are part of the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series and entry must be done online. Do note that the events have tended to not allow on the day entries so make sure you have a confirmed entry before you travel.
For those north of the border Largs are again running a winter series. The ever increasing Scottish D-Zero fleet are sure to have a strong presence here. For just £99 you can sail at Largs (and get some handy practice at the 2020 D-Zero National Championship Venue). The series starts on the 27th October 2019, runs through to December. The fee also includes the New Year race and Spring Series. More details on the Winter Series can be found by clicking here.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The first weekend in February can only mean 1 event for the hardy winter sailors, The Tiger Trophy. Traditionally this event is the coldest and windiest on the calendar. The Saturday of the event certainly lived up to that with temperatures around freezing and a gusty force 5 to 7 wind blowing.
Undeterred by this 5 D-Zero sailors ventured out including the current series leader Tom Southwell who had put in a late entry just before the deadline.
Tom seemed to be a little rusty in race 1 only coming home 3rd in class with Andrew Spencer and Ed Deacon both getting the best of him. He made no mistake in race 2 leading the fleet home (this is despite several reported capsizes, probably to examine the condition of his hull and to allow the chasing boats to catch him. For race 3 Andrew and Kevin decided enough was enough and headed for an early shower leaving the hardier Tom, Ed and Nigel to fly the class flag. Tom duly delivered leading them home giving him a handy lead in the class honours overnight.
Sunday dawned cold and frosty but with a distinct lack of wind and sailors from all classes frantically working out how to defrost their frozen boats. By the start time for the non-discardable pursuit rolled around temperatures had risen, the sun was still out and a nice breeze was blowing.
Then conditions seemed to suit Tom nicely as he carved he way through the fleet to lead the D-Zeros home by a big margin and take 19th in the race. Nigel got the better of Ed in the lighter winds with the pair of them 59th and 63rd overall respectively. Andrew was next in 71st and the improving Kevin in 82nd.
Overall this meant Tom took class honours and was 35th overall. Ed and Nigel were next coming home 56th and 57th and separated by a single point. Andrew was 64th and Kevin was 85th.
In the D-Zero Winter Series standings it means that Tom has sealed the title with 1 event to go with Andrew sneaking back ahead of Nigel by a single point to complete the podium. All of the top 3 are booked to attend the final event of the series the Oxford Blue so there could be a showdown between Andrew and Nigel to decide the final podium placings. Full Winter Series class standings can be found by clicking here.
In the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series Tom is flying the D-Zero class flag in 19th overall followed by Andrew in 24th and Nigel in 33rd.
In the Sailing Chandlery Top Class the D-Zero remains in 5th overall with a chance to improve and potentially even make the podium placings should the people going have a good event. There is still time to enter at https://selden.sailracer.org with 7 D-Zeros entered at the time of writing.