Tag: Steve Nicholson Trophy

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 Round 6 – The Steve Nicholson Trophy

After missing a year in 2018 due to low water levels at Northampton SC the popular Steve Nicholson Trophy made a welcome return to the winter sailing calendar.

3 D-Zeros made the journey to deepest darkest Pitsford Reservoir and were greeted with a gusty F3-5 wind blowing from the dam end of the lake.

The first race Gavin Fleming from Hunts SC showed Nigel Austin Cransley and Kevin Moll, also from Hunts, the way around the course. This was despite Gavin going the wrong way up the first beat (I thought we all knew the trick at NSC was to go left..well until it is time to go right). Luckily, with the D-Zero being a bit of a rocket ship in those conditions there were plenty of places to be made up on the offwind legs. At the finish Gavin had made his way through to finish 17th (once the spreadsheet had done its work) with Nigel and Kevin somewhat further back in 39th and 42nd respectively.

Race 2 was all about action on the start line. Gavin found himself on the receiving end of a port tack boat who couldn’t get out the way and there was a heavy collision. Gavin elected to give it a go though despite the damage which didn’t look too bad from the boat. Nigel on the other hand decided to have a chat with the committee boat managing to hit it no less than 5 times. The details here gets a little lost but Nigels wife, watching from the shore, remarked that the person doing that was ‘a right numpty’. What she said when she realised it was her husband we do not know. In the race Gavin learned from his mistake in race 1 and stayed to the left on the beats to come home 12th in the race. Nigel and Kevin seemed tied together on a piece of string in this one coming home 37th and 38th respectively.

Overall this meant Gavin took the D-Zero class honours and placed a respectable 12th overall at the event. Nigel (despite his adventures) and Kevin placed 40th and 41st overall. Full results for the event can be found by clicking here.

So in the D-Zero winter series Nigels 2nd in class means he jumps above Andrew for 2nd with 2 more events to go. Full winter series result can be found by clicking here.

From here we move on to Rutland SC for the Tiger Trophy an event that has lived up to its name in the previous few years with strong winds meaning it is not for the faint of heart. Andrew Spencer and Nigel are renewing their rivalry whilst series leader Tom Southwell looks to be sitting this one out. There is still time to enter online by clicking here.

D-Zero Winter Series Round 5 – The Bloody Mary

As the 12th January approached the hardy D-Zero sailors who had signed on for the 2019 Bloody Mary were watching the forecast with much trepidation. It looked like there might be a repeat of the event in 2015 when it was extremely windy. However, on the day the conditions were ‘nice to a bit full on at times’ rather than the wind apocalypse that was feared by most. The other big news was that Nick Craig, after his success at the Brass Monkey in light conditions, had returned for another go. This time he borrowed the UK D-Zero dealers personal boat for the event whilst waiting to take delivery of his own. Nick needs no introduction and already has some of his own ideas on making the D-Zero go fast despite his short time in the boat.  The current UK National Champion Steve Bolland also came out of hibernation for the day to test his mettle and enjoy some winter racing.

Photo Copyright Tim Olin

With some 242 entries for the event and the race being a pursuit it was always going to be about managing the traffic and passing the slower boats without losing too much time to them and getting involved in luffing matches. Nick showed the rest of the D-Zero fleet a clean pair of heels and managed to make his way through the traffic to finish 40th overall and take the D-Zero class prize. Steve Bolland took 2nd in class and 88th overall with Tom Southwell completing the class podium in 132nd overall.

Photo copyright Tim Olin

There were grins all round on the day especially from class stalwart Nigel Austin who was asked by Nick to check he had rigged the boat correctly. Nigel, being the fine upstanding fellow that he is, fulfilled his task admirably and nothing went awry.

So overall in the D-Zero Winter series the top 3 remain unchanged with Tom still topping the pile but the gaps are closing with Nigel and Andrew now tied on points for second place with the latter taking it on countback at present. Nick shoots up the standings to 4th place but is unlikely to do any more events in the series in a D-Zero as he has other commitments (including flying off to New Zealand for the OK World Championships, we wish him luck and fair winds).  There are a number of other D-Zero sailors who could get involved with the top 3 and with 3 events still to go anyone who has done at least 1 event can do enough to not carry and DNC scores. for full results please click here.

Photo Copyright Mark Jardine

In the Selden SailJuice Winter series overall standings Tom is now the leading D-Zero in 18th overall climbing 4 places with Andrew Spencer in 25th dropping a whopping 16 places Nick moves up to 45th climbing 40 places and Nigel is in 57th climbing 14 places.

In the Top Class standings the D-Zero remains in 5th place within reach of the classes in front. With 2 events still to go there is still all to play for.

From here the D-Zero Winter series moves on to the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton SC. This event is not part of the Selden SalJuice Winter Series and you must enter online. This can be done by clicking here, do not leave it too late though as this event is always full before the entry deadline arrives.

Entry Open for the 2019 Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy

Online entry is now open the for 2019 Steve Nicholson Trophy. This is also event 6 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2018/2019. Entries are limited to 120 so make sure you get your entry in early.

More details can be found on the event website at https://www.stevenicholsontrophy.co.uk/

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

D-Zeros Winter Series 2017 Round 6 Report and Results

The calm before the storm. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

On the 28th January 2017 the D-Zero fleet gathered at a not so cold Northampton Sailing Club for the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy which is also round 6 of the Winter Series. With 12 boats entered including series leader Ian Morgan, Rob Lennox and David Summerville it looked like Ian might have a job on his hands to lead the fleet home.

Unfortunately a combination of winter lurgy and injury cut the signed up fleet from 12 to 9. 2 of the victims were David and Rob leaving Ian with the simple task of navigating the traffic whilst keeping the rest of the D-Zeros behind him.

Paul Jefferies approaching the windward mark. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

Race 1 and with 55 boats on the line it was always going to be speed off the line which paid. Sadly something your roving reporter has found lacking recently and i was soon mired in dirty air so chose to go right a bit (against the local advice) to gain clear air. It seems the locals do not always know best and I was well up in the D-Zero fleet as the windward mark approached. Unfortunately the ‘go left’ advice meant a horde of boats approaching on port none of whom seemed to be paying any heed to the starboard tackers. Lets just say rule observance was a little lacking. Off on to the reach and the speed of the D-Zero really showed allowing me to take several boats, only for my hard work to be undone on the run by choosing the wrong side. After an indifferent bottom reach I could see some of the leaders has chosen to go right and come back across half way up the beat. This paid off and and i soon found myself catching Mandy and Tom as the traffic thinned out. By this point Ian was long gone but there was a good battle taking place behind with Eleanor Craig in a borrowed boat coming through.

The last lap called for some clever tactics to keep the fast approaching Eleanor behind and still try to catch Mandy in front who had dropped back from Tom as the wind increased a little allowing him to get away upwind. After the top end of the beat gave me optimism there was a late shift that was not in my favour and Mandys superior speed on the reach and run kept me as 4th D-Zero with only 20 seconds separating Mandy, myself and Eleanor at the line. Ian took class honours with Tom coming home second.

Back on shore for some welcome lunch while the double handers had their second race. The inevitable post race chat and it seems most people had a good race aside from Will who had sampled the Pitsford Waters on a couple of occasions and found them to be bracing.

Mandy Sweet making her way upwind in clear air. Photo Copyright Wendy Horton

Race 2 saw Mandy come flying off the line never to be seen again aside from by Ian who started close to me but used his superior line speed to get away in clear air. Tacking off did not cost too much though and I was not far behind Tom at the windward mark with the rest of the D-Zeros battling with the traffic. The first reach put paid to most of the slower boats but with the wind dropping it was going to be tough to get away far enough. With the wind in a mess at the bottom of the beat it seemed I was destined to go backwards. Managing to play another ‘get out of jail free’ card I extracted myself and was closing on Tom by the windward mark. Cue the wind to start dying off. After a slow reach/run and reach Tom had pulled away a bit but there seemed to be a little more breeze on the right than across the course. With Eleanor closing quickly in the lighter winds I would have my hands full again. Happily tacking on the shifts through the lighter patch allowed me to hook into the stronger breeze at the top of the beat and end up on Toms transom and extend the gap on the boats behind me. Tom managed to sneak away on the offwind legs again so I set about keeping Eleanor behind me. At the finish I was 15 seconds or so behind Tom with Eleanor a further 15 seconds back.

Ian had taken class honours again from Mandy this time with Tom 3rd and myself 4th.

Back on shore and everyone seemed happy with their days racing as we set about packing up for the journey home.

Overall Ian led the fleet by some distance coming home a very presentable 4th overall in the singlehanded fleet beating some quality opposition in the process. Mandy was next in 18th overall followed by Tom in 21st overall. Full results can be found by clicking here. Tim Olin was also present taking photos on the water. His pictures can be found by clicking here.

Thanks go to Kevin Moll for lending his boat to Eleanor for the day. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and we hope to see her back in a D-Zero soon. Also thanks to Wendy Horton who was key minder and trolley dolly as well as unofficial photographer.

Steve Nicholson Trophy online entry open

You can now enter the Steve Nicholson Trophy 2016 online by going to the following link:


This is one of the best winter handicap events (according to those who have sailed it) and is also Round 8 of the D-Zero Winter Series 2015/2016.

Entry is limited to 120 boats though. With the event usually seriously over subscribed make sure you get your entry in early to avoid disappointment.

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