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Suntouched D-Zero Nationals 2016 – Report and Results

The long weekend of the 24th to 26th June saw an entry of 41 D-Zeros gather at Highcliffe Sailing Club for their 2016 National Championships. With the weather forecast seeming to be all over the place right up until the eve of the event it was not clear whether the conditions would favour the pondies or the sea sailors in the fleet.As Friday dawned and competitors started to arrive and populate the green there was the usual fleet banter and people casting their eyes over the latest rigging tweaks with particular attention being paid to traveller tension and the variations that people have adopted. All too soon it was time for briefing. Our PRO Alan Tarrant advise we would be sailing a 15-20 min sail to the west of the club out in Christchurch Bay and we would have course A (triangle – sausage – triangle).

As launch time approached it was clear the forecast of F4 gusting F5 was pretty accurate much to the sea sailors delight as, with wind over tide, there were definitely waves. In conditions that many of the fleet were describing as epic the 40 boats that launched were keen to get going. A little too keen it would seem and 2 general recalls later out came the black flag and race 1 finally got underway.

Packed start line. Photo Copyright Sarah Desjonqueres

Race 1

With the black flag having the desired effect race 1 finally got underway. It was clear from the off that those with sea experience were going to have a significant advantage. Ian Morgan from Hill Head gave the fleet a wave sailing masterclass and won by a big margin from Gaz Henshall from Shotwick Lake also showing his sea sailing credentials with Iain Horlock from Exe SC completing the podium.

Throughout the fleet it was a tale of snakes and ladder for many people. with multiple boats capsized and sailors sampling the warm waters of Christchurch Bay there was an opportunity for a good result if you could keep the boat upright. Sadly your roving reporter was one of the many to take an extended swim shortly after hitting warp 9 on the top reach with the boat singing happily and absolutely flying. Definite massive grin factor.

The conditions did take their toll though with 5 boats not finishing and a few deciding to save their energy for for the following day and 1 heading for shore with a broken traveller.

Race 2

Race 2 got underway in similar conditions and with the tide in full ebb the waves had built even more. Ian again managed to sneak out in front and had a good lead when he too showed that even the wave masters make mistakes and had a swim himself. Unfortunately for Gaz it was too short to enable him to get ahead and Ian took the bullet followed by Gaz and Paul Scullion from Restronguet SC.

The conditions were taking their toll on the fleet with the rescue teams having their hands full as the flat water contingent wishing they had put in more practice or were fitter. With more sailors heading for shore during the race there were 25 finishers to race 2. As the fleet headed home and recovered a small mystery presented itself. Why was Class Sec Russ Hopkins sailing Jon Copwers boat and where was his own boat and where was Jon? It turned out that Russ had an issue with his rudder and Jon had become too tired to sail in having had an extended swim so Russ was dropped in Jons boat to sail it ashore and Jon in Russ’ with the words ‘We will come and get you shortly’ from the rescue team. Unfortunately shortly turned out to be a bit longer than expected and Jon found himself on the beach and safe but about 2 miles from where the trollies were. I am sure he was pleased when the rescue RIB came to get him and bought him safely home.

With the fleet safely back ashore there were many tales of awesome reaches, scary gybes and just trying to keep the boat from running into the back of waves on the run, definitely a day that rewarded technique.

The fleet then gathered in the Highcliffe clubhouse for the free pint that was laid on by Suntouched Sailboats followed by an excellent evening meal. With that the fleet retired wearily to bed.

Photo Copyright Sarah Desjonqueres

Saturday dawned and with a much lighter forecast slowly building through the day and Christchurch bay looking flatter people were keen to get going. The course of the day was a 2 lap trapezoid course and VR Sport Media were on site to film alongside the club own photographer. The green was busy with those who had issues the day before getting sorted. Thanks to the efforts of Suntouched Sailboats and the generosity of other people in the fleet 40 boats made their way out for the start of day 2.

Race 3

Race 2 started in light conditions and the leading pack elected to go left with a small contingent electing to go right to try and minimise the tide effect. 3/4 of the way up the first beat the wind shut down almost completely as a large black shower cloud approached. This left those who went left a little stranded as the tide was still flooding and those on the right sitting pretty as the wind filled back in.

As the race progressed it was clear that the overnight leader was not going to have things all his own way as Paul Scullion took the bullet followed by Stuart Jones from Datchet in his patched up boat following a collision in race 1 and John Aston from Grafham completing the podium spots.

Race 4

Race 4 got under as the tide was turning and the wind building. This led to waves starting to build again and were clearly to the liking of Ian who had a much better race but could not overhaul Paul who took his second bullet of the day with Rob Lennox from Barnt Green completing the podium spots.

With the wind building and the water still being relatively flat this meant that the pond sailors of the fleet were showing much better. Would this remain the same for Race 5 with the tide now ebbing and the wind picking up even more?

Race 5

As race 5 got underway it was clear that the wave pattern was starting to establish itself again meaning conditions would again favour the sea sailing contingent. So it proved to be with Ian getting himself out in front and taking his 3rd bullet of the event. With Rob lennox coming home second and Iain completing the podium. Paul could only manage 4th which blunted his challenge to Ian a little meaning he would have to have a perfect final day with Ian hitting issues. All was to play for with the final podium spot with any one of Gaz, Rob and Iain able to take it and several others close behind who could sneak in if they had a good day.

With the racing over the fleet gathered in the clubhouse at Highcliffe for another welcome pint courtesy of Suntouched Sailboats followed by another excellent meal and the class AGM.

Photo Copyright Sarah Desjonqueres

Sunday dawned and there were many weary sailors on the green after 2 days of hard racing. The question is would the wind be as forecast or would it be stronger? Could Paul have a good day and overhaul Ian? Looking out across the bay and standing on the shore it was clear to many that the wind was stronger than the forecast. With a 10.30 start for race 6 the fleet launched and headed off out in to the bay.

Race 6 

Race 6 started cleanly and it was clear that going right was the way to go up the first beat as the leading pack emerged. Some of those more used to being in the mid fleet found themselves up amongst the leader. None more so than Dave Woods from Rossendale Valley who found himself in 3rd for much of the race only slipping back to 6th towards the end of the race. Stuart Jones showed his face at the front of the fleet again showing that the temporary hull repair was not slowing him down in any way at all as he took the bullet followed by Dan Wigmore from Grafham who was getting to grips with the boat and showing some great speed. Ian came home 3rd to boost his title winning chances and with Paul only managing a 7th a good result in Race 7 would see Ian win the title with a race to spare.

Race 7

Race 7 started as the wind shifted round to the north. This led to a general recall and the appearance of the black flag, no second chances today! With the wind building more and the waves starting to establish themselves there were some very tired legs as the fleet set off for the penultimate race. Iain Horlock showed the fleet the way round to take the bullet with Ian and Paul fighting it out to complete the podium. Paul got the better of Ian with them finishing second and 3rd but this was enough for Ian to secure the event with a race to spare. Gaz Henshall posted a 4th and with Iains race win this meant the final podium spot was still up for grabs.

Race 8

With a couple of people heading for shore it was a slightly depleted fleet that started the final race. Ian elected to stay out though as the waves had now built along with the wind meaning conditions were definitely to his liking. he duly delivered and wrapped up his race series with a win. With Gaz coming home second this was enough secure him the final podium spot with Paul coming home 3rd and Iain managing 4th.

Overall this meant Ian Morgan is the Suntouched D-Zero National Champion for 2016 and has earned the right to use number 1 for the next 12 months.

Photo Copyright Sarah Desjonqueres

At the prize giving newly elected Class Chair Paul Jefferies thanked Highcliffe for putting on a great event for the class and keeping the fleet fed and watered and for their help in with weeks and months leading up to the championships. Thanks also went to Suntouched Sailboats for their excellent support of the class, not just in sponsorship but in getting everyone who has issues on Friday back on the water. Finally to Harken Poland who supplied a generous box of prizes meaning no one went away empty handed and to the guys from VR Sport Media who have done an excellent job filming days 2 and 3.

Ian went on the thank the club for running a great event, the class for their hard work, Suntouched Sailboats for their excellent support and all the sponsors for the generous prize pot.

Next up for the D-Zero class is the Lord Birkett at Ullswater on the 2nd/3rd July which is part of the D-Zero Northern Tour followed by a Training and Open Meeting at Hill Head on the 23rd/24th July with the next big class event being the Inland Championships at Grafham Water on the 10th/11th September 2016 where a large entry is expected partly down to the large home fleet and partly down to people already indicating that they will be travelling.

For the full results please click here, a summary is shown below:

Rank SailNo HelmName Club Nett
1st 156 Ian Morgan Hill Head SC 9.0
2nd 105 Paul Scullion Restronguet SC 15.0
3rd 185 Gareth Henshall Shotwick lake SC 20.0
4th 9 Iain Horlock Exe SC 23.0
5th 195 Rob Lennox Barnt Green SC 30.0
6th 136 Stuart Jones Datchet SC 31.0
7th 192 David Summerville Grafham Water SC 39.0
8th 2 Steve Bolland Bristol Corinthian YC 41.0
9th 3 John Aston Grafham Water SC 50.0
10th 184 Gordon Bennell Shotwick Lake SC 51.0
11th 186 Tim Weeden Emsworth Slipper SC 64.0
12th 119 Russ Hopkins Tewkesbury SC 66.0
13th 7 Dan Wigmore Grafham Water SC 73.0
14th 178 Tom Southwell Hill Head SC 75.0
15th 179 Mike Corney Queen Mary SC 77.0
16th 71 Neil Washington Grafham Water SC 79.0
17th 143 Mike Pridham Isle of Man SC 93.0
18th 139 Ed Dyer Royal Southern YC 98.0
19th 175 Dave Woods Rossendale Valley SC 99.0
20th 66 David Valentine Emsworth Slipper SC 109.0
21st 104 Richard Argall Restronguet SC 123.0
22nd 188 Paul Jefferies Hunts SC 124.0
23rd 208 James Edmund Queen Mary SC 129.0
24th 172 Ben Stevens Grafham Water SC 134.0
25th 42 Jon Cowper Hunts SC 136.0
26th 141 David Bartlett Starcross SC 138.0
27th 174 Graham Cooper South Cerney SC 142.0
28th 110 Toby Peacock Chew Valley SC 143.0
29th 181 Gordon Stewart North Herts & East Beds SC 143.0
30th 114 Simon Hindley Restronguet SC 144.0
31st 191 Nigel Austin Cransley SC 148.0
32nd 202 Jeremy Cooper Shotwick Lake SC 149.0
33rd 124 Paul Murphy Grafham Water SC 151.0
34th 190 Robert Campbell Cransley SC 168.0
35th 170 Seb Prowse Queen Mary SC 171.0
36th 182 Mick Green Rossendale Valley SC 186.0
37th 121 Scott Derham Emsworth Slipper SC 214.5
38th 193 Kevin Moll Hunts SC 216.0
39th 177 Alistair Hill Grafham Water SC 220.0
40th 194 Stewart Holford Cransley SC 238.5
41st 53 Rodney Cobb Bosham SC 335.0

Suntouched D-Zero National Championships Day 3 Report

Day 3 dawned with everything still to play for. Ian needed to have a more consistent day to fend of the challenge from Paul Scullion and Gareth Henshall all of who could mathematically win the event.

The wind gods played ball and served up a nice but shifty wind which occasionally moved south catching people out.

After all was said and done Ian posted 3, 3, 1 to become D-Zero National Champion for 2016 and earn the right to use sail number 1 until the 2017 Nationals.

Paul’s results of 7, 2, 3 saw him hold on to second overall and Gaz posted 5, 4, 2 to comple the podium.

At the time of writing the class are gathering for prize giving.

A full report with photos, full result and VR Sport Day 3 video will follow shortly.

Day 2 video from the Suntouched D-Zero National Championships 2016

VR Sport have released the video footage taken on Day 2.

Suntouched D-Zero Nationals Day 2

Ready to launch. Photo Credit Suntouched Sailboats

After the epic conditions of day 1, day 2 dawned with a much lighter breeze and Christchurch Bay looking much smoother much to the delight of the pond sailor contingent of the fleet.

With Suntouched Sailboats and generous fleet members did a great job with helping to get those who managed to break things yesterday back on the water (that won’t buff out but some gelcvoat filler and liberal sanding with do for now for 1 sailor and a new bottom mast and loan sail will do for the other). Aside from that the was the usual bimbling and tweaking to kill the time between breakfast and the first race of the day.

With VR Sport Media and the official Highcliffe photographer both out on the water today there was nowhere to hide for the fleet. More on this later on…..

Race 3 saw a change at the sharp end of the fleet with Paul Scullion from Restronguet SC showing the fleet the way home followed by Stuart Jones with John Aston from Grafham showing some good speed to complete the podium. Overnight leader Ian Morgan could only manage 7th so perhaps he may have to work harder to stay out the front.

Race 4, and with the breeze building Ian found his form again to finish second to Paul with Rob Lennox from Barnt Green making an appoearance at the fron the complete the podium.

Race 5 and with the breeze building more and the waves getting bigger as we had wind over tide it was set to be the hardest of the day for many. Ian now revelling in the conditions posted another bullet with Rob coming home second and Iain Horlock completing the podium. Overnight second place man Gaz Henshall had an indifferent day by his standards from Day 1 and slipped down the leaderboard.

So the overnight top 3 is now Ian Morgan, Paul Scullion and Gaz Henshall. The top 2 seem to be pulling away from the fleet with the final podium position up for grabs between Gaz, Rob and Iain who are separated by 2 points.

Forecast for tomorrow is for similar conditions to today but with wind with tide the sea state should be flatter than today.

At the time of writing the fleet is gather at the clubhouse for dinner followed by the AGM.

Nationals News – Entry Update, Car Parking, Harken and Free Beer

Entry update

We are pleased to announce that as of last night we have reached 40 pre-entries! With just over a week to go we could see a few more come in.

Car Parking

Now some not so good news. Highcliffe have advised us that Christchurch Council have said that they will not be issuing concessionary car park tickets to competitors at the Nationals. This is disappointing however the club have advised that there is plenty of on street parking within a 5 minute walk of the club should you wish to take advantage of that. The other option is to car share from where you are staying to spread the coat a little. The car parking costs are as follows:

Up to 4 hours £5.50
Up to 8 hours £10

Harken Prizes

Harken have supplied a large box of goodies to be used as prizes throughout the Nationals. As a result of this they are now a co-sponsor of the event with Suntouched Sailboats and all boats will be required to display a Harken sticker. A sneak peak of the goodies can be seen below….


Free beer?

Our main event sponsor Suntouched Sailboats have also put a pint behind the bar for every competitor for Friday and Saturday after racing (and possibly Sunday if there is any left and you are not driving). Our thanks to them and we wonder if this might be a ploy to nobble a few of the more beer hungry competitors, only time will tell!

Suntouched D-Zero Nationals in association with VR Sport Media

A sneak peak of the new Nationals trophy Photo Credit Neil Washington

With the early entry discount now over a late flurry of entries has seen number for the 2016 Suntouched D-Zero National Championships rise to 35. With 2 weeks to go until the event there are still a few ‘windguru watchers’ who are likely to make a last minute decision to join us that could push number up towards, and maybe past, 40.  This year’s D-Zero Nationals will be held at Highcliffe Sailing club over 3 days, 24th-26th June, with a total of 8 races scheduled. The D-Zero fleet is looking forward to the promise of some great wave sailing during the event. There is a possibility of charter boats being available for the event, please contact Suntouched Sailboats for information info@suntouched.co.uk.  More information about the D-Zero Nationals can be found by clicking here.

The class has also struck a deal with VR Sport Media to film days 2 and 3 of the championships. This will be done using on the water filming and possibly some still photography. They will also want to do interview with a few competitors each. We will encourage them to interview people from throughout the fleet as well as those that are at the sharp end so we can use this as a great promotional tool for the class both during and after the event. this has meant a change to the Notice of Race which will be published shortly.

This alongside the generous sponsorship from Suntouched Sailboats and Devoti Sailing mean that this years National Championships really will be an event that no D-Zero owner should miss. All we need is the weather and wind gods to look upon us favourably!

The D-Zero Class Association has also commissioned a new perpetual National Championship trophy, crafted by David Summerville in English Ash and stainless steel.

The new D-Zero Perpetual National Championship Trophy Photo Copyright Neil Washington

As Dan Holman will not be defending his 2015 title who will add their name to the trophy come 26th June?

A preview of some of the Runner and Riders by David Summerville follows. After David had written this Stuart Jones of Contender fame submitted an entry. As he did well last year finishing just off the podium her is surely one to watch this year as well:

1/ Ian Morgan

A sailmaker by trade, based at Hill Head and 2015 runner up, always fast with massive experience, he’s expected to be right at the front of the fleet.

2/ Neil Washington

Lacking in championship experience but very difficult to beat at Grafham Water during 2016, clearly knows how to make a D-Zero go fast and should be inside the top 10.

3/ Rob Lennox

Hailing from Barnt Green, and new to the class at the end of 2015, Rob has already taken several events this season. Vastly experienced and with championship winning pedigree, he’s always going to be one to beat at the sharp end of the fleet.

4/ David Summerville

Winner of the inaugural Inland Championship in 2015, and highest placed D-Zero in the SailJuice Winter Series, though David hasn’t done too much sailing in 2016 outside club racing at Grafham Water. 3 rd at the 2015 championship, he could make it into the top 5.

5/ Gareth Henshall

Another newbie to the class in late 2015, and based at Shotwick, Gaz brings squad experience from the Laser and is no stranger to sailing in waves and tides. Won the Shotwick Open and should be up with the leaders.

6/ Steve Bolland

Bristol Corinthian based Steve has the potential to do a Holman clean sweep, provided he can get to grips with the subtleties of the new boat. As a former multiple RS300 and Lark champion, he will be no stranger to the bars of Highcliffe.

7/ Mike Pridham

Mike has been on the Laser Masters World Championship podium on more than one occasion in recent years, and will always be a threat in a decent sized championship fleet. One of the early adopters of the D-Zero on the Isle of Man, finished 7 th in 2015 and should be right up there.

8/ Daniel Wigmore

A leading Laser sailor from Grafham Water, Dan has the fitness, youth and tactical ability to be right at the front of the Championship fleet, provided that he becomes fully conversant with the intricacies of the D-Zero. Top 5 material without a doubt.

9/ Jon Cowper

Event winner / runner-up over the past season, based at the growing Hunts fleet and continuing to get the most out of his D-Zero. Should be aiming for a top 10 finish.

10/ Tim Weeden

Leading D-Zero sailor from the Southern stronghold of Emsworth Slipper, Tim brings extensive experience to the Nationals. Finished 8 th in 2015 and should be top 10 once again.

2016 Nationals – Discounted Entry ends Friday 10th June

Not quite the final call for Nationals Entries. We have now reached 30 pre-entries and with a few more in the offing the Class Association are hoping we can get close to 40 for the 2016 Nationals.

Discounted entry of £60 including food for the Friday and Saturday night runs out on Friday as we are paying Highcliffe for the entries then. So if you are still thinking of entering then why not save yourself £15 by entering before then.

So if you are still on the fence check out the full details by clicking here.

You can find the entry form by clicking here.

A short update and entry list is here.

Finally some details on accommodation can be found here.

Nationals Accommodation

The class is aware that some D-Zero sailors are having a difficult time finding accommodation for the 2016 Nationals.

We have been advised by someone from Highcliffe that they have the following available:

1 x plumbed caravan (2 double bed) we can offer to your D-Zero contestants for £30 per night. Also we have a double room in our house plus a single room going. No breakfast though as I will be at the club doing bacon butties in the morning. Double at £30 and single at £20. Perhaps you could pass this onto anyone who might be interested. We live 5 mins bicycle ride from club and we have space for off-road parking

For more information and to get the contact details please complete the Webmaster contact form.

2016 Suntouched D-Zero National Championships – Update

With just over 6 weeks to go things are coming together nicely for the 2016 Suntouched D-Zero National Championships.

Highcliffe are doing a great job with their pre-nationals preparation for us as a class and entries are coming in steadily. We currently have 35 entries and a few more who say they are definitely coming but just need to ‘sort their entry’ out. Current entries are below, an * by your name means we are awaiting verification of payment from the treasurer:

Paul Jefferies
Dave Woods
Gareth Henshall
Kevin Moll
Paul Murphy
Graham Cooper
Jon Cowper
Nigel Austin
Gordon Stewart
Mike Pridham
Russ Hopkins
Alistair Hill
Robert Campbell
Rob Lennox
Tom Southwell
Tim Weeden
Mick Green
John Aston
Scott Derham
Rodney Cobb
Sebastian Prowse
Neil Washington
Ian Morgan
David Summerville
David Valentine
Gordon Bennell
Toby Peacock
David Bartlett
Steve Bolland
Ben Stevens
James Edmund
Dan Wigmore
Mike Corney
Stewart Holford
Stuart Jones

There have been several questions that have been asked by people so here are the answers to the latest nationals FAQ’s:

What courses will be used?

We have spoken with Highcliffe with regards to courses. They are happy to run triangle/sausage and trapezoid courses for us. The actual course for each day will be advised during the daily competitor briefing. We felt that offering courses with reaching in as well as runs gives something for everyone. The runs for the tacticians and wave specialists, the reaches for those who can get the boat flying on a reach.

How long will the races be?

We have looked at the fact that we are running a total of 8 races over 3 days which is a lot of sailing especially if the breeze is on. With this in mind it was felt the races should be kept to around 40-45 minutes for the leading boats and a little shorter if it is windy. This gives everyone a reasonably fair crack of the whip.

I am struggling to find accommodation, any ideas?

It seems a lot of the local accommodation has now sold out but some people have reported success using Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.co.uk). The other options are the hotels and campsites that are a little further away. If you are really struggling do get in touch and we will speak to Highcliffe and see if they can suggest anything.

I am bringing family/friends can I book extra food tickets for them?

We have spoken to Highcliffe on this and yes extra food tickets are available. They must be pre-booked and there is an additional cost involved, this is detailed below:

Friday £7/Adult, £5/Child (Lasagne (meat and vegetarian) with pudding)
Saturday £8.50/Adult £6/Child (Steak and mushroom pie or mushroom stroganoff with a pudding)

If you have already entered please complete the form below to book and pay for extra tickets. If you have not entered as yet please book your tickets on the main entry form (find it here):

Upcoming events May and June 2016

With the 2016 season moving on at a pace please see below the D-Zero events for May and June 2016. Early May see’s the fleet travelling to Paignton for the POSH regatta followed by event 2 of the Northern Tour at Largs SC (with bottles on single malt on offer as prizes). Then we move to Clevedon for the last bit of bumpy water practice (for the pond sailors in the class) before the 2016 Suntouched National Championships at Highcliffe SC.

7th/8th May 2015 – POSH Regatta – Paignton SC

21st/22nd May 2016 – D-Zero Open (Northern Tour) – Largs SC More details here

11th June 2016 – D-Zero Open – Clevedon SC

24th – 26th June 2016 – D-Zero National Championships – Highcliffe SC – More details hereEnter Here

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