The Hunts D-Zero fleet is very fortunate that one of them has a lovely house at St Osyth and offered to host a training weekend over the May Day Bank holiday.  Sadly Paul Jefferies couldn’t join us and a couple of others were MIA but Alistair and his daughter Elizabeth welcomed Jon, Will, Gary, Graham, Abby and Louise for the weekend.

How many D-Zero sailors does it take to rig a boat?…. Photo Copyright Will Deutsch

We were joined on Saturday morning by Ian Morgan, Morgan Sails and current D-Zero Class Champion.  Boats were rigged and Ian went over each boat suggesting minor modifications.  Most of us have changed out kicker straps so it is centred under the (fitting!) on the boom. Abby had her downhaul inverted for the others to copy, mast foot steps were changed around and chocks moved.

Ian suggested not using the kicker and instead first deploying the Cunningham.  When the Cunningham has run out of room then get the kicker involved.  A quick lunch later we dragged the boats down to the beach.  Abby was using the blue rig, and had the easiest passage under the various telephone and power lines…..  Ian and Chris Pell, who was our safety RIB for the weekend rowed over to the pontoon while the rest rigged and launched.

Off they go. Photo Copyright Will Deutsch

Off we sailed, led in the general direction of France by Louise Foreman – put the woman on open water and off she goes!  Chris and Ian caught us up, Louise was lassoed into line and to the tune of Ian’s whistle we were put through out paces.  We went quite a long way out and then had a 20 minute run back to the harbour, outpacing a yacht with 3 sails up!  Abby kept up with the grey rigs upwind but they left Abby behind on the run in.

Will decided running was boring and had fun reaching back and forth with a quick swim at the end.  Boats were trollied back to the house (many thanks to Alistair’s patient neighbours who had to put up with cars/boats/trailers all weekend) washed, snacks were found and drinks were poured.  Ian had been videoing the afternoon’s fun (great shots of sea….waves…oh – and sailors!).  It is interesting and instructive to watch yourself sail with expert commentary.  Louise provided supper, tall tales were told (Chris fell asleep watching the boxing) and sleepy sailors bedded down.

Sadly that was the last of the sailing as Sunday was a complete blow out.  It might have suited the training squaddies but not us.  Look out for the videos – especially of Louise flying in on the run!