Events, news

The D-Zero goes to the Endeavour Trophy 2018

Photo Copyright Allen Brothers

The 2018 D-Zero UK National Champion Steve Bolland represented the class and his report is below:

Sitting down for breakfast before racing started on Saturday, I was asking one of the younger and lighter competitors how he’d got on during the windy training session the day before. He’d missed it, he said, as he ‘was still in school’. This reminded me of two things – 1) that there are some exceptional junior sailors around, and 2) that I’m old. Even the parents of some of the younger competitors looked young.

The Endeavour Trophy, run annually by the Royal Corinthian YC in Burnham-on-Crouch, is an attempt to find the best dinghy sailor in the country, the entry list comprised entirely of National Champions, invited by the host club. It was like a who’s who of UK dinghy sailing, and us. It’s run in RS200s, so no-one should have a speed advantage. It’s a tough old regatta – everyone is quick and recovery from a bad start almost impossible. There are some seriously quick sailors out there. And everyone takes it exceptionally seriously with no excessive drinking, which obviously put me at an immediate disadvantage.

Photo Copyright Allen Brothers

I was sailing with Alistair, a friend at my home club, who is a very good 200 sailor in his own right (top 10 at the Nationals good). So, he was my guiding light in all things asymmetric.

There was a practice day held on the Friday before the weekend’s racing. It was windy. Very windy. Not quite as windy as forecast, but still windy. We mostly learnt how to capsize which was to come in extremely useful later.

Saturday was windy as well, 20-25 knots windy. But warm and from the south so it was not all bad. For us it was a day of ups and downs. 2nd round the first mark in race 1 we eventually finished 7th, my lack of asymmetric experience and lack of gybing ability letting us down. Race 2 and we had a coming together with the Aero 9 representatives at the windward mark. Entirely my fault, we retired (rule 44.1(b) if you’re interested). There was an individual recall in race 3 and we had no option but to go back. We were pretty exposed to the committee boat to be honest. Giving everyone a 200m head start is probably not the best technique we could have adopted. However, half the fleet obligingly capsized downwind and we were able to salvage a 9th (despite capsizing ourselves. Again).

Photo Copyright Allen Brothers

The last race of the day was also OK and at the halfway point we were lying 13th (out of 30), counting a 31 along with three top 10 finishes.
Sunday was altogether different – wind from the north and 10 knots max. Again, it was difficult to make good positions stick in such a quality fleet. Leading for most of the first lap in race 5 we made two tidal-related errors and finished 12th . All in the bat of an eyelid. Incredible. However, we got the tide right in the next race and finished 4th . The last race was a disaster. Bad start, bad first beat, hit the second windward mark. 20th!

However, we were consistent enough to finish 8 th overall which I was really pleased with. I’ve done the event a few times before and have finished anywhere from halfway down to last!

It was an absolute pleasure to represent the D-Zeros for the first time at this event. Hopefully, in some small way it will have helped raise wider awareness of us as a class. If you get a chance to do this event in the future, do it. It’s unlike any other event you’ll have done. Get yourself a good boat and a crew who can hike all day.

Steve Bolland
Report here – https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/211155/Saxton-and-Lewis-reign-supreme
Photos here – https://www.facebook.com/AllenBrothersSailing/

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