2021 looks set to be a return to open meetings with the DZero travelling circuit (or should that be circus?) planned through the summer and autumn. So how do you make these boats really go? We asked some previous champions in the fleet for advice.
Dan Holman: DZero designer, 2015 & 2019 DZero National Champion
Sail regularly with guys that are better than you, don’t be precious and have a delicate ego about being beaten like some club sailors seem to have – learn as much as you can from the experience and work really hard on learning and getting better than them. If you are really keen, many (but not all) can benefit from using a coach. Watching great sailors (from a RIB or similar) is also very insightful.
Steve Bolland: 2018 DZero National Champion
Change your name to Dan Holman! Seriously, fitness is my number one tip. The first winter I had the boat I was participating in one of the South West winter series races and I remember seeing a drone photo of Stacey Bray and myself going upwind. I thought I was sitting out hard but I clearly wasn’t, so I spent the next six months working on my core strength. This lets you extend your upper body rather than hunching up when sitting out. It seems to be more important in boats like the DZero which don’t have much width.
George Cousins: 2017 DZero National Champion
Upwind: Sail the boat as flat as possible. This is hard because the boat has low freeboard there is a tendency to want to heel the boat over to lift your bum out the water. Instead learn to hike with straighter legs – (observe Steve Bolland) Straight legs with a tight toe strap allow you to keep the boat flat which optimises the rig/ hull shape and balance of the boat all of which is fast.
All sounds like quite a lot of hard work and no quick fix…. Who would have thought?