Hello from Zippy Zero, the new boat in the West Kirby Sailing Club boatpark.
I’m made by Devoti, who also make Finns and Optimists and the brand name on my bottom says D-Zero.
I’m not actually that new because my Owner had to shop around to find a boat that can write, so here I am doing my first report for you happy readers.
I arrived at my new sailing club on Monday last week and was immediately rigged up and pushed out onto a cold marine lake in no wind. My new Owner crashed and bumped around me like an oversized duckling in a teacup, but we got away and had a nice little drift around. My clean, white hull glinted in the winter sunlight and I was set upon by a large flock of waders, who all wanted to have a go. The picture was published last week, and I’ve been trying to dispel the image of being a bird magnet among my friends in the boatpark ever since.
By Wednesday, a gentle Southerly breeze was filling in on the lake. The Promenade was well populated by West Kirby gentry out for a stroll, although I suspect they were only there to admire my sleek lines and charismatic personality. I was eager to get out there and show them some moves, but unfortunately New Owner slipped on the seaweed whilst launching and disappeared underneath my hull to admire my sleek lines from there. I departed without her, perfectly balanced without my foils and moving sideways faster than a crab at a sushi party. I could hear the gasps from the Promenade crowds and, as I approached a suitably central viewing point, I performed a very graceful and slow capsize. I then anchored on my side on the end of my boom, using the leech of my sail to dig into the muddy lake bottom for extra stability.
Owner did the walk of shame in full sailing kit past my adoring public on the Prom, muttering under her breath something that sounded like “Whisky Tango Foxtrot”. She eventually clambered over the rocks and waded/swam out to collect me, to the jeering and heckling of the builders on one of the Prom apartment rooftops. As I righted myself with very little assistance from Owner, my fans burst into applause and the builders cheered and whistled, so now I know what a boat needs to do to get some attention round here.
By Friday Owner was bumbling around me a bit less and had even rigged me correctly. We were on good terms now that she had passed her swimming test and I even burst into song on one of the windier reaches.
So came Sunday, our first race day. It was “significantly breezy”, particularly on the downwind hurtle to the start line. Steve Fleming’s green International Canoe tried my crowd pleaser move and when nobody reacted, did another capsize before Steve could get back in. You need a D-Zero mate. The Laser Radials also took a few fish checkers, but Owner was on to me and kept my nose level. The Finn of Commodore Jean-Louis made a charging start up the first beat and I was in hot pursuit until Owner messed up at the gybe and we were over. Well… she was over, but only with one leg on my daggerboard, straddling my hull. I tried to warn her, but my nose was already under water, and she slid magnificently down the entire length of my super slippy hull, plopping off the end of my nose with a gentle splosh. The other boats passed by with looks of concern, amusement and pity.
The second race had us moving better, although I suspect The Owner has some hiking fitness issues after larding around all winter on land. There was a lot of grunting, gasping, weight shifting (it doesn’t help) and excessive amounts of kicker, outhaul and Cunningham loaded on. Drama Queen. She had taken to carve gybing after our earlier swim, not trusting me with full control of my whole sail. Unfortunately, she let go of the mainsheet in the second Zippy gybe and the knot came undone. In a moment of horror, I felt myself unravel until there was just one rope connecting my backside to my boom. It’s not a good look, let alone impractical for going upwind, so we called it a day. The wind increased further, blowing some 20 knots, but I refrained from any misbehaviour on the way back to my trolley, in the hope that we can do the sea race next weekend.
More news next time!
Zippy over… and out