Gill D-Zero Open Meeting

Mixed conditions for the Gill D-Zero Open Meeting at Grafham Water Sailing Club 14/15th May 2022

Glorious sunshine but very little wind welcomed the 14 D-Zeros for the first day of the Gill D-Zero open at Grafham Water SC. The event was being shared with both the RS600s and the Streakers for their respective Inland championships.

Following the mid-morning briefing delivered by Principal Race Officer Peter Curtis, the fleets promptly left the shore to (slowly) make their way to the racetrack at the western end of the lake. Following a short wait for the shifty average wind direction to be calculated the race team got the event underway.

Neil Washington placed 3rd

On the first beat David Valentine and Neil Washington went right and very quickly generated a good lead on the rest of the fleet. Neil decided to not ‘bang the corner’ and tacked to cover the rest of the fleet. David held his nerve and continued to go right and rounded the windward mark with a significant lead followed by Neil and Colin Glover in third. The first reach was light and the front boats from the D-Zero fleet caught up with Streakers (despite a 4 minute time advantage). Unfortunately for David he approached the second mark of the trapezoid course amongst the Streakers and suffered the consequences losing a significant portion of his lead. Down the first run Tom Southwell went low and also took a significant chunk back. Gordon Stewart also picked up a puff of wind and reeled in the front few boats. At the start of the second lap Neil had taken the lead followed by Colin, Gordon & Tom.  This remained the order for the final lap with Neil pulling out a commanding lead on the next three boats. Unfortunately, the rest of the fleet got stuck in a hole at the second mark of the second lap with Ben Stevens eventually leading in the second pack of boats. With the wind dying, race officer Peter consulted with the fleet reps and quickly made the decision to abandon the rest of the days sailing. 

Colin Glover finished in 2nd place

Day 2 dawned with a much more favourable easterly wind forecast of 10 knots with gusts into the late teens. Once again the fleets headed out to the western end of the lake where the race team were waiting. The plan was to make up for previous day’s lack of wind by running four races. The race team promptly started the sequence and got the racing underway. John Aston from the home club sailed excellently, leading from the first mark, and back on-form following his uncharacteristic result in the previous days race. John was followed home by Colin and Gareth Farr from Stewartby Sailing Club,  who joined the event for the second day’s racing.

Race 3 was once again started promptly and David Valentine cleared the windward mark in first place after John, Colin, Neil and Paul Murphy overstood the lay-line and ended up close reaching into the windward mark on port. To the amusement of those nearby Neil dropped his mainsheet on approach to the mark and fell out of his boat. He quickly clambered back on board and didn’t lose out too much. Gareth worked hard on the second reach of the first lap and took the lead from David. Tom Southwell had a fantastic final reach and Colin looked nervous as a significant chunk of distance was taken back.  Final results were Gareth followed by David, Colin and Tom.

Gareth Farr winner of the Gill D-Zero Open Meeting

Race 4 was delayed while the race team amended the course to address a 20’ wind shift. Most participants welcomed this delay and the rest after the 18 knot gusts contended with in race 3. Race 4 got underway and Colin approached, and hit, the windward mark first and immediately did his penalty allowing Gareth and John to pass. At the beginning of the second beat John was leading but slightly misjudged a port starboard incident with Gareth and John conceded his penalty. Unfortunately John didn’t recover from this error and Colin, Neil and David took advantage. The final race of the weekend got underway and was initially led once again by John. However, at the start of the second lap John and Colin tacked immediately after rounding the leeward mark whilst Gareth, David and Tom went further wide, and benefited from a huge lift. Entering the final downwind leg of the event Gareth was leading followed by John and David. Neil and Tom displayed their usual rapid downwind speed and overtook David. Colin went hard right down the run, gybed and reached into the penultimate mark just beating the others.  Final positions for race 5 were Gareth followed by John, Colin & Neil. A tired fleet sailed the final beat back to shore where the generous prize giving sponsored by Gill was held.

Overall results were Gareth Farr from Stewartby sailing club in first place followed by local Grafham Water SC sailors Colin Glover, Neil Washington and John Aston in second, third and fourth respectively. 

Overall results

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 14, Scoring system: Appendix A

1stD-Zero18Gareth FarrStewartby Sailing Club (15.0 DNC)
2ndD-Zero351Colin GloverGrafham Water Sailing Club 2.02.0(3.0)
3rdD-Zero71Neil WashingtonGrafham Water Sailing Club 1.04.0(5.0)
4thD-Zero3John AstonGrafham Water Sailing Club (11.0)
5thD-Zero66David ValentineEmsworth Slipper Sailing Club 6.0(9.0)
6thD-Zero328Thomas SouthwellLee on the Solent
7thD-Zero7Richard MajorGrafham Water Sailing Club
8thD-Zero181Gordon StewartNHEBSC 3.0(11.0)
9thD-Zero144James Williams-MitchellNA 9.08.0(10.0)
10thD-Zero218Paul MurphyGrafham Water Sailing Club DNC)15.0 DNC50.035.0
11thD-Zero152Colin ClasperStewartby Sailing Club (15.0 DNC)
12thD-Zero8Joe ConstableGrafham Water Sailing Club DNC)15.0 DNC63.048.0
13thD-Zero203Chris EverittYorkshire Dales SC DNC)63.048.0
14thD-Zero247Ben StevensGrafham Water Sailing Club 5.0(15.0 DNC)15.0 DNC15.0 DNC15.0 DNC65.050.0

The D-Zero fleet would like to thank Grafham Water SC and the race team led by Peter Curtis for a fantastic weekend of D-Zeroing and to Gill for the generous sponsorship. 

More photographs of the event can be viewed at the Grafham Water SC Photo Gallery

Colin Glover