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Grafham D-Zero Demo Day

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Grafham D-Zero Demo Day
    Posted: 29 Jun 14 at 8:11pm
Got a chance to help Rodney out and see what we'd be likely in for at Hythe next week with our demo on Saturday, and by coincidence RS were also up there, so I had the chance to sail both the Aero and the DZero, the one straight after the other.

They are both amazing boats, hell of a choice. I tried the D Zero first, it wasn't that breezy, but enough to get the feel for how she'd perform under race conditions down at our lake, met a Laser out on the water, sailed through it like a knife through butter, up and downhill. It fits like a Glove, every bit as balanced as my EPS, but much nicer to sail, the controls all in a better position and a lot of boat to slide up and down, the rig responds to the controls perfectly, lovely sail cut, loads of kicker range, in haul works like a windsurfer rig, and the downhaul is also familiar. I loved it, then I tried the Aero.

I went for the 9, I like a bit of power and it wasn't that windy, helped lift it in, hell even the damn trailer floats when it comes off. As a retail product, it's much more polished, lots of little bells and whistles reminds me of what the difference between a Pryde and North sail used to be like in windsurfing, lots of window dressing. I particularly liked the little blue button to release the rudder, then there's the wine cooler.. (a little recess to take a water bottle).

Both boats have been having some issues regarding getting back in after a capsize, the Zero hasn't got anything to grip at the gunwale, (they're going to sort that with some grip tape) and the Aero they advised me should it go over I needed to get straight to the middle of the boat, no hanging about on the side or it'll just tip straight over again, I wasn't going to try that anyway since winter had returned that far oop North.

I got in, flipped down the rudder (I still prefer a flip down rudder even though the Zero's blades do slide up and down easily) dropped the plate and sheeted in and with a kick in the pants she flew away from the beach, a lot more powerful, the extra metre of sail area probably combined with a bit of a fresher gust. The first thing you notice is the noise and that there's quite a lot of boat out front, with the Zero there's quite a lot of boat behind and the mast is further back, the Aero is shorter and up wind you can tell, its a bit of a game keeping it in the 'groove' I think it'll be even more of a problem in chop, then again the Zero is going to soak you, I went through a rescue boat wake and it just knifed through the wake taking the top straight into the boat, the Aero bounced over.

Off wind if I had to call it, the Aero's got the edge, difficult to say as the only time I got the one next to the other the wind had dropped and I had to pump back and the Zero won that one. Back to the Aero I chucked it about off wind, Gybe and Gybe, Tack and Tack, it's a delight, what a modern boat should be.

I had to take it back folk were beginning to arrive and I was supposed to be demo donkey for today..

One thing, I'm now the proverbial Irishman in a dustbin being told to pee in the corner when it comes to choosing between these two.

Some more stuff happened but I'll post it later with some pics, it turned out to be a great day..


Edited by iGRF - 30 Jun 14 at 10:01am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 14 at 10:25pm
Good to hear you enjoyed both boats and had a good day. What's this blue button thing?

Have you knocked the Solo fantasy on the head?



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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 14 at 8:58am
The Solo fantasy mutated into a Streaker disorder, but I'm well and truly over that now , and I can't wait to try the Zero on the sea this coming weekend.

This is the blue button, apparently they fit this to a few of their boats (RS) these days, I think it may be a Selden component, but don't quote me for certain, I need to find out, I love it and I loved their new foils. RS have usually not exactly excelled in the foil department in my experience, but these new ones were nice.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 14 at 9:59am
Some more pics, all a bit gloomy but then that's what it's like up North, it's not so far up that your Nose bleeds and you can't understand anyone and Grafham is always a well organised club with lots going on. We met the Commodore, seems a good bloke and was omnipresent meeting and greeting. There were lots of things going on, Challengers racing, some other boats that looked so lumbering I wouldn't want to know what they were, the only thing missing were folk wanting to try out the boats we and RS had brought along. We had a couple early on just wanted to confirm they'd done the right thing and both went away with grins as wide as mine, but by lunchtime we were standing around. Then it started to rain, the wind squalled and we hurried to drop the sails.


All set up and nobody there to use them, what a crying waste.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 14 at 10:16am
That is what you get when you organise a club exclusive day....

To be fair given your review I would expect the Aero 9 to be a little better offwind as it does have a bigger sail..... (just my 2p).
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 14 at 10:54am
If that had been a kite or windsurfing demo, we'd have charged the club, that event must have cost the companies something north of five hundred quid I reckon. RS had two guys, the reason I was there was as a stand in for one of Rodneys chaps who like Rodney had had a recent bereavement or sickness in the family.

Rodney also had the D1 Nationals or Europeans going on up at Brightlingsea so a lot on his plate, I don't think he was particularly happy that RS had 'crashed' his demo, personally I think it's a good thing to have competing suppliers along, and I also think as a salesman it's a good idea, you can close a deal when both brands/boards/boats are there, if the customer can use the objection that he wants to try the other product it's difficult to overcome that objection and you lose the opportunity to close the deal, but then these guys don't quite put the pressure on that other leisure sectors might, nor can they supply the demand they already have I guess.

Back to the differences, after lunch I was standing around quite literally shivering, at one time trying to persuade Rodney to wind it up and ship out, but a lull in the rain a few more hardy souls had him back to the beach, so I though it's a shame to miss the wind I'll suit up and have one more go in the Zero in a breeze which was probably about three to four and approaching my normal control threshold in the EPS.

As I left the beach, I noticed the familiar noise of a race sequence and the minute gun being fired off, I also noticed an Aero 7 up at the pin end in the hands of what looked like a pretty competent lass, so I thought I'd tag along behind to see what we're capable of. I had no idea what the course was or where any marks were and she was a tacking fool, which reminded me of another lass down our lake and the way she sailed, banging anything that remotely resembled a shift, sure enough I found out later she's a Europe sailor, no idea what her name is, but I closed a bit up wind took out the bottom two thirds of the fleet and by the time it was obvious which mark they were going to round I was almost in touch, she went round first followed by some sort of cat thing which then chucked up its kite and was gone.

She then got a puff and vanished, it flew down the 1st deep reach, nothing I could do, the sheet loads are so light, nothing to grab to pump with and not quite enough to work the wavelets, round the gybe the next reach was tighter and we made back a bit, then up wind I'm grabbing back ground, but not enough to close and round she went again and off and so it continued until the end, she had it downwind, I made ground on the windward leg. Bear in mind it's my first outing in any sort of wind and normally in this I'd probably be swimming in the EPS and I had no idea where I should sit so the fact I was doing what I was convinced me this is the boat for me, I even slipped off my perch and did some of that hiking sh*t.
I was enjoying it so much despite the foul weather I stayed out for another go, missed the start again but this time there was a Laser and Europe girl was nowhere to be seen, after sailing behind them all off the line on Port down the wrong end of the line, only the Cat had me at the windward mark and try as I may the same thing happened I'd catch him up wind he'd chuck up his kite and leave me off wind, so it was a 3rd and a 2nd and I was happy with that given my normal lack of competence when the wind blows more than 10 knots.

My order for the D Zero remains in place, there's no way I'd have held the Aero 9 and nor would I have caught anything up in an Aero 7 so it kind of comes down to the 'one boat does it all' rig size, what I'd really like is both boats but it's been a state secret up until now that I'm even thinking of a 4th boat, I may have to sell the EPS...

Tale of two noses

One goes through, the other bounces over.

Edited by iGRF - 30 Jun 14 at 11:08am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 14 at 3:17pm
On a lighter note, I had to help unload the RS trailer because one of them was so cold he couldn't get his hands out of his pockets..

And they didn't even have the decency to fill this thing with anything that might prove a bit more bracing in the near arctic conditions..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sandgrounder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 14 at 12:55pm
Originally posted by jeffers


That is what you get when you organise a club exclusive day....


It was actually a club open day at Grafham Water Sailing Club on Saturday - anyone could have turned up and taken the D-Zero or RS-Aero for a test sail.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Null Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 14 at 1:53pm
Originally posted by iGRF

The Solo fantasy mutated into a Streaker disorder, but I'm well and truly over that now , and I can't wait to try the Zero on the sea this coming weekend.

This is the blue button, apparently they fit this to a few of their boats (RS) these days, I think it may be a Selden component, but don't quote me for certain, I need to find out, I love it and I loved their new foils. RS have usually not exactly excelled in the foil department in my experience, but these new ones were nice.

Never seen one of those, neat little fitting that.  Does anyone know if they get bunged up with salt and sand?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 14 at 8:06pm
Originally posted by sandgrounder

Originally posted by jeffers


That is what you get when you organise a club exclusive day....


It was actually a club open day at Grafham Water Sailing Club on Saturday - anyone could have turned up and taken the D-Zero or RS-Aero for a test sail.


Did they tell anyone else that?
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