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Helming to Win by Nick Craig
Helming to Win by Nick Craig

D-One Europeans and UK Nationals at Brightlingsea Sailing Club - Overall

by Charlie Chandler 30 Jun 2014 22:10 BST 26-29 June 2014

Sponsored by CompoTech, Devoti Sailing and Suntouched Sailboats

Day 2 of the D-One Europeans couldn't have been a more mixed day. The opening race was held in a very nice force 2, brilliant sunshine and rolling waves enabling the D-Ones to just surf downwind. After being neck and neck on the 1st beat, Nick Craig (GBR) won from Petr Fiala (CZE). Nick Simmons (GBR) and Humphrey Carter (GBR) had good last runs to pip Marek Sachtik (CZE).

The overseas sailors then experienced a true British summer with a raincloud coming from Mersea Island turning the wind inside out and soaking the sailors for a couple of hours whilst the wind continued to spin. Race officer Dave Gibbons and his efficient team patiently waited for the wind to settle and managed to set another true course despite the conditions. In light winds and lots of tide, Fiala picked some great breeze lanes to overhaul Craig's early lead as did Bachtik. The ever consistent Carter led the chasing pack in 4th

Thanks to generous sponsorship from Devoti Sailing and CompoTech, the sailors were treated to free pasta on arrival home, complementary beer and a BBQ with fine meat from the local butchers

The final day was set up for some epic battles with Fiala and Craig tied on 4 points and Simmons, Carter and Bachtik tied on 11 points. It didn't disappoint.

The opening race was sailed in a patchy force 2 and a lot of tide making for long downwind legs. Craig and Fiala battled hard with Craig holding a 1 length lead for most of the race. Fiala split into the tide on the last run sniffing some new pressure which came good to take the win. Carter scored another 3rd from early leader Dave Gorringe (GBR). 15 year old Cameron Tweedle put in a fantastic performance to score a 5th place. At 6'3" and 85kg already, Tweedle looks set for a Finn and hopefully a D-One too, which had sailors up to 110kg in the top 10 at the last Worlds

Craig needed to win the penultimate race to stay in the hunt but after narrowly averting a capsize with Fiala on a port-starboard Craig was then 100 yards down. The wind built throughout the race to hit 25+ knots kicking up big waves with wind against tide and a fair bit of downwind swimming! Craig overtook Fiala on the last beat to take a crucial win. Simmons kept up his charge for 3rd overall ahead of Paul Smalley (GBR) and Simon Heusen (GBR) having their best results of the event.

There were two battles going on in the last race both for the Championship and 3rd overall. The breeze dropped to a more manageable force 3-4. Craig opened up a useful early lead but Fiala came back hard picking the shifts on the last two beats to perfection sucking Craig in as he tried to defend. Fiala hit hard right on the last run and got within a couple of lengths of winning the event but Craig just held on to defend his title.

Simmons was looking good for 3rd overall but a swim on the last run in the tricky waves let Carter in the door from Gorringe and class newcomer Simon Hawkes (GBR), who had taken some overnight coaching from his starting guru Ben Hawkes.

David Gorringe ended up as the 2014 GBR Masters National Champion.

Next stop for the D-One international circuit is the Gold Cup in Alassio in Italy. There are 15+ UK boats going which should make for the first 50+ D-One Worlds in a fantastic venue

Overall Results: (top five)

1st Nick Craig (GBR)
2nd Petr Fiala (CZE)
3rd Humphrey Carter (GBR)
4th Nick Simmons (GBR)
5th Marick Bachtick (CZE)

For more details about the D-One see or visit the Facebook group at

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