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GJW Direct SailFest 2015 at Calshot Activity Centre

by Annie Riley, SailRacer 28 May 2015 13:54 BST 23-25 May 2015

Despite an indifferent weather forecast GJW Direct SailFest 2015 was blessed with some bank holiday weekend sunshine and a good range of wind strengths. Despite some shifty conditions at times, the race team managed to fit in the full complement of eight races.

GJW Direct SailFest is a multi-class event, and this year welcomed the inaugural D-Zero Nationals and the RAF SA Regatta.

Day 1 delivered wall to wall sunshine but also a sea breeze fighting the land breeze. Despite this and the need for a 180 degree course change, PRO David Henshall and his race team managed to achieve two races. Dan Holman took the first yellow jersey for the inaugural D-Zero Nationals with a 1st and 2nd. In the Handicap fleet things were very tight with the ISOs battling it out and John Gill and Juliet Daniels leading over night by one point from class mates, Colin Snook and Alison Revitt.

The fine conditions continued into the evening, with competitors and their families enjoying a BBQ by the waters edge, and with many staying on-site, there was no need to rush off.

A key feature of GJW Direct SailFest is coach support. This year, RYA Coach Chris Taylor provided a morning brief on expected conditions on the race course and then an evening debrief of the racing. These sessions proved very popular, packing the training room.

GJW Direct SailFest Day 2 saw less sunshine but more breeze, gusting 18 kts. The handicap fleet were able to squeeze in four races. The breezier conditions suited the ISO of John Gill and Juliet Daniels who managed a 1,1,2,2 scoreline to increase their overall lead, enjoying a close battle on the water with the Alto of Timothy Kift and Jo Wicken. Finn sailor Cameron Tweedle managed to take the other two wins of the day to move up to second place. D-Zero designer, Dan Holman, delivered a master class in sailing his new boat in breeze, taking all three bullets and often a leg ahead. Competition for the next places was much closer, with Laser sailor Ian Morgan battling Contender Champion Stuart Jones.

After a long day at the office, competitors and race teams enjoyed a hearty SailFest Supper and prize draw.

On the final day, despite a lighter and more shifty wind, the race team were determined to get in all eight races and allow the second discard. The conditions suited the Finns, with both boats taking 1st and 2nd in the days races, and allowing Cameron Tweedle to win GJW Direct SailFest 2015. Dan Holman continued his winning streak, to become the first D-Zero National Champion with an almost perfect score, discarding a 1st and 2nd. Despite two discarded eighth places on the final day, Ian Morgan managed to hold onto second place, with David Summerville moving up to third and also taking the Master's trophy.

Mrs Kerry Morgan took the position of First Lady.

Hill Head SC which had several members competing, including the Morgans, lifted the club trophy.

The prestigious GJW Direct Outstanding Achievement Trophy was awarded to the RAF SA support team, who provided safety cover and shore based assistance.

GJW Direct SailFest also hosted the 2015 RAF SA regatta, which saw Cameron Tweedle winning from Jon Tweedle and the RS400 of Steve Bales and James Sargeant taking the third spot on the podium.

GJW Direct SailFest 2015 results:

1 Cameron Tweedle (Finn)
2 John Gill & Juliet Daniels (ISO)
3 Jon Tweedle (Finn)

2015 Suntouched D Zero National Championship results:

1 Dan Holman
2 Ian Morgan
3 David Summerville

RAFSA 2015 Regatta results:

1 Cameron Tweedle (Finn)
2 Jon Tweedle (Finn)
3 Steve Bales and James Sargeant (RS400)

Event website, SailRacer GPS Tracking & Analysis at


"Just got back from SailFest, I have to say that again (my 3rd time) it was an excellent event. The weather was excellent - little bit light on Saturday but pretty well perfect for all the rest. Racing was tight, on excellent courses (PRO was a splendid chap too.) Great atmosphere throughout, with a really nice sociable bar on site, and great everyone can stay on on-site. I really would urge anyone to mark their diaries for next year"
Jon Tweedle - Finn

"Despite some challenging combinations of light winds, tides and the departing cruise liners, I felt that the 3 days delivered up some superb racing for everyone. The SailFest concept clearly works and could have given the same level of racing to a number of the smaller fleets in the UK. I do not know why they didn't attend, for this was a great opportunity for some fun sailing, not only against boats from the same class, but other classes of a similar nature. I look forward to being involved with this event again - and I hope to be seeing many more boats in future."
David Henshall - Principal Race Officer

"The D-Zero fleet is very grateful to SailRacer and its title sponsors GJW Direct for accommodating our inaugural National Championships, which ran along SailFest 2015. The race management, organisation and location were top class. As a new class, it's difficult to gauge expectations, however the fleet were all impressed and a high bar. has been set for future championships for this fast growing class."
Russ Hopkins - D-Zero Class Sec

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