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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

Gill D-Zero open meeting at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Colin Glover 16 May 2022 22:07 BST 14-15 May 2022
Gareth Farr was overall winner of the Gill D-Zero open at Grafham Water SC © Paul Sanwell / OPP

Glorious sunshine but very little wind welcomed the fourteen 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 under way.

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.

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 days lack of wind by running four races. The race team promptly started the sequence and got the racing under way. 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 seconds days 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.

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 under way 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. T

he final race of the weekend got under way 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.

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

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st18Gareth FarrStewartby Sailing Club(DNC)31116
2nd351Colin GloverGrafham Water Sailing Club22‑3239
3rd71Neil WashingtonGrafham Water Sailing Club14‑53412
4th3John AstonGrafham Water Sailing Club‑11195217
5th66David ValentineEmsworth Slipper Sailing Club6‑924618
6th328Thomas SouthwellLee on the Solent464‑8519
7th7Richard MajorGrafham Water Sailing Club7767‑827
8th181Gordon StewartNHEBSC3‑1189929
9th144James Williams‑MitchellNA98‑106730
10th218Paul MurphyGrafham Water Sailing Club857(DNC)DNC35
11th152Colin ClasperStewartby Sailing Club(DNC)1013101043
12th8Joe ConstableGrafham Water Sailing Club101211(DNC)DNC48
13th203Chris EverittYorkshire Dales SC12131211(DNC)48
14th247Ben StevensGrafham Water Sailing Club5(DNC)DNCDNCDNC50

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