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D-Zero Open at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by David Valentine 26 Apr 06:47 BST 22 April 2023
Race 1 during the Bough Beech D-Zero Open © Sarah Seddon

The first D-Zero open of 2023 started with seven sailors arriving from around the country to join Ian Patrick at his home club, though were met with almost no wind. Locals predicted the wind would come late morning so the first race would be postponed. No issue for the D-Zero'ists who checked over others boats, and then had a leisurely lunch and change, in readiness for 3 back-to-back races.

The RO got us under way at about 1330. Aston, Cowper and McIvor leading away. A reasonable length beat in a light non-hiking breeze took us south towards the reservoir wall, and Andy McIvor in his new D-Zero was leading the pack with Valentine chasing hard, until the last 100m and then a huge windshift meant us tacking three times for the mark, whilst some of the others who'd gone left sailed over the top. Local Patrick then led the race having gone hard right from the start, with John Aston chasing hard all the way round. Gordon had split McIvor and Valentine, though with Jefferies behind followed by Tim H in his blue rig. The procession albeit close together stayed almost the same though Aston touched a wing mark, did a turn, though managed to catch Patrick up again on the run and were seperated by inches at the finish. 1st Patrick, 2nd Aston, 3rd McIvor.

Race 2 got under way, with more breeze filling in nicely, meaning hiking was on and Valentine was hopeful though stuck at 30 seconds in a wind deadspot away from the line. At 5 seconds, Valentine charged to the line, though the door was shut by McIvor and a rapid reversal from Valentine avoided a bow shaped hole in the Committee boat. Cowper made a clean start down the pin end.

Crossing late, Valentine tacked hard right and drove hard to the windward mark leading Aston round and had pulled away from the rest of the fleet. Valentine held on for a while, though Aston rolled over ther top on the run having the benefit of at least 30kg difference taking effect. Not to be putoff, Valentine kept chasing hard until he was forced into a crash tack by a naughty Finn who was apparently racing but kept missing marks and letting go of his tiller when tacking.

Humphries was doing well in his blue rig, having overtaken Stewart and McIvor on the windier beat, only to lose the drag race on the reach and runs. Aston pulled away though Valentine kept it flat upwind and chased hard to take 2nd after 3 laps. Jefferies was catching having taken a wider route on the run though a nice reach into Mark 4 and overtaking a couple of others. 1st Aston, 2nd Valentine, 3rd Jefferies.

Race 3 and wind was up and down depending on the level of cloud or sun that rolled through, however no rain despite forecast yet. Fleet split again some hard left, some hard right. Valentine and Aston were seperated though neither paying off over the other, with Aston rounding first, closely followed by Valentine coming in from the right. It was a battle round most of the course with Valentine at times sitting on Aston's transom after the beat only for Aston to pull away on the reach and runs. Valentine thought he'd done enough though the RO despite time pushing on went for another lap and the wind was dropping. Going up the centre seemed to work well till the last 50m and then a header knocked the benefit out of Valentines sails. Patrick, Stewart, Jefferies and Cowper then all caught just by the 2nd mark and Patrick and Stewart rolled over the top of Valentine, whilst Jefferies and Humphries going right with the hope of reaching past the 3rd mark. That blue sail was working well for Humphries even in the lighter downwind stuff - had he done enough to challenge the fleet.

Stewart and Valentine watched Jefferies closely as his apparent rocking back n forth was not ooching or pumping but the dodgy wind coming off our sails - yeah, we'll believe you. It was very very close round the final mark with a lot of D-Z's in a very close space, however no pushing or shoving - well behanved lot ! A short stretch to the finish, who was going to take the 2nd place. Aston was away, and took the bullet. Jefferies and Patrick took the longer beat towards the Committee boat, Stewart followed, Valentine went for a quick tack round the mark and headed for the pin. A little header forced Valentine to tack though sailed across just ahead of Stewart to take 4th. Jefferies took 2nd just ahead of Patrick.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
13John AstonGrafham Water SC‑2112
2335Ian PatrickBough Beech SC1‑734
374Paul JefferiesHunts SC‑7325
466David ValentineEmsworth Slipper SC‑5246
5360Andy McIvorBlackwater SC35‑78
6358Gordon StewartNHEBSC4458
742Jon CowperHunts SC66‑812
8136Tim HumphriesN/A‑88614

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