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D-Zero Northern Championships at Ullswater Yacht Club

by Zippy Zero 17 May 2023 08:33 BST 13-14 May 2023
D-Zero Northern Championships trophy © Liz Potter

Hello all, from Zippy the D-Zero, on tour for a double whammy of travellers events in the North. First up was Ullswater last weekend for the D-Zero Northerns. As a new venue on the D-Zero circuit, I was very excited to be packed up. There were promises of Great Lakes, spectacular scenery and many, many sheep.

There were further promises from Owner, to drive carefully and keep my wheels off the pavements and grass verges. In return, I promised not to capsize or challenge her poor sense of direction on the race course.

Twenty minutes into the journey, there I was, leaping over gutters onto the Liverpool pedestrians. A dry sail was not looking hopeful. Once at the venue, my frown melted away. Six other D-Zeros had arrived, coming from as far as Bedford (Gordon Stewart) and Aberdeen (Scott Munro); our sailing clubs spanning over 460 miles apart.

The first day had zephyringly light winds and, because my name also starts with Z, I claimed the day's racing as my own. All thoughts of dropping Owner in the drink were put aside for a carefree afternoon of capering on the quadrilateral course. The result was two convincing wins for me, with Owner as compulsory baggage. That left Gordon and Ian Baillie to take two seconds and two thirds respectively.

Futher down the fleet, Chris Everitt had to return to the shore before the first race, after rigging his new traveller with blocks upside down. These small mistakes are easily achieved by most Owners of all experience and ability. Mine is certainly no exception and has been known to set off in a partially rigged boat.

Perhaps I need to mention here the blonde moment she had in the campsite later, when placing her wetsuit boots on top of the front wheel of the camper van to dry. And then forgetting about them and driving off over them the next morning. I can only raise my eyebrows.

After the two light wind races, the RO Rick Boyce called a stop on the fickle wind sailing and postponed race 3 until Sunday.

The following morning, the wind had increased to 10-15 knots. A change of RO had been made and Harriot Pullman set up for the day's racing.

In Race 3, Ian made a clean break from the fleet after a clean and speedy start from the pin end on port tack. He went on to win from Scott, who had a close race with Gordon, who finished 3rd.

Mick Green's boat was busy performing 360s in response to its Owner's mark hitting rampage throughout the race. I caught a glimpse of the poor boat's raised eyebrows as I slipped past into 4th.

The wind continued to blow, so after the race whilst we were waiting for the fleets to finish, I took Owner to a quiet windless spot in the lee of some trees, where we could exchange pleasantries with some sheep I hadn't met yet. Gordon and Mick's boats came to join the party and it all got a bit close up, rafty and personal.

Mick's boat escaped at the 6 minute gun for race 4 and I broke free to hunt for wind at the last minute, sailing as fast as I could to the start line and crossing it as the gun went. Gordon's boat continued chatting away with the sheep, bobbling in a vacuum, which meant Gordon missed the start by several minutes.

Back up the fleet, disaster struck for John Pickett, as his kicker broke, resulting in a turtled capsize and injury to his hamstring. Fortunately the rescue crew were at hand to help out and all ended well. At the front end of the fleet, it was Scott who took the win from Ian, with me in third place.

The fleet came in for lunch and a warm up, returning for the last two races. Ian and Scott share out the firsts and seconds, with Gordon re-finding his form again with two thirds.

By now, two discards had been applied, leaving Ian and Scott on equal points. The deciding split was made on discards, giving Ian Baillie the Northern Championship Title and Scott Munro the runner up. Liz Potter was third, though it was all my hard work of course.

Thank you to Ullswater Yacht Club for being great hosts, particularly to the race teams for both days; Rick Boyce, Harriot Pullman, Kate Sargeant, Sam Smith and Chris Mulholland, plus the rescue teams, caterers and bar staff. We hope to come back next year!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st336Ian Baillie‑3‑312216
2nd353Scott Munro‑5‑521126
3rd333Liz Potter11‑43‑449
4th358Gordon Steward22‑3‑53310
5th344Mick Green44‑54‑5517
6th203Chris Everitt(DNC)‑6666624
7th314John Pickett67(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC29

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