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CoastWaterSports 2014

Devoti D-Zero National Travellers Open at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by David Valentine 23 Apr 06:09 BST 13 April 2024
D-Zero Open at Bough Beech © Lloyd Roberts, Alex Smith

Saturday 13th April saw the second event of the D-Zero national traveller series held at Bough Beech SC in sunny Kent. Eight visiting & two home D-Zeros were greeted by a freshening SW from the dam wall with the sun threatening an appearance.

Race Officer & 600 National Champion George Smith briefed the assembled masses warning of a healthy breeze and begging please don't infringe the anglers.

Competitors scurried to get afloat along with fellow fleets Finns & Streakers making for a lively race area.

R1 presented a port biased line close'ish to the bank with aforementioned anglers strategically positioned to port. Tom Southwell arrived at the pin and stayed there all day creating a circle of terror for anyone thinking similarly.

The Morgan sails D-Zero class flag dropped and we were away clean with Southwell and the port enders having to tack & cross to avoid the obstructions.

Bough Beech offered the usual snakes & ladders but Southwell navigated the maze first with David Valentine snapping at his rudder, Gordon Stewart & Paul Jefferies in the mix rounding the top onto a cracking if shifty reach then a long tactical run. Staying by the lee and crucially staying in the breeze gained places. The leading pack of 4 pulled out a lead with Southwell commanding the race, Jefferies, Stewart & Valentine trading places but finished in that order.

R2 saw a similar start, but without anglers allowing a few boats to bang hard left in search of the elusive Bough Beech port lay line lift. Not to be disappointed on this occasion Tim Humphries on blue rig sneaked in from the far left in front of Southwell & Valentine leaving starboard lay liners double & triple tacking. Southwell showing superior downwind pace quickly reasserted dominance, Stewart, Humphries, Jefferies, Valentine & Tim Weeden all chasing hard to finish in that order.

Lunch intervened allowing competitors to bulk up on Pauline's pasty & beans ready for another helping of toenail withering hiking.

R3 started breezy with a port shift tempting many to bang off right at the earliest opportunity. Tragically for some left was not delivering but Valentine delivered a storming right hander with Southwell, Stewart & Humphries arriving some time later from the left.

Breeze properly on now, with pasties helping keep glass under carbon, Valentine & his heavy duty hiking strap held his lead from the closing Southwell, Stewart, Humphries & Jefferies all gasping along behind.

By R4 the breeze seemed to have abated slightly. Kim May-Papailliou, Hannah Hutchings, Ian Patrick & Tim Weeden decided 3 windy races was plenty punishment leaving a reduced fleet.

Then the status quo of start line order was thrown into turmoil by a fearless John Cowper sitting on top of Southwell at 30 seconds resulting in a kerfuffle at the pin, reducing the fleet still further and allowing Humphries & Valentine unfettered access to the line. Humphries held on to play the size not important card and round first closely followed by Valentine & Gordon. After a bit of place swapping the order into the penultimate bottom rounding was Valentine, Humphries, Gordon, however things got confusing for a bit resulting in Humphries re-rounding slowly and Valentine doing twirls thus gifting Gordon a comfortable lead and a good belly laugh all the way round to the finish, Humphries Valentine & Jefferies bringing up the rear.

A great day of almost champagne sailing in spring sunshine with tight competition. Thanks to George Smith & the race team, all the rescue & beach volunteers & Pauline for cooking. Looking forward to being invited back to Bough Beech next year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1st328Tom Southwell112(DNC)4
2nd358Gordan Stewart‑32316
3rd66David Valentine4‑5138
4th136Tim Humphries‑53429
5th345Paul Jefferies24‑5410
6th312Tim Weeden666(DNC)18
7th335Ian Patrick788(DNC)23
8th42bJohn Cowper(RET)77DNC25
9th28Kim May-Papailliou899(DNC)26
10th42rHannah Hutchings9(RET)DNSDNC31

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