upwindThe Swiss D-One fleet hosted this championship in the hamlet of Wingreis in the far west of the country, on a grassy meadow by the stunning lake with a view across vineyards to the snow-covered Alps. The Swiss watch-making capital of Biel, three miles up the road, provided enough hotels, bars, restaurants and expensive watches for anyone.

The event started with a break from tradition - no T shirt!  Instead we were given a D-One Swiss (not army) multi knife. No complaints there.

As expected The Swiss were great hosts : Barbecued sausages each lunchtime, wine tasting, historic tour and two great evening meals with plenty of boxer old beer and strangely addictive local milk protein soft drink Rivella -all first class.

Yacht Club Bielersee have a lovely little club and an amazingly helpful group of volunteers in a great setting but also, as feared, a slight absence of wind.

We did manage to get out for some practice racing before the main event, so a chance to check we had all rigged our boats correctly.

On Friday we gathered at the club and..no wind. OK a postponement, no problem the sun is shining more boat fine tuning. I made a nice uv cover for the pole with recycled water bottles and duct tape and made some small adjustments hoping to get s little more power in the expected light breeze. Just when we thought there would be no racing for the day enough breeze appeared to get us out for one light airs race. Sadly my tuning efforts resulted in no pointing and no speed. Glad we just had one race.  

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South Shields Sailing Club, 9th – 11th August
Supported by Rooster & Diamond Drilling Ltd

 Prologue:  Before any major D-One event there is always something that sets the tone for the weekend, bizarrely it appears to always come from the same person. The tone for this event soon became apparent on the training day (8th August). The post goes out “the camper has failed (again)”.

Many offers of support were provided by the ever friendly D-One sailors and with the poorly camper safely ensconced in a nearby garage the wayward sailor once again began his journey with the knowledge that alternative accommodation had kindly been provided by local lad Ken Ward.

Several hours later and whilst the normal greetings were being had there was an almighty shriek I’ve got no clothes”! Answers on a postcard please stating where you think they were…. you may win a camper! A quick trip to a local store and several t-shirt purchases (albeit a little snug in great colours) later, a must have trip to the curry mile was much needed and appreciated by those that chose to partake. As you can imagine the training session was not high on the agenda.

D One Gold Cup Competitor Analysis

Since the D-One was launched 10 years ago, it has been sailed in a huge variety of conditions, from calm alpine lakes to full-on sea sailing, and by all shapes and sizes of competitor. We are fortunate to have a very wide base of friendly international sailors.

The boat has always had a fairly crude form of weight equalisation, whereby sailors below 86kg are allowed slightly wider wings. As with all classes, there has been occasional discussion as to whether this is adequate. We were fortunate at the Gold Cup this year to have very clearly defined windy and light days, and a full international fleet weighed in for the event. This gave a perfect opportunity to crunch the numbers, as shown in the graph, which reads from first to last place left to right.

gold cup spinnakers resized

ChampagneGoldCupThe D-One fleet were treated to a Gallic Regatta for the 2019 Champagne Gold Cup organized by  Emmanuel Abord and  Etienne Lobert and hosted by Ligue de l’Enseignement Giffaucourt at Lac du Der 7 to 10 June 2019.

The rest of the French fleet, Marie Benoit, Thierry D'Allance and David Bremond did a fantastic job assisting with all the background tasks that made such a great regatta. A big thank you from all the competitors, especially the Czech-Italians who were politely allowed to beat the French in the international boules contest. Or so the hosts said. gold cup boules

As sailors and support teams arrived from 7 nations on the Thursday everyone was enjoying the sunshine and light winds. Unfortunately the weather was not going to last. Friday dawned with a forecast of 23-30 kts with a storm with a name moving across Europe. The intrepid race management team set off ready to start at 1500. Launching in to the shelter of the club house seemed OK but a short sail later it was clear the fleet were in for a wild ride. A couple of keen racers headed up wind to check out the windward leg, but even the best did not make it back downwind without a swim.

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