The D-One class continued its tour of the glamour locations of Europe with a trip to the elegant resort of Santa Margherita on the Italian Riviera, where we sailed from the bars and restaurants of the inner harbour to a windward mark among the sterns of the superyachts moored off Portofino.
The circuit has been arranged to make it accessible to our remarkably international travelling membership, and included a weekend Italian Nationals, followed by a pause for proper holiday (or proper work, if you really had to), before the 4-day Europeans starting on Thursday.
The holiday aspect brought a large number of partners and family to a truly glorious area, and boats came from Poland in the North, Hungary in the East, Newcastle in the West and from the South we were delighted to see again a large and extremely competitive Italian fleet after a few years of less activity. It is also great to see new faces from our growing French and Swiss fleets, with particular respect to David Bremond (FRA), who got married on the Friday and still sailed both days of the Italian Nationals before enjoying the area even more for his honeymoon.
The Italian Nationals were won by Enrico Ciferri with a combination of great upwind speed and bold tactics in the swinging breeze, giving us a clue how difficult this venue could be, and beating Alessandro Novi and Giando Boglione into 2nd and 3rd. There was clearly much to be learned by visitors on what is known locally as the Golfo dei Nesci – helpfully translated for us into English as “from ‘nescio’, ‘I don’t know’, meaning ‘Gulf Of Idiots’ “. We all felt like that at some point over the next few days.
Racing for the Europeans was expected to be tight with 29 boats from nine nations. International arrivals included Viktor Teply, Czech Laser representative at London and Rio Olympics, Giles Chipperfield, who showed bursts of speed at the Gold Cup in Austria and Marek Bachtik who showed a rapid ability to grasp the local intricacies of the Italian Championships.
Race Day 1 started in a 6-8knot breeze in baking sunshine on indigo-blue waters. Howard Farbrother showed a cavalier disregard for the pack of Italian boats heading for the expected right shift around the Portofino headland, hit the left hand corner and took the race win by a large margin. In the next race, the exact opposite tactic worked, but not for Howard, while Giles Chipperfield showed remarkable downwind speed to take the lead at the last mark. Viktor Teply posted two seconds, and looked the most solid performer as well as holding the overnight lead.
Day 2 started in very similar conditions, and the start line became considerably more active as everyone realised the critical need both to get away in the front line and to gain a position with enough room to take the shifts as they came. The game was further complicated by a line where the favoured end changed every couple of minutes as the shifts arrived. Giles proved to have both the tactics and the speed in these conditions, and took a pair or wins while Viktor struggled to get clear of the pack to end with 8th and 3rd. Giles had the overall lead but the next day’s discards would eliminate this, while Alessandro Novi was now a threat to both leaders with faultless tactics and excellent upwind speed. Interestingly, the weight and size of the different helms in the fleet seemed to make very little difference in the lightish winds, with similar speeds for all and boathandling and tactics being far more important.
Day 3 was different. Very different. A bit more windy – 12-15kts, but with a massive rolling swell from a scirocco off Corsica, overlaid by a random short chop generated by the weekend power yachts cruising the bay. At least the chop died down for a while when the yachts stopped for lunch at Portofino, but the swell made for a proper workout upwind and some spectacular surfs downwind. The windward mark was set somewhere off Sardinia to give a full length race, and it was Viktor’s turn to show that a professional laser sailor can hike harder than anyone while also demonstrating impressive ability to work the boat through the confused sea state. With two emphatic wins, Viktor was now tied with Giles on points, with Alessandro and Howard close behind. The last day was looking rather tense.
For Day 4 the scirocco had gone and the wind was back to 8-10kts, but the yacht chop was even more evident and there were some new techniques to learn to keep the D-One driving through the chop upwind and then to work the unusual surfs downwind. Unsurprisingly, Viktor and Giles never went very far from each other in an epic covering battle from start to finish of race 7. At the first mark both were down in mid-fleet, while Enrico came roaring back into contention with extraordinary upwind speed for a long lead. Alessandro and Howard were also obviously concentrating on each other, and well down the fleet, leaving Jorg Deimling and Riccardo Pontremoli to lead the pack after Enrico. In an action-packed last run normal tactics were abandoned as the dice were rolled and those needing a big move headed for the corners. At the finish Enrico was still unchallenged, but Giles had reached second while Viktor was fifth. This left one more match race to decide the championship.
The final race provided a proper grand finale, with a massive square rigger making the photographers’ day near the windward mark and a repeat of the intense match races throughout the fleet. While most had become more comfortable with the conditions, Enrico remained supreme and scored a second convincing win which jumped him the fourth overall. Alessandro confirmed his third overall with solid tactics to gain clear wind and good speed once there. Giles and Viktor battled all the way round, and in the end were separated by just one place. So Giles is the new D-One European Champion.
The D-One has evolved into a highly international class with a very friendly family of sailors, and we have been to some wonderful places this year. Santa Margherita was a fabulous place to sail, a memorable holiday destination, and the Lega Navale could not have been more helpful and hospitable. Special thanks to Italian Class Secretary Tommaso Buzzi, who organised the whole event.
The international circuit for 2019 is looking great for the class 10th anniversary year, with the Gold Cup in Champagne, France 7-10 June and the Europeans at Lac Biel, Switzerland 12-15 September. For more information go to https://www.d-oneassociation.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/DOneAssociation
For those who wish to remember, or regret missing it, there are wonderful photos courtesy of Bianca Roccatagliata at https://www.d-oneassociation.org/gallery/photos
All photos copyright Bianca Roccatagliata
Lymington, England 7- 8 July
With entries from Switzerland, France and Italy 20 D Ones gathered at Lymington Town Sailing Club on the 5th of July for the 2018 National Championship. The event opened with a day of on-the-water coaching followed by a video review in the bar at LTSC.
Video by Alex Barnes @ abvideography.co.uk
Photos by Peter Fothergill @ fothergillphotography.com
The 2018 D One Gold Cup hosted by Union Yacht Club, Wolfgangsee, saw a record entry of 43 boats from 9 nations. Based in the picturesque Austrian town of St Gilgen the championship saw challenging conditions and a competitive fleet including Nick Craig, champion in multiple classes and a 3 times Gold Cup winner; Viktor Teply, Czech 2- time Olympian in the Laser class, Ondrej Teply, a previous winner of the Finn Junior Worlds and 5-time Olympian / 6 time winner of the Finn World Masters Championships, Michael Maier.
Day one saw tricky conditions with the first race which was led by Tim Garvin being abandoned due to a thunder storm warning. The experience of the race team showed as they quickly re-set the course and managed to run 2 races. Viktor scored 2 bullets with Nick 2nd and Giles Chipperfield showing good form with a 3rd and a 6th.
Day 2 saw more good race management as the RO anticipated the thermal wind and set up the race course perfectly. 3 races were completed with Nick picking up 2 wins and a second to move into the lead. Day three saw 2 races sailed in a shifting wind with changing pressure across the course. This saw several changes on the leader board. However Nick delivered a strong performance in the conditions taking 2 more bullets. Victor and Giles consolidated 2nd and 3rd places. The final race on Sunday saw the fleet out in the afternoon thermal with Nick once again demonstrating his mastery of the conditions with a clear win over Chris Sallis who finished 2nd and Michael Maier rounding out the top 3.
The final results saw Nick taking the title ahead of Viktor and Giles, with Giles taking the Masters title ahead of Michael Maier and Chris Sallis. Devoti Sailing and Harken both generously provided prizes which were spread throughout the competitors. Union Yacht Club and the Austrian D One fleet, in particular Felix Hofinger and Georg Schofegger, did an excellent job of organising the event with social events every evening and a good supply of free beer sponsored by club members!
The ethos of the D One class is to travel to new and interesting places, meet with old friends and make new ones whilst enjoying competitive, exciting sailing and great social events and this event certainly lived up to that. With the largest championship fleet to date everybody enjoyed battles on the water and sharing a beer or two afterwards. The UK fleet now has the Nationals at Lymington early in July before heading to one of our favourite venues Santa Margherita Ligure in Italy for the European champions ships in September.
With growing fleets across Europe the class has outlined the international championship programme for the next 2 years with the Gold Cup in France and the Europeans in Switzerland in 2019 and Europeans in Northern Spain and the the Gold Cup coming to the UK in 2020.
Lake Lipno, Czech Republic 25-26 June
The D-one is very active in Europe, and this year we decided to make life easier by holding events on consecutive weekends so that travellers can get two for the price of one journey.
With the record-breaking Gold Cup happening next week in St Gilgen, Austria, last weekend saw the fleet gather just across the border in Lipno, Czech Republic. 17 boats from the Czech, Austrian, and British fleets enjoyed a fantastic weekend alongside the Compotech Cat Championship.
Impeccable race management gave us seven races in a warm 5-15 knot wind, with copious food and drink ashore in a beautiful setting. As with all good lake sailing, the continuous shifts and puffs meant that everyone could have a moment of glory, usually shortly followed by a period of ignominy. Most races ended with 3-4 boats overlapped, with one memorable finish of 8 overlapped D-Ones making the line look a little short.
Worthy Champion was Viktor Teply, Czech Laser representative at the Rio Olympics, closely followed by Giles Chipperfield then Jakub Hucek.
Lipno proved once again to be a marvellous place to sail, a spectacular area to visit and offered a very very warm Czech welcome. We will certainly be back, but next up ….the Gold Cup on the Wolfgangsee near Salzburg. Now doesn’t that sound like a good trip?
All photos copyright Adela Cerna, Kemp Jestrabi