Thursday, January 21, 2016

D-Zero and RS Aero Review

In March 2015, Steve Cockerill of Rooster Sailing fame published an account on his blog of testing the RS Aero and the Devoti D-Zero in 20 knots of breeze (gusting to 25) at Stokes Bay Sailing Club in England.

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last year or so, the Devoti D-Zero and the RS Aero are two new lightweight single-handers which were both launched at the UK Dinghy Show in March 2014. Both of have sold in large numbers in the UK. Here in the USA (where I live) there isn't a strong distributor network for the D-Zero, so the RS Aero has been much more successful. (So far.)

Living under a rock

Steve's review of the two boats is very comprehensive and covers pretty much everything you would want to know from what it was like to launch and recover them off a lee shore in strong winds, to how it felt to sail them on different points of sail, to how easy it was to adjust the controls, etc. etc. etc. You can read his review here.

Inevitably Steve also compared the performance and feel of the D-Zero and RS Aero with the more ancient but extremely popular Laser.  And I was particularly amused by how Steve chose to describe the sensation of sailing downwind in the three different boats.

He writes that, "As a Laser sailor who works very hard to get my Laser to manoeuvre, I normally feel like I am dancing with Ann Widdecombe." 68-year-old Ann Widdecombe, a former British Conservative MP, appeared on the British TV dancing competition program Strictly Come Dancing which is presumably where Steve gained his impression on what it would be like to dance with her...

"Works very hard to get her to manoeuvre"

By contrast Steve found that the D-Zero was "eager and responsive" downwind and was moved to comment that it was more like dancing with Caroline Flack. The 36-year-old Miss Flack is an English TV presenter who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 and actually won it.

"Eager and responsive"

I don't think Steve liked the RS Aero quite as much as the D-Zero. He reported, "The Aero was very stable and took the downwind easily whether I opted for wave avoidance or just took her straight downwind by the lee. Pretty much predictable downwind sailing. You might find a hint of disappointment in my words, as I do like to do a bit of a dance, and this reminded me of dancing with Judy Murray – sportie robust but rather stiff."

56-year-old Judy Murray is a Scottish tennis coach and the mother of professional tennis player Andy Murray (currently ranked #2 in the world.) Of course she also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing. How else would Steve Cockerill know what she is like as a dance partner?

"Sportie, robust but rather stiff"

And that, of course, is the answer to yesterday's photo quiz post. Thanks to everyone who took a shot at it. Sorry this one was so obscure!


bonnie said...

Phew! I was completely baffled. Not that I'm especially hard to baffle or anything.

Tillerman said...

Sorry about that. Joe Rouse worked out who the 3 ladies were and the Strictly Come Dancing connection but I think that would be pretty hard for most people who don't watch the program in the UK. And although Steve Cockerill is fairly well know in some sailing circles, his blog is kind of hidden away on his business's website and so not very well known in the sailing blogosphere, even thought there is a lot of useful stuff on it.

I was surprised that I found it impossible to find the post on Google. I tried all sorts of combination of the ladies' names with sailing terms I knew were in the post. I guess it doesn't have a very high Google ranking or something.

On the other hand the post with the answer was linked to this week in a thread on Sailing Anarchy (which was how I came across it again) so I thought one of my readers might have also stumbled across it this week.

I like doing the photo quizzes that are posted periodically on the Exploratorius blog, and they are even more baffling. I can often get them by using a shotgun technique - throw out lots of random guesses to narrow the field of search down and possibly get some clues along the way.

Joe Rousé said...

You had me stumped, Guv. Well done!

Tillerman said...

So which one of these boats would you buy?

1. Have to work very hard to get her to maneuver?

2. Eager and responsive?

3. Sportie, robust but rather stiff?

Joe Rousé said...

Caroline, unfortunately she doesn't live in the US. So I'll have to pick Judy. She's probably more age appropriate and has taken up residence up the coast.

Tillerman said...

Well said Joe.

In his review of dancing with Caroline and Judy, Steve did go on to say, "Now I know that I am perhaps not the average downwind sailor and that sporty robust is exactly what much of the sailing public are looking for."

From my personal perspective I must admit that I do enjoy "working hard" to get Ann to maneuver the way I want but I don't appreciate the way she occasionally throws her weight around and even trips over when I least expect it.

Dancing with Judy is lots of fun and she is a delight in the turns. And let's face it, Ann is very old-fashioned and conservative, even downright quirky at times, while Judy is fast and exciting, a lot better looking than Ann, and also a lot lighter when I want to pick her up or drag her around on the beach.

I haven't had the pleasure of Caroline's acquaintance yet but I hear she might be in Minorca when I go there this year, so am looking forward to having a bit of a fling with her then.

JP said...

Ah-ha! Baffled no more. And I learnt about the sailing connections of Ann Widdecombe and Liz Hurley plus about two other people whose names I can't remember. I was about to get desperate and say words like "marmite" or "rum" at random.

Damian said...

Good quiz. I've been puzzling over this for the last couple of days, and google turned up nothing for me either.

Annoyingly, though, I'd read Steve's review of the boats but hadn't remembered the references at all. I think it may be because I only retain information for a maximum of around 47 seconds before deleting it from my brain.

Tillerman said...

I am pretty sure I read Steve's review when it first came out and skimmed over the references to the dancing ladies because I had never heard of any of them and so his comparisons meant nothing to me. Then when I followed the link to it this week I did take the trouble to Google the ladies and after seeing some of the photos of Miss Widdecombe dancing I just had to find an excuse to use at least one of them on the blog.

Andrijana Kopita said...

Tillerman, I am hurting you be liking the Judy woman. Why you forgotten me? I know the funky Slovenian dance moves. This Scottish stiff no good for you.

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