Presenting….Some 2017 Events

We’ve been beavering away recently to organise the 2017 DF Racing calendar so that you can all organise your passes early on. There are a good few events already on the board including eight double header weekend events with the DF65 being sailed one day followed by the DF95 the next. These events will make up the DF Racing 2017 Travellers Series which is spread over the course of the year at venues countrywide so there is sure to be a race within an hour or two from home…. unless you’re me!

We have also nailed down both the DF65 and DF95 National Championship weekends so you can pop those events down in your diary as well.

The ever popular West Lancs winter series kicks off very early next year and the Coalhouse Fort Frozen Fingers & Toes series has already begun.

We’ll no doubt have some other dates to add as time goes on so keep your eyes on the Events page where you’ll find the dates for all the events so far. We’ll fill in the detail for these events as we get them through from the clubs. As ever if you are organising a club series and you’d like us to put it up on the events page then please drop us a line and we’ll pop it up there for you.

In the meantime here is one of Sue Brown’s photos from the recent DF95 Nationals at Lincoln MYC.


Photo – Sue Brown

2017 Race Dates – We’re on it!

So the MYA has just issued it’s 2017 race calendar and whilst you’ll see a couple of DF events up there they are by no means the only events that will be happening for the classes during the 2017 season.

We are currently finalising our own DF racing calendar which should be available in the next couple of weeks for everyone to plan their seasons. There will be a National Series which will take the form of 6 or 7 weekend events with DF65’s one day and DF95’s the next with some social planned for the in between bits. Judging by what we’ve enjoyed this season there is plenty to look forward to in 2017.

Keep your eyes here for the unveiling of the Calendar over the next week or so.


Dinghy Show 2017 – We’ll be there, will you?


So we’ve decided as an association that it would be a good idea to promote our two classes to the dinghy sailing world a bit more. As such we will have a small stand at the 2017 RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace at the beginning of March 2017.

We are pleased to be able to take stand C47 in the Great Hall from where you’ll be able to find out all about our 2017 race calendar, chat to the people that know and find out about the boats that we sail.

It’ll be a great way for us to spread the word about these two great classes that are revitalising the Radio Sailing world and introducing dinghy skippers into our world of racing.

We’ll have both a DF65 and DF95 on show along with some video footage of the classes that we have collected over the last few years. Hopefully John will get round to editing it before the show kicks off!

We hope to see you there for a chat and a brew, or even a beer.

Registration Delay

Just a quick note to let you know that the registrar, Wayne, has gone somewhere sunny for a couple of weeks.  As such there will be a delay in any registration requests of approximately two weeks. If you really can’t wait please drop us a line.

DF95 National Championships 2016 @ Lincoln MYC

Come to a lake in Lincoln that doesn’t even show up on google maps they said, in November they said, it will be freezing cold & blow a gale they said, it’ll rain, you’ll get muddy and parts of your body will go numb they said. Well they weren’t wrong but I’m still happy I went to the inaugural DF95 Nationals at Lincoln Model Yacht Club.

Friday Practice

The fleet gathered on Friday afternoon at Scotland Farm for a final shakedown and the customary chat about your journey, the upcoming weekend and an in depth analysis about the one thing we can’t control… ‘the wind’


Turns out we shouldn’t have bothered as Friday afternoons gentle zephyrs were nothing like the solid wall of wind we would face on Saturday and Sunday! With the sun falling from the sky about 4pm everyone dispersed to sort out their digs and being sailors we soon re-grouped at the pub and by 6pm were on the ales. Now you know you’re in a proper pub when they’re advertising a ‘Meat Raffle’ behind the bar and we weren’t disappointed.


We soon took advantage of a decent meal in the restaurant, took full advantage of the wine list and re-filled our bellies for the weekend to come. It wasn’t all plain sailing however… like the famous scene in Withnail and I, Derek Priestley requested the finest Cheese and biscuits known to humanity and was bitterly disappointed when presented with a bowl of grated cheese for his cheek!

And then the strange gathering in the bar, an all male karaoke disco of some kind, a man playing a keyboard that didn’t appear to be plugged in, a laptop and a lot of steroids. Suddenly the ‘meat raffle’ took on a new more worrying aspect and I wondered if the top prize was sausage based or whether it was just the gin making me think these terrible thoughts?! Regardless I didn’t stick around for the prize giving!

Saturday Racing

34 boats made it to the start line on Saturday morning which made for 2 decent sized fleets, with 6 up, 6 down giving everyone a chance to get plenty of racing done over the course of the weekend and taste life at the top and the bottom. Principal Race Officer Darin Ballington set the tone for the weekend, clearly explaining the format and reminding us to enjoy ourselves and respect each other on the water and on the bank. An ethos which held throughout the 2 days.


The seeding races kicked off at 10am, the majority of the fleet were in B rigs and revealing in the fast open water conditions. The wind built steadily throughout the day and it soon became obvious there is big overlap between the DF95 rigs. B & C rigs were racing neck a neck at times, with the C rigs gaining in the bullets and the B rigs sliding away in the lulls. By the end of the day the entire fleet had made the change down to C rigs with the wind gusting 25kts+ and considering these wild conditions the boats survived remarkably well, no major damage to report, no blown winches and just one rudder servo that gave up the waggle on Tim Longs boat.

In terms of the racing it was tight at the top, with the 3 senior amigo’s Derek Priestley, John Tushingham and Ken Binks leading the way. For us middle packers it was hard work sailing consistently enough to stick in A fleet with everyone dropping down at some point and counting some big scores.

Saturday Evening

We again gathered at the Railway Inn for the evening meal and it was great to see all of the competitors out enjoying themselves. By the last count there was over 40 of us in attendance, completely swamping the restaurant with the overspill eating in the bar. And what an outstanding meal it was, Steak Pie or Curry with crumble and custard for afters, outstanding value for £10 all in. The wine flowed, the speeches followed and this time Derek got his cheese and crackers and all was well with the world.

Sunday Racing

The day dawned cold, with frost on the windows and more of that bitter wind from the North. The racing continued from 10am with Darin driving the fleets hard from the outset to push through as many races as possible. Conditions were a little grimmer today, driving rain & strong winds saw a few taking an early bath and I can’t say I blame them.


Again there was much chopping and changing of rigs, we started the day in C rigs and slowly worked our way up to the A’s. There was a big shift in the breeze late in the afternoon which necessitated a course change and the shifty fading breeze that followed really separated the men from the boys in the last 4 races. Many of us suffering a couple of brain bubbles before the racing finished at 3:45 with a return of the sun helping to dry out our weary bones and gear before the journey home.


Results and Prize Giving

Throughout the weekend the one design nature of the DF95 really shone through. The key to doing well was knowing when to change rigs, setting up and tuning the rig you chose (often with seconds to spare!), tactics on the course, spotting the wind shifts and keeping yourself out of trouble. All these skills need to be perfected to win and every place on the scoreboard was hard fought and well earned it’s just that John Tushingham, Derek Priestley and Ken Binks are a little bit better than the rest of us. For now at least they are the top 3 but there is a big fleet building behind them ready to take away their crown. See you next year boys, we’re coming for you!


Once the top 3 were dispatched with their prizes the now traditional off beat prize giving/raffle commenced. Lincoln MYC eager to out do the winning tickets being drawn out of the mystical teapot at Fleetwood utilised the magical mayonnaise tub of wondrous prizes. Bottles of wine, unmarked black boxes of mystery and boat socks were distributed throughout the fleet in a somewhat haphazard manner… Mick Chamberlain making up the rules as he went along, kissing the girls and shaking hands with the blokes. We know your game 😉 Finally Eric Reid scored the top prize of a brand new transmitter/receiver which was kindly donated by Mike Weston of RC Yachts.

Special Mentions and Thankyou’s

Thanks to Darin for being the race officer and giving up other sailing commitments to run our event on the bank. Thanks to to all the observers, line judges and Fiona for the scoring. And to our most travelled competitors, the Dutch crew of Tjakko Keizer & Tuen Peit Vanes… Thanks for coming chaps, see you again soon.

And in no particular order thanks to the following people for putting on the event, sorting the lake out, running the kitchen and ensuring we all had a cracking weekend. Liz Bacon, Roger Bacon, Jen Hand, Mick Cooper, Jan Cooper, Beth Stevenson, PJ Ballington, Emily Ballington, Alan Newman, Sue Brown, Jo Preistley, Peter Cogill, Francis Tomlinson, Norman Fish, Bert Whitehead, Chris Corrin, Alan Edgar and Graham Keighthley.

And Finally

This post will be updated when more of Sue Browns images become available and anyone else who took photographs, please email me your best shots and I’ll add them to the report.