DF Racing UK 2017 TT Series, final points table
So the end of term report reads well for many skippers, some could have tried harder, some couldn’t have done better and all should be pleased with their sailing over the season.
The final points table is posted below. Congrats to JT on a flawless season.
DF65 Nationals 2017 – Eastbourne.
So, being back in the office somehow doesn’t have the same appeal as being sat by a sunny lake on the South Coast of the UK, even if my office is on a boat….by the sea.
The 23 – 24 September saw the 2017 DF65 Nationals take place at Eastbourne MYC and with the promise of a good weekend both weather wise and sailing wise an entry of 41 boats appeared lakeside for the skippers briefing on Saturday morning under blue skies and A plus conditions.
Jes Collier, our OD for the weekend, was most welcoming to the skippers, giving plenty of useful info about the sailing water, control areas and he generally set the tone for how he would be running the weekend. With plenty of South in the breeze the three seeding heats kicked off proceedings with bullets being taken by Chris Durant, Jonas Samson and Peter Baldwin, who set his stall out early on to be a serious contender for the title.
With a heat board re schedule we settled in to the heats which saw racing from the Western bank of the lake under the watchful eye of other competitors and members of the public. There was lots of opportunity up the beats to gain or lose positions as skippers began to get the measure of both the conditions and the A plus rig which many skippers hadn’t used before in anger. The morning followed a familiar pattern with John Tushingham taking all of the wins, leaving the rest of us to fight it out for the lower spots. Visitors Martin Gray and Jonas Samson along with Peter Baldwin, “Uncle” Derek Priestley and Tim Long were all pretty evenly matched through the morning session and second spot could have been anyones.
After a lunch break the wind had backed a little, putting more East into it which required the first of several trips out in the dinghy for OD Jes. The afternoon course was a super tricky affair, sailed at almost 90 degrees to the bank which caused limited visibility at the top marks which inevitably led to some “bunching” at the windward mark throughout all the fleets and it seemed the way to approach the afternoon session was to sail wide and clean at the top of the course and invariably you’d pop out pointing in the right direction sailing fast towards the wing mark. This tactic proved it’s worth for Martin, Tim and Derek who stayed consistent until the end of the session. Peter had a couple of bad races towards the end of the day which would see him start Sunday in B fleet.
The end of day one saw John Tush in the lead with Martin in second, Peter in third, tied on points with Derek, Tim in fifth spot just a point behind and Jonas in sixth spot. From second to sixth there were just five points in it meaning that day two really could see a bit of a battle out on the racecourse.
There were those of course who should have been in the mix at the top end but somehow weren’t, Mike Weston (he’s a real funny guy you know) was suffering from wine head and just couldn’t get himself into gear and ended day one in 17th spot a spot ahead of John Brierley who just couldn’t seem to get going for some reason. DF65 legend “Uncle” Ken Binks was having a similarly torrid time on day one and finished the day in an uncharacteristic 13th spot with plenty to do on the Sunday.
Saturday evenings social involved eating as much Chinese food as you possibly could, a feat that many of our UK radio sailors are well equipped for.
Sunday dawned bright and somewhat breezier, or so I thought, and I foolishly wound back on nearly all the rig tension I had removed yesterday only to find that the breeze wasn’t quite so….well…..breezy I suppose. Another day and another trip out in the dinghy for Jes, this time along the North bank of the lake which although not ideal it was the lesser of several evils.
With the course set and the skippers briefing completed, including a peachy magic trick from a somewhat revitalised Mike Weston, the C fleet assembled on the start line for what was to be another great day of well mannered competitive racing in tricky conditions.
Of the top guys it was Peter Baldwin who made the worst possible start to his day, having got buried on the start line he couldn’t do enough to recover and took a 24th place finish in race 7, the other guys scored well enough to keep the dream alive with Ken Binks looking like he could recover from yesterdays problematic sailing. Mike Weston couldn’t seem to get his head around the event and continued to struggle whilst Nigel Brown began a bit of a charge up the board.
Race eight saw the saw Peter recover to A fleet, Nigel carry on his charge with a second place finish and the other top contenders keep in the mix. It also saw the wind come round a little more and caused the comedy start of the regatta with A fleet being recalled four or five times before they finally sailed a cleanish black flag start. Mats Hansson was deemed over the line on the final black flag start and was excluded from the race, however in race nine he really couldn’t have done better and it was the race that Tushy was beaten by Mats who took the bullet from a C fleet start with a hard charging Nigel in third. Derek and Tim had a poor show after clearly having crew issues, finishing 11th and 12th both of them making race nine one of their discards.
Race ten saw Tushy back at the top but in second we had a new class skipper Chris Nichols who was clearly getting the measure of the boat, conditions and the racing he was starting to string some results together in his first DF65 regatta.
At the lunch break we got a copy of the results to race 9 which included the two discards, what was apparent was that any one of five or six skippers could quite easily take the lower two podium spots with a gaggle of them all tied on 34 points, a true reflection of the tough fleet racing we had seen throughout the event.
Whilst we enjoyed a superb hot dog lunch OD Jes was, once again dealing with the breeze which had backed even more East, requiring a course reset to the South Western end of the lake for the afternoons racing.
After lunch everyone buckled up for the final three races. Race 11 saw Tushy beaten once more, this time by Nigel, intent on stamping his mark on the results sheet, Swede Jonas Samson took third spot with Wayne Stobbs in fourth, Mats in fifth and Chris Nichols posting another good finish in sixth spot.
Tushy wasn’t to win another race, being beaten from start to finish by an unusually consistent Tim Long in race 12 with recovering John Brierley in third, Mats in fourth and Ken in fifth. Ken went on to take a well deserved win in the final race from Derek, Wayne, David Brown and Nigel in fifth.
It’s easy to see who the winner was, but what of those gaggle of skippers tied on points, well the USA’s Martin Gray had seen his challenge slowed during his day two racing to finish 7th, Sweden’s Jonas Samson took sixth spot, Peter Baldwin couldn’t replicate his day one performance and counted some double figure scores to finish fifth. Tim long showed a level of consistency we’ve not seen from him before, counting just one double figure points score he climbed a place on his day one finish and completed the regatta in fourth spot.
The top three were held up by Nigel Brown who charged so hard on Sunday he made six places during Sunday to finish in third spot, three points ahead of Tim. The top two spots were occupied by two of the canniest skippers we know, MYA President Derek Priestley showed well on Sunday to finish in second spot, however at the top of the pile once more was Project Leader Tushingham, taking just 14 points from the weekends racing and once again showing that he is really quite good.
Some prizes were handed out, hugs were had and away everyone went. Keighley is the next event on the calendar, mid October, 14th and 15th up on the moors. Lots of details on the events page.
Massive thanks to all those at the Eastbourne club who gave their time over the weekend to allow the 41 skippers to enjoy a well run and well managed event and special thanks to Jes Collier the OD for the event who did sterling work in making sure that the courses we sailed were as good as they could be given the less than ideal wind direction we encountered.
Special mentions for our two Junior competitors, Joshua Nichols and Tom Wharmby who both sailed exceptionally well at their first regatta and were both rewarded with some very cool prizes to further their sailing.
I’m sure Sue Brown will be along shortly with a link to some photos, link is here, and we’ll put some up in the report to break up the endless words as soon as we have them but in the meantime here is the final scoresheet.
Scores on the doors.
Dartmoor Day 2
So after a few pints and a bit of social on Saturday evening we all went to bed with the promise of some better weather and a bit of breeze on Sunday morning. At midnight it was still raining cats and dogs and I wasn’t sure we’d see anything else.
Sunday morning appeared and as forecast we had bright sunshine and some fine looking breeze to go with it. Back up to the moors and having avoided the most belligerent sheep I’ve ever met there were a good number of skippers at the pond, all ready for action with A rigs set.
Off we go! – Photo Sue Brown
Ken Binks was quick out of the blocks, posting three wins from the first four races with John Tush only managing a couple of second places, a fourth and a fifth in the first four. Nigel Brown, Tim Long and DF95 newbie and DRSC member Dave Kent were a little off the pace but the three of them were to battle for the final podium step for the rest of the day. Further down the field the battles were just as intense and as we know from previous events it doesn’t take too big a mistake to find boats whizzing past you leaving you with a lot of work to do to recover a decent finish.
Race 5 saw Tushy wake up and remember that he was racing and he promptly won the next two, took a third from race 7 and then took the next 5 races. Ken posted a bunch of second places and won the race JT didn’t. Nigel, Tim & Dave continued the titanic struggle to grab the third place with Dave taking two DNF’s which didn’t help his cause. Nigel and Tim traded places during the mid session and third could have gone either way.
Liz Tushingham and Wayne Stobbs were locked in their usual battle and John Smith and Jim LaRoche keeping the battle on its toes. Even the tail end of the fleet were locked in battles of their own throughout the day with DRSC skipper Neil Harvey and well travelled John Howard from Poole being kept honest by DRSC members Nick Whyte and David Brooke.
The downwind leg was a rapid affair! – Photo Sue Brown
Race thirteen was lucky for Tim who scored a win from Ken & Nigel with JT in fourth with normal service being resumed for 14 with JT in top spot from Ken and Nigel with Jim LaRoche from Coalhoue Fort scoring his best result of the day with fourth spot. Ken took 15 from JT, Tim and Nigel.
16 through 20 saw JT seal his win whilst Ken took a discard of a third, yes really he was that consistent all day, Dave scored a second with Tim fourth whilst Nigel had issues and ended eleventh.
Breeze on! – Photo Sue Brown
The battle for sixth was won by Liz by a reasonable margin from Wayne. Fifth went the way of Dave, who would have done better after a strong finish after another DNF in race 14. The monumental day long battle for third was taken by Nigel by just two points from Tim.
However even Nigel on 65 points was a country mile behind the two class acts of the day, JT and Ken, who scored 22 and 29 and really did show us all how it should be done.
Sundays top six
The wind was good all day, top end of A rig all day and perhaps a little beyond at times, the morning races and a couple of afternoon ones were sailed from the South bank before the course was reset and the remaining afternoon races were sailed from the North bank. The race team were very on point all day and worked tirelessly all weekend to ensure that the skippers got the best of the available conditions. Many thanks to the DRSC team, without you guys we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our sport to the same degree, we all hope that you’ll host us again in the future.
Next on the calendar is the DF65 Nationals at Eastbourne in late September.
Sue Brown was, once again, was on hand with her camera on both days and got some great shots of the action which can be viewed by clicking here.
There is also a Dartmoor RSC facebook page which, if you are social media savvy, can be accessed by clicking here.
Dartmoor Day 1
Having spent the best part of 7.5 hours in the van on Friday making my way to Dartmoor RSC it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by Ken Binks and Nigel Brown at the lakeside along with several of the DRSC members who had pitched up to ready the water for the DF Racing UK weekend.
Despite the horizontal rain and low cloud myself, Nigel and Ken put boats on the water and had a bit of a tune up before the rain and wind really arrived and we abandoned to a local pub for the evening.
Saturdays forecast was suitably poor, with very little breeze forecast to come from many directions along with bucket loads of rain too.
Twenty two skippers, a good mix of locals and travellers, braved the conditions which, at first, didn’t look too terrible and the two seeding races were held to determine the two fleets in not too much rain and a reasonable bit of breeze. If you had one, an A plus rig was the thing to have today, the first time it has been utilised in competition properly here in the UK and well worth the investment.
An A plus rig – very handy today!
Nigel Brown won his seeding with Liz Tush winning hers whilst husband John could only manage a third place finish in his seeding.
Nigel went on to win the next two races before another winner, Ken Binks, was to take the top step of the podium. Race 5 saw John Tush take his first win of the day after a slow start and 6, 7 and 8 also went Tushy’s way which we put down to a good lunch.
After a couple of thirds and some discards it seems that a good lunch had also done the well travelled Tim Long the world of good and he posted some good results, including a win in race 9, during the afternoon session.
With the wind fading and Tushy taking race 10 it was decided that the skippers and race team had had enough and once again the rain had set in.
With ten races completed with the two fleets it was Tushy who took the win from Nigel by 2 points, Tim was 6 points adrift of Nigel in third and Ken was just three behind Tim. There was a reasonable gap back to the next group of Wayne Stobbs, Liz Tush, Dave Kent and James Scrimshaw.
The top six DF65 skippers
Much good racing was had by all, the race team did a grand job in challenging circumstances and the skippers were very well behaved at this great venue.
Tomorrow sees the DF95 fleet take to the water when we are perhaps promised some wind and even a little sunshine.
DF95 National Championships 2017 – 10th & 11th June at Two Islands RYC
So the DF95 circus rolled into the car park at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes on Friday afternoon and were greeted by some great breeze, sunny skies and the promise of some superb racing over the weekend.
Mike Weston talking tuning – Photo Sue Brown
After a good amount of boat tuning and some informal racing it was time for the Friday night debrief in the pub which is just a stones throw from the lake. Some food was eaten, some drink was taken and folks took the time to catchup on the last couple months since we all last met up and did similar!
Race Control ready for the off – Photo Sue Brown
Saturday morning arrived and with the race team at the lakeside and the competitors sort of well rested the 0945 briefing took place and under the guidance of PRO Mike Kemp the racing got underway with the two seeding heats to decide the initial A & B fleets for the mornings racing.
Solid B rig conditions looked like being the order of the day and it was no surprise that John Tushingham and Mike Weston took the two wins in the seeding heats and with both fleets decided the racing proper began, JT took races 2 and 3 followed by Buzz Coleman and Mike Weston with Ken Binks and Derek Priestley not too far behind.
Breezy start – Photo Sue Brown
A win for Derek in race 4 meant JT took a second place finish, one of just a handful that he would count. Tim Long was awarded redress for a final leg incident which demoted him to B fleet for race 5 which he promptly won followed quite quickly by the A fleet heat as Tim and Derek opted to stay with the B rig whilst others changed down to C only for the breeze to drop, shift a little, get up again then drop out on certain parts of the course.
This was the way of the day with some big breeze on parts of the course and just when you thought you’d got the measure of it the breeze would just leave you in a big hole, spin through 90 – 180 degrees and pipe up once more. The leeward gate was a particular problem for this and there were quite a few places to be gained or lost by making the correct, or incorrect, choice in this area.
Even JT had the odd head scratching moment at this end of things but at the end of day one he hadn’t taken his foot off the gas and he had taken top spot in all the days remaining races to head off to the pub in a commanding top spot.
Top mark action – Photo Sue Brown
Derek had had a good day at the mill and despite a couple of hiccups towards the end of the day he went into the evening social in second spot. Third through fifth were tightly bunched with Buzz Ken and Mike all within a couple of points of each other. Further down the fleet of 37 boats the places were similarly tight with several groups of skippers within just a couple of points.
Saturday social was well received with several skippers enjoying some fine Gin to celebrate National Gin Day. Lots more useful catchup and drinking was followed by some rest and another days racing.
Sunday didn’t initially look quite so breezy and the wind had shifted a little overnight which meant a bit of a course change was required before the 0945 briefing and some brave skippers took to the water with an A rig, seeking an advantage, which they rapidly changed for the 12th race as the wind had re appeared on parts of the course whilst still being so very absent on other parts meaning that B rig was once again the choice of the day.
JT took race 11 with Derek second and Buzz in third, Mike took race 12 with on form skippers Peter Baldwin and Chris More making a visit to the podium spots. JT was back on form for 13 with our only overseas skipper Tjakko in second and Ken in third.
Race fourteen saw several of the top skippers take a discard as JT had battery issues and Derek was somewhat off the pace finishing tenth. The race win was taken by Nigel Brown from Ken with Peter Baldwin rounding out the top three.
Relaxing between races – Photo Sue Brown
Fifteen and sixteen saw two Fleetwood members taking wins, Derek in one and class newcomer Shaun Holbeche taking the other. JT recovered the next two with Derek taking 19 and Ken rounding off the Championship with a win in 20. Tjakko and Shaun found good form in the final two races, both taking a second place finish with JT taking the third spot both times.
The final tally saw JT take another convincing win to be crowned UK National Champion 2017 with Derek taking the second step some way behind with Ken taking third and Mike Weston in fourth less than a handful of points behind. John Brierley took fifth spot by just a single point from Buzz in sixth. 7th and 8th were again separated by just a single point with Phil Playle ahead of Tjakko. Another handful of points covered 9th, Nigel, and 10th, Peter.
John Tushingham – UK DF95 Champion 2017 – Photo Sue Brown
Some bigger gaps covered the next few spots but even down the field you could easily have thrown a blanket over 26th to 29th and other battles, proving that even though the scores are higher, the racing is genuinely just as tight throughout the field meaning that every race counts and positions changed right down to the last race.
In the end everyone went away with big smiles, some went away with sunburn and I went away with an ice cream which was just fine by me. The race team at two Islands RYC did a sterling job under the guidance of PRO Mike Kemp and from all the skippers we owe you all great thanks for giving up your weekend to help with the running of the event. Mike Ewart especially who was kept busy with the rescue boat, both moving marks and rescuing tangled boats!
Sue Brown was on hand with her excellent photography skills and she has a great album which is online now and you can take a look at the 240 odd photos by clicking here
The next stop on the 2017 tour is Dartmoor at the end of July and we’ll have details online as soon as we have them available.
DF65/DF95 Travellers Trophy Rounds 9 & 10 at Gosport, 20th & 21st May 2017
Skippers and the Gosport race team gathered on Saturday morning for Round 9 of the TT series, today for Dragon Force 65’s.
Whilst the weather was initially dry, there was the threat of some rain with possible thunder storms in the forecast. Although we were to see a couple of showery periods, fortunately the thunder didn’t arrive.
A good turn out of 25 skippers meant the use of two fleets on Gosport’s smaller North lake. With the wind essentially from SSW a course was set of triangle, sausage, another beat to the windward mark before a reach to the offset finish line.
Seeding heat B got under way with John Tushingham leading from Buzz Coleman and Paul Davis. When first John, then Buzz and then Paul miscounted the number of times they needed to round the leeward and subsequently the windward marks, it looked for a short while that we might be in for a very long heat! The rest of the fleet followed them around what was in effect an additional sausage.
No such antics in the A fleet seeding race where David Brown, Brian Holland and Wayne Stobbs showed a clean trio of transoms to the rest.
John, Buzz and Paul would continue to show the way up to race 5 when Paul started to slip back into the clutches of John Brierley. The final result saw the win for JT, Buzz 2nd, Paul 3rd and 1 point further back John B in 4th.
The highest placed home skipper was David Reynolds sailing a borrowed boat, but as his position was 10th, it goes to show that Gosport without Nigel Brown at the IOM Worlds and Alex Cory still coming to the grips of sleepless fatherhood nights, need to up their act and consistency. The best way is more practice!
Nonetheless, apart from the weather which did turn somewhat chilly an interesting day’s racing was enjoyed by all. It is interesting to note that despite a few concerns before the event that the introduction of the use of A+ rigs might create an uneven playing field, on the day there was only one attempt at using an A+ and it only lasted one heat. So there certainly seems nothing to fear on that front then.
Sunday was an altogether brighter and warmer day although with a pretty steady breeze from ESE/SE, race officer Chris Durant was able to set a windward and leeward gate course maximising the use of the smaller North lake.
22 skippers would start out, with a couple of later withdrawals still meaning 2 fleets. Concentration levels on the racing were clearly so intense as no less than 2 skippers missed their footing on the pathway and ended up in the lake.
The 95’s proved that even the smaller lake is perfectly adequate to achieve good racing. John Tushingham, Buzz Coleman and John Brierley were the most consistent through the day whilst Mike Weston, taking a break from his assistance with the 65’s on Saturday, much appreciated by those he was able to help, won a thrilling Race 5, afterwards admitting that it probably wasn’t the sun that was making him sweat, but the chasing pack of JT, Buzz, JB and Roy Scott.
On then to the next round but don’t forget next year as we certainly hope that the series will return to Gosport.
Thank you to all for their support, cooperation and excellent sportsmanship, good clean racing in the true spirit.
Sailing Sec and Race Officer Day1
Videos available for watching the action from
Day 1 – https://youtu.be/hGJA9-qTzoA
Day 2 Pt 1 – https://youtu.be/ZdzzdZLDW44
Day 2 Pt 2 – https://youtu.be/00RgffWcghU
Day 2 Pt 3 – https://youtu.be/00RgffWcghU
DF65 Saturday Results – DFRacingTT9GosportResults
DF95 Sunday Results – DFRacingTT10GosportResults
DF65/DF95 Travellers Trophy Rounds 7 & 8 at Eastbourne 1st/2nd April 2017
24 skippers presented themselves at Eastbourne on 1st April for the DF Travellers Trophy this being round 7 of the 2017 series. Clear sunny conditions meant that racing got underway in two fleets, in a 12mph south-south-west breeze which allowed PRO John Henderson to set a windward – leeward course roughly parallel with the north bank of the Princes Park lake.
By lunchtime the wind had moved to a more south westerly direction and was gusting to about 15mph and the decision was made to move to the opposite side of the lake to enable sailing to take place in the best breeze available with the best view for skippers of the now reset course. Windward legs were quite a challenge with no one side being favoured. Royal Lymington YC’s Simon McCarthy emerged as the very worthy winner, possibly due to some local knowledge gained on his last visit to Eastbourne, when as a 12 year old he competed in an IOM open meeting 20 years ago!
Simon’s tally of 13 points from 9 races speaks for itself, his closest rival Peter Baldwin of Birkenhead coming in second with 17 points. In third place, was local man Jes Collier on 25 points.
18 yachts took to the water on the following sunny Sunday morning for the DF95 event, which was slow to get going due to a gentle northerly breeze flicking through 30-40 degrees making life difficult for PRO John Henderson and his team, and skippers alike. After an hours racing in light and shifty conditions the land breeze gave in to a building sea breeze from the south-south east. There was a short break whilst race control was re-situated on the north bank, and welcome teas and coffees were taken from the ladies running the busy EDMYC tea trolley.
What ensued was a magnificent remainder of the day’s racing in a breeze which built from 10mph to about 15mph by the close of the afternoon, with the odd gust making it top of A rig conditions in the latter races, however, nobody felt the need to change down.
The eventual winner was Peter Baldwin of Birkenhead with a total of 40 points from 21 races, from local skipper Jes Collier in second on 53 points. Another Eastbourne skipper, Geoff Ball, was third with a total of 71 points, a fine achievement in his first season of radio yachting.
Results can be found at:-
Some action shots from the Eastbourne TT Weekend.
A vote of thanks goes out to the Eastbourne PRO John Henderson and his team both lakeside and back at the clubhouse, the bacon butties at registration were only surpassed by the delicious sausage ‘dog rolls at lunchtime, and the cakes were spot on!
West Lancs TT 1 & 2
Our roving reporter Tim Lanigan has compiled a report of the goings on at West Lancs YC which appears on the homepage and below you’ll find the results tables. Click on each table for a larger version.