So we have now had the first of the DF Racing UK 2018 TT events up at West Lancs YC so we can get the 2018 results page underway!
2018 TT Overall Results.
Results to round 4 – DF TT 2018 to R4
TT Rounds 3 & 4 – Coalhouse Fort RYC
The DF Racing UK TT series rounds 3 & 4 should have been a great weekend of racing at Coalhouse Fort RYC near Tilbury. In reality it was a great exercise in seeking out the warmest clothes you’ve ever had and layering them on so that you didn’t end up with a core temperature similar to that of a fridge freezer.
Saturday’s DF65 racing was somewhat delayed due to a blizzard however once the racing was eventually underway it was Eastbourne skipper Ken Binks who set the pace with a couple of wins from Dutch visitor Tjakko Keizer with Nigel Brown, Wayne Stobbs, local skipper Glenn Meekoms and Tim Long making up the top five or six. Ken had a rare miss in race three and placed second to Tjakko with Tim in third having realised that shorts weren’t the correct choice of outerwear for the day.
It was these three skippers that traded places all day with the wins being shared out by Ken and Tjakko and the seconds and third spots being shared out between Tjakko and Tim. There was lots of good racing throughout the fleet with a good number of skippers making a top five place during the day.
After race six it was decided that everyone needed a warm and once the fifteen minute break was over it was decided that we should race another two which would bring us to eight races and allow us two discards for the day. So after eight races right at the top end of the C rig it was Ken Binks who came out top of the pile with six points. Dutchman Tjakko took second spot with ten points and Tim trailed seven points back from Tjakko. Gosport skippers Wayne Stobbs and Nigel Brown were fourth and fifth with class newcomer Vinne Zammit rounding out the top six.
At this point, around 13.30 it all started to go a little bit wrong. Most skippers, many miles from home and staying at a nearby hotel had to endure “several” hours of bar time before dinner at 20.00. Stamina was key to the afternoon.
Sunday dawned with much less snow but a denser, somewhat cooler, wind. No matter, another 16 skippers appeared lakeside with their DF95’s ready to take on the weather once more. Tim was dressed more appropriately and had gone for the smallest rig on the DF95, the D rig whilst most skippers pitched up with their C rigs. After race one Ken had stamped his mark on the day with a win, Wayne had taken a second and Tjakko took third with Tim’s D rig back in fourth spot. Race two saw Ken win again, followed by Tim and his, proving the point that a well sailed boat in the wrong rig is just as good. John Howard took third spot with Tjakko in fourth.
Race three saw Tim join the majority with a C rig, however he couldn’t catch Ken who was starting to run away with the weekend. Local skipper Glenn took a third place and it’s clear that he is enjoying both classes immensely as his sailing is improving each time we see him. Tjakko remained fourth with John Howard, another stalwart of the series taking fifth spot. Race’s four and five, once again, Ken was top of the pile, and it seemed that Tjakkos hangover was clearing as he scored to seconds ahead of Tim with Nigel and Glenn taking fourths.
Race’s six seven and eight were all Ken’s with Tim making the second spots count, Tjakko scored thirds until the last race when a couple of start line incidents suggested that his hangover had returned but no matter, countryman Peter Molenaar took third spot in the last race.
At the end of eight races it was decided, once again, that an early bath was the right choice. Ken took another event win to clean sweep the weekend, Tim took a solid second spot, Tjakko took third with Glenn and John in fourth and fifth. Vinne rounded out the top six having not seen an DF95 until Sunday morning, good job Vin!
There were a few regular faces missing from the skipper line up, this event clashed with the Maltese Invitational Event which was held in much sunnier climes…
Our next DF Racing TT event is scheduled for the last weekend of April and will be held at the historic Fleetwood club. There will be lots of racing followed by lots of social, all hosted by Uncle Derek and the Fleetwood crew.
TT Rounds 1 & 2 – West Lancs YC
Round 1 – DF95
With a mixed forecast in the offing for the weekend there were a good number of competitors arriving through the afternoon on Friday, some seasoned and a pleasing number of newbies looking forward to seeing what the TT series is all about. The weather couldn’t really have been much better with some lovely sunshine and a light breeze allowing some to get out on the water to have a practice.
With no bar open at the club on Friday it was an early decamp over to the hotel bar followed by a trip across the car park to the Italian for wine and pasta.
The forecast for Saturday wasn’t nice, it looked grim from the outset and with breeze that would start light, swing through 180 degrees at some point in the day and then build to a reasonable strength it wasn’t a great day to be doing OOD duties for the first time…. So almost on time with some sort of course laid and a bit of light breeze we conducted our briefing and welcomed the 33 skippers to the first TT round for DF95.
With so many competitors we split into two fleets and with the seeding races completed there was a reasonably long hold whilst the wind first died completely, then swung through maybe 120 degrees and then got on with blowing a bit. With the original course reversed we got on and managed four full races before stopping for lunch in the super clubhouse at West Lancs YC.
With everyone ready to go again the wind decided to clock round another 30 degrees which made the morning course unsuitable so we had a quick (ish) reset onto the bank outside the club which provided our course for the afternoons races and allowed both race team and skippers a much better view of things.
So, the racing. With John Tush and Ken Binks taking the seeding race wins it seemed like the series would start much as it had finished last year, with a monster battle between the top skippers in the UK. However as the day wore on it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the start we had expected. Having won two of the morning races both John and Ken were looking good with Nigel Brown taking the remaining morning race. In race three we saw newcomer Chris Nichols take a great second place, beating nearly all the usual suspects and having scored a third in the final morning race he was looking like a contender for the day.
Meanwhile down the fleet there were any number of battles going on and as usual there was the odd newcomer who scored quite well now and again. Notably Dave Winder, a name you should recognise from the full size dinghy world, who scored two top ten finishes during the morning session having not seen a DF95 before arriving at West Lancs for the event.
The afternoon session saw Buzz Coleman find his mojo whilst newcomer Chris clocked up and counted two wins and a third with his completely standard boat and sails. John Tush couldn’t get out of the blocks quick enough during the session and found himself unable to score better than a 4th. Kens early challenge faded and he finished the day in 8th spot.
7th spot went to Nigel who sailed better during the afternoon, Peter Baldwin took 6th spot having kept his nose clean for the day. Next up was John Brierley, just two points the gap between him and Peter. MYA President Derek Priestley finished the day in 4th spot having sailed what looked like a good day on the score sheet with a gap of just three points between him and John.
The top three were covered by just four points with Buzz finishing the day well with two wins to take third spot. John Tush was two points adrift from taking the win and came home second after a frustrating afternoon. Which left class newcomer Chris Nichols to take the win on 16 points. A very worthy winner who was always there or there about when the results were being called. To give you an idea of how tight the scores were, the top six were separated by just ten points.
With many newcomers getting involved it was a similar story down the score sheet with battles being fought throughout the fleet.
Prizes got handed out and with the bar open many of us tucked into a beer or two before a repeat of Friday evening.
Round 2 – DF65
Sunday started frosty and clear, again with no wind but the promise, at least, of a steady direction, making OOD John Tush’s job a little easier. There were a few less competitors for Sunday meaning that a big single fleet seemed like the way to go. This made racing easier to manage and allowed us a total of eleven races up and down the same bank as the Saturday afternoon racing.
The wind popped up and was in the correct direction, and after the briefing fro the 28 skippers, racing started and away we went again with Peter Baldwin taking the first win in the light conditions with Nigel in second, John Brierley in third and Chris More in 4th spot. It wasn’t until race 6 that we had a repeat winner in John Brierley with John Sharman, Buzz and Nigel picking up the wins during the morning whilst the rest of the fleet battled hard to make the best of the light but consistent breeze.
Dave Burke looked like a contender until winch failure put the stoppers on his day and yesterdays winner Chris couldn’t quite get the measure of the conditions until later in the afternoon when his results improved.
As the day wore on it was John Brierley who stamped his mark on the racing with a string of top three finishes which would eventually give him a very convincing ten point victory over Derek who finished second on 33 points. 7 points back on 40 was Nigel in third spot with Peter Baldwin, Buzz and Tim Long rounding out the top six with a gap just nine points separating 3rd to 6th.
Everyone who came and competed seemed to enjoy the racing and those that got involved with the social enjoyed that too. Huge thanks must go to Alan Tickle at West Lancs YC who made the weekend run smoothly, Judith Baldwin needs a massive hug for making my first OOD duty look almost professional and Peter Baldwin for his help on setting the afternoon course on Saturday. John Tush for his sterling work on Sunday as OOD and Jay for manning the rescue boat all weekend. Photos of Saturdays racing from Anna McKone.
Our next event takes place at Coalhouse Fort over the weekend of 17th and 18th March where there will be lots of great racing once again.
Score sheets are listed below.