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.
Final DF Racing 2018 TT Series – DF TT 2018 Final
TT Rounds 13 & 14 – Eastbourne & District MYC
Eastbourne, Google told me this – “Feel the energy of our endless blue skies, sweeping South Downs countryside, colourful art scene and warm sunshine”. Yup, can’t disagree with that. It seems every time I’ve been to the place it is like an endless summer. I hadn’t expected it this time though, with it being the back third of October, but it was. If you’d pitched up for a weekend break this weekend you’d have been well chuffed with yourself. If, however, you’d pitched up for a radio sailing event you might have wondered why you’d bothered at times.
Whilst the sun shone and the sky was blue someone had forgotten to put the pre order in for the breeze which caused the race team a real headache all weekend.
So the usual suspects all gathered on Friday evening for the now traditional Friday meal which was a great success, lovely Italian food, some wine, some more wine for some of us and then off to bed ready for Saturday.
Well it was a sloooow start, the 0945 briefing went well with some added pond history thrown in for the 36 skippers but even with the extended history lesson we still couldn’t muster enough wind to complete the three seeding races before pretty much midday. Much sitting around, much laying and re-laying of the course only to find that the wind had moved around once more or completely gone. The tea trolley did good trade whilst waiting for the breeze which finally appeared just before lunch.
Seeding race victors were Nigel Brown, John Tush and Tim Long. Tony Marshall took race two, Peter Baldwin race three, Tushy took 4 and Buzz triumphed in the final race of the day…race 5.
A super tough day for all involved, the race team had a horrible job and did a superb job to get the five races in with the three fleets. Jez was a whiz in the dinghy and the shore team did a sterling job too. Tea trolley and catering team did equally well keeping us fed and hydrated.
Nigel was victorious on the day, five points clear of Derek and Tim, tied on 15. Tushy could only muster a 4th place finish on 16 points with Ken Binks and Peter Baldwin in fifth and sixth spots.
Another slightly disjointed evening social was held at the Cosmo Chinese buffet and a good feed was had by all.
So the last day of school for the 2018 DF Racing TT series and once again a familiar pattern began to emerge. Sunshine, yes, blue skies, yes, breeze………hmmmm not so much. A trip to the other side was required once again where we managed a briefing and both of the seeding races before the wind shut down and allowed the 30 skippers a somewhat extended teabreak whilst the ever diligent race team scratched heads and re laid the course in the near bank, where racing continued for the rest of the day.
I’m not really sure how the racing went down as I don’t have a full rundown of the scores, however we did manage 9 races which gave us 2 discards. Tushy looked much sportier than he had on Saturday and put a good show on. As for the TT series there were only two places to be decided on Sunday, second and third. After all the events we have had, the many races we have raced it seemed that Buzz and Derek were going into the final day on equal points.
Derek fiddled through the day making good progress and finished second behind Tushy on the day whereas Buzz could only muster a 7th spot finish which gave Derek the second spot overall.
Not the amazing conditions we would have liked but all the same it was a good days racing for the fleet once a gain and a really great way to sign off for the year. I’ll write a little something on the overall series later in the week but just to confirm, Tushy won it, Derek second and Buzz third but a massive well done to the other 117 (yes that’s right 117) skippers that have taken part over the course of the year.
I’d post some photos but I don’t have any, although club local Dave Pickett took lots and if he sends me the link to them I’ll post it up here. He took some good shots of the racing
TT Rounds 11 & 12 – Manor Park SC
Firstly, sorry there was no report on the DF95 Nationals, I asked the race officer several times but nothing appeared. So, Manor Park SC, great venue, superb viewing area, ample parking, help yourself hot drinks and a very tricky wind.
The usual Friday practice crew arrived and had a look at the water whilst others decided that there wasn’t much point as the wind wasn’t as it was going to be over the weekend so there was a decamp to the pub for some grub and a couple of bottles of wine.
Saturday turned out to be a much lighter day than the early week forecast had suggested so once again it was an A plus kind of a day, there was the odd gust that put skippers to the test but generally the A plus was the rig for the day. Sailing in two fleets the seeding races were held with Tim Long and Mick Chamberlain leading the charge into race two.
The wind caused all the skippers and the race team some issues during the day with shifts coming from all over the course it usually paid to keep yourself somewhere near the middle of the course allowing you to head over to the next shift relatively easily. MPSC member Darin Ballington was kept busy on both days with course setting and mark moving, great job Big D.
As the morning progressed it was Buzz Coleman who was showing the best form and looked like he was making easy work of the conditions. Tushy on the other hand was making hard work of what should have been a good day sailing. There is a possibility that he was pre occupied with the steep bank that is between the control area and the water, he’s come a cropper at this venue before. Mick made steady progress throughout the day and kept himself honest and surprisingly quiet.
Other skippers couldn’t get the measure of the conditions and didn’t perform as they know they can do which was a little frustrating for them, Snackers lost the second to last race whilst leading with just a leg to go with rudder servo failure which meant he missed the last race and couldn’t discard anything but his last two results.
The eventual winner was Buzz with Tushy in second spot and Mick in third just one point behind. Nigel Brown, Uncle Derek and Mark Dicks rounded out the top six with second to sixth spot covered by just eight points. It was similar down the field of 29 skippers where points and places were very close.
Congratulations to our lady skippers who numbered five, particularly Penelope Ballington who was competing at her first event.
Cue beer, wine and a cheeseboard or two.
Sunday promised more wind but ultimately it didn’t deliver after the guy upstairs once again dialled down what was supposed to be a great breeze and added a spot or two of rain. It did nothing to dampen the spirits of the 24 skippers who got set up with A rigs and went sailing in just one fleet today.
Once again there was a lot of course tweaking from Big D in the boat but generally the wind was a little more consistent in direction but there were still some big shifts up and down the course.
Fortified by last nights cheese and wine it was Uncle Derek who looked like he could scamper away with the day after taking three bullets from the first three races and a second in the 4th. It was then Tushy who got going, as he tends to do mid morning and he made us all look quite silly by scoring twenty points less than Derek who took second spot. Buzz was nine points back in third but there was a big gap back to fourth with Mike Kemp putting in a good day at the office. Dave Burke and Nigel rounded out the top six.
The racing on Sunday was great fun with a good windward leeward course set and it was the beat and the choice at the gate that could see you either covered in glory or covered in something else not so pleasant.
Massive thanks to the guys and gals at Manor Park who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to allow us to enjoy our racing. A superb spot with great facilities.
Next stop is the final stop for this year at Eastbourne, which should be on but there is a possibility of a venue change due to some algae issues which are currently affecting the pond.
TT Rounds 8 & 9 – Two Islands RYC
So, here we are on Monday afternoon back at base by the seaside eating another salad but sadly there is no sailing today. However what a weekend we had at Two Islands RYC in Milton Keynes. Two days of superb racing under azure blue skies with around 30 skippers sailing each day in two fleets.
Sunday skippers…but where is Snackers today??
After the usual Friday night gathering in the pub we were greeted on Saturday morning by a North Easterly breeze which was very very shifty throughout the day and varied in strength from nothing to around 7 or 8 mph. The windspeed was sufficient for everyone to be on the A plus rigs and once the briefing was completed the seeding races began.
Tim “Snackers” Long and Derek Priestley took the wins with John Tushingham struggling to third spot in his race. After a heatboard reshuffle we were split into our two fleets and away we went with Ken Binks taking race two from Nigel Brown and Buzz Coleman. Derek took race three from Mike Clifton and Dave Burke. Dave built on race three and took race 4 from John Brierley and Snackers.
Nigel took race 5 from Tushy and the National Championship winning boat of Wayne Stobbs which somehow doesn’t seem as fast this weekend. It wasn’t until after lunch that Tushy found his form and won a race, he had some great racing driver excuses, “it’s a new boat” was one quickly followed by “I didn’t drink last night”. However whatever his excuses for the first half he made up for it with wins in races six, seven eight and nine. Bridesmaids were Derek, Nigel (twice) and Chris Durant.
The final race of the day went to Liz Tushingham who battled with Snackers the whole race and they both overtook Derek up the final beat having made the right call at the gate the final time, and here was the story of the day, the beat was so shifty that you could gain, or indeed lose, quite a few places by being on the right or wrong side of the shift. It’s an odd thing when you look at the situation and direction of the lake and wind, it’s a very open aspect and it caught more than a couple of skippers off guard.
The day finished after race 10 with Tushy at the top of the pile, Nigel sailed very consistently to take second from Derek in third with Snackers fourth and Ken in fifth spot.
Cue repeat of Friday night with an added light shower or two whilst sitting outside the pub.
Sunday promised to be blazing but didn’t look like delivering initially with an overcast start. A little more wind perhaps than Saturday but very manageable A rig conditions from a similar direction but perhaps a little more shifty…..if that’s at all possible. A new PRO for the day got everyone underway after the briefing and seeding heats were this time won by Snackers and John Brierley. Ken, Tushy and Nigel took race 2, Buzz took race three from Father and son Derek and Shaun Priestley. Race 4 went Tushy’s way and he won from Peter Baldwin and Mike Kemp.
There was a break for lunch as the wind died, swung through 90 degrees and then returned almost to the same direction as before, all over the period of around 45 minutes. It also coincided with Tushy having a mechanical issue with a burned out rudder servo. Race 5 saw Shaun and Derek from Ken, six saw Buzz, Tushy and Dave Burke taking the podium. Seven saw Nigel, John B and Adrian Tomlinson make the grade.
The final race of the day saw Chris Durant take the win from Derek and then a recovering Snackers in third who took his only two single point scores in the first and last races of the day.
Despite only winning one race Tushy still found himself top of the pile with son and father Shaun and Derek in second and third spots, Buzz in fourth and Nigel in fifth.
As with day one the wind was shifty and light for most of the racing, at times it died to nothing, leaving boats bobbling along at a snails pace and at times it was touching B rig conditions. Again the middle of the course paid for most of the time, something Snackers would take home with him, and the gate could take you from zero to hero and back again in a very short space of time.
Thanks to the race team on both days, they worked tirelessly to make the racing run smoothly and at a good pace, without you guys our weekend wouldn’t have been as much fun.
TT Series results updated, there’s some changes!
Next stop will be the DF95 Nationals at Keighley on the weekend of the 7th & 8th July, more details on www.dfracinguk.com
DF65 Nationals, Gosport.
So, we’ve done it again, another DF65 National Championship is in the bag. It took part under blue skies as per last year, the sun shone, as it did last year, we had A plus conditions as we did last year and even better than all of that, we have a fresh shiny new champion!
Obligatory skipper photo
Friday practice saw the Swedish delegation on the water at 0830 for some serious boat on boat tuning whilst I arrived at 0915 as the first of the Welsh delegation having left home at around 0400, not bad going and a target time for the journey home. As the day wore on there were a good number of skippers who arrived and got sailing to test out the conditions at the Cockle pond in Gosport. By mid afternoon we were having some proper practice races before the wind started to die out and by 5pm it was time to get over to the pub for a debrief.
Saturday morning dawned as sunny as one could want with a hint of breeze as the 49 competitors got themselves ready for battle. After a briefing from PRO Lester Gilbert the three seeding races got underway with Ken Binks, Nigel Brown and Dutch visitor Peter Molenaar showing the rest of the fleet how it was done.
Race two saw Micky Chamberlain and his “green machine” showing the fleet that he really can sail well in the light stuff, Ken took a second spot from Swede Rolf Dannehammar in third. With us having to sail on the smaller pond due to some unforeseen weed issues the course was pretty much straight across the lake which made for fast and sometimes furious racing. It wasn’t until race three that the “Tangerine Dream” borrowed from absent Wayne Stobbs and skippered by Alex Cory showed it’s hand by taking a race win from Derek Priestley. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a bit of luck taking into account Alex’s first two results and even his fourth where he and Derek fell foul of the marine life in the pond and scored 12th and 13th, tough sailing out there.
The conditions made things a little better for skippers and race team as the morning wore on and we saw a light but steady breeze settle in from the clubhouse corner blowing diagonally down the lake which enabled us to use the full length of the smaller pond, it was to stay this way for the rest of the weekend give or take the odd shift.
Race four was won by Dutchman Tjakko “Yellyfish” Keizer who, when he avoided the marine life, had a great turn of speed but ultimately he couldn’t avoid enough of it to make an impact at the top end of the fleet. Local skipper Jim Cheek was having a good day at the office and scored second spot which was quietly getting him up the leader board.
Races 5 and 6 were Alex’s showing the fleet that even with a borrowed boat that he hadn’t sailed before, he has some great skills at the helm, Buzz and Nigel took the second spots with Italian Paolo and Mark Dicks the third spots.
Race 7 showed us that even the good skippers fall foul of the marine life and Alex scored a 13th spot with Jim Cheek taking the win from Tim Long with Buzz in third spot.
The last race of the day was an ordeal for the A fleet skippers, B and C fleets had used what was left of the dying wind, leaving the A fleet with nothing at all….absolutely nothing, some course resetting was required and the fleet got away….very slowly into what breeze there wasn’t. If you were in the leading bunch you were ok and away but behind the wind filled in around the top mark and gifted several places to lucky skippers and took them away from guys who had worked hard to keep their boat moving, hey ho it’s the way it goes.
Alex took the lead into the overnight with Nigel second, Derek third and Jim in fourth spot. Some drink was taken at the event dinner where skippers from all nations converged to chat about sailing and other topics whilst watching Mike Weston try really hard to gatecrash the Royal Wedding party across the road. He was, of course, unsuccessful.
Day two dawned a little greyer than the previous but we still had 49 skippers eager to get on with the racing, and the race team obliged with another up and down the lake course set in some light but consistent breeze. Alex put down a marker in race 9 with another bullet with Peter Baldwin making a good start to his day with a second spot with Tim in third.
After a day 1 to forget John Brierley made a statement in race 10 by taking the bullet from clubmate Peter with Alex posting a third spot to keep his points tally in check. 11 and 12 saw Paul Davis and Ken take top spots with Swede Olle Krogh taking both second spots whilst Derek and Tim rounded out the top three.
13 saw Alex back on the top step with Swede Jonas Samson in second and Tjakko showing what he could do when not hampered by the marine life in third.
Alex wasn’t to win another race, but with a third, second and a fourth he had done more than enough, Ken, Mark and Tjakko took the last three races and then it was time to put HMS to the test and get the prizes handed out.
Unsurprisingly Alex was a clear winner, local knowledge and good skills shone through over the weekend and he didn’t count anything above a 6th place finish.
Winner winner chicken dinner – Alex Cory DF65 National Champion 2018 receiving the John Wesley trophy from John “I’m a lighthouse” Tushingham
Some points back was Derek who, as ever at these events, showed us that, once again, you don’t have to win a single race to be well up on the scoresheet, it’s all about being consistent. Despite some “red wine” induced scores towards the end of day two he was 12 points clear of third placed Buzz.
Mr Consistent, Uncle Derek Preistley
Often named Eeyore by fellow competitors he had little to grumble about in taking the bottom step of the podium having been 6th overnight.
Eeyore Coleman….I think he’s smiling, perhaps he has wind…who knows
Ken climbed one spot from his Saturday spot and finished fourth.
Uncle Ken Binks takes fourth spot.
Tim was lying 3rd on Sunday lunchtime but with no big scores to drop he was overtaken by Buzz and Ken when the third discard kicked in and came in a creditable 5th.
I was official photographer so I took my own prizegiving photo.
Peter climbed from 11th to finish the event 6th, Nigel had a complete mare on Sunday with marine life issues and random gear failure which all saw him slip from an overnight second spot to 7th overall at the close of play. The elusive Paul Davis took 8th, Swede Olle Krogh 9th and Mark Dicks rounded out the top ten.
Peter in 6th
Nigel in 7th
Paul in 8th
Swede Olle in 9th
The Mike Weston Marine Life prize went to Tjakko Keizer. (Jellyfish was released back into the pond and was not harmed during the making of this photo)
A very well done to all the skippers that took part in sometimes testing conditions. The weather was great, the wind was mostly great too with everyone using their A+ rigs throughout the weekend and the social and banter was, as always, great too.
Special thanks to all those at the Gosport club who gave their time so that we could all sail, Lester and Chris did an excellent job between them to set courses and keep the racing rolling along at a good pace which saw us complete 16 races.
Scores on the doors
Next stop is the DF Racing TT at Two Islands in Milton Keynes on the 9th and 10th June.
TT Rounds 5 & 6 Fleetwood MYPBC
Fleetwood, the home of Champagne sailing, the home of straight up and down the lake C rig conditions, the home of The Mount, home of Syd Little and for one weekend only the home of the DF Racing UK 2018 TT series.
Champagne sailing conditions @ Fleetwood – Photo AM
Anyhow 32 skippers appeared on Saturday morning from all points of the country for what looked like being an A plus kind of a day with lots of North in the breeze and a little East bringing what little wind there was over the pumphouse for the first races.
DF65’s in A plus rig @ Fleetwood – Photo AM
With such a great turnout we split into two fleets and had seeding races, won by JT and Buzz Coleman and the A and B fleets were scheduled and heat racing duly got underway with B fleet taking to the water in the tricky but manageable conditions. Buzz took the race win from JT followed by Ken Binks, race three saw the same top two but it wasn’t until race four the JT found the top step again with Buzz second and John Sharman third. By this time it was lunch and we had a short break to check out Aunty Maureen’s sarnies and cakes along with floods of tea, very nice.
After lunch race five saw a switch of course through 180 degrees and still in A plus rigs the B fleet got going and completed the race without too much issue, A fleet did the same with JT still on top, Ken second and John Brierley third.
Race six saw B fleet get on ok and then the wind got up and decided to be a little gusty which caught a couple of A fleet on the hop with Tim Lanigan coming out top of the pile, JS second, Dave Burke third whilst JT could only manage fourth spot and Buzz only managing a 16th place finish.
Time for A rigs for the fleet and in conditions that didn’t suit everyone races seven and eight were bulleted by Peter Baldwin who sailed a very consistent day. Ken and Chris Haworth took the seconds, JT and Chris Chatfield the thirds.
Not the best day we’ve had at Fleetwood but a familiar pattern to the results which saw the top three being Peter, Buzz and JT, I’ll leave you to guess the order there……..
Some social happened at The Mount and everyone prepped for what promised to be a classic Champagne Fleetwood Sunday.
And it was.
36 skippers rocked up on Sunday, some class newcomers, some proper boaters, a boatbuilder, a pair of Vane class champions and the usual suspects. The wind was so very nearly straight under the bridge, just not quite but it was certainly a day for getting around the lake with skippers walking upwards of around 6.5 miles and actually going nowhere!
Once again two fleets were the order of the day and it was JT and Buzz setting pace in the seeding race with JB, and Tim Lanigan taking the seconds and Ken and Snackers in third spots.
It was a long way down the lake – Photo AM
Fleets rescheduled racing proper got underway with JT, Buzz and Ken the top three in race two. Buzz took race three with JT eventually discarding his second spot from Peter Baldwin in third.
Race four and the wind was still mid to top end of A rig, which for the DF95 is a pretty awesome sight and it was still pretty much up and down the lake. It certainly suited Ken who took the bullet from JT with JB in third spot and Buzz in fourth.
DF95 Race Start – Photo AM
Five was Buzzzzz race from JT with Balne Moor’s Chris More in third spot, his best of the day. Six to nine were all JT’s, probably after another good lunch courtesy of Maureen once again. It was race seven I think that was the race of the day, more from a survival point of view than anything else, top of the beat and hey presto breeze on kids, the first couple of boats round the spreader were a little way down the long run when it hit but it didn’t matter how good you were it was a flip, flop, gybe, flatten, stand up, flop, gybe, flatten and repeat until near the gate where you didn’t get a choice really, it was whatever you were pointing at!
Dive Dive Dive – Photo AM
The beat was just as much fun, with tacks being few and far between and some great banter from the crowd and the skippers!
The day ended after race nine with JT taking a convincing top spot with Buzz and Ken second and third.
Another JT masterclass weekend – Photo AM
The story of the top third of the fleet was repeated for the other two thirds on both days, tight battles on both elements of the course, some big gains to be had by taking the right route up the beat and on the run with the correct way changing throughout the day, but with such evenly matched boats the finishes were rarely single boat affairs.
Congratulations to all the skippers who took part, without you guys travelling to these events the two classes wouldn’t be developing as they are.
Great organisation from seasoned pro Uncle Derek, ably assisted by several great helpers, the ladies in the galley and also the two snackers twins on mark laying and lifting.
Some photos attached from Anna McKone and jolly nice they are too!
There is also a report on the Fleetwood website – clicky here to take a look.
Next stop is the DF65 Nationals at Gosport in mid May, there is still time to enter, but be quick!
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.