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DF95 Event at Keighley – 12th June
After a trip over the Pennines to good old Yorkshire after a soaking at Fleetwood I got some great social at Chateau Tush on Saturday evening we headed out over t’moors to Weecher which is, in my opinion, one of the best sailing venues that the country has to offer. It’s weed free to start with, there aren’t any trees and no wind direction is a bad one.
Of course you’ll need some wind. So at the briefing the 12 assembled DF95 skippers were prepared with A rigs for a good day on the pond in light South Easterly breeze which made for some great racing up the clubhouse bank.
Can you spot JT’s boat…. – Katie Long (Tim’s Sister!)
John Tushingham kicked off the day as he meant to go on with his “Dark Side” special projects boat which looks great and no doubt everyone will now want a black boat. The day continued with JT leading the fleet around with a few other winners including Tim Long who took three wins on the bounce during the morning having made an adjustment that worked then conducted more “boat faff” which promptly ruined the setup . Derek Priestley and John Brierley were always towards the pointy end of the fleet with Tim Lanigan, Mike Parkington and Liz Tushingham never far away either.
Lunch was a very social affair and boat setup was a hot topic as skippers are still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. The afternoon session saw an increase in wind strength, although nothing to worry the A rig, and it allowed a longer course to be sailed which made the beat a great test of shift spotting and working out just how far you could come in to the bank before running aground at the finish!
Skippers on the bank with a view down the Aire Valley – Katie Long
We didn’t quite make it to 16 races which would have given us an extra discard but I think we got to 14 by the end of the day which was a fair number. There were no breakages or stoppages through the day and everyone learnt a bit more about the great DF95.
Results as follows, the top three were clear ahead but there were some close battles throughout the fleet with only a handful of points separating those skippers.
1 John Tushingham 17pts
2 Derek Priestley 29pts
3 John Brierley 42pts
4 Tim Long 51pts
5 Tim Lanigan 56pts
6 Mike Parkington 62pts
7 Liz Tushingham 65pts
8 Chris Chatfield 89pts
9 Joanne Sharpe 91pts
10 Sue Parkington 117pts
11 Paul Balcombe 132pts
12 Phil Maxfield 142pts
DF65 Open @ Fleetwood – 11th June
I haven’t written the report for this one but Timmy Snax 2 had a couple of beers and cranked up his laptop and produced what could be a contender for race report of the year. If Carlsberg did toy boating reports……Click here for the report
DragonFest Results & Report
With the forecast looking favourable for the duration of the event it was just after lunch on Tuesday 10th that the car park at West Lancs YC in Southport started to fill up with a mix of those camping and those arriving for some practice before the first DF65 event on Wednesday.
After a welcome from Commodore Clive Porter the fleet of 13 DF65 skippers lined up for the first of many starts over the next 5 days of racing. A rig conditions prevailed through the day and after 20 races the top six skippers were placed in a final medal race which scored double points in an effort to shake up the top six places. John Tushingham took the win from Nigel Brown and Ken Binks.
A useful debrief in Wetherspoons with some cheap G&T’s saw the evening out.
Thursday dawned in a similar fashion with some sore heads making it to the startline just about on time and after putting a trim on the 16 skippers were off again for another 22 races in both A and B conditions. The usual suspects were at the pointy end of the fleet with Ken Binks, John Tushingham, Mike Weston, Nigel Brown and Derek Priestley making the running with others making a good fist of the racing in a breeze that for the second day was straight up and down the lake making for excellent beats and thrilling runs which often saw places swapped. The eventual winner was Ken Binks from John Tushingham by a dozen points with Derek Priestley topping out the podium.
Thursday evening’s social involved a BBQ hosted by Tim Long on the mother of all BBQ’s. Tim and John Tush catered for nearly 20 competitors and partners without making anyone ill which is no mean feat looking at the amount of beer consumed during the cooking process!
Friday saw a change of boat to the DF95 and it was decided that the morning would be dedicated to an introduction to the boat by John Tushingham followed by some tuning on the race course before having some more excellent lunch provided by club steward Phil. The afternoon saw some serious racing with the DF95’s which showed just what a fun boat they are in a fleet racing situation.
Close DF95 racing – Tim Long
They are certainly quick both on and off the breeze and there is a useful overlap between rigs which meant that both A and B rigs saw an airing during the afternoon and even a C rig appeared for a short while. The weather again played ball and the sun shone and the wind blew up and down the lake, surely we couldn’t hope for these conditions to last for the actual DragonFest event? Mike Weston took the win on countback from Ken Binks with John Tushingham in third spot.
Friday evening’s social saw a trip to the local Italian where a table of twelve enjoyed some good food and a few bucketful’s of red wine.
Happy Skippers – Sue Brown
Saturday morning arrived with a bit of a nip in the air as the breeze had shifted to a more Northerly direction meaning that it was cross offshore from over the dinghy park which left a few holes in the course and some interesting shifts up the beat. PRO John Tushingham laid a long course which gave ample opportunity to make up lost ground and vice versa over the course of a race.
With 23 boats in one fleet it made starts crucial and finding yourself on the wrong part of the startline made life just that bit more complicated up to the first mark. It also meant that there could have been no breaks in the sailing, however JT made a point of sailing three then having a ten minute break for tea, coffee or snacks. This was carried out through the weekend and it worked very well for all the competitors.
By mid morning the breeze had made the full shift to the NW direction that had been forecast for the weekend and JT took the decision to move the course to a new location which, although not absolutely ideal, allowed racing to continue at pace. After another convivial lunch we were back to the racing which through the morning had seen Ken Binks and Mike Weston battling for the top spot with Nigel Brown, Tim Lanigan, John Brierley and Derek Priestley making good progress. During the afternoon there were mixed fortunes for all the skippers with JB and DP suffering mechanical woes, Tim Long suffering from sleep depravation and a rare sense of humour failure whilst others like Mick Chamberlain kept banging in the results. At the end of a great A rig day’s sailing Ken Binks was scampering away at the top with Mike Weston nipping at his heels followed by Nigel Brown, Mick Chamberlain and a recovering Tim Long in fifth spot.
A great social evening followed at the West Lancs club with a three course meal for all the competitors followed by some “Flying Snooker” which involved everyone and was eventually won by Derek and Mick. Some took an early bath, others lasted the course but it was very telling the next day as to who had done what!!
Sunday dawned with the promise of more, great racing ahead and the 23 skippers assembled at 0915 for the briefing which allowed the same course to be used. After the first few races it was clear that the course needed a tweak and Jerrold and Skip from WLYC were quick to alter the required buoys which made the course work for the rest of the racing day. It was clear from the off that Tim Long’s 0130 finish had done him no favours at all and again he had left his ability to sail a boat somewhere else. Mike Weston was suffering similarly having walked from his hotel only to find his van wasn’t at the club but still parked in the hotel car park half a mile away, this very much set the tone for his day. There were some other dusty heads first thing Sunday however Ken, Derek, Mick and Nigel were well on the pace right from the get go and John Brierley, Mark Dicks and Tim Lanigan were also chomping at the top three or four places through the morning.
The wind stayed light and maintained its direction throughout the rest of the day and an earlier finish than previous days saw 37 races having been completed over the course of the two days racing.
Ken Binks (97 points) took a convincing win from Derek Priestley (124 points) with Nigel Brown (134 points) taking third spot closely followed by Mike Weston (137) and Mark Dicks (155). The prize giving was a jolly affair and was accompanied by a nice buffet. Thanks to John Tushingham who took on the role of PRO for the weekend he made the right choices at the right times and ran the racing to everyone’s satisfaction.
So in conclusion there were 92 races over the course of the week, lots of different skippers of very mixed abilities all brought together by the attraction of a couple of restricted one design class radio sailing yachts. Everyone had a great time and whilst it wasn’t the International gathering we’d perhaps hoped for it was a damn good five days of radio sailing!
Enormous thanks to Clive and his team at West Lancs YC who facilitated the hosting and catering for the event, the club is a fantastic radio sailing venue and we should hope to have more radio events there in the near future.
Link to the photos of the DF95 day taken by Sue Brown – click here
Link to photos of the DragonFest weekend taken by Sue Brown – click here
Balne Moor DragonForce 65 Open – Sunday 17th April
Never a dull moment in an action packed day!
Balne Moor MBC’s DragonForce Open was the first round of the new Northern District DF Championship and attracted a very strong fleet to Askern lake. Skippers came from as far afield as Kent and Essex, North Wales, Teesside and Cheshire and a total 24 signed on.
Conditions were light at the start of the day, with a wind from the North West allowing a fairly long first beat to spread the fleet and Race Officer Joanne Sharpe took a deep breath and decided to go for a single fleet so that everyone could get plenty of racing in what might turn out to be light and shifty conditions.
True to the forecast, the day started under clear blues skies which filled in a bit during the afternoon and as you might expect under the cumulus cloud that developed, the wind came and went from all sorts of directions and all sorts of strengths, which was a blessing as there was no ‘right’ course, so we managed without course changes during the entire day.
The fleet included the current DF Champ, John Tushingham; the 2014 Champ, Buzz Coleman; Mike Weston; Tim Long; Roy Stevens, local in-form skippers Dave Darwell and Chris More as well as contingents from local clubs Keighley, Ripon SC, Rotherham, Scarboro, ROFWAC and Doncaster, so close racing was a given before the clock went on for the start of race 1.
Starts were busy but when the fleet got going, we saw a rash of different winners: Tim Long; Mike Weston; Roy Stevens; two for John Tush; John Bush and then Buzz Coleman won the last race before the lunch-break.
Busy starts were the order of the day
Once again hats off to Joanne Moon and her Lakeside Cafe team who served up an excellent selection at very reasonable prices and the whole fleet was fed and watered in 45 minutes and ready to go racing again.
When racing resumed in the afternoon, winners were Buzz, followed by Mike W, then two to Tush, Mike Weston, Dave Darwell, then John T again finishing off the afternoon with two wins.
Chris More had a very creditable second during the afternoon, as did Liz Tushingham in the morning, ahead of – you know who, John Goodyear had a good third place and a special mention goes to Dave Allen of BMMBC sailing in his first open event, Chinese sails and all for an excellent fifth place in what was a very strong fleet.
During the afternoon, both Tim Long and Martin Hallums withdrew feeling unwell, and one two skippers ran into battery problems, lost signals and other misfortunes, but the hard luck story of the day must go to Lisa More. Lisa was not having the best of days but had kept a smile in her face until, after the 13th race, her neck-strap gave way and her transmitter fell in the lake! Oops. She managed to retrieve it after a bit of fishing (these Scarborough folk know what they’re doing in that department) and hopefully it’ll come back to life after a day or two’s recuperation in the airing cupboard.
Paul did his usual splendid job with the results and within a couple of minutes of the final race finishing, he had them ready for presentation. A big thanks also for Tim Long who donated 3 much appreciated prizes for those not at the sharp end of the fleet.
After 16 races, here’s the result.
John Tushingham 25 points
Mike Weston 30 points
Buzz Coleman 40 points
Roy Stevens 55 points
Dave Darwell 61 points
Thanks again to everyone who made the journeys (long and short) to Askern and for a great day’s sailing.