DF95/DF65 Championship 2021

DF Series week 6

Today’s OOD was Paul Barton and buoys were put out by Brian and retrieved by Guy. The day was already warm at 9.30 am and the forecast winds from the West went around to the North West as the day went on as forecast and the winds generally behaved as predicted. A start line off the point with a long beat to the windward mark tested many of the fleet today with rounding the quite distant first mark even catching out the more experienced skippers. A short reach to a spreading mark followed by a long downwind leg to the gate or finish line depending on whether it was 1 or 2 or 3 laps.

The wind across the course was 8-10 knots unless a drifting thermal threw everything out, often leaving large calm patches with virtually no wind. This effect saw the leaders often under pressure from behind with winds filling in from the NW as the thermals passed through. Notable performances by Bob, Guy and the 2 Richards show how much everyone has improved. Bob had several very fast starts and frequently got to the windward mark first. Guy was beset by weed for the first few races but got into his stride as the day went on and had some very consistent performances just holding off Bob in the results by 2 points and had the last 3 lap race well sewn up by the first lap.

Interestingly Bob, Richard and Guy all won 2 races apiece and they are continuing to improve. We had a few on-water incidents that prompted a quick teach-in on rounding marks 2 or even 3 abreast and we will do more of that as the weeks go by. Brian had to come off the water due to eye strain and we will endeavour to set courses closer to shore, weed and wind permitting.

We concluded around 2pm and the few boats remaining on the water, including a very welcome long term returnee Edward, Garry and Barry, getting to grips with his new Nottingham J48.

DF95/DF65 Series week 5

This week saw the day warm and with light SW winds that eventually became more WSW as the day progressed. Terry, as OOD, set a great course with a long windward leg with a wide spreading mark which initially provided a broad reach before a long downwind leg and a good beat back to the windward mark. With 5 boats on the water in good time we started races at around 1030am and straight out of the blocks Richard made the very best of the start and lead all the way round. The second and 3rd races were won by Bob who is now showing his true speed. The next race was won by Guy who took advantage of a windshift everyone else missed and lead around the course by some margin. The final race of the day went to Richard and we effectively ended racing at lunchtime. A few stayed into the afternoon joined by Barry and Garry for some good practice.

If we look back at the first couple of weeks of this series we had a very predictable set of results based on experience. As the series has progressed we’re seeing novices from 5 weeks ago winning multiple races and frequently we see the lead changing often and boats often all in the same patch of water. Starts are getting better and with very few rule infringements this ‘one design class’ is showing that it can create the closest of races and some great sailing. we anticipate the number racing weekly to grow steadily and we know of at ;east 3 new boats that will be joining us in the next few weeks.

If you ever wondered why this class of boat is getting so popular just have a look at what is going on in the USA with major yacht clubs joining every week. Among the elite of world sailing DF95 skippers now include Paul Cayard, Ed Baird, Bruce Farr, Taylor Canfield and Ken Read. “When most of the 11th Hour Racing team crew—in town training on their IMOCA 60 (ex Hugo Boss)—got in on the fun, it went up another notch.”

DF95 Series Results 2021 week 5
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DF95/DF65 Series week 4

Today started out looking like it might be quite windy but in fact it was A rig all day with some very quiet patches where boats briefly drifted but we managed 11 races, all but one 2 laps, punctuated by short sharp showers. The course set by the OOD, Paul Barton, was very familiar with a long beat up to a windward mark near the powerboats followed by a short reach to the spreader mark followed by a long downwind leg followed by an equally long beat back to the first mark.

Starts are getting better every week and with 9 boats on the water getting clear air off the line paid dividends. Interestingly in periods of lighter winds the DF65 were often holding their own and first at the windward mark but playing the frequent shifts was vital. Brian has seemingly solved his inconsistent sheeting problem and that showed with a very good turn of speed and consistency, never being out the the first 3 boats. Guy, with 2 outright wins, is also showing great boat speed and in the end lost out to Brian by just 2 points. Terry, sailing 660, also had 2 outright wins, but lost out on a couple of inconsistent mark roundings. Richard, having missed the first 2 races then showed some great form and with one win to his score laid down a marker that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Bob is getting steadily better and with a 2nd and a 3rd is showing just how competitive this growing fleet is. Simon showed his outright speed at the start with a straight win in race 1 but then had setup problems which spoiled a potentially thrilling day’s sailing. This fleet is projected to grow and seeing 10 boats racing weekly is quite possible and as skill levels increase we are in for a real treat.

The DF65s were in good form today and the boats frequently were mixed in with the front runners in the DF95 fleet.

Please note that as next Monday 31 May is a bank holiday we will not be racing. Next race with DF95 Monday 7 June.

DF95/DF65 Series week 3

Guy took on the duty of OOD today and did a sterling job with Brian setting a cracking course with a long beat off the point and a trapezoidal course with a great downwind leg bringing boats very close to the point. The day promised a really nice WNW wind of 7 to 10 knots and going round to more NW direction later in the day and increasing slightly. The actual wind started off as forecast but as the day went on there were more and more dark clouds and squalls which tested everyone sailing. The improvement in sailing in just 3 weeks is truly remarkable. Skippers are getting to grips with their boats and learning to ‘read’ the wind-shifts. Starts are getting better and at times there were 6 boats within 10 boat lengths at the start of the second lap. If you want close competitive racing then this DF95 series offers something for everyone.

Today Terry took over boat 660 after a couple of races and he achieved several convincing wins and in no time he’ll be a real contender for the championship. We had a very welcome visitor, Errol, today from Chew Valley Sailing Club with his DF95 and right out the gate he showed great speed and took several well deserved wins and was rarely out of contention. Guy, Brian, Richard and Bob all took turns leading the races and Bob, in particular, is getting much better speed with a really improved setup and as his knowledge of the rules and tactics improve he’ll start showing his true potential. Barry sailed his dayglo DF65 exceptionally well today and was often competing for the ‘first around the windward mark’ honours several times but having only 2 DF65 racing was disappointing. Lunchtime was a forced event due to some very close lightning strikes and everyone came off the water during rain squalls and a hail storm. We resumed for a few more races but eventually a second lightning storm caused us to cease racing for safety.

DF95 series Week 2

Brian Tanner was OOD today and as well as running a great days racing also spent a bit of time
rescuing wayward boats. We knew it would be windy today and most people arrived at the lake
around 9.30am with boats rigged accordingly. DF95s were all on B rig to start with and in the early
races it proved to be the right choice with some impressive bursts of speed on the downwind legs.
The races, 6 in total, were over 2 laps with a windward leg heading SSW. The stbd rounding of the
top mark went reasonably well with the normal pecking order based on getting a good start. The
downwind leg, with a bit of a dog’s leg around the point, proved fast and eventful with more than a
few broaches and boats momentarily out of control. The second lap saw more of the same and this
week there are 2 notable skippers; Guy sailing more consistently, as experience grows, was in the
lead for several races only losing the lead when misjudging a wind shift. The second skipper was
Terry, sailing the lone DF65, who seemed to spend his time changing down from one sail to the next
ending up on the C rig for the class. As the wind came up the fleet saw a few boats with defects and
even one mast break for Brian. At the end of the day with winds well over 20 knots and gusts
significantly higher we decided to call it a day around 2pm. The lesson for the day is for all skippers
to get into the habit of doing a rudder check before putting the boats on the water. Doing this would
have avoided several long trips with the dinghy to effect rescues. The other lesson must be to have
the right sails for the wind conditions and to have tested them out on a more benign day’s sail.

DF95/DF65 Monday 26 April 2021

What started out as a cold 5 degree grey morning eventually turned out to be an exceptional sailing day. With an ENE wind of 10-15 knots it was ideal sunny sailing conditions. The OOD, Paul Barton, arrived with the DF Class Captain, Brian Tanner, at 9.30 am and proceeded to lay out a rectangular course off the left hand side of the point. A beat to the first mark, port rounding, proved tactically quite interesting with 30 degree windshifts to port in the gusts. Getting a good start proved crucial and staying in clear air paid handsomely. The fleet was made up of 7 DF95s and 5 DF65 but was reduced by gear failures in 2 cases.The results do not tell the real story because in the early DF95 races the leaders were often a full leg and more ahead at the finish but the 4 or 5 novices quickly improved and at the end of the day all finishers were on the same leg and some close battles on the final windward leg saw the lead and positions change several times before the finish. All told a great days sailing and everyone seemed to have fun.Next week Brian Tanner will be OOD and we look for some great racing.

GREAT NEWS - RC sailing has restarted from 29 March with a few simple limitations. The rule of 6 is the most pertinent.

31 March 2021