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DF Racing Series at Weecher Sailing

by UK DF Racing Association on 19 Oct 14-15 October 2017
Saturday's winner Derek Priestley's boat during the DF Racing UK TT Series at Weecher Reservoir © John Tushingham

The penultimate weekend of the DF Racing Series for radio controlled DragonForce 65 and DragonFlite 95 racing yachts promised much wind and unseasonably mild conditions at Weecher Reservoir, the home waters of the Keighley club.

Saturday's racing was for the DragonForce 65 class boats. The predicted 16+mph SW breeze was there from the off, but the temperature, well it was a full jumper colder than forecast, perhaps not unexpected at this high, exposed venue. After the skippers briefing race officer John Tushingham got the first race underway bang on time.

The SW onshore breeze meant beating away from yourself to a distant windward mark, always tricky but distance judgement was made even harder by the autumnal light. This didn't stop Fleetwood's vastly experienced skipper Derek Priestley from notching up two wins to get his event off to a cracking start. Peter Baldwin and Buzz Coleman filling second and third spots in both races.

Local boy Martin Hallums struck gold in race three and became the only skipper to finish ahead of Derek in the first eight races. Lunch was served, a lovely hot chilli and home made lemon curd tart clearly spurred others on to end Derek's winning streak, both Peter and Buzz notching up multiple victories in a much closer fought afternoon session. However, Derek continued his excellent form, his worst scores being two, discardable, third places, counting only firsts and seconds in his final scores, taking overall honours for the day by an impressive twelve points from Buzz and a happy Peter Baldwin in third.

Further down the fleet Jim La Roche in his first full season of RC sailing scored consistently to secure a well earned eighth overall, whilst the 'never give in' award has to go to Abersoch's Brian Holland who persevered with a badly leaking boat and managed to keep it going against all the odds and never lost his smile!

Boats were packed away, the prizing held and the fleet retired to the local pub where beer was taken, food eaten and many tales told.

Sunday morning, the wind was in the same direction, but a little less of it as skippers rigged the larger, 950mm long, DragonFlite 95 boats for the day's racing. Despite the forecast of 16+mph winds once again, the fleet unanimously opted for their largest rigs, perhaps the right choice but the gusts were building as the morning wore on making for some spectacular downwind legs.

Nobody dominated the morning's racing this time, but the same names still filled the top slots with Mike Weston, one of the class founders, getting stuck in at the sharp end as well. Buzz Coleman held a very slender points advantage at the lunch stop from Peter Baldwin, Derek Priestley and Mike Weston who needed discard to separate them.

Buzz clearly enjoyed his pulled pork bun and apple strudel and laid claim to the day by getting back on to the water with three, back to back wins. As the breeze built shortly after lunch a short break to change to the smaller B rig seemed to benefit Mike Weston who finished off his event with two seconds and three victories with some sharp sailing. Alas, not quite enough to pull back Buzz's overall lead. Derek and Peter slipped back slightly but secured third and fourth overall. Tim Lanigan put in a consistent run of third places to run out with overall and Dave Burke, sailing a DF95 for the first time improved as the day went on to get sixth overall.

The DF Racing UK TT Series will race its final two rounds at Lincoln over the weekend of 4th/5th November. If last year's event there is anything to by, wrap up well and make sure all your small rigs are in top shape. The season's finale could have a sting in the tale!

To find out more about these exciting radio controlled boats visit the Class Association website,

Overall Results:


PosSkipperSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15R16Pts
1Derek Priestley67Fleetwood112111113112132216
2Buzz Coleman12Coalhouse Fort334352224221821128
3Peter Baldwin63Birkenhead223433651743213334
4Mike Weston69Coalhouse Fort5451625846437457458
9Martin Hallums68Weecher417124167323171617171616107
6Chris Chatfield183Fleetwood887512637121155788885
7Chris More302Balne Moor751168124109684517161695
5Mike Parkington697Fleetwood617686412885156374677
10Gary Benson688Fleetwood1468167899710716104916108
8Jim La Roche90Coalhouse Fort161212710756596169176599
11Chris Moore28Ripon99101191110131181016121757122
12Sue Parkington696Fleetwood13799111311111016151617171616157
13Lisa More303Balne Moor151013101391314131315161191616158
15Ralph Wilkinson56Chipstead12111412151014121414111617171616171
14Brian Holland795Abersoch1117171614141516161298661616159
16Phil Playle177Chelmsford10171717171717171717171717171717214


PosSkipperSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15R16Pts
1Buzz Coleman12Coalhouse Fort153123321115142223
2Mike Weston69Coalhouse Fort2212451471432211126
3Derek Priestley67Fleetwood432332812521425433
4Peter Baldwin172Birkenhead318511433474756646
5Tim Lanigan420Fleetwood1011945451414256333362
6Dave Burke51Lincoln885877258343564564
7Chris More102Balne Moor7661096789698677790
8Brian Holland95Abersoch117119810676967889898
9Jim La Roche41Coalhouse Fort64771091061114814141089105
10Chris Chatfield183Fleetwood991014138994811910141414123
11Mike Parkington82Fleetwood510466121214514141414141414130
12Sue Parkington86Fleetwood121212111113111410141010991414144
13Gary Benson20Fleetwood1414141212111314147141114141414164

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