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DF Racing UK TT Series Rounds 1 & 2 at West Lancs

by Tim Long 6 Feb 19:43 GMT 3-4 February 2018
DF Racing UK TT Series Rounds 1 & 2 at West Lancs © Anna McKone

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 for 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 yesterday's 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.

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.

Check out www.dfracinguk.com for more details.

Overall Results:

DF95

PosSkipperSail NoClub/CityR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1Christopher Nichols383Levenhall‑16623113‑1016
2John Tushingham51Keighley1341‑7‑65418
3Buzz Coleman12Coalhouse Fort‑9276‑831120
4Derek Priestley67Fleetwood246‑7342‑1921
5John Brierley84Birkenhead39352‑11‑11224
6Peter Baldwin172Birkenhead4‑1552‑1057326
7Nigel Brown155Gosport31‑13‑10489530
8Ken Binks83Eastbourne1‑1319‑14104934
9Tim Lanigan420Fleetwood‑121012462‑13842
10Mick Chamberlain46Lincoln57‑1414‑1576645
11Dave Burke30Lincoln‑1551111513‑14752
12Michael Parkington82Fleetwood412108912‑16‑1455
13Chris More102Balne Moor28‑151311‑14101256
14Chris Chatfield183Fleetwood516‑20‑34129121165
15John Sharman61Keighley611161217‑21‑341375
16Dave Winder4Keighley717815‑25‑20191581
17Liz Tushingham71Keighley8‑2617‑19161781783
18Jeremy Nichols16Levenhall714916‑30‑30182286
19Brian Holland95Abersoch1121‑25‑341318151694
20Andrew Peter179Birkenhead618‑30252315‑2719106
21Wayne Stobbs42Gosport8‑2219‑2222192121110
22Garry Benson20Fleetwood12‑302419212317‑29116
23Garry Box26Manor Park1020221920‑34‑2926117
24Anna McKone303Fleetwood16‑282120‑27162227122
25David Bradley320Abersoch14‑25‑262419222023122
26Susan Parkington86Fleetwood1027‑2821182524‑28125
27Clive S Porter79WLYC11232326‑29‑292820131
28Len Buurman97Gosport924‑31‑2724272625135
29Alan Tickle171West Lancs13‑292723262423‑31136
30Joshua Nichols5Levenhall141918‑34‑34343424143
31Mike Benson883Fleetwood13‑3129‑3428262530151
32Barry Mayer17Birmingham15‑34‑322831283032164
33Sigis Golbourne186Woodworking MSC1732‑3429‑34313134174

DF65

PosHelmSail NoClubMYA #R1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11Pts
1stJohn Brierley335Birkenhead24231‑10321‑11233523
2ndDerek Priestley67Fleetwood1‑964235514(DNF)333
3rdNigel Brown55Gosport242322281310‑11111‑1340
4thPeter Baldwin63Birkenhead122113664617‑196‑1040
5thBuzz Coleman12Coalhouse Fort898‑10991‑1243528142
6thTim Long99Abersoch276‑111034796‑1217249
7thJohn Sharman344Keighley2140841‑17107‑14410121268
8thChris More302Balne Moor223412‑16118104‑15511772
9thKen Binks83Eastbourne72267‑1399‑1686713DGA74
10thWayne Stobbs42Gosport24235‑17815118‑208610677
11thChristopher Nichols183Levenhall24507‑16121413‑1991484485
12thMick Chamberlain46Lincoln29751526(RET)551515392(DNC)95
13thJoshua Nichols211Levenhall2451‑2011513161829‑2051998
14thBrian Holland795Abersoch277‑1751110‑1713121012DGA1499
15thDave Burke30Lincoln7012877627(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC107
16thAlan Watkinson373Birkenhead102021141912‑2612‑22131798125
17thGarry Box66Manor Park83314‑18151614‑261616161511133
18thDavid Williams233Birkenhead791920‑24(DNF)1811191813189145
19thBarry Rolfe119Birmingham3621‑24132119‑24171319142017153
20thAndrew Peter919Birkenhead186616152020192021‑22‑221916166
21stLen Buurman97Gosport351613‑2514‑2523221821232215171
22ndJeremy Nichols16Levenhall2051181917232221‑26‑24151724176
23rdMichael Parkington697Fleetwood493222122212114(DNF)‑23182118178
24thClive S Porter21WLYC1542624181815‑2717202714(DNF)179
25thLisa More303Balne Moor225‑2323232220232317‑261622189
26thBarry Mayer142Birmingham37382522‑2626‑28252425212523216
27thSusan Parkington696Fleetwood504(DNF)‑27252427242526242320218
28thAlan Fearnhead264Hove Lagoon1581(DNC)(RET)27272528DNC27252421233