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DF Racing UK TT Series Rounds 3 & 4 at Coalhouse Fort

by Tim Long 21 Mar 2018 16:39 GMT 17-18 March 2018
DF Racing UK TT Series Rounds 3 & 4 at Coalhouse Fort © Tim Long

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.

Check out for more details.

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