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DF Racing UK TT Series Rounds 5 & 6 at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tim Long 1 May 2018 11:23 BST 28-29 April 2018
DF Racing UK 2018 TT Series at Fleetwood © Anna McKone

Fleetwood, the home of Champagne sailing, the home of straight up and down the lake C rig conditions, the home of The Mount, home of Syd Little and for one weekend only the home of the DF Racing UK 2018 TT series.

Anyhow 32 skippers appeared on Saturday morning from all points of the country for what looked like being an A plus kind of a day with lots of North in the breeze and a little East bringing what little wind there was over the pumphouse for the first races.

With such a great turnout we split into two fleets and had seeding races, won by JT and Buzz Coleman and the A and B fleets were scheduled and heat racing duly got underway with B fleet taking to the water in the tricky but manageable conditions. Buzz took the race win from JT followed by Ken Binks, race three saw the same top two but it wasn't until race four the JT found the top step again with Buzz second and John Sharman third. By this time it was lunch and we had a short break to check out Aunty Maureen's sarnies and cakes along with floods of tea, very nice.

After lunch race five saw a switch of course through 180 degrees and still in A plus rigs the B fleet got going and completed the race without too much issue, A fleet did the same with JT still on top, Ken second and John Brierley third.

Race six saw B fleet get on ok and then the wind got up and decided to be a little gusty which caught a couple of A fleet on the hop with Tim Lanigan coming out top of the pile, JS second, Dave Burke third whilst JT could only manage fourth spot and Buzz only managing a 16th place finish.

Time for A rigs for the fleet and in conditions that didn't suit everyone races seven and eight were bulleted by Peter Baldwin who sailed a very consistent day. Ken and Chris Haworth took the seconds, JT and Chris Chatfield the thirds.

Not the best day we've had at Fleetwood but a familiar pattern to the results which saw the top three being Peter, Buzz and JT, I'll leave you to guess the order there...

Some social happened at The Mount and everyone prepped for what promised to be a classic Champagne Fleetwood Sunday. And it was.

36 skippers rocked up on Sunday, some class newcomers, some proper boaters, a boatbuilder, a pair of Vane class champions and the usual suspects. The wind was so very nearly straight under the bridge, just not quite but it was certainly a day for getting around the lake with skippers walking upwards of around 6.5 miles and actually going nowhere!

Once again two fleets were the order of the day and it was JT and Buzz setting pace in the seeding race with JB, and Tim Lanigan taking the seconds and Ken and Snackers in third spots.

Fleets rescheduled racing proper got underway with JT, Buzz and Ken the top three in race two. Buzz took race three with JT eventually discarding his second spot from Peter Baldwin in third.

Race four and the wind was still mid to top end of A rig, which for the DF95 is a pretty awesome sight and it was still pretty much up and down the lake. It certainly suited Ken who took the bullet from JT with JB in third spot and Buzz in fourth.

Five was Buzzzzz race from JT with Balne Moor's Chris More in third spot, his best of the day. Six to nine were all JT's, probably after another good lunch courtesy of Maureen once again. It was race seven I think that was the race of the day, more from a survival point of view than anything else, top of the beat and hey presto breeze on kids, the first couple of boats round the spreader were a little way down the long run when it hit but it didn't matter how good you were it was a flip, flop, gybe, flatten, stand up, flop, gybe, flatten and repeat until near the gate where you didn't get a choice really, it was whatever you were pointing at!

The beat was just as much fun, with tacks being few and far between and some great banter from the crowd and the skippers!

The day ended after race nine with JT taking a convincing top spot with Buzz and Ken second and third.

The story of the top third of the fleet was repeated for the other two thirds on both days, tight battles on both elements of the course, some big gains to be had by taking the right route up the beat and on the run with the correct way changing throughout the day, but with such evenly matched boats the finishes were rarely single boat affairs.

Congratulations to all the skippers who took part, without you guys travelling to these events the two classes wouldn't be developing as they are.

Great organisation from seasoned pro Uncle Derek, ably assisted by several great helpers, the ladies in the galley and also the two snackers twins on mark laying and lifting.

Some photos from Anna McKone and jolly nice they are too! Next stop is the DF65 Nationals at Gosport in mid June, there is still time to enter, but be quick!

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