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2021 DF65 National Championship at Poole Radio Yacht Club

by Tim Long 8 Sep 2021 10:35 BST 4-5 September 2021
A Fleet racing during the DF65 Nationals at Poole © Sue Brown

After our last outing at Weecher back in July, the DF65 Nationals at Poole Radio Yacht Club would be the first run out for many of the UK's skippers since West Lancs way back in February 2020 before the world changed. Luckily for us the great organisation from the gang at Poole RYC made us feel safe and welcome.

A bunch of keen people turned up on Thursday afternoon to scope out the location and the local drinking places as well as resting up from some pretty long drives to Poole from all corners of the UK and beyond.

Friday dawned with little breeze, which became a theme, and as the club came to life the usual suspects emerged and started setting boats up and taking to the water to see if they had remembered how to sail after the long layoff. Some informal racing took place then it was back to the hotel and pub for a debrief before dinner was had and stories of the last 18 months were regaled along with brave talk about weekend performances.

Once again Saturday dawned a little hazy (both weather and heads) with not much promise of breeze from any specific direction. Tea was drunk, stories were told, more new faces introduced themselves and before we knew it it was 0945, briefing time. PRO Peter Wiles introduced himself and his team and we were given the details of our day. Obligatory skipper photo taken and we all headed out onto the big lake for the seeding races to decide who would sail where.

Unsurprisingly John Tushingham won his race with Peter Baldwin winning his and DF Fleet newcomer Jerry Ibberson taking the win in his race. None of those races were easily won. The outer lake course was shiftier than a shifty thing that has just been appointed head of shifts at Oxford University, you get the picture. Pressure from the left, head there, it dies so you head right hoping to make it there before it dies and you have to go left once again. Why not stick it up the middle then I hear you say....well there was less than no pressure there as well as the washing machine of doom where the wind went round in circles.

The race team made the best of their lot and set us fair courses for what prevailed but it was a game of snakes and ladders for the first couple of races. Then, as if by magic, the sea breeze kicked in and we enjoyed racing from the far end of the club lake towards the seaward end for the rest of the day. Not as brisk as perhaps forecast but a great deal better than the morning breeze. It paid to go out to the catwalk but you could futter up the middle hoping the breeze would allow you to tack back out before the port entrance to the mark was really required... it rarely worked that way.

So into the heats proper and with three fleets and the light breeze anywhere between 40 - 50 minutes was required to complete a full race. Race 2 was won by Norwegian Odd Stray who showed well the week before at the IOM Nationals in Fleetwood and had come down on the train. Second spot was Dave Burke who would, over the weekend be quite effective but quiet as a mouse on the racecourse. Third spot was retired Swede Ulf Lindburg who spent the weekend in a lounge chair enjoying the late summer sunshine looking smoother than melted butter!

Race three and Tushy found his feet and took the win from Ken Binks and Alton Water's Malcolm Price who was looking racy in the light stuff. Tushy, Peter Baldwin and Odd made hay in race four. The final full race of the day was, once again Tushy's with Ulf in second and Gosport's Nigel Brown in third.

Race 6 C and B heats were held in dying breeze and as the six o'clock deadline for racing rolled by it was clear that the A fleet would take whatever they got first thing on Sunday. Fish and chips by the lake were very welcome and well organised by the club and as the sun went down it saw Tushy leading with Odd second, Peter third, Tim Long fourth and a strong looking Malcolm in fifth spot. Back to the hotel / pub combo for a few easy pints and an early bath for most.

Sunday was almost a repeat of Saturday and we started with A fleet on the big lake and another game of snakes and ladders where some of the top five took big scores and ended up back in B fleet hoping that the wind would somehow get better. C fleet went on in similar conditions and then B fleet had a left, right race which saw Tim Long staring at a demotion to C fleet until he gambled it all on right and overhauled a whole bunch of boats to get promoted back to A fleet quite comfortably. It wasn't to be for a few others.

With the wind not helping the race team it was decided to take an early lunch at 11.25 and make the move back to the club lake and wait for the sea breeze which kicked in just after another splendid ploughman's lunch expertly prepared by the ladies in the galley. Underway less than an hour after the stoppage it was almost like PRO Peter and his team have done this sort of thing before.

So on to race 7 and Ken was at the pointy end of the race followed by Tushy and Buzz Coleman who had spent most of Saturday telling himself he couldn't do it and his boat wasn't right. Well it was now. 8 Was Tushy's from Nigel and Mickey Chamberlain who hadn't made an impact up until now but would go one better in 9 and take second from Tushy with Dave Burke in third spot.

With top spot assured Tushy could ease off in the final race but you could have thrown a blanket over place 2 - 10 and not known the outcome. Dave Burke took the final race from Lincoln's Peter Walters with Tushy making sure he had a discard to play with in third. Error of the day came from Tim Long who managed to make an epic mess of the finish which had he done it properly would have seen him finish the Championship third, however, tiredness and a lack of nightclub action had caused the issue and there were no other guilty parties in his own incident.

Some boat faff and tidying later we had a great prize-giving with the top seven in reverse order, Mick Chamberlain, Jonas Samson, Nigel Brown, Ken Binks, Derek Priestley, Tim Long and Odd Stray in fourth spot.

The top three were Tushy at the top of the pile, a slightly pleased Buzz Coleman in second and Dave Burke in a very well deserved third spot.

As ever you can look all the way down the results sheet and see clusters of close scores and close competition that the class promotes and thrives on. Nine points separated second to sixth spot and it was clearly a very nip and tuck championship played out in testing conditions and stunning late summer skies, if you weren't there then you missed out.

Well done Tushy who, once again gave us all a good spanking and made it look easy. A bigger thank you however to those new faces that turned up and got stuck in at something you've not tried before, a great effort from all of you.

The biggest thanks of all however got to the Poole RYC and the oodles of helpers that pitched in and helped out so that we could all enjoy our racing. The race team made a great job of giving us challenging courses to race on, the boatman made alterations as required, the galley crew fed and watered us and the behind the scenes crew who stuck it all together. I certainly left the club for my 6 hour drive home having had a jolly good weekend.

Thank you Poole RYC.

As things are back to normal we also had Sue Brown, ably assisted by the lovely Ness taking photos this weekend. They can be found on Flickr here.

Don't forget the DF95 Nationals in Fleetwood at the end of the month, places available, get in touch!

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1TUSHINGHAM John51Keighley & D MES Ltd14111121139
2COLEMAN Buzz12Coalhouse Fort RYC25151665378945
3BURKE Dave30Birkenhead RS&PC8220131216743150
4STRAY Odd Ornulf90Mandal YC2110310982116750
5LONG Tim199Abersoch RYC385411216861451
6PRIESTLEY Derek67Fleetwood MY & PBC5124129210119454
7BINKS Ken83Eastbourne & Dist MYC41422418311841258
8BROWN Nigel55Gosport MYBC72712531217251359
9SAMSON Jonas60HaSS7614974165112063
10CHAMBERLAIN Mick46Lincoln RSC5202617565732866
11ANNELS Trevor10Poole RYC4182974189910667
12BALDWIN Peter63Birkenhead RS&PC17822031221015568
13WALTERS Peter65Lincoln RSC145161013751413270
14LINDBERG Ulf645Karlskoga10311142131412182179
15PRICE Malcolm48Alton RCSC493158202416171082
16DANEHAMMAR Rolf146UKSS1529162016114671590
17IBBERSON Jerry45Royal Palma RCYC11576233911193422104
18KENT Dave228Dartmoor MBC2016198142332201211120
19BRIGSTOCK Phill26Poole RYC3193011191926152116123
20CAMPBELL Stuart50Greenock MY&PBC7253335171515172224142
21HOWELL Geoffrey391Coalhouse Fort RYC224919212831292931161
22VENABLES Steve211Birmingham MYC1133415215819322718163
23JERMYN Chris38Poole RYC8213133243227331419176
24GRAY Martin03AMYA14304141421012132037177
25MORE Chris302Askern RSC16402525341713223129178
26TUSHINGHAM Liz100Keighley & D MES Ltd6101322383025395745183
27CONNELL Terry47Eastbourne & Dist MYC5131829333742313332194
28CLEMENT Malcolm958Fleetwood MY & PBC13434332321420293817195
29MEEKOMS Glen418Coalhouse Fort RYC9262436272229342441195
30MILES Oliver49Poole RYC9322830263441451926204
31BOX Garry712Manor Park RSC17354731302421253525208
32LA ROCHE Jim57Coalhouse Fort RYC3171721395257444227210
33CHERRETT Andy52Poole RYC10342127223834384153224
34FAIRMAN Simon666ROFWAC17494524372536242635224
35CLARK Martin793Gosport MYBC12463218253641374528229
36RALPH Jason79Poole RYC12232339554657232841235
37CHARLTON Tim179Poole RYC6413428293330364949237
38CLEAVE John00Ryde MYC16384457364128263023238
39STROMKVIST Stig133RHSS20472734282739423233240
40ANDERSON Shaun24Whitefriars SC13112238414835503946245
41GRAY Richard78Poole RYC8314126313552403752249
42BROPHY Michael95Poole RYC14455540495418272441258
43HAND Jen69Lincoln RSC18423647484244282530265
44BUURMAN Leen97Hampton Court13524246514533353641291
45ROLFE Barry119Birmingham MYC11283749542937515055292
46MORE Lisa303Askern RSC6223550435048554351297
47LEGG Phil169Poole RYC12504943454043434734307
48HOLLAND Brian795Abersoch RYC16554642462638495148311
49RHODES Marcus92Poole RYC9374837534750465743317
50CARLIN John11Birkenhead RS&PC10365145415749485344324
51GILBERT Rob711Newkey RSC18545453355747414842338
52COLLINS Jim701Solent RCMYC11395648565345564447343
53HOWARD John008Poole RYC15565351474346474657348
54HANSEN John89Poole RYC19535254505151534036352
55HAGUE Christopher19Poole RYC17445044524457545250353
56PRITCHARD Peter93Poole RYC15484155444957525454357

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