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DF95 National Championship at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tim Long 28 Sep 2021 16:14 BST 24-26 September 2021
DF95 Nationals 2021 at Fleetwood © Sue Brown

So, where do we start with this one, the 2021 DF95 UK Nationals? Well, I suppose there are a few things that stand this out as a great event.

First the most excellent welcome that the fleet received from the host club, Fleetwood MYPBC. In the last five weeks they have held three national championships and that task falls to the same few people who go above and beyond to allow us skippers to sail. Fleetwood stalwarts Derek, Bob and Peter along with Judith and the kitchen crew of Maureen, Elaine and Jackie were the people that made it work for us all. Thank you, without you guys and gals none of it would be possible.

Second was that the D rig was finally used at a UK Championship, it wasn't used by everyone and it wasn't used for long, but it was used.

The third thing that stood this regatta out for me was having judge Gordon Davies on hand at his judging table. He was keen to have skippers ask rules questions and was more than happy to explain how those rules worked in practice. He was also swift at dealing with the few protests that occurred over the three days.

So there are three stand outs for the regatta.

Let's start on Thursday morning and the breeze was up and the wind was pretty much as good as it gets at Fleetwood. As competitors arrived there was the usual conversation about which rig to put on and how your journey had been and tea was drunk and boats were rigged. Most went out on a C rig for some informal racing after Derek and Tim had deployed the adjustable start line and moved some marks about the place to approximate a course. During the course of the morning the breeze piped up a bit and some tried D rigs to stretch them in and make sure they'd be right if needed over the next three days. By 1500 Tushy was given the stage in the clubhouse for a brief history and tuning talk on how to trim your smaller rigs. This was followed by Gordon and Derek who presented a rules talk in the hope that issues could be avoided over the weekend. Back to the pond for a few more races, this time with a B rig. That done it was time to check into hotels and head off to The Mount for some food and beer and wine and more chatter.

Friday morning arrived and the breeze was, as forecast pretty much the same as Thursday and at the top of C rig, which was handy as we'd all tuned that yesterday!

Seeding races away with John Tush, Pete Baldwin, John Brierley and Dave Potter taking the top spots. A quick board reshuffle and the race proper began with the wind still strong and straight but with enough shifts to make gains, or losses, up the beat. Tushy looked fast in the second race and took the win from Craig Richards (remember that name) and John Brierley. Race three saw Craig and Tushy swap first and second spot with Potter in third. Race four was once again Tushy from smooth Swede Ulf Lindburg and Peter Baldwin. Craig took race five from Jonas " black sails" Samson who was scoring well on the quiet, Tushy finished third. Race six, the last of the day was going well with Jonas taking the win from John B with Craig finishing third. Further back Tushy and Potter had an incident which saw them both having to start Saturday in B fleet.

Tushy held a very small one point lead from Craig going into the overnight with third spot being more than ten points behind.

A quick freshen up and off to a new Italian in Fleetwood where we took three tables for nearly 30 people. Great food, good wine and another comedy evening in the books without mishap or incident.

Saturday morning saw a short postponement as there was no wind on the racecourse which gave everyone a chance to get their heads together and change their rigs to A for the day. It was light but when it came the wind was once again pretty straight and the racing went off well with the adjustable start line being tweaked on numerous occasions to offer a fair line. Peter took the race win in seven with Micky C and Fleetwood's own Gordon Bayliff in second and third. Both Tushy and Potter suffered and stayed in the B fleet. In race eight Jonas took the win from Peter and John B.

Nine saw Tushy back on form with Jonas and John B close behind. Ten saw Gordon go two better and win a race at the Nationals, always a good feeling. Wayne Stobbs took time out from looking at the Isle of Man and took second spot with swede Thomas Enwall taking third.

The final race of the day was Peter's with Chris Nichols and John Taylor rounding out the top three. Craig took a four point lead into the overnight from Tushy.

A quicker change than Friday night and some of us headed to the event dinner at The Venue in Cleveleys where, from the top floor you could most definitely see the loom of the Isle of Man... definitely.... An Uncle Derek quiz, some nice food and a few drinks later we headed back to The Mount for another beer or two and an early bath for most.

It rained on Sunday morning and once again the AP went up and we waited for the wind which couldn't really make its mind up all day and when racing started there was much to be gained and lost by being in the right, or wrong, place on the racecourse.

Race twelve saw Potter take the win from Chris Nichols with Tim Long who wasn't having his finest weekend in third spot. Thirteen saw Tushy back on top, beating Potter with Gordon Allison in third.

Fourteen was John Taylor's race from Thomas Enwall and Chris Chatfield.

So at this point the wind has gotten up a bit, A rigs are still the thing but only just, it's got a whole raft of lifts and headers in it up the course with an added washing machine spin cycle in it about a third of the way up the pond. To say the least conditions were testing. The top two are Tushy and Craig with Craig needing to bee Tush by more than four places to take the trophy. So the race was all important for those two skippers, as well as Peter who was in a solid third spot but didn't need a bad race.

Race fifteen, the final race. Peter is in a comfortable lead down the first run only to become entangled in a crab line bringing him to a stop. Four places back and Craig becomes entangled in the other end of Peter's crab line, also halting his charge. The race win was Tjakko Keizer's who had a troubled weekends yachting but finished strongly. Second spot was Chris Nichols with Jonas in third.

The aftermath of the crab line incident was handled very professionally and competently by the race team who offered the options of re-running the race or not. The decision was not to re-run and Peter and Craig were given average points for the race.

I'm not sure we've seen a closer finish to a Championship with Craig taking the trophy by just 0.1 point from Tushy. Peter finished a very strong third overall. Jonas sailed well into fourth with fellow Swede Thomas in fifth. John T came home sixth, Ulf seventh, John B eighth, Goran Uggla ninth with Potter rounding out the top ten spots.

Every time I write these reports I feel it necessary to point out the groups of three to five boats who are all separated by only a handful of points. Racing is tight that's for sure and Sunday was really hard with the conditions as they were. Credit once again to the race team who coped with the conditions, making course changes and adjustments where required to give us the best courses to race on through the weekend with the hardest job being Sunday where there were lots of adjustments made throughout the day.

Prize-giving was a strange affair with Tushy not coming to the table last to collect the trophy, instead Craig Richards of the Windrush club accepted the 2021 DF95 Nationals trophy and he couldn't have looked happier. Whilst not perhaps the way he would have wanted to finish his regatta, it was the fairest way to proceed and he sailed a consistent weekend in all conditions only counting one double point score. Congratulations Craig.

Once again huge thanks to Derek and the Fleetwood team. Rob Walsh got involved as ARO and did a fine job helping Derek over the course of the weekend, thanks for donating your time.

Everyone had a fun weekend and despite a few boat related issues most of the starters on Friday finished the race on Sunday, they were ably assisted by Mike Weston who had a van full of spares and an abundance of knowledge.

Fleetwood's own Alan "Smithy" Smith was awarded the Percy trophy for completing every race throughout the weekend but finishing down the field... but certainly not last! Well done Alan, you're what the sport is about, getting on with it. Apparently he has a new pit crew for next season...

As well as this report there are several other available on the internet, John Taylor has daily ones on Facebook, Jonas has one (it might be in Swedish) also on FB. Sue Brown has now edited her photos and they can be found by clicking here.

We're off to Eastbourne in two weeks for a TT event with 65's on Saturday and 95's on Sunday, join us if you fancy some good racing and some great social, that will be followed in early November by a trip to West Lancs YC for the final TT of 2021. Details will appear on when available.

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoClub/CityR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15Pts
1Craig Richards05Windrush RYC221413125176664105.955.9
2John Tushingham51Keighley & District112131824131754171056
3Peter Baldwin172Birkenhead RS&PC110731551251211014117.475.4
4Jonas Samson60HaSS3229521612171317116379
5Thomas Enwall130Stockholm Segelsällskap175558487194347102584
6John Taylor214Fleetwood MY&PBC58697798815351811591
7Ulf Lindberg58Karlskoga3171626411720512985896
8John Brierley84Birkenhead RS&PC131272221433131914131313111
9Göran Uggla39SRSS258696166111826345127111
10David Potter20Birkenhead RS&PC1143145934281291712179113
11Christopher Nichols383Levenhall RYC72410111222417182222682121
12Mick Chamberlain46Lincoln RSC91321321315247222316121511160
13Tjakko Keizer180DF Netherlands9611101411591520313838501180
14Wayne Stobbs42Gosport MYBC4111819223010161021018222429186
15Adrian Tomlinson1130Medway RC Laser Club3121724101015122126292219918192
16Tim Long199Abersoch RYC291512162617222216163222837198
17Gordon Bayliff35Fleetwood MY&PBC83539502613315131715162543216
18Gordon Allison62Ayr Bay RYC102630444222262114108832025223
19Dave Burke30Birkenhead RS&PC51822162514183123141413172624223
20David Lindsay23Hampton Court MYC244151822293539331121252239241
21Malcolm Price82Alton RSC4152023111221262581826345053243
22Chris More102Askern RSC631363936431314641512202728248
23Nigel Brown55Gosport MYBC832233037474111192430119226262
24Ken Binks83Eastbourne MYC107142236981016282236506464268
25Dave Darwell32Askern RSC1756373123173236911202829414271
26Dave Fowler840Blackpool & Fylde MBC1439414128362027281991971623285
27Martin Gray783Punta Gorda MSC17533322816282327315040151419293
28Chris Chatfield183Fleetwood MY&PBC12281318172433474953432528312303
29David Adams358Royal Temple YC7292729243164252430412327304310
30John Sharman61Fleetwood MY&PBC114442132225253032232430421820315
31Bob Conner114Woodspring MSC52531202927304042362831482317342
32Jerry Ibberson45Royal Palma RCYC172719331936221830424237233334348
33Thomas Nash991LMYC & MYSA63926172732484337432120303526359
34Taco Faber201RC Laser Ned145255454423232026292733263222364
35StIg Strömkvist33RHSS83050576428193336413724353140412
36Garry Benson68Fleetwood MY&PBC31929363929273438493941465043423
37Dave Holyoak480Hollowell RSC52336283137373240446450374135426
38David Stewart221Ashton Quays41624263338432936393650645759431
39Damian Ackroyd139Keighley & District42128344040363744555953313732437
40David Nickerson365Birmingham MYC125453433048405031384036241931442
41Gordon Rae260Ayr Bay RYC73344424753312429273543476458462
42Jen Hand69Lincoln RSC73950506458493941253347503927496
44Brian Holland95Abersoch RYC104043253436465556354652533848506
43Mats Hagman14Stockholm Segelsällskap83925273250646450516450432938506
45Liz Tushingham100Keighley & District63440404341384657523246524249509
46Graham Marsh75Ashton Quays124852555451584548322529324047515
47John Cleave00Ryde MYC114150645555505043373442393630518
48Alan Watkinson4Birkenhead RS&PC94238374845515834464556404550530
49Malcolm Clement958Fleetwood MY&PBC134345535142445233344739445452539
50Paul Hounslow103Birkenhead RS&PC154957464133424145403844585651541
51Tim Denby987Royal Temple YC62032385046524851565759575046552
52Stewart Campbell50Tayside RSC136464646439393847545232364633557
53Martyn Aspinall877Rotherham MYC94750513844454246614855455254571
54Garry Box712Manor Park RSC175851505650475655505027334343572
55Eric Austwick540Fleetwood MY&PBC145956565357555353475545413436598
56Jim La Roche57Coalhouse Fort RYC175159364552535152594454645144609
57David Williams133Birkenhead RS&PC114554545254546460605660514455650
58Barry Rolfe519Birmingham MYC176464644664575454485457555345668
59John Blackburn430Keighley & District104650525064595759575861565864673
60Ian Sinclair11Fleetwood MY&PBC176464646459644464455151545557689
61Alan Smith13Fleetwood MY&PBC135758585756566058585358595956697
62Susan Sharman36Fleetwood MY&PBC115060595860605964646464646464737
63David Hope111Alton Radio Sailing Club176436506464646464646464646464743

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