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DF95 Global Championship to be held at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club in May

by Derek Priestley, Race Director 23 Apr 11:17 BST 12-19 May 2023
DF95 racing © Sue Brown

With several National Champions amongst the 78 competitors from 15 countries taking part, this event is looking like it will be very hotly contested at Fleetwood's world famous Model Yacht lake from 14th to 19th of May.

Racing System (HMS)

As there are too many boats to race all together, the event will be run on a "heats & races" system, (Heat Management System) revised over many years by the Model Yachting association, where each race is divided into 4 heats. In the first race, the heats are all mixed ability, with the competitors having been seeded so that all heats are approximately the same. Then, depending on how well the competitor finishes in the seeding race, they are placed in heats A - D for race 2. During race 2 the top 6 boats are promoted up and the bottom 6 are demoted down which allows movement within the fleet. Thus it is possible to have a bad start in race 1 and still win race 2 and so. The heats will last approximately 12 to 14 minutes each (about 2 full laps of a windward/leeward course) and with a decent breeze (12/15 knts) each boat should expect 5/6 heats per day. Even in the very last race, which will be around 3 pm on Fri 19th May, it will still be possible for the boat in last place to be promoted through the heats to win A heat. So with HMS the dream is always alive!!

The Boats

The Dragonflite 95, was introduced to our sport in 2016, and is a restricted class 950mm long 2kg production boat, with 3736 sq cm sail area. The boats are made in the Far East and come ready built, and a re a very reasonably priced R/C yacht. They must be raced as supplied, with 2 exceptions. Any type of Radio control transmitter & receiver may be used and sails can come from any manufacturer provided that they conform to the class rules. With all the boats at the same speed this leads to some very close exciting racing, for the competitors & spectators.

The Lake (racing area)

Fleetwood's world famous model yachting lake is no stranger to running International Championships, having staged several A, Marblehead & IOM World & European Championships during its 90+ years long history. The lake is situated on the seafront right next to the beach and its axis is WSW, convenient for the prevailing winds, and sea breezes. The lake is 270 yds long and 70 yds wide and with those prevailing winds make for a perfect race course. There is a car park next to the lake & a large comfortable clubhouse for competitors and spectators to relax in.

The Competitors

As the majority of the competitors are from overseas they are to some extent an unknown quantity, except that we know that several of them are National Champions in their own country, and they've obviously had to work hard to get there. We know that we have:

  • GBR 51 John Tushingham (Roger's brother & retired Fireball sailor) Defending Global Champion.
  • GBR 5 Craig Richards current National Champion.
  • AUS 791 Chris Dance top Aussie DF sailor who spent his university years in Manchester and is no stranger to Fleetwood lake.
  • SWE 21 Michael Collberg No 1 on the Swedish ranking list for the DF95 class, and several other well ranked Swedes.
  • RSA 85 Roy Gardener South African National Champion & top ranked DF 95 sailor in the country.
  • USA 42 Peter Feldman USA National Champion & top of their ranking list for DF95's
  • USA 155 Mark Gollison Past USA National Champion and 2nd on their ranking list. Runner up to John Tushingham at the last Globals in Texas 2018.
Add to this lot some top sailors from BAH, BER, CAN, FRA, ITA, NED, NOR, IRL, and we have the makings of a great event.

All are welcome to come and see us and take a look. Updates & scores will be published every day.

The racing will be managed by Peter Baldwin PRO (RYA National Race Officer) and Gordon Davied (World Sailing International Judge) will be on hand to sort out any protests that may occur. With these two very experienced race officials I'm sure that the racing will run smoothly, and to keep everyone happy we have a full week of social events planned to keep everyone well fed & watered!

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