Dragon Force 65 Race Report 24.3.2019
With 10 DF65 skippers arriving for our races and with a variable Easterly forecast wind, of force 2 and invariably increasing, and decreasing throughout the day, racing was due to be “very interesting” you could say! This wind direction always tends to be challenging in setting a course, which needs to allow for any “dead & light wind” areas, causing this East Bank wind, to hook along parts of the south bank somewhat, and so it was. So Richard W with some head scratching, set us the course with the control zone on the east bank. It soon became apparent during our prerace tester sail, that it may need some revised altering at some stage, hayho.
Now onto the racing, with most skippers on the “A rig” & one on the “A+ rig” off we went. This is when we found out how “Tricky” conditions were, getting to that windward mark and its offset mark. Somehow it was going to be Paul N 45 who took the 1st race with Jerry L 588 & Richard W 52 hot on his heels. To say that “Luck” played its part for these 4 races was an understatement, as most skippers had their frustrations & successes, as arriving at the windward marks tended to show.
So, after these first 4 races, any skipper with skilled wind awareness, (not many) who could sail their trusty DF65, could have a chance, of one of the top 3 places. So, after these races & we looking forward to the well-deserved break, & with the 2 windward marks being placed further “south” down the lake. Skippers then started to consider whether to put on the “A+ rig or not, anyhow racing resumed!
With races 5-8 about to begin, the pattern of “who” of the top 4 runners could maintain their momentum, and this was still wide open to conjecture. As it turned out, it was Richard W 52 who came to the fore, with “straight wins” for all these 4 races!
Most skippers had kept on the “A rig” but it became obvious that skippers noticed that the “A+rig used by Peter C 181 was going “faster” in the slightly light winds! So, those skippers who had one, began to consider changing up for the next 4 races into the “A+ rig, in the hope of achieving better results?!
With a break & “windward marks” moved further south, onto races 9-12 began and most now sported their “A+rig, and like Peter C, for the “First time”! This rig, with its “mast head jib” was to be a stark contrast from the “A rig” as many found out, this was because it could suddenly “stall” in the blink of the eye in these “variable” winds, so Peter C 181, who was more conversed with it, won all the next 4 races on the trot!
Again, for races 13-16 and 3 discards to come, top spot could still anyone’s who kept their nerve, so it was now down to who could maintain control, boat speed & tactics the best. As it turned out it was Peter C 181 in 1st with 26 points, Paul N 45 on a close 28 & Richard W 52 on a close 30 points! Racing could not have been closer for these “strict one class design DF65 yachts.
Congratulations to Peter C for winning & many thanks to our race team of Dave M, Richard W, John K and many others who helped give us a good, albeit frustrating, but very enjoyable day!
Report by Paul N on behalf of Keith S, who was racing at a DF65/96 TT at Gosport!
(see you on the flip side)