DRAGON FLITE 95 TT ROUND 12 – RACE REPORT.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES – following on from a very windy race day for the 65’s the day before, Sunday dawned with much better conditions being forecasted. The race team led by Paul Newman and James Scrimshaw hoped that the variable WSW wind forecasted with a chance of going further South would remain stable enough to use the same course as the day before. This was to prove the case with only minor adjustments being made to the course throughout the day.
Racing started in ideal conditions with more wind than had been expected over the course. The first race start looked a little ragged as the fleet of 18 boats adjusted to the conditions but in the second race it looked like the perfect start and a photo opportunity. This was to set the scene for the day where the fleet were very keen at the start, which in several races resulted in general recalls and the black flag being used. Large gains could be made by either going left or right out of the leeward gate buoys as the wind gusts moved from one side of the course to the other. The leaders which were in most races John Tushingham (51) and Derek Priestley (67) battled it out at the front of the fleet with Derek invariably going left towards the bank and John going right on the windward legs. Invariably John broke away and covered to the finish and so it was that going into the lunch break that 51 led on 8 points from 67 on 16 with Peter Baldwin (172) who was again quite consistent on 17 points. A little further back and close racing was going on between Shaun Priestley, Nigel Brown and Liz Tushingham where they were posting similar results to each other but in different races.
In the afternoon the wind had flicked slightly more South resulting in a change of course at the weather mark end. The result of this was that playing the shifts became more difficult to judge as the boats approached the weather mark. In several races the wind dropped noticeably there resulting in frustration for some who lost places and very tight situations developing. Again, both John Tushingham and Derek Priestley were at the front end of the fleet with John fairing the better of the two. Further back Bob Connor from Woodspring started to get to grips with the borrowed Number 6 boat and posted several race wins. Although he was invariably mixing it with others at the front end of the fleet, he was unable to stay consistent which is where other helms in the fleet lost out too. Competition between the helms was good natured and made the very competitive racing fun to watch for all who were standing on the lake side.
John Tushingham took the well-deserved race win trophy from Derek Priestley in second and Peter Baldwin in third place.
On behalf of the club I would like to thank all those who travelled to Dartmoor to compete and to all who helped in the running of the event. We hope to see the TT event back with us again at some time in the future.
Steve Watts (DMBC Race Team)