Dragonflite Series 2022
Report, scores & photos by Russ Chilcott

Round 3 Sun 1st May results > DF95 series Rd3 2022

Weather; cool, light rain, 3 to 5mph southerly breeze increasing to approx. 10mph through the morning.

Course; triangle/sausage with a gate at leeward end and start/finish in centre. Skippers raced from the west bank side.
Entries; 5 (all raced together taking turns to be RO)
Races; 8

The racing started in very damp conditions with constant rain and very little wind – not much fun! Thankfully as the morning progressed the rain let off slightly while the wind increased in strength. By the 12pm cut-off time it was up to around 10mph and the racing conditions were at their best – just a shame the round was finishing!

Unfortunately, a few skippers could not make this round so we only had 5 racing. The first 3 races were very frustrating for everyone as the little wind we had just kept shifting or dropping away. The second leg of the course coming away from the windward marker and out across the lake to No2 was particularly tricky/frustrating. That said, as usual Nigel managed to find the best and quickest way around the course as he won all 3 races!

After Race 3 we stopped for a coffee break to replace the wet score sheet and also in the hope things might improve, which they did but only very gradually. Race 4 John got away from the fleet and was never caught. Race 5 Alan came through the fleet to battle with Nigel at the front. They crossed the line just half a boat length apart with Alan the winner. Nigel then came back to win Races 6 and 7 by a margin. The 8th and final race was won by Alan.

We completed 8 races by the 12pm cut-off time, by which time all skippers had had enough and no one complained it was over! No surprise that Nigel is the winner with a score of just 7 points after 2 race discards. Alan’s run of good results after coffee moved him into 2nd place (12pts), with John 3rd (15). I finished 4th (18) with Daron 5th (26).

Congratulations to Nigel on the win. He has now won all the first 3 rounds in the series – the rest of us need to up our game and give him some competition!

Round 2 Sunday 17th April results > DF95 series Rd2 2022

Weather; warm, sunny, light easterly breeze which increased during the morning and moved southerly.

Course; 2 x laps of a triangle, start line slightly towards the leeward end with the finish line at the windward marker. Skippers racing from the ramp and then west bank when the course had to be moved.

Entries; 8 (all raced together as Richard Aucott was RO for every race)

12 The meeting started with a fairly light easterly breeze coming over the trees on the left bank which made the approach and rounding the windward marker pretty tricky at times.

Nigel set the early pace winning 3 of the 5 races before the coffee break, with John (Woodman) taking the other 2. Though a few were closely fought races with myself and Daron included. During the break the wind which had already started to shift had swung around so it was now coming directly from the south. So, the course was moved a full 90 degrees and increased in length with the skippers now racing from the west bank.

The wind continued to increase in strength race by up to approx. 15mph but there were still plenty of sudden short shifts to keep you on your toes! Nigel then went into full “attack mode” winning the next 4 races in a row! Though both Daron and I should really have won at least one each but either we made serious errors on the final leg or were unlucky with wind shifts…or both!

The last three races Nigel lost his way a little finishing 6th, 6th and 4th, while John picked up another win, then Alan finally got his boat tuned nicely to take one, then in the very last race I managed to win – hurrah!

Nigel’s run of 3 and then 4 wins in a row means he easily won this round by quite a margin scoring just 12 points after 3 discards. It’s fair the say though he did sail very well (as usual) and won a few races by a distance the score sheet does not reflect just how closely fought right to the finish line many of the races actually were. John did just enough to take 2nd place (18pts) with myself 3rd (19).

Congratulations to Nigel for winning this round – that’s 2 in a row.
A huge thank you to Richard for volunteering to be the RO for every race. His help meant the skippers were able to enjoy a great morning and were able to take part in all 12 races.

The meetings are coming thick and fast now with the next round only 2 weeks away on 1st May.

Round 1 Sun 13th March results >DF95 series Rd1 2022

Weather; mild, overcast, dry but for a short rain shower just before the coffee break, strong southernly wind 20mph, gusting much stronger occasionally.

Course; 2 x laps of a fairly long oblong, starting in middle with the finish line at the windward marker. Skippers racing from the west bank.

Entries; 8 (1 off as RO’s x 7 races, all raced together for last 3)

Races; 10

Our first ever DF95 race meeting was held in fairly strong southerly winds.
As the OOD I set a long (IOM size) oblong course running parallel to the west bank. The No1 windward marker was at times very tricky on approach with the wind swinging around over the south bank and tress. The occasional gusts over-powered some boats rounding the leeward markers but it was not too strong for anyone to think about switching down to their B rig – not that many had another rig anyway!

Daron racing a red boat set the early pace winning race 1 just ahead of Nigel with John and Alan not too far behind. This set a familiar pattern for most of the morning with myself occasionally getting amongst them. The first 5 races were won by 4 different skippers and many others were very closely contested all the way the finish line. Exactly what DF95 racing is all about!

Alan’s sheet line became detached so he had to drop out of Race 4 but it was soon repaired during the coffee break, while Terry had some remedial work done to tighten up his jib. Unfortunately, it became loose again which was less than ideal in such strong winds!

Ed was racing in his first ever club meeting, he struggled in many but had a good result finishing 4th in Race 4. Following some sail tuning by Nigel he then immediately picked up a 3rd place in his very next race!
Martyn racing a green hull got himself into a few good positions but on more than one occasion hit the finish line marker which dropped him down places as he had to re-round to finish! I think it’s a habit from his SYS racing where hitting markers is allowed with no penalties.

As the morning went on John and Nigel were the most consistent making very few errors between them. They won the majority of races with John scoring 4 wins to Nigel 3, but Nigel had the slightly better results in his other races and it is he who wins the inaugural DF95 meeting scoring 12 points. Just 1 point ahead of John (13pts).

Daron and Alan tied both scoring 19pts, countback had to go back all the way to compare their 3rd place results which went in Daron’s favour. So, Daron nicks 3rd place with Alan in 4th. I had to settle for 5th (20pts), with Ed 6th (35), Martyn 7th (40) and Terry 8th (46).

Congratulations to Nigel on a closely fought win.

All in all, it had been a good opening to the series. There is a long way to go with the 10th round at the end of Oct. The boats are very evenly matched.

As shown by Nigel’s quick tune of Ed’s sails it can help to make all the difference. Hopefully as the series progresses more will join the fleet as they are so easy to obtain and at an affordable price for many. The boats are very nice to race, just like their little sister the DF65 they can stall if you are not careful or caught in a sudden wind shift.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with their performance and especially their handling in such gusty conditions.

Roll on round 2 on 17th April.