DF95 One Hour Race 2023
Sun 17th Sept
Report by Russ Chilcott
We only had 5 for this one-off event, a great shame but maybe due to the weather forecast for heavy rain. The forecast also said 7 to 11mph winds but it did not feel close to that!
I set a long narrow triangle course to make the most of what little wind was crossing the middle of the lake from a north/west direction. There was a gate at the leeward end with the start/finish in the centre, all boats had to go through this line every lap so they could be counted each time.
Diane (Tony Hunters wife) had kindly offered to the lap counting. The 1 hour race got underway at 10.20am.
For the first 20 mins there was not much between 4 of 5 boats with myself, Rick, Alan and John all changing places several times in the shifting winds. Tony struggled in the conditions and drop away as the time passed.
By the halfway point Alan and Rick had picked up a couple of nice wind shifts and drew away with Alan heading Rick. Myself and John were left fighting over 3rd and 4th places a good (and very long) half a lap behind.
At the 40 min mark Alan was turning the leeward gate and then found himself completely stuck in “irons” and not moving! Rick was in a similar position a few yards behind.
Meanwhile John had pulled away from me (no surprise there!) and it was now his turn to pick up a nice wind puff which pushed him along closing the gap on them both. He rounded the gate and carried on nicely to take the lead. Rick got moving again and took up 2nd place. By the time Alan got moving I was just behind him.
For the last 10 mins the rain came and got heavier by the minute. We were all getting soaked but having raced non-stop for so long nobody was giving up now!
John carried on to pull away and won the race completing 9 laps within the additional “10 mins to finish the race” time.
Rick sailed well to hold on to his 2nd place as he completed 8 laps but ran out of time to do another. Alan and myself finally crossed the line also on 8 laps but Alan beat me to it to take 3rd spot. Tony finished in 5th place having done 6 laps.
Well done to John on a good win. It did not look at all likely after 40 mins. Alan was really unlucky but them the breaks when racing yachts at Apex!
Our thanks to Diane for doing the lap counting.
John accepting the DF95 One Hour trophy from Diane Hunter (Lap Counter)