DF95 Rd8 report & series wrap-up
report & scores by Russ Chilcott

R8 & final overall standings 2023 >  DF95 series 2023 Round 8 results & FINAL overall points table 2023

7 skippers took part in the final round of the series with light easterly breeze. I set fairly short triangle course with the start at the leeward end but finishing at the windward marker after we had raced a full lap. The course layout and length was fine for the wind direction but as is often the case the Apex Holes and sudden wind eddies played their part in making things a bit “challenging” at times.

As we had only 7 entering each took it in turns to watch the start line, this is not ideal but better than just 6 racing in the fleet.

The little wind we had before the coffee break dropped away afterwards. This allowed the large contingent of sea gulls to paddle up to a boat and peck away at it! One even manage to pull on Rod’s RX switch and turned off his boat during a race! By pure chance it drifted into the west side launch area so he was able to walk around and turn it back on again.

The usual suspects Nigel and John were often out front if not at the start, one or both were normally there by the time we reached the finish line. Rod and Alan did manage to hold onto early leads to take a single race win each, the other 6 races we ran were won 3 each by John and Nigel.

By the last race less wind and drifting boats several gulls decided pulling at the boats stern was a good game to play, though we didn’t know it at the time they managed to pull out the rubber drain plugs on EVERY boat! Since the wind was so light the boats were not heeling over so nobody suffered with water ingress.

Sadly, this incident does go to highlight the ongoing problem we have nowadays with the lack of wind at water level even at this time of year when the trees have shed their leaves. When the boats were moving, even at a slow walking pace the gulls were not be able to catch them, but once they started to drift the gulls became real problem. On more than one occasion boats, including mine, were actually being dragged backwards a few feet by the gulls!

In the final race this happened to John on the last leg, though this did not cost him a race win it did drop him down a couple of places. Thankfully, it did not effect the final outcome which was incredibly close between him and Nigel.

After 8 races they tied both on 11 points each but John takes the win on count-back as he had two 2nd place finishes to Nigel one. That tiny difference not only means John won this round but he also wins the entire series by a single point ahead of Nigel!

The overall series scores;
John 146, Nigel 145. A worthy 3rd place overall goes to Alan on 139, 4th Rod (136), myself in 5th (131), Rick 6th (126), Ed 7th (121) and Tony 9th (109). The last three placed skippers all missed more than 2 rounds so their scores are not really a true reflection.

Overall its been a good series with 11 skippers entering at least one round during the year. Sadly as mention before the wind, or lack of it, is becoming a real problem at Apex. A situation which is not getting any better over time.

Well done to the series winner John.
Thank goodness that sea gull tugging at his boat didn’t effect the outcome in the end.

That’s all – hopefully I’ll see you all for round 1 of 2024 series on 4th Feb.