DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 21/2/24


A forecast 20+ knots of breeze didn’t really materialise at Gautby road. Initial thoughts of B rig were changed to A, and in fact A+ would probably have been sailable.

The wind was approximately southerly, and once again very shifty although there was a bit more pressure today. The standard course from Saturday’s racing looked to be just about right, and although the line appeared to be starboard biased it turned out to be a pretty good compromise. In fact, the wind went gradually right over the morning’s sailing but even so it was possible to make a useful start from well down the line for most of the day.

14 skippers turned up to race, but perhaps this should be 13 plus 1 as John Brierley was really in a class of his own, winning 6 of the 9 races, and should probably have won another but was tagged and stopped at a start.

Racing was once again very close for much of the morning, and conditions meant that no one could relax at any part of a race. There was a certain amount of frustration at the shifts and flat spots which caught everyone out at some point.

Final results finished as shown below, with thanks again to Dave Williams for doing them:

  1. John Brierley                7 pts            6 wins
  2. Mike de St Paer          20 pts
  3. John Carlin                   21 pts             2 wins
  4. Neil Westbrook           25 pts             3 x 2nds
  5. Paul Plested                  25 pts
  6. James Douglas             26 pts            1 win
  7. Simon Bates                  36 pts
  8. Clive Warren                 37 pts
  9. Frans King                     57 pts
  10. John Beech                    59 pts
  11. Dave Williams              61 pts
  12. Richard Walker            65 pts
  13. Dave Howard                67 pts
  14. Malcolm Harvey          75 pts


Gautby Road never ceases to amaze us, and today was no different. During the last morning race for the 65s the wind dropped off, became more fluky and it didn’t look good for the afternoon.
A quick look at the lake prior to starting and A rigs were selected by the 6 skippers participating in the 95’s. The wind had filled in and swung round frum a South Easterly to a South Westerly, so still  coming over the houses but not as shifty as the morning.  The result of the change of direction necessitated a change of course. The Start Line was set at the club house end and a single buoy rounding to port located close to the pathway on the housing estate side was used as the windward mark ensuring a beat was necessary for rounding, returning to the gate at the clubhouse end.
As has been adopted, starts were self monitored and first to finish recorded the results.
Racing got underway and as is normal in the 95 fleet it was very competitive, there were still enough shifts and holes to catch the helms out, which led to the lead changing more than once.
It didn’t take long for the wind to increase in strength and after 3 races, it was decided to change to B Rigs. In truth a C Rig was probably needed but as 3 of the 6 didn’t have Cs we gave it a go with the B.  Race 4 and it didn’t take long for our first DNF, with Frans suffering rigging failure.  The boats were nosediving downwind and difficult to tack and we also lost Malcolm.  After finishing and with the wind building further still, Neil decided that discretion was better than valour and called it a day. This left Clive , Dave and John B to change to the C rigs.  In Race 5, unfortunately Dave suffered rigging failure (his new C rig had failed its first test) before he could even get on the water, the wind had turned even more and was virtually straight down the lake. The B rig was the perfect choice, “tackable” and no nose diving but a brisk walk / jog to keep up downwind was needed. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and possibly the best wind Gautby has seen on a Wednesday in a while, but with only 2 functioning boats it was more fun time than serious racing.
The results from first 4 races (to try and make it fair)
1.   Neil Westbrook      8pts     2 x win,  1 x 2
2.   Clive Warren          9pts     1 x win,  1 x 2,  2 x 3
3.   Dave Howard        12pts    1 x win,  1 x 2,  1 x 3
4.   John Beech             13pts                     1 x 2,  1 x 3
5.   Frans King             22pts
6.   Malcolm Harvey  23pts