DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 10/4/24


Spring has (allegedly) sprung, but there wasn’t much evidence of it at Gautby road this morning, where arriving sailors were greeted by a rising S.Easterly breeze, persistent rain and a temperature of around 7deg C. Not a great Spring day.

On the up side there was a bit of breeze, and early launchers returned to say that A+ should actually be A, and even then there were some chunky gusts at the top end of A rig. The resident fishermen started to pack up straight away and were no problem at all.

The usual course was used, other than that one of the gate marks was missing and it was agreed simply to do a port hand leeward mark rounding. Strangely no one seemed keen to go for a paddle and replace the mark.

There were 11 skippers to start – a good turnout given the unpromising conditions – and after a small delay while everyone changed rigs Dave Williams got the racing started.

The first three races had three different winners, and the final beat up from the bottom mark proved tricky to get right. The starting line looked port end biased from the lake edge but proved to be a good compromise. Mike and John then shared the remaining 5 races between them with Mike just running out the winner.

Sally had boat trouble after only two races but very kindly stayed on to RO the rest of the morning. Thank you!

Clive managed three races, but then after sorting out what looked like a rudder servo problem returned to race; unfortunately with the hatch not completely sealed. His boat partially sank, but was fortunately close to the bank and nudged ashore safely, which ended his day. Dave Howard arrived late and only completed one race before having to fix a rigging issue. All in all an eventful mornings racing.

Racing was closer than the results might suggest, with places being swapped right up to the line. Final results as shown below with thanks to Dave and Malcolm for sorting them out, and thanks again to Sally.

  1. Mike de St Paer          7.2pts      4 wins
  2. John Carlin                 10 pts        3 wins
  3. Neil Westbrook         17 pts
  4. Paul Plested               22 pts
  5. Dave Williams          30 pts         1 win
  6. Frans King                 30 pts
  7. Richard Walker        32 pts
  8. Malcolm Harvey     46 pts
  9. Clive Warren             50 pts         3 races
  10. Sally Collings            63 pts         2 races
  11. Dave Howard            64 pts         1 race


Following a morning of wetness with a chilly wind only 4 brave skippers got their boats rigged for the afternoon, the weather forecast and Easter holidays putting a lot of people off. As it turned out, the afternoon weather forecast didn’t materialise and the rain stayed away. The wind eased slightly from the morning making the A rig a perfect choice, the generally South Easterly direction remained similar to the morning, with the normal shifts and holes associated with Gautby Rd to keep the helms on their toes, it was very easy to pick a bad shift and end up head to wind, loosing meters.
Paul martialled the start line and the first home recorded the scores.
8 races were sailed, a mixture of one and two lap, Paul started as he meant to go on taking the first 2 races, before Clive stepped up to take the 3rd. Meanwhile after taking a second in the first race Dave managed to tune his boat to a standstill and took time out to make some rigging adjustments in the clubhouse. Race 4 and Paul was on top again before Mike got in on the act taking race 5. Once again Paul took line honours in races 6 and seven before Mike won the final race. All races were very close between the boats with the lead changing hands regularly in most races but it was Pauls day who had his boat set up just right and mastered the conditions with 5 wins.
1,   Paul Plessed      –    5 wins
2.   Mike de St Paer  –  2 wins
3.   Clive Warren       –   1 win
4.   Dave Howard

DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 3/4/24


Twelve DF65 sailors arrived today to be greeted by persistent drizzle and not much breeze, however the day got better as reported below.

To begin with the breeze was about southerly, with the usual flat area in the clubhouse corner. Dave and Mike replaced all the marks which had been removed from the lake for the 36 vane event, and Dave had the foresight to lay a start and gate at both ends of the lake.

Racing started in this very light and patchy breeze, with four winners (Andrew / Mike / Alan / James) in the first four races, and just as everyone was wishing for some breeze there was a 180deg shift and everything started again from the clubhouse end in a very gradually increasing N.W. breeze. Dave’s south end start line worked well as it was tricky to decide a sweet spot on the line, but James once again aced the next races to win four in a row, and after 8 races ran out a comfortable winner.

Dave sailed very consistently to come second ahead of Mike who had a couple of wins but was less consistent and had to take a couple of self-inflicted penalties after hitting marks.

Another day of tight racing in tricky conditions. Well done James and thanks as usual to Dave for the results which ended as follows:

  1. James Douglas               7pts     4 wins
  2. Dave Williams              16 pts
  3. Mike de St Paer            18 pts    2 wins
  4. Sally Collings               21 pts
  5. Paul Plested                  24 pts
  6. Alan Watkinson          25 pts     1 win
  7. John Carlin                    27 pts
  8. Neil Westbrook           30 pts
  9. Andrew Potter             34 pts     1 win
  10. Richard Walker           40 pts
  11. John Beech                    47 pts
  12. Malcolm Harvey         51 pts


Just 5 boats ventured out with A rigs with the breeze proving too much after two races. So four then raced with B rigs, but after a further two races, two of these made the sensible decision to call it a day. The final pair then struggled on for 2 more races, before packing up as they should probably have dropped to C rigs.                   #Breezyafternoon

DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 27/3/24


All the signs were there for a good morning of A rig racing for the 14 helms, with the breeze straight down the lake from the clubhouse as we arrived and even as most boats went on the water a few minutes before the start.  Then, a heavy rain squall flattened the boats and soaked the competitors for a couple of minutes before the clock went on.  The rain thankfully stopped, but took most of the wind with it and made it veer through at least 45 degrees, so that by the time we started, the key skill (or was it luck?) was to work out where the most breeze might be on the course to take you to the windward mark the quickest (and it was often not the shortest route).

The conditions were not to the liking of Mike dsp and John C and they both dropped out after a few races along with Paul Little who had things to attend to.  This was a pity for them, as the breeze during the later races was probably the best of the morning.  During the seven races completed, the wins were shared between 4 helms.  The winner sometimes being decided on the final beat into the finish when the leader at the gate could be becalmed in the middle of the lake heading nicely for the finish, whilst a later boat in the fleet sailed up the far bank and got a very nice breeze into the finish.

Peter Baldwin gained 3 wins, James Douglas two, with Neil Westbrook and Andrew Potter taking one each.  The morning however went to James with a very consistent set of results, just one point ahead of Peter, with Neil eight points adrift in third place.

  1. James Douglas              73   12pts
  2. Peter Baldwin               63   13pts
  3. Neil Westbrook            03   21pts
  4. Andrew Potter             194  22pts
  5. Clive Warren                  53   27pts
  6. Paul Plested                   54   28pts
  7. Alan Watkinson          373   33pts
  8. Simon Bates                   69   37pts
  9. Dave Williams                33   46pts
  10. Frans King                       95   51pts
  11. John Carlin                       11   58pts
  12. John Beech                       80  62pts
  13. Mike De St Paer              35  67pts
  14. Paul Little                         45  76pts


After the frustrations of racing the DF65 in the morning, unfortunately only 4 skippers turned out for the afternoon, partly due to the morning experience but other commitments also took their toll on the normal fleet.
For those that did stay there was a very pleasant surprise in store for them.  The very fluky southerly wind from the morning, was replaced with SE which was just enough of a shift to straighten the direction to not quite down the middle of the lake but took out a lot of the dead spots that were seen in the morning. Added to this it was strengthening throughout the afternoon and with some added sun it was a very enjoyable sail.
It was a good A rig wind at the start of the afternoon with a few shifts but no real holes to fall into. As is normal with Gautby Rd picking the right shift to tack on was imperative to stay in contention, and if you picked a wrong one and got headed you were suddenly tail end Charlie. The same course as the morning was used, with one lap sprints to maximise the number of races. With only 4 boats although racing  was very light hearted, and more social than racing, but most enjoyable. Unfortunately Alan had to leave after 5 races for a prior commitment  after taking 4 wins and a 3rd..  The remainder continued to enjoy themselves in the freshening wind that would have been good for a B rig in the later stages but we all stayed on A’s. After 11 races grey clouds started to threaten so we call it a day.
Final results didnt really matter but Alan had the bragging rights with 4 wins, John B 3 wins, with Clive and Dave both on 2.

DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 13/3/24


The forecast strong SW breeze didn’t really reach Gautby Rd lake and, as it was blowing right over the houses, gave very fluky conditions even by the standards of the venue.

Another excellent turnout of 17 skippers arrived although, as reported below, this reduced for various reasons during the morning’s racing.

Dave Williams very kindly offered to RO the racing, and then as the first race ended John Brierley had to leave followed closely by Simon who had come with only an A rig having been led astray by the forecast. Charles and Sally also departed a bit later leaving the remaining helms to enjoy the conditions which varied from real knockdown gusts to complete flat spots,

There was initially a bit of debate about which end to start, but the decision to start at the far end of the lake turned out to be the right one. The usual course was used with a line which looked very starboard end biased, but once again enabled good starts to be made pretty much anywhere.

Despite the tricky conditions there was good racing, although after 8 races (and a couple of rain showers) all agreed that this was enough for the morning.

Thanks to Dave for running the racing and for untangling the results which ended as follows;

  1. Mike de St Paer     8pts           4 wins
  2. James Douglas     12 pts         2 wins
  3. Alan Watkinson   13 pts         2 wins
  4. Clive Warren        24 pts
  5. John Carlin            27 pts
  6. Dave Howard       40 pts
  7. Richard Walker   41 pts
  8. Neil Westbrook   44 pts
  9. Paul Little              45 pts
  10. Sally Collings       49 pts (sailed 5 races)
  11. Don Mackinnon  53 pts (sailing an A rig)
  12. John Beech            58 pts
  13. Malcolm Harvey 67 pts
  14. Charles Legg         74 pts    (sailed 4 races)
  15. Simon Bates          90 pts    (A rig & ret’d during race 1)


The highlight of the afternoon was the turnout of skippers, 8 in total which given the wind and weather forecast was a great turnout especially considering regulars, Frans King, John Carlin, Tony Sedgewick weren’t racing. Double figure starters are just around the corner!!!!
The lowlight of the afternoon was the wind, no change from the morning conditions with a S SW breeze directly over and through the houses which provided wind from all points of the compass at regular intervals. Added to this were some strong gusts from any direction. it was a tricky day to sail for sure!! Having said this the DF95s handled the conditions better than the 65s in the morning and racing was as competitive as ever.
5 Races with one discard were sailed after a slightly extended lunch, when technical help was being handed out. With normal 95 racing protocol in place with self managed starts and with the winner recording the results (now we have a reasonable fleet we may need to change to dedicated ROs). We were ready for racing using the same course as the morning, providing a beat, reach and run on each leg.
Mike on his maiden voyage in the 95s showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with once he masters the subtle differences in the big boats to the 65’s, leading for most of the way round to take the first win of the afternoon, followed home by Alan in 2nd and Richard in 3rd. Dave took the second race showing his steady improvement before with Alan 2nd and Mike sailing very consistently 3rd. Alan then stepped up a gear and took the next 2 wins with Mike and Clive taking the 2nd places with Dave and Mike picking up the 3rds. The final race saw Clive take the win with Dave finishing 2nd and John 3rd
Final Results
1     Alan Watkinson        6 pts,     2 wins
2     Mike de St Paer         9pts      1 win
3     Dave Howard            13 pts  1 win
4     Clive Warren            15pts     1 win
5     Richard Walker       16pts
6     John Beech                17pts
7     Malcolm Harvey     20pts
8     Paul Little                  28pts

DF65 Northern District Championships – 9/3/24

This was the first time in a long while that a District Championships had been held for the DF65, such that some might consider this to have been an inaugural one.  With ever increasing costs for travel and accommodation, all MYA Districts are trying to organise more one day events for sailors in different classes.  Unfortunately, with other events and traveller series at the moment, it is often difficult to avoid clashes and fit them into club programmes.

The day started with light rain and a decent top end of A+ rig breeze from the top corner at the clubhouse end.  One or two opted to start in A, but most were in A+ and when those few changed up after race 1, all remained in the same rig all day.

Race Officer Martin Roberts along with assistants Dave Williams and Neil Westbrook opted for batches of 4 races with breaks between to get re-hydrated and enjoy the biscuits and cake on offer.  The first session belonged to John Brierley and Tony Sedgwick who had two wins apiece, with Peter Baldwin, Simon Fairman, Paul Middleton, John Carlin and Andrew Potter all figuring in the podium places.

After the break and with the wind straightening a little, this seemed to suit Peter as he took three of the next 4 wins, with John B picking up the other one.  Simon, Tony, Paul, Alan Watkinson and Jon Whitehead all figured in the podium places this time.  This late morning surge saw Peter leapfrog Simon and John B to take the lead at lunch by a slender one point margin.

Post lunch and with the weather and light levels improving, saw three new race winners with Alan taking race 9, Andrew Potter race 10 and Simon Fairman races 11 and 12.  Podium places were shared between Peter, John B, Jon, John Carlin and James Douglas.  Peter’s consistency kept him on top though with Simon taking second at this point ahead of John B before the final break was taken.

As we started the final session of 5 races before the 4pm cut-off, the wind had backed once again to be out of the top corner, giving more significant gusts, shifts and holes.  There were places to be gained by tacking at the right time, but it was never always clear when that time was.

This final session belonged to John Brierley with two wins and two seconds, with Peter, Paul and Tony picking up the other wins.  Other podium places were taken by Simon, Paul, Alan, Jon, John Carlin and James Douglas.

John Brierley missed the last race due to gear failure, but with Peter unable to capitalise on this fact, it left John Brierley with the well deserved overall win, just three points ahead of Peter in second and Simon Fairman third.

Winner John Brierley on the right with RO Martin Roberts

Overall, it was a tricky day at Birkenhead, leading to consistency issues across the fleet.  In his winner’s address, John Brierley thanked the race team and most especially Chris Westbrook for running the galley and making us tea and coffee, serving biscuits and cake all day.  All photos courtesy of Dave Williams.  A link to other photos taken is available here

DF65 & DF95 Social Racing 2024 – 6/3/24


A bit of breeze this week again, from the ESE/SE and getting towards the top of A+ in some of the gusts, and starting off quite chilly in the mist for the 15 skippers. Some significant shifts to make the sailing – and the beats in particular – very interesting, with the usual short shifts at the top end of the course.

Peter Baldwin went for his customary wade, and reset the course with a line which allowed a spread of starting positions. Not at times that you might have thought this was the case, as there was a certain amount of boat to boat contact and a couple of entanglements over the morning’s sailing.

As an indication of the conditions, the first 5 races had 5 different winners, and over the 10 races John Carlin had 3 wins, Peter Baldwin and Jon Whitehead ended up with 2 race wins apiece and the remaining race wins spread over three further sailors.  Much place swapping, quite a bit of frustration, and once again very close racing right across the fleet.

  1. Peter Baldwin       18pts            2 wins
  2. John Carlin            20 pts           3 wins
  3. Simon Bates          26pts            1 win
  4. Jon Whitehead      32pts            2 wins
  5. Alan Watkinson    33 pts           2 x 2nd
  6. Mike de St Paer     33 pts            1 x 2nd
  7. Andrew Potter       38 pts
  8. Clive Warren          40 pts            1 win
  9. Tony Sedgewick    43 pts            1 win
  10. Andrew Peter         65 pts
  11. Dave Williams        66 pts
  12. John Beech                75 pts
  13. Richard Walker       78 pts
  14. Dave Howard           99 pts
  15. Frans King                101 pts


Following on from the morning DF65 sailing, 7 helms enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoons 95 sailing. The wind was generally more southerly meaning the houses came into play more providing the normal Gautby Rd holes and shifts. While this can provide good overtaking opportunities it can be very frustrating if you get the wrong side of a wind shift or sat in a hole watching boats pass you on either side. The choice of rig was an A which perfectly suited the conditions. Unfortunately, John had rigging problems during the practice before racing and had to swap to a B rig, and as the wind started to recede, he struggled against the A rigs.
Normal 95 protocol of self monitoring the start, thank you Peter for monitor duty. First home recorded the results, this gives maximum sailing opportunities for all the helms. After 7 races were sailed, part of the fleet had to leave, a further 5 races were sailed for fun but not recorded as part of the overall results
Peter mastered the conditions and sailed very consistently winning 6 and was second in the other. The rest of the places were closely contested with both Dave and Richard showing good boat speed, culminating in Dave posting one of his best run of results in the last 3 races, a second and 2 thirds. However it was Alan and Clive who battled it out for the second and third places. Competition throughout the fleet was as competitive as ever with 6 helms posting a third place and better (not surprisingly, only John on his B rig struggled in the lighter airs)
Final Results (with 1 discard)
1   Peter Baldwin         6 pts  (6 wins)
2   Alan Watkinson   17pts  (1 win)
3   Clive Warren         18pts
4   Dave Howard       24pts
5   Richard Walker   26pts
6   Frans King             27pts
7   John Beech             37pts