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1st DF TT at Lincoln. Not a bad one for a beginner

After studying Ken Reads video and Craig Richards blog again it was time to put all the tips into practice. My preparation for the TT was a bit random. Marbleheads on Sunday, DF65's on Tuesday, Marblehead on Wednesday, IOM on Thursday, DF 65 Saturday and DF 95 on Sunday. It was a bit of an exceptional week for sailing with races nearly every day. Won each day on all bar the DFTT where I had two acceptable thirds.


There are two reports on the weekend on Facebook MYA Downwind and soon on the MYA web site so you can get the details there if interested.


I occasionally hear criticism of the DF design but I have to say I am a big fan. You can take a boat out of the box for less than £900 for a fully set up very competitive DF95 and less than £600 for a DF 65. They are true one design boats and rely on the skippers skill in setting up and sailing the boat. They also require far more concentration that the more traditional RC classes as they are less balanced and one slight luff or fluffed tack can take you rapidly back through the fleet as I found out.


There is excellent competition with John Brierley, John Tushingham, Craig Richards, Dave Lyndsay, Derek Priestley, Peter Baldwin and Ken Binks to name a few and there are regular fleets of up to 20 boats at some local clubs giving excellent racing.


There is a small downside with the classes popularity insofar as there are some who are still learning their craft and occasionally bump into you on the start but we have all been there and happy to accommodate and help them. Racing these boats is a tough skill to learn.


So what did I learn over the weekend.


I was good with the B rig with the DF65, fast and going in the right direction and at lunch I was joint leader with Peter Baldwin. But when we changed down to the C rig as the wind picked up, I got something wrong with the setup and was slow. Haven't figured that one out yet.

Tacking these boats is tricky. Fluff the tack and you rapidly fall back through the fleet.


Sailing the DF 95 allows you to create a balanced boat which is easier to sail, but being light they too have their issues tacking and still require full concentration on steering. I found sailing with the B rig easy but when the wind dropped I fell out of phase with the wind shifts and bombed out in the last two races.


Lincoln have quite large start marks and I found that people were focussed on staying behind the non course side of the line on the start gun. I pushed for the course side of the line and found I was a nose ahead of the fleet at each start. I have work to do setting these boats up.


Finally the mainsheet lead came loose having been glued in and I noticed in one race the lead catching on the silicon ring meaning I was sheeted closer on one side than the other. If you have not glued your sheet leads on the boom in the centre, I recommend you do so as per the advice from Craig and Ken at the top of this Blog.


If you are looking for more racing and not entered the class yet, I strongly recommend you give it a go. It will improve you RC sailing, whatever your favourite boat is.


Next stop is the Marblehead Ranking event at Fleetwood. Now that will be a fun event and it will be great to see Brad Gibson race again. I wonder who the winner might be? Hmmmmm.

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