On a lovely sunny Sunday 13th April 2014, Coalhouse Fort MBC hosted their first Dragon Force 65 Open meeting, with skippers coming from as far away as Eastbourne and Portsmouth. Unfortunately, Mike Kerridge from Portsmouth suffered receiver problems almost from the start and after several attempts had to retire prematurely from the event after basically only two races.
The biggest problem for the skippers on the day was that the wind which was reasonably strong at times was from the West which meant it it swirled either side of the Fort. As a consequence two courses were tried, with the morning one towards the Northern end of the lake when the wind appeared to come from the West North West. By lunch time the wind appeared to have moved more to the West South West and so the course was changed to the Southern end of the lake for a couple of races but quickly moved back to the original course until the last race.
Mike Weston started the day well winning three of the first five races and by race 4 after the first discard was leading with 4 points closely followed by Buzz Coleman with 5 points and Colin Goodman in third on 8 points. John Torrance and David Brown had started their own personal tussle and were both on 11 points. By race 8 Buzz had managed to peg Mike back and after two discards they were both on 10 points with Colin drifting further back on 16 points, and David managing to pull away slightly from John.
By race 12 Buzz Coleman had managed to assert his authority on the event and was now leading on 17 points, with Mike Weston only two points behind on 19 and Colin Goodman falling further behind on 27 points. John Torrance had managed to claw back a couple of points on David Brown but was still trailing David by 2 points. By race 16 and with three discards Buzz Coleman had distanced himself from Mike Weston although Mike did try to make a fight of it by winning the last two races. However, Buzz managed to keep Mike in his sights and maintained his lead with 20 points, followed by Mike on 24 points and Colin Goodman third on 39 points.
|1||Buzz Coleman||12||Coalhouse Fort MBC||DF||20.0|
|2||Mike Weston||69||Coalhouse Fort MBC||DF||24.0|
|3||Colin Goodman||89||Coalhouse Fort MBC||DF||39.0|
|5||John Torrance||21||Chelmsford RYC||DF||50.0|
|7||Ray Bland||92||Coalhouse Fort MBC||DF||91.0|
|8||David Chamberlain||208||Coalhouse Fort MBC||DF||94.0|
Apart from the struggle with the wind at times, everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and certainly behaved with all incidents being addressed on the water in an amicable way. Our thanks to all the competitors for taking part and their friendly help to other skippers who were struggling – it is gratifying to see the more experienced skippers helping others, even in open competition.
We certainly look forward to running more Dragon Force events at Coalhouse Fort in the future so watch this space.