This weekend saw some thirty skippers arrive at Coalhouse Fort for the 2015 UK Dragon Force 65 National Championships. Unfortunately before the event even started there were three skippers who had to pull out for various reasons but it was decided to continue with three seeding heats as initially outlined.
Day 1 was a very hot sunny day with the wind coming from the west, directly over the Fort which causes various wind shifts as it gets directed round both sides of the Fort creating ‘holes’ in the course. Race Officer Geoff Appleton set a triangle and sausage course at the south end of the lake and the three seeding heats were completed. During the next round of heats, unfortunately another skipper received a phone call necessitating him to withdraw. At this stage it was decided to reschedule to two heats, which was maintained for the rest of the event. About lunch time, the wind appeared to change, and so the course was moved to the North end of the lake, but still retaining the triangle and sausage. However, it soon became apparent that the southern end of the lake provided the better wind albeit still with its challenges.
There were some notable achievements by some of our foreign visitors as well as our own local skippers, namely Angela Mears and Jamie Stevens, who at the age of 13 had entered his first open event.
It was very clear right from the start that John Tushingham was going to stamp his authority on the event by winning the first four races. It therefore was going to be a fight for the other top places between Trevor and Ken Binks, Nigel Brown and Buzz Coleman. Having missed the seeding heat and first race, Derek Priestley soon started to catch up and by the end of day 1 had managed to recover to third place behind John and Trevor.
And so after 9 races, it was down to the pub for a well deserved drink and basket meal to congratulate and commiserate whichever was appropriate.
Day 2 was completely different in that it was overcast with the odd brief shower about lunchtime, after which the sun did try to break through. Having said that, the wind was much better in that is was from the South South West and remained consistent in direction throughout the day. The wind strength was good right from the start and gradually increased as the day went on, such that various skippers started to change down to No.2 rigs, very quickly followed by others, with most skippers who had a No.3 rig eventually changing for the last couple of races.
Unfortunately another two skippers had to withdraw for various reasons before the start of day 2, which left just 26 skippers continuing in the event. With another 9 races completed, John Tushingham continued to dominate, leaving Trevor and Ken Binks and Derek Priestley to fight over second third and fourth places, with 8 points separating them.
It was good to see the oldest skipper in Joe Binks aged 92 and the youngest, Jamie Stevens aged 13 battling out at times, so well done to both of them.
After two days and 18 races, John Tushingham was the very clear winner on 24 points, with his closest rival, Trevor Binks a further 23 points behind on 47 points and Derek Priestley third on 52 points.
It was very gratifying that all incidents were sorted on the water and there were was only one very short Protest Hearing towards the end of the event for redress, so our thanks to all competitors for a great weekend from the organisers.
The MYA Chairman, Keith Coxon arrived part way through Day 2 to show his support for the class and present Trophies and Prizes to the top 8 skippers.
|8||John Burgoine||06||Birmingham MBC||122.0|
|9||Christel Cracco||168||Belgium RCYB||126.0|
|12||Robert Wilson||365||Leicestershire RYC||141.0|
|13||Bob Conner||14||Woodspring MBC||181.0|
|14||Chris Treagust||706||Emsworth Slipper||197.0|
|15||Angela Mears||348||Southend MBC||215.0|
|16||Buzz Coleman||12||Coalhouse Fort MBC||239.0|
|17||Glenn Meekcoms||418||Southend MBC||240.0|
|22||Lesley Parks||602||Southend MBC||273.0|
|23||Howard Dalton||364||Southend MBC||273.0|
|25||Jamie Stevens||00||Southend MBC||297.0|
|26||David Bland||488||Coalhouse Fort MBC||306.0|
|27||Simon Agland||274||Coalhouse Fort MBC||363.0|
On behalf of Geoff Appleton and John Newton, our thanks to Malcolm Schaffer, Ray Bland, Alan Bevan, John Coster and Cathy Newton for all their help throughout the event.
Here is a link to photos taken by Sue Brown over the weekend.