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DF65 ND Championships

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.

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

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