Inaugural DF65 & DF95 State Championships in SA

Dec 11, 2020

The inaugural SA State Championships for both the DF65 & DF95 classes were held at West Lakes over the weekend of 05 & 06 December with strong winds buffeting the fleets.

Saturday 5th December 2020 Inaugural South Australian Dragon Flite 95 State Championship

Skippers started arriving at Tiranna reserve, where they found almost calm and temperate conditions after an early morning squall.

By 8:00 am at it was only 5-8 knots from the NE but the wind built quickly and shifted left to NW, then W then SW.  The building breeze made sail measuring a 4 person operation – but inspections were completed.

By the briefing time at 10:15 Tim Arland and Ecio Marcel had set and reset the starting line and windward marks several times.  By the time racing started at 10:30 am breeze was SW 19-24 gusting to 27 knots at the Airport and the Black Pole.

The RO and skippers decided to try for 3 races and review conditions - as the weather reports were indicating a building gale force breeze later in the day.  C rigs were the order of the day:  Mike Marshall with only a B rig was overpowered, Anthony Wilson and Bob Whitehead only had A rigs and sensibly stayed ashore.

Six boats ventured out to the start area for the first race, 5 with C rigs, one with  B.  Jeff Watson won the first 2 races, Jurgen Luther the 3rd race.  Norman Wallis decided it wasn’t fun and retired. 

20201211_df951After the bracket we paused, the RO and skippers reviewed and agreed  to sail another 3 races which would give us a result (at least 5 races required).  Wins went to Tony White and Johan Bergkvist.

Another pause for discussion after 6 races and the remaining skippers were keen to do another 3.  Tony had his boat sorted out and won all 3, 2nds to Johan and Jurgen.  Another meeting and agreement to try for 12 races in total.  Tony won 2, Jeff the final race.

The results gave Tony first on 15 points, Johan 2nd on 20 points and Jeff 3rd on 27 points, one point ahead of Jurgen.  Mike’s control problems meant he only finished one race, race 11, to wide applause.

By the end camp chairs were being blown up the beach and competitors were getting sand blasted.  It was decided that it was too uncomfortable to do a formal prize giving at the reserve - we concluded home was a much nicer place to be!


Congratulations to the prize winners and big thanks to Tim and Ecio and Chris running the event 

It was a challenging day but the shorter course made seeing the boats easier, although the wind and waves made handling very difficult and contributed to some port/starboard and buoy contacts, which were all followed by prompt taking of penalties.  Each skipper had occasional inability to tack and it was evident that a rapid granny caused much less loss than a failed tack.  And despite the conditions there were no boat failures.

Sunday 6th December 2020 Inaugural South Australian Dragon Force 65 State Championship

The Sunday DF65 State Titles were almost a replica of Saturday’s DF95 series, except the wind was blowing even harder and as we started 8 of the 10 entrants at 10:30am it was well established in the SW,  22 knots gusting 32 at the airport and 24  gusting 32 at the Black Pole. 

10 Skippers were welcomed with 25kn, C rigs were selected by those who had them - Johan, Tony, Anthony quickly found the podium, those without C used B rigs and the “out of the box” pair of Bruce Backman and Clinton Thomas were of course using (and struggling with) OEM A rigs. 

Guy Wallis was the explorer winning heat two his B rig,  and starting a flurry of rig changes. The OEM A rig boats were overpowered most of the mid morning, however they managed to get around the course for some the races.

20201211_DF651Mid morning a rain squall came through and some skippers dropped to C rigs, however it only hung in for pre-start and one lap, and the C rigs were over run by B rigs.

Surprisingly the wind eased somewhat again and all but Jurgen Luther moved to B rigs for a while.  There was much changing up and down throughout the day.

PRO Ian Dowsett and RO/Scorer helpers Debbie and Chris Sherman and Jeff Watson set one course for the day.  No changes were needed during the day, even when the breeze tended south a little and temporarily after lunch.

After the first 5 races which ensured we had a result for the day as Johan Bergkvist had given powerful notice of his intentions with three bullets and 2 seconds.  Guy Wallis and Tony White each won 1 race in the first 5.

Lunch was called after 7 races where Johan had built a reasonable lead.  Jurgen and Bruce switched on to find dead winches and spent a couple of races installing new ones.  Jurgen came out after and found his feet with a couple of heat wins late in the series

Tony and Johan just kept in sight of each other for the remainder races conserving the gear as much as possible while the sea breeze was building. They swapped down to C for Race 15, where the sea breeze decimated the fleet with gusts of 30+kn.

Racing was finished when only two boats were in a position to start!

Johan Bergkvist #13 was crowned 2020 SA State Champion

Tony White #35 second overall

Anthony Wilson #185 third overall

The “out of the box” A rig only division went to Bruce Backman: a sterling effort in difficult conditions.


Congratulations to the prize winners and thanks to Ian, Debbie, Jeff and Chris.  Interestingly, on both days, it was clear that the new dinghy behaved very well in strong winds and significant waves and the 2.3 HP outboard makes it totally safe up to 30 knots, so the safety issues with the old electric thruster are happily a thing of the past.

It was another challenging day and there were various servo failures so that by race 15 only 4 boats started, but all finished.  Again the shorter course made seeing the boats easier, although the wind and waves made handling very difficult and contributed to some port/ starboard and buoy contacts, which were generally followed by prompt taking of penalties.  Again there were occasional missed tacks and again it was evident that a rapid granny often caused much less loss than a failed tack.

Photos available at this link SA DF 65 State Titles - Google Photos

We would like to thank:

- The Organising Team at SARYC (for hosting and running the event):  Ian Dowsett, Chris Juttner, Tim Arland, Ecio Marcel, Jeff Watson, Debbie Sherman and Chris Sherman.
- ARYA and ADFRSA for giving the guidance and tools for the event
- Samaras Group for donating/sponsoring  our State Championship Trophies (perpetual) for this year and the future
- Woolcock Group for donating /sponsoring our Fleet Champion Trophies (perpetual)  for this year and the future
- Hobby Warehouse for donating other trophies.

South Australian Radio Yacht Club


Category: South Australia
Posted by: ARYA Publicity