The Sheriff Wins Another Austin Lakes Shootout!

Apr 28, 2019

Austin Lakes was the venue for the DF95 Western Australian State Championships. The venue is likely to be the site for the 2020 Australian National Championships for the DF classes, so today was an opportunity to have a run through, putting the boats and the lake to the test.

/Dragonflight 95/dfwa1

The entry list reached 17 boats, as there were several regulars either away on holidays, or unable to attend. Nevertheless, our two-time defending champion Lloyd Coles faced stiff competition from some of the regulars and a few newcomers to the class.

Weather conditions for the day were terrific. The sun was shining and the temperature was forecast to hit 30 degrees. The wind was out of the north, gradually veering towards the north-west. Early in the morning, a few skippers were thinking B rigs, but everyone rigged with their largest rig. The first few races were right at the top of the A rig, but as the day wore on, the wind abated.

/Dragonflight 95/dfwa2The Race Officer for the day was Glenn Dawson, who was ably assisted by Warren Rock, Ray Bassett and Phil Brown. The team set a long course, utilizing the majority of the length of the lake. Due to the shape of the lake, all the turning marks are easily seen from the bank, which is part of the attraction of this venue.

In the early races, it soon became clear that no single skipper was going to dominate the event. Newcomers, Carl Girolomo and Alex Landwehr showed that they were real contenders. Bruce Robins also started really well with a race win and second in the first two races. It was great to see Dave Bedford take out his first State Championship race win too.

As in any One Design class, the boat speed difference is purely due to the skipper and their ability to tune to the conditions. Most of the boats were travelling at a very similar speed, so once that occurs, the outcome of the race comes down to where you put the boat, and the skipper’s strategy. This regatta turned out to be a great leveler. Skippers were finding that they might get a race win, but come back to earth with a thud when the next race came along.

By lunch, there were 6 boats within 9 points of one another. The leader at that stage was Alex, with a small points lead from Carl. However, at that stage, we had sailed 7 races, and the second discard was after the next race.

/Dragonflight 95/dfwa3As the afternoon wore on, the wind reduced in strength, so skippers made adjustments to their rigs – some better than others! Ian Sherriff started to string together some very consistent results, with 3 heat wins and three second places. Bruce Robins also locked in 4 heat wins and a couple of seconds. Looking through the results, it turns out that of the 16 skippers entered, 8 of them won at least one race. As the day progressed, the wind started to veer more towards the north-west, and the committee boat was kept busy ensuring the course was fair and true. Races were taking between 12 and 15 minutes to run, which allowed skippers to catch up if they got a poor start, as well as challenging the leaders to try to hold their position once they got out in front.

Consistency turns out to be the main factor to good overall point scores. All skippers finished up discarding double digit scores in at least two races. The key to finishing on the podium is limiting the number of races
in which the score blows out. The last two races of the day were sailed in a fading breeze. However, the good thing about this was that there were a decent range of wind strengths experienced on the day.

By the close of racing, everyone seemed to have enjoyed their day’s sailing and many felt that they had learned quite a bit. The prize giving recognized a number of skippers for their efforts. Brendan Heasley took out the “Nil Desperandum” award which was for the skipper who was the lowest on the points table, but finished every race. Nil Desperandum stands for “don’t despair” and recognizes that the skipper persevered throughout the day. David Bedford was awarded the “Corinthian Spirit” award which recognizes the skipper who sailed with a great attitude and sailed to the rules at all times. The work which Dave does for the class was also appreciated by all the participants. Alex Landwehr won the best first time skipper (who wasn’t on the podium) finishing in fourth place in his first attempt at the DF95s. In third place on the podium for the regatta was Ron Viney, who had his boat tuned really well, and showed terrific boat speed. Bruce Robins finished in second position, just 4 points behind our new champion, Ian Sherriff.

The skippers thanked the volunteers who gave up their day to run the event. In turn, Race Officer Glenn congratulated all skippers for the great culture which the DF95 class has developed. Skippers sailed with great humour and spirit making the day enjoyable for all.

We look forward to hosting the 2020 National Championships for the DF95 class and hope that a number of our Eastern States friends manage to find their way over to Perth to join with us for a great event.


Click here for detailed results
PosNameSail No.ClubNettTotal
1SHERRIFF, IanAUS 5637.070.0
2ROBINS, BruceAUS 9141.076.0
3VINEY, RonAUS 81457.093.0
4LANDWEHR, AlexAUS 82059.094.0
5VINEY, AdamAUS 29059.097.0
6MOSS, RodAUS 84369.0103.0
7COLES, LloydAUS 4670.0116.0
8GIROLOMO, CarlAUS 5775.0129.0
9BEDFORD, DavidAUS 24177.0115.0
10LANDWEHR, MarkAUS 822122.0169.0
11FULLWOOD, KevinAUS 807122.0164.0
12CODY, LewAUS 435132.0179.0
13PRIDE, AllanAUS 810143.0188.0
14HEASLEY, BrendanAUS 853149.0196.0
15POPHAM, MarkAUS 488154.0208.0
16FLEMING, RobertAUS 867161.0215.0
17RAMSDEN, PhilAUS 145234.0288.0

Category: Western Australia
Posted by: ARYA Publicity