DF Squadron Club Racing 4

DF95s Series 1 Event 4 Tuesday 9th May

In an ever diminishing northwest breeze twelve skippers, which included our most recent fleet member David Rose, managed to complete eight single lap races. As you will see from the attached table we had five different individual winners with Shaun being the runaway leader and Chris proving that consistency has its rewards!

A reminder that we have 95 club racing this Saturday (13.5.17) at 2.30pm.

Garry Benson DF95 Fleet Captain

DF65s Series 1 Event 4 Wednesday 10th May

A fine sunny evening and a light northerly wind enticed eleven skippers for what turned out to be some challenging racing. We included the dreaded marker on the north side of the lake and it proved to be the downfall of a few skippers, myself in particular, getting endearingly attached to it on two occasions. Paul Reid is coming into good form winning five of the eight races. Peter Jackson decided to test his knees and even though he retired for the last two races he still finished third, pipping Garry on count back, a very good result.


Ken Crabtree DF65 Fleet Captain

DF Squadron Club Racing 3

DF65 Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The wind was stronger than forecast, which may account for the lower turn-out, but at least it was an easterly (with a slight hint of northerly) so we could set a course with a convenient start line. We all opted for the B rig which coped quite well. The first two races took almost half an hour so the course was shortened slightly but then the wind started to increase and boats were torpedoing and turning in uncontrolled circles so after four races some skippers opted to go down to the C rig and some opted to go home! By the end of the sixth race we had had enough; too windy and feeling cold so we called it a night. Still, we had a challenging hour and forty minutes of racing, The results are below and as we have now had three meetings there are also the current league positions.


DF95 Tuesday 2nd May – Series 1 Event 3

It was good to have Russell back racing after his holiday when Mark Rose also proved that there is no substitute for experience as, after Derek missed the last three races, he deservedly topped the podium. In saying that we had four different skippers taking a bullet and there was close racing throughout.

Many thanks to David Rose for scoring and voluntarily being race officer. You will note that we managed nine races which were contested in a superb A rig breeze and probably the warmest evening of the year so far.

The results are below.

Garry Benson  DF95 Captain

DF Squadron Club Racing 2

DF95 Fleet Tuesday 25th April

We welcomed Mark Rose to our fleet and in his case common sense prevailed as he did not have the C rig with him to survive the conditions!

We must admire the eight other skippers who endured a bitingly cold gale force wind which, prior to the first race even managed to delay proceedings whilst abating.

Common sense was also order of the day for Derek who had brought along one of two new 95s he had assembled and after one race retired as he preferred to deliver it in one piece.

Just five races were completed and Tim Lanigan took all five bullets with Dave Foster being a well deserved runner-up and Chris Chatfield completing the podium. Results to follow shortly.

Just a reminder that we are running a DF95 pop-up racing day this coming Bank Holiday Monday, 1st June and all club members are welcome. Briefing 10,15 with first race at 10.30am. Note though that it is intended to be more of a ‘training’ day with expert advice from Derek P.

Garry Benson

Fleetwood DF95 Squadron Captain

DF65 Fleet Wednesday 26th April

That dastardly north wind again but a bit calmer than the previous evening and B rigs coped reasonably well. Derek set a course of two laps of a long sausage but the windward mark was proving to be a killer. The approach was tricky, boat belting along one second and then dying the next until near the mark when the wind took hold and control was difficult, even for the experienced skippers. Once round the mark you had to dodge the boats still approaching. Chaos ensued! After three races the course was shortened but the windward mark was no easier.

Paul Reid took the first race, on his first outing this year, but only six skippers took part. Thereafter, once all eleven skippers raced the honours were shared by Garry, four firsts and John, three.



We are holding the annual weekend of Classic and Vintage Vane (or Free Sailing) “M” Class racing, on Saturday and Sunday 6th & 7th May 2017.

Racing will commence at 10.30 am on the dates above. Skippers can choose to visit for either the Saturday or the Sunday, for an entry fee of £3-00 per yacht, or sail both days for the bargain price of £5-00 per yacht.

Trophies awarded will be the Walter Jones Trophy for the top “Vintage” yacht and the Mayoral Cup for the highest scoring “Classic” yacht on the Saturday, then similarly the Hayes Trophy and the Pearson Trophy for top “Vintage” and “Classic” yachts respectively, on the Sunday.

For the purpose of this event we define “Vintage” as the yachts designed from the inception of the “M” Class rule in the early 1930’s, through to the late 1960’s. During this period it was a class rule that the circumference of a 2” disc must fit between the hull and the garboard. Typical examples of these designs are “Witchcraft”, “Foxtrot” and the many Stan Witty designs such as “Manta”, etc. “Classic” covers early fin and bulb designs up to circa 1980, e.g. “Blood Axe”, “Reflection”, Bill Sykes “Sula”,etc. If in doubt whether you have a yacht conforming to either of these definitions, please contact me.
If you do not have a Classic or Vintage “M” Class as defined above, but would like to be involved in the event, please come along. We always need “Mates” to help “Skippers” and also people for starting and scoring duties.

Skippers are reminded that sometimes there is plenty of wind on the Fleetwood Lake, so it is always advisable to bring your smaller suits of sails as well as your top suits!

Sandwiches and snacks, etc., are available at kiosks situated at both ends of the lake. Tea and coffee will be available in the Clubhouse. It would be appreciated if you could please inform me by Thursday 4th May if you intend to visit on this occasion.

We normally have a de-brief for food and drink, at a local hostelry, in the evening after racing on the Saturday.

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours sincerely,

Peter Whiteside

Tel: 01253 778219
e-mail: peterwhiteside@talktalk.net

John Brooks – Fleetwood Vane & Radio Sailor Passes Away

My oldest friend from child hood passed away in his sleep on Good Friday. He was 62.

John introduced me to our sport in 1961, when he was 6 and I was 9. As “scraggy assed kids” we grew up together 100 yards from Fleetwood Lake on Manor Road. That introduction led to a lifetime of friendship and camaraderie that would last a lifetime. As kids we would race with boat owners, skippers, as their “mates” but we soon had our own Marbleheads & we were able to race as skippers ourselves. We raced many events in all classes & eventually r/c came along & we both got involved.

We were fortunate to be at the famous 1984 New Forrest RM Nationals. This event was famous for many reasons. First Torvald Klem from Norway became the first Non British winner of our Nationals. Second Roger Stollery (who places 2nd in the event) introduced the “Swing Rig” to the class. And Third, this was Graham Bantock’s first radio Nationals. He placed 26th. Brooky & I did somewhat better finishing 3rd & 5th respectively. But John’s favourite boat to race was always the A class. He raced many A class Championships both at Fleetwood & Gosport with boats he built himself, the most famous being a “Stollery Lollipop” “Dear Prudence” and whilst never quite winning the ultimate prize, the Scrutton Cup, he managed on 3 occasions to win the YM cup, the final time only last year when he & I teamed up with my boat which we re-named for the event “ 2 old rockers”. By the end of the week we were 2 old Knackers!!

In his youth, John left school and couldn’t wait to get to sea. This he did, as most Fleetwood people, by becoming a Trawler man. But, as John was quite a clever bloke, he was not just a deck hand or even an engineer; he became at age 19 the youngest “Mate” (or first officer) in the industry in the port of Fleetwood. But after the Cod Wars and the decline in deep water trawling from the big fishing ports, many trawler men became un-employed so John and his wife started a fish selling business. This was very successful and was subsequently sold, and John bought a 25 foot grp hull and built an inshore fishing boat which he named after his favourite Trawler “Wyre Conqueror”

Subsequently John & his wife divorced and the boat had to be sold. John then spent time working on a Dredger in Liverpool bay before leaving the sea & becoming shore based as a Coastguard in Aberdeen. But the travelling got too much & again he changed direction. This time he worked in an Inland Revenue call centre helping people with their tax queries. Very fitting as one of his A boats had been named “Taxman”!!

After racing in the A nationals 2 years ago John was found to have mouth cancer. But he was successfully operated on and once again the sea was calling so he bought a small boat, in need of some work as a project for himself. He gradually bought the bits he needed and was in the process of doing the renovation, having just changed the engine, when he sadly passed away.

Sail well & rest in peace John.

From your old friend


DF Squadron Club Racing

Tuesday 18th April DF95 Fleet

Tonight we welcomed David Foster and Robin Gray to our fleet and guest skippers David Stewart and Shaun Priestley.

On an uncomplicated course, kindly set by Derek, eleven skippers persevered in a breeze with more holes than a string vest and only five races were completed before sundown! Chris Chatfield suffered the dreaded winch servo burn out and Derek and son Shaun missed the final slog due to family commitments which somewhat distorted the overall result. Nevertheless, congrats to Tim Lanigan whose consistency speaks for itself.

Wednesday 19th April DF65 Fleet

At first it looked like some skippers were going off our booklet’s start time of 6.30pm as turnout was low but the last minuters brought it up to a respectable twelve; could do better though! Perhaps the effort of the all day Pop-up DF95 on Monday and yesterday evening’s club DF95 meeting had taken their toll on the skippers who have both classes.

We had a reasonably stable westerly wind and completed eight races by eight o’clock. We could have possibly done more if we hadn’t spent time on trying to guide a couple of out-of-control boats back to shore; electrical problems! Poor Mark suffered his just 2 or 3 yards from the finishing line, in first place; he might have won the night otherwise. As it was John Plant took the honours.

Next week we should be able to have a later start; watch for the email!!