The 2021 Western Australian DF95 State Championship was held at Austin Lakes on Sunday September 26. The weather was not sounding good at the start of the day, with thunderstorms and plenty of rain in the forecast. 13 optimistic skippers faced the start line on the day, in what turned out to be a ripper event.
We were extremely lucky, the weather gods were looking down on us in a good way, no rain at all during the entire race regatta - bit different to what the Bureau thought was going to happen! The winds were 180 degrees from yesterday's perfect conditions and at perfect strength to test the fleet.
It was forecast to be a soft 5-7 knots from the west, which usually ends up a drift fest after it drops off during the afternoon. Instead we were at the maximum possible knots for A rigs on the DF95 boats, we often struggled to tack or maintain a course as gusts belted us on port or starboard.
There were 13 boats from 4 key DF clubs and it was a credit to Albany and Wanderers clubs for their great level of support for the event.
Our race controller today who was supporting a small headache from last night's celebrations, was the experienced Glenn Dawson. He carefully briefed the fleet on expectations of the skippers regarding clean but fun sailing before we started and promptly called any incident so a penalty turn could be done without hesitation. As a result, races were over quickly and relatively safely which is why we got through 18 for the day. Having said that, the strong breezes did force some handling errors which was unfortunate as boats were stranded on buoys often.
A key quote from today was from Race Officer Glenn who suggested the level of skippers in this year's DF95 class has improved rapidly which is a tick for all skippers.
We would like to again acknowledge the generous trophy donation by Ian and Hazel Meicklejohn and their family. The gifts were greatly appreciated by all the winners. Also a large thank you to Rob Mews, Fred Weber and Ian Meicklejohn for assisting Glenn on the day. Plus Dave Woodcock for his entry preparations and admin work.
The day could not have gone off more smoothly, thanks largely to the preparation and work put in by Andrew Donkin and the Austin Lakes Radio Sailing Club. Everything was well planned and organised, making it easy for the officials to do their work. All participants extended a vote of thanks to Andrew at the presentation.
Our returning WA DF95 Champion is Andrew Grist who was just superior all day. He won most of the starts and stayed clear of issues sweeping to the front in most races. To win 7 of the 18 races shows his true class. Chasing hard was our local Austin Lake Champion Ian Sherriff who set a great standard for the chasing pack (Awesome effort for a bionic man). Around them all day was our third place winner Adam Viney. Adam showed he never gives up scrapping into the 2, 3 or 4th place position in most races.
Well done to our State Championship Winners.
Behind them was a small battle for the 4th spot between Geoff Oliver, Ron Viney and Donks. Then there was a closer battle for the 7 spot between Kim, Bruce and Grant. These little battles added to the day as the humorous banter abounded between all sailors. They are all a great bunch of blokes and we look forward to next year's event already.
If you would like to watch a video of one of the afternoon races, please see Dave Woodcocks video by clicking here.
Thank you to all who contributed to the organising and extension to your clubs to get skippers to register. Much appreciated..
|1||Andrew Grist||AUS 51||31.0||59.0|
|2||Ian Sherriff||AUS 89||42.0||66.0|
|3||Adam Viney||AUS 290||54.0||77.0|
|4||Geoffrey Oliver||AUS 421||67.0||99.0|
|5||Ron Viney||AUS 814||69.0||100.0|
|6||Andrew Donkin||AUS 514||74.0||106.0|
|7||Kim Swarbrick||AUS 525||115.0||155.0|
|8||Bruce Robins||AUS 91||117.0||152.0|
|9||Grant Turnbull||AUS 338||117.0||155.0|
|10||Kim Klaka||AUS 62||126.0||166.0|
|11||Keith Morris||AUS 32||129.0||169.0|
|12||Guy Skinner||AUS 825||131.0||171.0|
|13||Allan Pride||AUS 810||132.0||169.0|