Friday, December 04, 2020
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DF95 South Queensland Championships



The forecast was grim for the inaugural South Queensland DF95 Championships.  After years of effort in building the fleet the weather gods were not going to be kind, sending 95% chance of rain just on that day and not much wind.  Worse was the north-west to west forecast which is almost unheard of at the Newport venue.  The organisers were expecting a significant drop-off in attendance from those who had to travel the furthest.  After all who wants to travel hours to an event just to stand in the rain to race?  Well, everyone who nominated rocked up and it was a perfect day to sail DF95's.  Sixteen keen starters lined up for the first race.

Entrants came from all parts of south-east Queensland for the event and that highlighted the adoption of this class across the QRYA affiliated clubs.  The combination of the one-design concept and affordable equipment seems to have hit a sweet spot in the sailing community.  Some entrants were new to the sport while others had years of experience and regularly sail in multiple other classes.

95riggingThe day started with steady north-west zephyrs of just a few knots that demonstrated how the 95's are able to drift along quite nicely in those conditions and the first few races completed pretty much on the target time the race management team planned for.  Geoff Morris from the Kawana club took two bullets for the first two races, setting the challenge for the rest of the fleet.  But Mick Gentles and Erin Conza were not too phased by this and set out to keep Morris honest.  Mick recorded 3, then 2, then 1 for the first three races, just getting his bearings it seemed.



The breeze stayed cooperative for the remainder of the day, building then dropping as some very weak scuds passed over.  The boat crew were not troubled too much with course adjustments and only one of the two sets of windward marks were used.

I95localsn the end Morris took 8 wins from 15 races to claim the South Queensland Championship, closely followed by Gentles and Conza.  Just missing the podium by 1 point was Malcolm Gresham from the host club.  Adding to the multitude of 'if-only's' for the day, if not for a sudden massive wind change calling a halt to the day's racing Gresham would have claimed third as Conza had retired a race earlier.


It was without doubt a very successful regatta made possible by the generosity of Moreton Radio Yacht Squadron sharing their water, equipment and volunteers. This event also trialed a low entry fee ($10) BYO everything approach to mininise cost to competitors and workload on the host club.  It worked well.

Thanks go to the Moreton members, the race officers and in particular the efforts of Garry Russell who sat out the day to be an Observer otherwise he would have been up the pointy end of the fleet.  Garry has patiently promoted this class in south Queensland over the past few years and the effort is paying off now.








Link here to Youtube Channel for race videos


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