Saturday, June 06, 2020
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DF95 Newsletter


 Before getting into what’s happening around the QLD DF 95 Class, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Col Cameron and I am based in Townsville where I am slowly building a fleet of DF95’s. Currently I am the QLD DF95 Coordinator linked to the Qld Radio Yacht Association (Inc) and the Australian Radio Yacht Association. My role is to bring together the various DF 95 clubs and pass on any information that will benefit our great sport.

Some of you may know me from my days with the QRYA executive (15 Years) and others have competed against me at various IOM and M class regatta’s. My history with Radio Yacht Sailing, started way back in 1978, when I built a Radio-Controlled Marblehead, one of the very first yachts of this type in Nth Qld. During that time, I have built many boats and sailed in many State and National Events and have had some good results. I started campaigning the DF95 Class early in 2018 when I moved from Mackay to Townsville after retiring and have found this yacht to be one of the best off the shelf production class boats around. Since that time, I have seen the class grow very quickly within QLD, with fleets now based around the state and growing.


The Paradise Radio Yacht Club (Inc) have now accepted the DF 95 into it’s ranks and the group sails every Friday afternoon.

The MORETON RADIO YACHT SQUADRON (Inc.) are hosting the Sth Qld DF 95 Championship on Saturday 4th May with racing commencing at 10:00 am.

The WHITSUNDAY MODEL YACHT CLUB are hosting a week long event from the 9th July through to the 15th July for the DF 95.

Sailing will be done in the afternoon with only 12 races per session. This leaves plenty of time to have a holiday visiting the wonders of the Whitsundays, such as the Islands, Whitehaven Beach, the great Barrier Reef and enjoy the fresh produce at one of the many award-winning restaurants. The club trialled a similar event last year and proved to be successful with lots of fun and enjoyment.

The TOWNSVILLE RC SAILING CLUB (Inc) are hosting the 1st round of the NQ Interclub series on the 15th June commencing at 12:30 pm. This Interclub competition between the Mackay, Townsville and the Whitsunday clubs has been running since 1996 and the trophy is a treasured memento for the best NQ Club and the Best NQ Skipper.

The MACKAY MODEL MARINERS are hosting the 2nd round of the NQ Interclub series on the 24th August starting at 12:30. Great sailing venue and has great tourist facilities spread throughout the district.

The WHITSUNDAY MODEL YACHT CLUB are hosting the inaugural DF95 Queensland State Championship on the 5th and 6th October 2019, to be sailed opposite the Whitsunday Yacht Club, you can fly to Proserpine or Hamilton Island, seek accommodation at Airlie Beach (Heaps of options) and enjoy the wonders of this spectacular piece of Queensland Paradise. The 3rd and final round of the NQ Interclub series will be held in conjunction with the state titles with the scores being allocated for the 5th October only. The event will be conducted using very experienced Race officers and scorers as we anticipate a good response for entries.

As more events become available, I will notify everyone via the QRYA latest news website page.

RULED BY THE THUMBS: Just some tips and tricks to get the best out of your sailing and your boat.

1: Learn to use your transmitter – this instrument is the gadget that connects you to your boat out on the water. It is an extension of your thinking and your DF95Txthumbs, so dry practice at home so that you can use the functions without having to look at the transmitter. This is very useful to understand the winch and rudder relationship, so that if you wish to ease a fraction or turn, you do so without thinking. It becomes second nature to you; it frees up your time to concentrate on your boat and the peripheral vision around your boat. Also, remember, always turn the transmitter on first then the boat, and turn off the boat then the transmitter.

2: Maintain your boat and your sails – Over the past 40 years I have seen some horrific maintenance and disregard for the sails. The DF 95 is not a battleship, it is a plastic, manufactured in large volumes craft that you need to look after on and off the water. Try to use a functional stand to do the rigging before sailing, the supplied stand is best used at home holding up your trophies, there are a number of purpose stand designs available on google search, the last thing you need is to have your boat blow over and be damaged while you are off having a chat.

When carrying your boat to the water hold it under the fin box and pointing into the wind with the sails let off, if the wind is gusty hold it horizontally so the sails do not flap so much as they will get stretched very quickly. Launch your boat gently into the water, DO NOT THROW IT into the lake, as it will cause cracking to occur around the fin case. I have witnessed IOM’s (One Metre’s) being thrown into the water and the skipper left standing there wondering why his boat has lost its fin or sinking. DF 95’s are not as strong as fiberglass IOM’s, so respect your boat.

When retrieving your boat, try to bring the boat in to the pick up area into the wind, bend down and pick it up via the fin box beneath the hull, let your sails off, and place boat back into the stand.

When finished sailing for the day, ALWAYS derig the mast and sails from the hull. Some people don’t derig their boat and wonder why their sails are stretched and cracks appear in the hull, it only takes a couple of minutes to rig or derig your boat. ALWAYS wash with fresh water and then take out the bung and the hatch, remove your battery completely and let the boat air out till the next time you sail. Make sure to lubricate, spray the bearings in the gooseneck and any vang components as the so-called stainless steel tends to rust.

Sails are the most important part of your Radio Sailing yacht, so they need to be handled with lots of love and care. They are your motor and provide 80% of your ability to do well in sailing. To look after them properly, make sure to have a good Sail Bag or box where they can be stored without creases or under tension, handle them with respect when rigging or derigging your boat. I have seen so many people grab the sails with their hands, crunch them while they try to rig the boat, and wonder why they have creases and lost boat speed. Be extra vigilant when the winds a gusty and strong, try to rig behind some shelter so as not to cause undue flapping and flogging to occur.

Always wash them with fresh water at least once a month and allow them to dry inside the garage then store them away into their rig box or bag. This is a good time to look over the sails for any wear and tear so things can be fixed. You don’t need to be in front and have your forestay break due to it rusting away, it does happen.

In the next newsletter, I will add some tips on sailing, understanding and tuning the sails and a few other pointers.

Good Sailing, and Respect your equipment, the Rules, your mates and yourself.

Col Cameron

DF95 Queensland Coordinator



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