Contribute an Article!

Model Yachting would love to add your content! Submit your posting, pictures, or idea to

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Texas DragonForce Series #3, Back to Houston...

I began the third of the Texas DF series by driving down to the Houston regatta with Chuck LeMahieu of Dragon Sailing (USA) with our boats, and several boxes of Dragon Sailing deliveries to the Houston guys, including two new DF95 boats and Chuck's own DF95...a tight squeeze! We left in overcast rainy weather at 6:30am to make the 11:00am start time. For my European readers, Texas is a big state; driving Dallas to Houston is a greater distance than driving (if one could!) from London to Paris! Suffice to say, Texas alone supports a very robust DF65 (or for that matter RC sailing itself) community. After some re-routing due to road construction and traffic, we arrived right on time for the start of the day's racing...and what a day, the weather cleared beautifully with nice wind (A-rig all day), blue skies, and 26 competitors!

The venue; perfect for sailing R/C boats!
The hosts arrive for the day's event!
The venue, while perfect in nearly everyday, was slightly disfavored by the wind angle; some reaching a difficult port tacks; but improved slowly through-out the impediment to good racing! The fleet itself ranged from novice to expert; with all 26 boats racing in one heat, which generally worked, but led to some hair-raising traffic at the marks...

Lucy the dog ate my old racing hat, let's test the luck of the new one!

PeckForce sallies forth; determined to do well and avoid another foundering!

My day...

I finished, I believe 7th out of 26 boats, which puts me 6th in the state series (out of, I'd guess, approximately 30 potential boats). My finishes were: 3-22(dropped)-5-6-18(dropped)-12-13-12-10-10-3-7-8. As I have mentioned before, I need to work on my's tough to follow a 3rd with a 23rd! Fortunately, as I sail more this year I am seeing some improvement. Anyhow, for me:

  • Boat rig, tune, and speed were good. The times I was up with the leaders I did not want for speed of pointing ability (though in smaller boats like these, low and fast is almost always better than high and slow). No breakdowns or leaks;
  • The down-wind sheeting angles are fixed, though I think my jib may still be a shade tight up-wind;
  • Generally good starts; which is saying something with 26 boats on the line!
  • Generally good course selection;
  • I need to improve my ability to sail clear, a right-away is of little use when boats are cracked-up in a rounding, or they (or me!) are uncertain as to the right-away. I need to remind myself more forcefully that sailing with more room in clear air is always a better alternative;
  • I need to take better angles downwind and quit over controlling so much; and
  • Room, room, room! I need to take and give more...


  • 18 boats at CSC were manageable, my opinion is 26 boats were simply too many. The Texas Series is continuing to grow, and some fleet racing system may have to be adopted. I think HMS is too much for such a casual affair, but I'm sure there will be discussions and something worked out. My opinion is that a simple red-white-blue system would be best; again, for this regatta series simplicity is the relevant factor in my opinion. I look forward to seeing what develops;
  • Collision avoidance...sometimes it seems people almost want a collision to prove their right-away, I think the fleet should be encouraged to avoid this; it is always faster to avoid the collision and protest, especially when the avoidance is slight;
  • Fleet composition for the series is good, with a few top skippers to gun for, a few new folks learning the ropes, and a vast and competitive middle to make for some fine racing;
  • We need less talking at the starts; 26 skippers chatting in the wind makes it hard to hear, or perhaps a louder clock, lol...
  • As mentioned previously a fun series to participate in; next time we'll be off to Austin
Of course some photos, courtesy & copyright of Mike Biggs; see there full gallery here.

PeckForce holding off regatta winner Macaluso with a tight mark rounding...Chuck just ahead! 
21 of the 26 boats in this picture give an idea to the busy starts...

One bad tack, and Chuck edges me for 2nd!

Great start for PeckForce, which he held until the last leg, finishing 3rd...consistency needs work!

Another busy start.

A portion of the fleet beating upwind.

Nice view of skippers area at this venue.

PeckForce charges towards the line in one of his better finishes, just behind Mauricio and Macaluso.

Nearing the start, PeckForce aiming to go low and fast...

Nicely powered-up for the first beat, you can see the sail's curve generating some power here...

A good day! PeckForce crosses on starboard on his way to a rounding.

No comments:

Post a Comment