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    • #12356

      The DF Classes Founders’ Statement by John Tushingham, April 2019

      This ​Founders’ Statement​ ​asserts the founding principles and values of the DF classes and act as a reference point when considering future activities and directions the classes may take in their ongoing development. It should be always considered and respected by owners and class officials to ensure those founding values are upheld.
      For those involved in the sport of radio sailing it has always been a serious form of sailboat racing, but not one that was effectively promoted to the wider sailing world. Perhaps seen as ‘model’ boat racing, but known by those within the sport as one the most intense and challenging racing disciplines available. Our founders, John Tushingham, Mike Weston and Mark Dicks, identified the need for a low-cost, readily available, restricted class boat featuring good sailing characteristics and designed to make use of modern mass production techniques. The opportunity to realise that ambition arose in 2011 and the boat that resulted, the DragonForce 65 went on to change the public face of radio sailing. The larger DragonFlite 95, developed by John Tushingham and Buzz Coleman appeared a few years later and these two boats gave radio sailing the equipment and opportunity to attract and develop the level of involvement the sport rightly deserves. The DF classes have succeeded in attracting many people to gain their first experience of sailboat racing and the social life that goes with it, as well as opening up a whole new world of racing to experienced sailors.
      The DF classes were conceived and designed around the following key principles:

      Level Racing
      Racing with equal equipment, putting the emphasis solely on a skippers tuning and tactical ability.

      Low Cost Equipment
      Inexpensive, good quality equipment available worldwide through specialist distributors committed to excellent product support.
      An ‘out-of-the-box’ sailboat racing experience with a focus on long term product consistency.

      Equipment and Rules Clarity
      Make the class approachable to all new and experienced sailors alike through publication of easily understandable instruction manuals, online publication of support material and a plain English set of class rules written on a ‘Restricted One-Design’ basis where no changes to the supplied equipment are permitted unless specifically detailed in the rules.

      Scope for Personalisation
      To inject life and colour into a restricted one-design fleet, there is scope, written in to the rules, to allow an owner to personalise their boat through permitted decoration, accessory parts or replacement sails, none of which have any performance advantages.

      Friendly and Inclusive Community
      Class and owners work together to build a culture and community that’s inclusive for all sailing abilities and ambitions. Fresh, new event, racing formats and structures should be explored to help build the global DF community with equal emphasis on low and high level racing. Above all, racing should be fun, inclusive of all ages as well as competitive.
      The Founders hope that the DF classes remain true to these values, owners race and maintain their boats within the letter and spirit of the rules, and play and active part in their DF community. The growth of the DF classes will present as yet unforeseen opportunities for the development of radio sailing worldwide. It is hoped that those running the sport, DF classes and the sailors themselves embrace these opportunities and invest them with our core values.

    • #12357

      The last paragraph particularly applies to what we aim for weekly at all our sailing venues.

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