Skipper Interview No. 6

Des with his DF95

Another month and another DF skipper interview. This month we are featuring Des Fairbank, who not only is one of RSA’s top radio skippers but he has been one of the prime movers in getting DF95’s to RSA and has been instrumental in building fleets across the nation.

To read about the contribution Des has made and how he got started please check out the Skipper Interview page by clicking here.

New Member Application for DFICA

As time goes on we have started to receive applications for DFICA membership from emerging Nations with growing DF fleets. Our first such application has come from Canada. DFICA Chair Phil Burgess had the following to say of the new application.

“The DFICA welcomes an application from Canada to join the Association. Canada has a strong fleet of both classes and is affiliated to World Sailing through the Canadian Radio Yachting Association.

This would bring the number of member nations up to 15.

The application will now be assessed at the next Executive Committee meeting and announced before the World Council meeting scheduled for 27th June.”

DF95 Global Championship 2023

Smoke signals have risen from Fleetwood in the UK and the club, in association with DF Racing UK, have published the provisional Notice of Race for the event. Huge thanks must go to those involved already in helping to get the event to this stage. There has been an enormous amount of work behind the scenes.

Further details are available on our Events page – Click here to take a look.

Something for the weekend Sir?

Bruce has collected some silverware recently!

Apologies, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Life has been busy with sailing here and there, a trip to the UK dinghy Show to promote what we do here in the UK and more than anything….work.

Anyhow we have a cracking interview for you to read, this time with legendary yacht designer and all round nice guy Bruce Farr….wow. As it turns out Bruce is one of Phil’s idols and he was very excited to get this interview done.

Get yourself a beer, wine, coffee, tea (delete as applicable) and have a read by clicking here. Enjoy!

Another interview, with a difference!

DF95’s @ Coomera RYC

Another interview for your reading pleasure. This one is from a different angle. With many new groups forming all over the world to sail DF yachts we thought it would be a good idea to get in touch with a recently formed club who could perhaps offer some sage advice about how they have made it work.

So, as ever we sent intrepid reporter Phil out into the world to get the lowdown from the top guys at Coomera RYC in QLD Australia.

Perhaps it will inspire your sailing group to formalise a little more in the coming months, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Click here to take a look.

Skipper Interview No.3

Which of the three is our DF skipper interviewee?

So, we are into 2022 with plenty to look forward to in terms of racing as the year goes on. However, it might be that where you are in the world the water is a little bit hard and the days are short meaning there isn’t much sailing to be done.

So, we sent out Phil once again to track down a top skipper from the DF fleet to see what makes him tick. This time our top skipper is a giant of the big boat sailing world and has recently taken up some hobby sailing which takes the form of a DF95.

Phil says – “Ed Baird’s sailing CV is too long to list here. Suffice to say he is a legend in the sport and sails his DF95 for family fun and match racing practice. He was a coach of the 1995 America’s Cup-winning Team New Zealand and a helmsman for the 2007 America’s Cup-winning Alinghi syndicate.  He won the World Laser Championships in 1980, the World J/24 Championships in 1983 and was World Sailor of the Year in 2007.

Check out the interview with the legend that is Ed Baird by clicking here.

Fleetwood goes Global!

The iconic Fleetwood pond.

The DFICA is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2023 DF95 Global regatta to the Fleetwood Model Yacht & Powerboat Club in the UK.

It is anticipated to run from Friday 12th May 2023 to Friday 19th May with registration and
inspections on the first 2 days with racing commencing on Sunday 14th May for 6 straight days (a lay day may be included).

Fleetwood has an enviable track record of hosting World, European and National Championships. Their facilities are excellent and the town has good local accommodation and plenty of tourist sites close by.

Further details will be provided closer to the event. In the meantime please check out the club website by clicking here.

Future Global regattas are intended to fall back into the 2 year cycle (post Covid) with the DF95’s scheduled for 2026. Member nations wishing to be considered to host this event are requested to contact the DFICA Secretary.

Kind regards,

Phil Burgess,


DF International Class Association.

DF Global Regattas

After the excellent welcome we all received in Texas in 2018 we were looking forward to the 2020 DF65 Globals in Sweden. Covid has delayed that now by some time but there is good news for DF Global events, see below for details.


The Executive Committee recently sought expressions of interest to host the next 2 Global Regattas.

A comprehensive application was received from Sweden to host the 2024 DF65 Regatta, following the 2020 deferred events caused by Covid.

The Committee has unanimously approved the event to be held at Nynashamn, Sweden from 6th to 12th May 2024.

Here is a short video prepared for 2020 regatta….

…and some information about the beautiful coastal town…

Some great social activities are planned along with activities for partners. Fleet sizes are still to be agreed.


The Executive committee has received an expression of interest from the Fleetwood Model Yacht Club in the UK to host the 2023 DF95 Global Regatta in the summer months. This will be considered when further details are provided.

Future Global regattas are intended to fall back into the 2 year cycle (post Covid) with the DF95s scheduled for 2026. Member nations wishing to be considered to host this event are requested to contact the DFICA Secretary.

New Sailwinch and other Updates from Joysway

Joysway are now shipping an updated sailwinch known as the ‘DF Sailwinch’. This will now be the standard winch installed in both the DF65 & DF95. It is a digital winch with a coreless motor, full metal gearing, dual ball bearings and rated for use at 6.6v to suit the popular LiFe rechargeable batteries.

The design team have ensured that the new winch, when used with the appropriate drum, matches the sheeting speed of the older winches, so no performance gain is available. When purchased as a spare part it is supplied with both a Red 16mm diameter drum for the DF65 and an orange 25mm drum for the DF95, these fit the unique, 20 tooth output shaft in the winch. No class rule change is necessary following the introduction of the new winch, but a clarification on their use will be issued shortly on the DF World website

New DF Sailwinch with drums.

Why was the new Sailwinch Necessary?

There has long been an issue with the old winches regarding accuracy at the ends of the sheet travel. ‘End Creep’ was the first issue, this is when the winch either sheets in to an inconsistent end point or when sheeted in it would then ease out a small amount, neither of these situations helped with fine control at the fully sheeted in position. Efforts to cure this on the old winches only resulted in ‘Dead Ends’ where the sheet would wind in to a reasonably consistent end point but when trying to sheet out a small amount, nothing would happen and then the sheetline would jump out a few millimetres, once again, not satisfactory control at the close-hauled position. 

It became evident that an upgrade in winch specification was necessary to overcome these issues. The design team were careful that this is just a quality upgrade and not a performance enhancing change. 


– Accurate sail control 

– Same winch used on both classes, so only one spare needed if you race the DF65 & DF95

– Rated for 6.6v to suit the rechargeable LiFe batteries in common usage around the world

– Higher specification and components should lead to a more reliable winch 

– No performance upgrade compared to older winches


– Quality only comes at a price, so the new DF Sailwinch is more expensive (check with your local supplier for accurate prices), but same winch can now be used on both DF classes

The old sailwinches will still be available as spare parts for those that are happy to continue using them and don’t want to spend the extra for the new sailwinch.

Dragon Sailing USA have published an ecellent video on YouTube showing a comparison of new versus old winches at

NEW – Boat Stand Laydown Upgrade Kit

As well as the new Sailwinch, Joysway have introduced an upgrade kit which can be easily fitted to the existing boat stands to make it possible to lay the boat down on the stand for greater stability and safety in outdoor situations. This kit is now standard equipment supplied with all new  version 7 & version 2 boats (see below) as well as being available as a spare part from your local DF distributor.

Stand upgrade kit as supplied.
Stand upgrade kit assembled.

Version 7 DragonForce65 & Version 2 DragonFlite95

New boats leaving the factory will now be fitted with the new DF Sailwinch and will also include the Stand Laydown Upgrade Kit as standard. To differentiate these from older stock they have been named DF65 v7 & DF95 v2. Apart from these changes, and updates to the box graphics and Building instructions, they are identical to the current boats.

The retail price of the DF boats has been stable for a long time now. So, in line with most other products worldwide, there will be a price rise coming with the new DF65 v7 & DF95 v2 boats. This will be in the region of 20% for the 65 and 15% for the 95 (check with your local supplier for accurate prices). These price rises were necessary for the following reasons:

– Increase in all materials and electronic components in China

– Massive increases in container shipping costs (up to six times what they were a year ago!)

– Upgraded Sailwinch and Boat Stand Upgrade Kit supplied as standard equipment

The increases have been kept as low as possible, but we hope that you’ll agree that the DF boats still represent amazing value for what they deliver.

Issued by the DF Design & Development Team

November 2021