Better late than never! the 2015/16 South Island Sunburst Champs were held over the weekend of 20th and 21st February at the Waimakariri Sailing & Power Boat Club on the lower reaches of the Waimakariri River in Christchurch.
With 14 boats representing 6 clubs, and two entrants making their way up from Dunedin, a good representation of the class was present to race for the championship.
Within the confines of the river, racing is usually very close and hard fought, and so it was on Saturday, with the river still receding from high rainfall, and with light winds, tactical sailing by taking clever advantage of the current paid off.
Saturdays 3 races saw 3 different winners, Matt & Emmeline Neale taking a "lights to flag" win in the first race on
Sunbird, ahead of Murray & Heather Walls on Fun in 2nd, Peter Nees and Peter Wood on Alfresco chasing hard in 3rd.
Race 2 saw the first two places swap, with Fun holding out Sunbird, the other Dunedin boat, Roy Roker and Jim Godfrey on Beverly Ailsa taking 3rd.
Rhys O'Cain & Sebastian Belioux-Barpoza on Eagle picked up the third race with a comfortable win over Alfresco, Mike and Jeanette James on Soothsayer sailing well into 3rd place.
At the end of Day 1, Murray and Heather Walls held the lead, 3 points clear of Matt & Emmeline Neale, with Peter Nees and Peter Wood in 3rd, just 2 points back.
Sunday saw the breeze in the high teens, gusting low 20's, and in these conditions the Dunedin boats came home strongly, with Roy Roker and Jim Godfrey on Beverly Ailsa taking Race 4 ahead of the ever-present Sunbird in 2nd, with Alfresco in 3rd.
Race 5 again saw the usual suspects battling for the lead, Sunbird defending a narrow lead for the win, followed 7 seconds later by Alfresco, who were revelling the breeze. Fun picked up 3rd, recovering well from their DNF in the previous race (spinnaker trouble).
Race 6 looked to be going to Alfresco, before a slick pass under spinnaker right before the bottom mark on lap 2 (of 3) saw the Neale's on Sunbird slip through and extend around the last lap for another win and the overall championship.
Racing throughout the fleet was incredibly close (as is usual on the river, even more so for the Sunbursts!), and kept the race committee on their toes, especially as the Firebugs were sailing their South Islands on the same course, along with some Opti's, P's, Starlings, a couple of Zephyrs and a classic Moth for good measure!
Alfresco picked up a well-deserved the handicap win, with Fun taking the trophy for Best-Presented Boat & Crew.
Full results below;
1st 1668 Sunbird (M. & E. Neale) MPYC 7pts
2nd 1815 Alfresco (P. Nees & P. Wood) VYC 12pts
3rd 1632 Fun (M. & H. Walls) WSPBC 15pts
4th 1687 Beverly Ailsa (R. Roker & J. Godfrey) MBBC 19pts
5th 1816 Tecary (C. Tomlinson & J. Palleson) PPYC 22pts
6th 1576 Soothsayer (M. & J. James) WSPBC 26pts
7th 1525 Ripper (R. Dawson & K. Matson) WSPBC 30pts
8th 1059 Solar Flair (P. & C. Shanks) WSPBC 42pts
9th 1711 Uinme (A. & C. Barrett) PPYC 43pts
10th 1728 Eagle (R. O'Cain & S. Belioux-Barpoza) PPYC 46pts
11th 1603 Sunburnt (D. O'Sulliven & L. MacKay) PPYC 51pts
12th 591 Viking (A. McKerchar & J. Stevens) WSPBC 59pts
13th 1734 Muskateer (L. & C. Edwards) NPCL 64pts
14th 1613 Morpheus (K. O'Brien) WSPBC 65pts
Pleasant Point Yacht Club again played host to the Canterbury championships, held over the 13th and 14th of February 2016.
With racing starting early in the morning due to the tide, the fleet was expecting some delays, and the high likelihood of variable light winds.
Saturday delivered on this in spades! After an onshore postponement, a few boats ventured bravely out in a veritable drifter, before a tenuous Southerly rippled across the upper reach of the estuary directly out from the Pleasant Point Club.
With 6 races planned, all races to count, and 4 races were needed to get a series, a race was duly started in what seemed a light but stable southerly breeze. Several boats got to the top mark, before the breeze died, leaving the entire fleet drifting to (and then past!) the various marks. A couple of crews played inadvertent bumper boats, whilst the more canny "anchored" using their centreboards to avoid being pushed too far off course!
Picking small zephyrs of breeze, the fleet gradually nosed their way around the course to a result, although 3 boats were unable to finish.
Race 1, completed with mere minutes to spare, went to Paul Duder and Ian Douglas on 1563 Bad News, Peter and Catherine Shanks on 1059 Solar Flair took 2nd, with Ross Dawson and Kate Matson on 1525 Ripper in 3rd.
There were a few half-hearted grumbles about the conditions, but everyone was glad to get off the water!
Sunday bought a light easterly, and with the course set out in the deeper area of the estuary adjacent to South Brighton, it was "game on", with a number of boats vying to get redemption for Saturday's lottery.
Incredibly, 4 races were squeezed into the short time available, with Murray & Heather Walls dominating, picking up 3 straight wins, Peter and Catherine Shanks sailing well to pick up the 4th.
Further back, Ripper nailed two second places, whilst defending champions Matt and Emmeline Neale on 1668 Sunbird sailed consistently in the top 4, with past champions Craig Tomlinson and James Palleson on 1816 Tecary also putting in a strong showing.
As the fleet headed back to shore, the mental arithmetic had become too hard, with a number of boats in the running, and the maths was left to the RO to sort out.
A 5.7 magnitude aftershock, just offshore from the club, was a rather dramatic way to introduce the results announcement, and the sums having been done, revealed that Paul Duder and Ian Douglas on 1563 Bad News had done enough, with 17 points, to take the Championship. They were followed by a group of 3 tied on 18 points, which was sorted on countback with Murray and Heather Walls on 1632 Fun in 2nd (clearly disadvantaged by their DNF in race 1), Ross Dawson and Kate Matson putting in a good performance on 1525 Ripper in 3rd and Matt and Emmeline Neale on 1668 Sunbird in 4th.
The full results and high points show just how close the racing was!
1st 1563 Bad News (P. Duder & I. Douglas) PPYC 17pts
2nd 1632 Fun (M. & H. Walls) WSPBC 18pts
3rd 1525 Ripper (R. Dawson & K. Matson) WSPBC 18pts
4th 1668 Sunbird (M. & E. Neale) MPYC 18pts
5th 1816 Tecary (C. Tomlinson & J. Palleson) PPYC 21pts
6th 1059 Solar Flair (P. & C. Shanks) WSPBC 24pts
7th 1576 Soothsayer (M. & J. James) WSPBC 28pts
8th 1711 Uinme (A. & C. Barrett) PPYC 41pts
9th 1621 (A. Barrett & A. Collins) PPYC 46pts
Just a reminder that the Sunburst Canterbury Championships are being held this weekend at Pleasant Point Yacht Club, Christchurch.
Notice of Race: Download from here.
Key details are below
Programme of Races
• 6 races are planned, 3 races per day. (Which may be sailed Back to Back.)
• A minimum of 3 races are required to constitute a series.
• There will be no dropped races.
Time of first warning signal
• Saturday 13th Feb 2016 @ 0940
• Sunday 14th Feb. 2016 @ 1025
• Entry fee of $30 for both days or $20 for one day.
• Boats also to have paid the Canterbury Sunburst Association Fee of $5 (this is covered if your boat is registered with the NZ class association).
•A non-spinnaker fleet will also be run.