Here’s Brett Willcock’s report from the Canterbury Opti Champs:
Saturday started with a light and dying Southwest wind so the first two races were sailed in the bay. This provided some challenging sailing and with a dying breeze, plus strong incoming tide, the dreaded “Black Flag” came out in race two to stop the fleet of 9 Charteris Bay open fleeters from constantly drifting over the line. It was also great to see four Starlings taking the opportunity to get a little extra practice before their upcoming nationals.
The latter part of race 2 became a drifter as the Easterly made its way down the harbour conditions really tested the leaders but benefitted trailing boats; so with the wind round in the East the course was moved into the Harbour between Black Point and the reef allowing for the final race of the day to take place in a building sea breeze.
Sunday started with text book Lyttelton Harbour conditions of a light but building sea breeze. Racing got away on time with the fleet boosted to 10 Opti’s with the addition of Charlotte Palmer. The building breeze and incoming tide created some terrific flat water conditions meaning very few course changes and all three races being within five minutes of their forty five minute target time. Some very vigorous starting techniques meant for more than one individual recall and ultimately one “OCS” although this didn’t change the outcome of the final results with Will Leech taking out the Canterbury Champs. Will didn’t have it all his own way with Miro Luxford benefitting from some clever sailing in the building sea breeze which ultimately got to around 12 to 15 knots to ensure he finished second overall with Hayden Chisholm rounding out the top three.
Although numbers were down this year with only Charteris Bay locals competing in the Open Fleet I’m sure judging by the number and variety of clubs represented in the Green Fleet next years Canterbury Championships will be an event not to be missed.
For those kids competing in the upcoming club champs and nationals, good luck and catch you all around the club.