Day 4, Leander 2003
Ross May - OD
A cold clear morning, and there was not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind on the harbour. Ok a small breath of patchy SW, but not enough or consistant enough to start a race on time. "Don't worry", the locals say, "the sea breeze will come." But with the race needing to start before 12:00, it was a matter of when. Those with lots to lose were understandably reluctant to sail, those with lots to gain rigged up on the slipway ready to go. The breeze eventually arrived, but it was 12:30, so race 9 was abandoned. This meant overnight winners Steven Hogg and Neil Wood on Stagecoach had won. With twenty odd years in the class, this was Hoggies second win, the other way back in 1989, also in Lyttelton.
Skiff sailors aren't used to being idle. So it wasn't long before a couple of boats were launching, for a bit of single-handed skiffing in the light breeze. This started a progression and most of the boats were eventually launched, a good mixture of helms finally unburdened of the extravagance of crews, and crews wanting to show it was actually them who drive the boat all along. It was a light drifter for a start, as people showed off their gybe-sets and leeward drops close to the clubhouse, before heading out into the harbour to search for more breeze. It was noted it was the Canterbury lads however who stayed nice and close, aware of how fast the sea-breeze can fill in. It came in quite manageably however and great fun was had by all.
Paul Pritchett - Race Officer
The breeze was in, the music was pumping, the crowd was building on the foreshore. The scene was set for another exciting series of sprint-race. The format was copied from last year. Short course top and bottom mark set very close to shore, gate upwind and downwind, action all over the course, and so close the crowd could hear the carbon splinter and the skipper swearing. Two flights of ten boats each having 3 races, the top five from each into a final, also of three races. Liquid was winning the first race of pool A, until they capsized rounding the bottom mark, Chemical Weapon taking the win. Dan & Steve showed they love this form of racing, keeping the boat upright to win the next two races on Liquid. Also through, Nuplex, Chemical Weapon, Montana, and Stagecoach struggling for motivation, or was it too many Steinlagers after their Leander win?
Pool B, Dimension Polyant had the worst start of the fleet, tacked away, stayed out of trouble, and rounded ahead at the top mark. In the middle was chaos, Loyal tangling their prod with Demon Steam R's mast. B3D came in for second. Dimension showed a continuation of good form, winning the second, Loyal looking fast and dangerous until they snagged the top mark. Going through to the final, was Dimension, B3D, Loyal, Subwoofer and Design Source.
The level of racing stepped up for the final, 10 fast boats making for close hard racing. Nuplex lead the first race from start to finish, followed by Liquid and B3D. Liquid had a better start on the second, leading around the course, a top-mark capsize on Nuplex giving them some breathing space. Design Source and Montana also pushing hard. The deciding third race, Liquid went right and led around the top mark, Nuplex breathing down their neck. It was this way at the bottom. Nuplex tacked straight after going through the gate upwind, and passed Liquid on Starboard at the top mark. Liquid's second was enough to take the series, closely followed by Nuplex. Anyway, it was a lot of fun for both competitor and spectator, and showed a lot of people, who normally would never watch yachting, what skiffs are capable of.
- Kent Prier Trophy (Winner of the Invitation Race), Liquid, Steve Fortune & Dan Leech.
- Masters Champion (best skipper over 40 years old), Tim Barlett, Dimension Polyant.
- Youth Trophy (highest overall, under 20), Demon Steam R, Chris Skinner & Chris Holland.
- Doug Harrison Memorial Trophy, (Best boat over five years old), 92 MoreFM, Grant Nelson & Rick Chapman.
- Fyfe Sails ITO Prize, Buster Bloodvessel.
- Lion Trophy (Inter-Squandron drinking trophy), Canterbury.
- Macintosh Innovators Trophy: Dan Leech, pivoting wings on rudder.
- Bill Hayman Cup (Third Overall), Liquid, Steve Fortune & Dan Leech.
- Bank of NSW Trophy (Leander Trophy runner up), Dimension Polyant, Simon Ganley & Tim Bartlett.
- Leander Trophy: Stagecoach, Neil Wood & Steven Hogg.
- Pinkney Trophy (Inter Squadron), Auckland.