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2012 Canterbury Champs

On Saturday the 24th of December Charteris Bay hosted the first set of races for the R Class Canterbury Champs 2012 - 2013 season. 7 R Classes turned up for the auspicious occasion with a few trusty ring ins called upon to crew some of the boats. 3 races we completed with wind conditions building from a light southerly up to a stonking 20 knot easterly
The day started poorly for the Weapon, being her second time out since the winter overhaul things are still spread around the place. At 9am she was missing the top batten in the main and also the hook for the fore stay. Quick trip to Osborne's at 10 am sorted all of that out though, just in time for a 1030 arrival at Naval point for an 1130 start off Quail Island, Perfect.
All rigged up, Malcolm and I are changed, quick drink of water as we wheel the boat down the slipway, I know wheels eh, they make moving the boat way easier. Everyone in the boat, off we go, heaps of time till the start. 
Just sailing past the reef, the 2 knots of breeze still left coming from the south just filling the kite. We might still make it.
No wind, about half way to the start. 
Still about 500 meters away, we can hear people shouting, the 5 minute gun goes.
We cross the start line with the OD telling us the course, 3 windward leewards.
Race 1
7 R's started race 1, an encouraging turn out for the class. At the first mark Sean and Dad had a reasonably commanding lead and headed off to the wing mark. Steve and Tony followed suit. Everyone else was not aware of the inclusion of a wing mark in the course so we all headed down for the bottom mark. As everyone converged on the first bottom mark, the wind started to drop off even more and some debate commenced about the course and if we should go around this mark or the next one. We all decided we would keep going and go around the furtherest bottom mark. At this point the entire fleet was within about 300 m of one another. As we all approached this new mark the wind died completely.
Finally a breath of easterly started to come up the harbour, the kites came down and about half the fleet made it around the mark before the wind died again, leaving the trailing boats to contend with no wind and the tide against them. 
The downwind leg could not be described as exhilarating, we slowly drifted back towards the bottom mark. good sportsman ship was shown by the crews as moving boats with right of way giving way to boats drifting on the tide. Once we got to the bottom mark there was a support boat there with the shorten course flag hanging in the non wind, that was the finish line. Yeha  
Race 2
By the start of race 2 the easterly had taken control and built up to between 12 and 15 knots. 
Malcolm and I went for a cruise up the harbour to make sure everyone knew what course we were going to do, 2 times windward leeward. We came back over the finish line with the kite up just as the 1 minute gun went, whoops nearly missed the start again. Kite down, in the box, turn around all ready to attack the committee boat end of the line. Unfortunately so were a number of other boats. We were following Merde into the line, just to windward of them, we were both sure they were going to get there early and bear down the line. Not quite what happened.
Merde managed to slow right down right on the line leaving about a half a meter gap between them and the committee boat. At this point the Weapon was already committed that gap and so commenced the "How to fit an 8 foot wide boat into a 1 foot wide slot" experiment. The out come was; Peter, on Merde, and his bum got very friendly with the pointy end of the Weapons prod. The weapon also developed a new closeness to the side of the committee boat, getting the first scratch in her recently finished paint job.
A penalty turn later and we were all up at the top mark. The wind was coming in nicely now. L3 was round the mark first then Subwoofer and More FM. The flat water and building wind meant there were smiles all around at the bottom mark, damn these are fun boats to sail. 
Everyone got through the finish line, with Nick getting his first introduction into helming an R Class on Massive Attack.
Race 3
By this point the wind was well cranking and 2 of the boats had to head for home due to other commitments. 5 Boats made it to the start line. The Weapon and her crew were determined to keep their nose clean and actually make a start this time. Off we went just below L3 and pointing slightly lower but the old girl still has some legs. There were some spills at the top mark and some more at the first gybe, the big kites in the now 20 + knots of breeze were starting to become a bit of a handful. I think the Weapon managed to clock up 5 capsizes in one downwind leg, but she was still flying the kite at the bottom mark and rides between the spills were getting better and better.
At this point the 2 foiling boats had suffered some damage to their control systems. More FM were spotted jumping whiel going downwind, with the main horizontal actually clearing the water. They landed it though, clambered aboard and kept going. 
The end of Race 3 concluded an awesome and well run days sailing. Thanks Charteris Bay Yacht Club, the Support crew and race committee for putting on an awesome event. 
James Collett
Chemical Weapon 
Over All results
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Final Place Total
Boat Skipper Crew Place  Points Place  Points Place  Points    

L3 Sean Milner  Dan Leech 1 100 1 100 1 100 1 300
More FM Steve Mac Tony Parks 2 80 2 80 3 66.67 2 227
Merde Dave Pairman Peter Holder 4 57.14 4 57.14 2 80 3 194
Chemical Weapon James Collett Malcolm Snowdon 3 66.67 3 66.67 4 57.14 4 190
The Virtual Paul Roe Steve Fortune 7 40 6 44.44 5 50 5 134
Subwoofer Aaron Jefferies Tim Allen 5 50 5 50 DNS 0 6 100
Massive Attack Nick James Doug Gale 6 44.44 7 40 DNS 0 7 84.4