NZ Nationals 2006

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The F6000 NZ Champs have become the premiere event on the Farr Association yachting calendar and it is easy to see why. A combination of fantastic competition, challenging conditions, convivial company and excellent organization by the Canterbury Farr Owners Group/CTYS organizing committee made this year’s event possibly the best one yet.

“I think everyone was impressed with the size of the turnout for the Farr 6000 fleet” said Graeme Moffat, CTYS Commodore “I really take my hat off to you guys” With the large numbers of boats attending including 1 from Wellington, 3 from Dunedin, 1 from Mid-Canterbury and the balance from Canterbury the scene was set for a truly National Event and helps put the fleet in good stead for regaining National Class Status.
The Farr’s measure up

All Farr 6000s entered in the championships were checked for compliance with the class rules and our thanks go to Mitch Dean from Oborns for measuring all the sails and to Graeme Grant (CTYS Committee) for Hull/Safety checks.

There were few surprises with the sails but more than one boat needed to make changes to the way their Jibs were sheeted so they would comply. One rudder did not meet the class minimum weight rule and one competitor had an inadequate anchor and warp. Measuring was followed by a yummy dinner organized by Graeme Moffatt, which was well patronised.

Day 1

Saturdays racing consisted of four relatively short windward/leeward courses in a moderate easterly. Hot C Air and Aphrodite of Dunedin plus Canterbury boat Izzy quickly showed their form by finishing in the top three places in the first two races.

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As the day wore on and the wind increased local boats Tossforboss and Kostalott showed their stuff with a 1st and 3rd place respectively but the high consistency in form shown by the Dunedin boats gave them a respectable points lead by the end of the day.

Good performances by Blue Tack and Athena of Canterbury and Aorere of Wellington meant that on “Handicap” they were remarkably close on points and any one of them had the potential to take
overall winner in the Handicap Division.

After racing all boats retired to the clubhouse for a drink and BBQ (again Moff and his team provided a scrummy meal) plus a sheriff session with spot prizes.

Day 2 & The Farr Invitation Race

Sunday dawned grey and cold as a Southerly change with windy conditions swept up the country. This was not going to be a typical Lyttelton (Easterly) day. The racing format was 2 short races followed by a long harbour race.

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The concept of the Invitation race was to add an interesting variation to the normal format of championship events, similar to that experienced during the champs in 2003 at Lake Aviemore. The long race was to be included in the series for the champs but was also open to all other Farr yachts. The weather, however, did not play its part on the day resulting in only 2 extra boats added to the fleet.

By lunch time the 2 short races had been completed and all boats retired to the inner harbour for a break from the blustery conditions.

The leader board showed the Dunedin boats on level points well ahead of the rest of the fleet which resulted in the two Otago skippers match racing in the final race. The battle for 3rd was being hotly contested by locals Izzy, Tossforboss and Kostalott plus Pathfinder of Dunedin.

Whilst getting ready for the long harbour race “cover the opposition” was the catch phrase being heard echoing around the inner harbour basin.

Following the start a lot of boats sailed above course playing the match racing game, which continued until well after the first mark at Little Port Cooper. The boats then spread out more and changed positions as mistakes were made. Battery point and Diamond Harbour offered the biggest challenge as skippers and crew struggled to work the shifty conditions and many hopes were dashed whilst Christmas seemed to come early to others.

Local knowledge played a big part in the closing stages. In an area notorious for wind holes Kostalott broke through to take line honours for the Invitation race. Hot C Air who had fought the good fight with Aphrodite for over 2 hours was bitterly disappointed as he could only watch Aphrodite capitalise on a favourable windshift and cross the finish line ahead to take 1st overall for the championship.

The highs and lows

In the 14 boat fleet there was a certain amount of attrition and damage. Whilst Blue Tack managed to keep all crew onboard this time it didn’t mean they were without incident. Tim’s mainsheet ‘let go’ at the traveller and struck him a nasty blow to his head. To his credit he continued racing to a respectable 7th place overall and 5th on Handicap.

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Fools Gold and Prime Time both ripped sails and also continued racing. This was Pete Gatehouse’s (Fools Gold) first time with us and to see him continue sailing albeit with a double reef’d (ripped) mainsail showed great character.

Race Officer Irene Hawke reported “ it was great to see such good sportsmanship” after
the racing was over. “I saw a number of incidents during racing and they all seemed to just get sorted amicably on the water, it was wonderful to watch”.

The dinner and prize giving at The Sand Bar Restaurant of Sunday was the perfect finish to the perfect event. Everybody seemed to really enjoy the night. The meals were of a high standard which deserves a special “well done” to the kitchen staff as they had more than a few extra’s to cater for. We had planned on 45-55 attending and 83 people turned up!

Gallery

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Acknowledgements

The Farr Owners would like to thank the Canterbury Trailer Yacht Squadron and the Naval Point Club. Without the infrastructure that these organizations provide we would not be able to run a championship. There are many people amongst all our organizations that need thanking, (far to many to mention) so we would like to make a big blanket thankyou to you all, just in case we miss someone out.

We are also grateful to all our sponsors who where extremely generous and supportive of our event here in Canterbury. The support we received proves that trailer yachting is still held in high regard in this region and this provides the encouragement needed to carry on in the pursuit of great sailing on Lyttelton.

To those who travelled from out of town: Thank you Well done for making the effort to come and race at our place.

Lastly a special mention to Irene Hawke and crew who managed the race, Graeme Moffat and helpers who provided constant support, encouragement and entertainment & Alistair Donaldson, Jim Parsons and Robbie Norris who provided committee and spectator boats. You all went above and beyond the call of duty to support your fellow yachties and helped us make this event one to remember….Well Done.

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