The Finn Southern Championships Report – Christchurch SC June 2015
Christchurch Sailing Club welcomed 25 Finns for the Southern Area Championships, including some Juniors, a few Classic with carbon competitors and several Legends, Tony Lock, Richard Hart and Howard Sellars. Andy ‘Rover’ Rushworth set the tone of the day at the briefing letting the competitors know that it was likely to be a shifty weekend of racing.
Race 1 started first time in just over 12 knots of breeze with the sun and rain threatening almost all at once. Allen Burrell led to the top mark followed by Jack Arnell and Simon Percival who all worked the right hand side of the course. Downwind with free pumping in place Jack showed great technique to lead at the gate from Allen and Simon. Upwind the leading group remained in the same order until the final downwind when the breeze switched off and changed direction due to a large cloud. As a result Allen managed to rake the race win by 6 inches from Jack, Neil Robinson came through in third place.
Race 2 started first time again in 12 knots of breeze but it was very shifty. Allen once again came in from the right side of the course followed closely by Jack and Richard Sharp. Downwind Jack worked his way past Allen and led at the gate, extending his lead on the final downwind from Allen with Richard Sharp maintaining his third place.
Race 3 got away second time with the black flag in place – some competitors we caught on course side and sadly disqualified. The tide had changed which shuffled the pack from previous races although Allen Burrell managed to reach the top mark again in first place closely followed by Richard Sharp. In the first downwind the fleet split with those on the left side paying as they came into the gate, up the second Andrew Waylam went hard left and led into the top mark from Simon Percival. On the final downwind again the fleet split, at the finish Simon came in from the left to win from Allen and Jack Arnell
Sunday morning arrived and it looked as though the breeze had increased and the sun threatened to show itself. Race 4 started in a more northerly breeze than the day before. The race got underway first time and once again Allen Burrell led at the top mark followed by Simon Percival and Jack Arnell. On the second upwind Jack went out to the left side of the course to pull through into second. At the finish Allen took the win from Jack and Simon.
Race 5 and the breeze was very shifty with gains to be made across the course. The fleet got underway in what was becoming a very lumpy sea. At the top mark Allen led from Sander Kooij and Steve Hayles, downwind the order remained the same. Upwind proved to be a headspace for some, with a number of large shifts and different wind strengths running down the course. Allen led again at the top mark from Sander and Simon Percival, the order remained the same at the finish.
Unfortunately the an attempt at getting race 6 underway the conditions failed to play ball and with time against him the race officer called it a day and the fleet headed back to the club.
So to the prize giving:
1st Junior – Jack Arnell
1st Master – Simon Percival
1st Grand Master – Allen Burrell
1st Great Grand Master – Ray New
1st Legends – Howard Sellars (hopefully the back gets better!!)
1st Classic with carbon – John Heyes
Allen Burrell the overall winner of the Finn Southerns, on behalf of the competitors thanked Christchurch Sailing Club for hosting the event, the race team for handling the challenging conditions and of course the bar staff!
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