Christchurch Formula Report by Chris Bond

21 September 2011

The wind blew yet again for those taking part in the 5th Cup event of the year at Christchurch – so far we have raced at every event this year which is great news. Prior to racing the main news was the absence of Richard Jones (North Sails/Starboard) who was leading the series but due to work commitments had now been forced to miss his second cup event effectively giving up his challenge for the 2011 title. This meant that Tim Gibson (North Sails/Gaastra) was now in the front seat. 

Saturdays racing was challenging to say the least due to strong gusty winds and a rough and very choppy sea that saw most, if not all competitors taking a dip at some point during the day. 3 races took place and they went as followed: 

Race 1  - wind readings were giving 12 – 20 knots on the course and by the time racing started it was nearly all towards the 20 knot end of the scale. Dave Coles (Severne/Starboard) relishes these conditions and lead throughout the race. He was followed by Chris Bond (K.A Sails/JP) who also favours high winds and choppy waters – however, Chris was nursing a cracked rib and struggled with the overpowering gusts as he was wiped out 20m from the finish line. This paved the way for Nick Icke (Severne/Starboard) to storm through in second and Tim Gibson taking 3rd on the line just ahead of Chris.

Race 2 – Tim Gibson was now suffering as he had opted for the 12m and not had the chance to go in and change down. The race was similar to race 1 with Dave leading from start to finish. However, this time it was Tim in 2nd but he was well overpowered, wiped out and decided to head in and change down. Chris was the next to take a dunking as his board took off on a large piece of chop letting through Mr Icke and Dave Strudwick (Gaastra/Starboard). Nick also came off, in the increasing wind, before the finish so Mr Strudwick took a fantastic second and Nick recovered in time to take 3rd.

Race 3 – The wind had increased to just above 20 knots and most competitors had changed down by now. There had been a change of course signalled by the committee boat but who had taken notice? Once again Dave Coles lead from start to finish – feel like I keep repeating myself here! Behind Dave it was mayhem – the next 4 competitors around the windward mark went off on the wrong course! Only Bob Ingram (Gaastra/Starboard) and Chris Bond took the correct course but Chris, struggling with the rib was forced to give up to go and get his 9m as the wind was increasing. So Dave took 1st followed by Bob and that was it for race 3 – everyone else had sailed the wrong course!

That was it for Day 1’s racing as the safety boats were kept busy rescuing those in the techno fleet that were struggling with the strong winds. Everything was very tight at the top. Dave Coles was the clear leader and behind him was Nick Icke who was on top form followed by Bob Ingram in 3rd – but it was all very close! 

Sunday started off very wet with flukey winds that meant that racing didn’t get underway until after lunch and only 2 races took place frustrating those that were counting on 2 discards. The wind was 14 – 24 knots but sea was a little flatter as the wind was more off shore.

Race 4 – Guess who lead from start to finish – yep it was Dolphin Dave Coles – he is the master of strong wind conditions! Chris Bond took second ahead of Tim Gibson who was not having a good event. Special mention needs to go to youth sailor Zak Page (Gaastra/Starboard) who took 4th in this gruelling race with some competitors heading in for a change down.

Race 5 – Dave didn’t win!! He lead from the start but Tim Gibson stole the lead off him with Chris Bond finishing in 3rd and that was it for the weekends racing and the leader board took on a completely different look.

Dave Coles easily won the event but behind him it was all very close. In 2nd came the injured Mr Bond and then only 1 point separated the next 3 positions! Nick Icke had suffered the most and he lost his podium spot due to wrong kit choice at critical moments. Bob Ingram took 3rd with Tim Gibson managing 4th despite having two non-counting races - this however has made it all very tight at the top of the overall rankings making for an exciting show down at the final event of the year – bring it on at Weymouth! Hope to see you all there – let’s make it a big turn out for the flagship event of the year.


  1. 1st Dave Coles (Severne/Starboard)
  2. 2nd Chris Bond (K.A Sails/JP)
  3. 3rd Bob Ingram (Gaastra/Starboard)


1st Youth – Zak Page (Gaastra/Starboard)