Musto Skiff

Gold Cup - Denia Spain

Following 2 days training with coach Mark Rushall, in varying conditions between 4-30 knots, the class racing got underway on the 13th July with competitors from 6 nations.

Race 1. With continued brilliant blue skies and 30 degree temperatures, race 1started in a light sea breeze. Rick Perkins and Richard Smith rounded the first mark in the lead, closely followed by a group including local sailor Pablo Arandia, Ian Trotter, Ian Renilson and Richard Stenhouse. There were places to be won and lost as boats searched out the most pressure. However, Rick Perkins kept a cool head to pull out a good lead at the finish.

Race 2 saw the sea breeze swing right towards to cliffs close to Denia, and increase to a stable 15 knots. Richard Stenhosue showed good upwind speed to pull into the lead, and although a group including Ian Trotter and Ian Renilson were close behind, they could not close on Richard Stenhouse to make an impact on his lead. The sailors enjoyed the near perfect conditions as they pushed the boats hard to gain any advantage.

Race 3 the breeze had stabilised from a southerly direction, and the majority of the fleet chose the right hand landward side of the course for the first beat. Again, it was Richard Stenhouse who managed to gain a small but significant lead at the windward mark, and consolidated on the exhilerating downwind leg, to take his second win.

Day 2 of the MUSTO Skiff Gold Cup was sailed in light winds. With a small North to South flowing current, and a sea breeze that steadily shifted right all day, the sailors had to make good tactical decisions to stay at the front.

Race 4 saw Ant Chapman lead the fleet around the course. Ant´s father Tim has been a skiff sailor from the early days, and I am sure he was proud to see his son at the front. He kept a cool head in the hot Mediterranean sun and slowly pulled ahead to win comfortably. Ian Trotter continued his consistent form to finish 2nd, with Paul Clememts 3rd.

Race 5 started in a similar light breeze, and it was Simon Reynolds who showed good speed on the first beat, along with Pablo Arandia to lead at the windward mark. It was interesting to watch some of the fleet taking the advice of their earlier coaching with Mark to make tactical downwind gains. Simon Reynolds held off Pablo Arandia, Paul Clements and Ian Trotter to take a well deserved win.

Race 6 the wind had increased slightly, and not for the first time this week, the fleet got away at the second time of asking with the biggest gains coming on the first beat by people taking the pin advantage, and then tacking onto port to gain from any right shift in the sea breeze. Kit Stenhouse, Pablo Arandia and Ian Trotter all rounded the windward mark close together, and shared the lead on the downwind leg. Ian Trotter gaining the advantage and covering the fleet up the second beat and down the final run to take the win.

It was noticeable how close the fleet were and it was good to see close racing throughout.

Race 7 Following an on shore postponement, the fleet got away in a light sea breeze for race 7.

Pablo Arandia, and Kit Stenhouse led around the windward mark for the first lap, closely followed by a group including Ian Trotter, Richard Stenhouse and Ian Renilson.

Richard Stenhouse made a small but significant gain on the first downwind leg, to round the leeward mark close behind Pablo.

The leaders worked their way out right, but boats rounding later picked up a small left hand shift, and closed on the front two boats. Pablo Arandia continued right, but Richard Stenhouse tacked. This was to be a significant move, and after some close tactical sailing in the light breeze, Richard Stenhouse rounded the windward mark for the second time with a small lead.

He then covered the fleet on the final downwind leg, taking the win from Pablo Arandia, with Ian Trotter pulling through the third.

The light breeze began to drop, and so the race officer cancelled all further racing for the day.

It is the “Bous a la mar” season where the streets of Spanish towns echo to the sounds of bull running, and as well as enjoying some superb sailing in glorious sun, the MUSTO boys and girls spent this week watching firework displays, and crowds of spectators running down the streets in front of the famous fighting bulls.

Last night, the class was invited by the locals to take part in a paella making competition. For reasons mostly relating to alcohol the skiff team started cooking their food last, and finished first. This was a real concern, as the other teams were still preparing their entries. When it came to the judging, it has to be said that some of the panel of experts were none too keen to try our expert cooking. Needless to say, we did not win !

However, not to be outdone, a group of stopouts headed by more senior members of the class including Paul Manning, Simon Reynolds and Tony Phillips took up the locals offer of a night out at the club on the end of the marina pier, and didn´t make it back before 4.30 am.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for those still hungover, racing was postponed until late in the day, and then finally abandoned as the sea breeze would not stabilse in strength or direction.

This meant Richard Stenhouse retained his title from last year, but with Ian Trotter and Pablo Arandia very close behind.

A huge thanks to Club Nautico Denia, Manuel Gonzalez the club President, and Maria the Principal Race Officer for laying on such a great event. Also thanks must go to Pablo Arandia, for his award winning event posters, and to Tony, Steve and Terry for driving a number of the entries across Europe.

Overall results

1st Richard Stenhouse GBR 209 16 points
2nd Ian Trotter GBR 168 18 points
3rd Pablo Arandia ESP 150 22 points
4th Rick Perkins GBR 162 29 points
5th Ian Renilson GBR 128 39 points

Full results

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