Musto Performance Skiff

Musto Skiff Open Meeting at Datchet Water Sailing Club 9/10 June 2012 Bookmark and Share

Article: Ian Martin

Datchet Water Sailing Club welcomed eighteen Musto Skiffs including nine visiting boats to its event on the 9th & 10th of June. This was the final opportunity for the fleet to judge how well their early season training was going against the fleet in a variety of conditions prior to the World Championships in two weeks.

The wind on Saturday was a challenging 20 knots blowing onshore with some feisty gusts on top. A handful of boats decided to sit out the first race – launching required three people to help get boats off the beach!
With a heavily biased port end start line in the first race, the majority of the fleet opted to start on port ‘Riva del Garda’ style which also minimised the number of tacks required upwind in the survival conditions. Ben Schooling led round the first windward mark with a good lead to the pack but capsized as he hoisted the kite. The pack blasted downwind with the majority capsizing on their first gybe. Some boats were finding white sail downwind sailing was more effective rather than risking capsizing with the kite up!

Chris Webber kept his boat upright more than the rest to lead at the downwind gate and through the next couple of laps until an injury forced him to retire from the event. Cooper took over to lead only to capsize after the final gate and just metres from the finish line. Jamie Hilton, recovering well from his early swim, sailed though the fleet and took the bullet – Sergei ‘I don’t capsize’ Samus was 2nd and Cooper finished 3rd.
Race two started with more boats on the water after an on shore postponement waiting for the challenging wind speed to drop. Cooper sailed well to get the win. Martin followed in second and Hilton was third.

The final race of the day was held in perfect ‘champagne sailing’ conditions. The usual faces appeared at the front as Hilton led round the first windward mark. He was overtaken by Martin who gybed early into a bigger gust. Hilton used a left hand shift on the next upwind leg to regain the lead which he held onto until the finish. Cooper threatened second place momentarily towards the end of the final lap however was forced to settle for third at the finish behind Martin. Palfreman finished 4th and Samus closed out his very successful day with a second 5th place putting him in 3rd place overnight after Hilton and Cooper.

Sunday dawned with totally different conditions – the water was a mirror. The fleet were held ashore for an hour for the breeze to fill in.

Racing started in light patchy, puffy breeze with the odd downdraft from aircraft landing at nearby Heathrow causing ‘mini-hurricanes’ on the water and resulting in surprise capsizes throughout the fleet.
Cooper took the fourth race followed by Schooling and Martin. Fifth race was also won by Cooper who was now starting to turn the screw on the rest of the fleet.

After a bit of course moving for race 6, David Annan sped in to lead from the left side of the beat. He led round most of the race and unfortunately sailed into a hole after gybing early down the final run. This allowed Dave Poston through to take first place and Hilton to take second. Cooper followed Annan over the line to finish 4th.

Going into the final race only two boats could win the open meeting – Cooper was ahead of Hilton by just one point. To take the overall win Hilton needed to either win the race outright or finish second with at least one boat between him and Cooper. This led to exciting watching as Hilton engaged Cooper in some pre-start match racing.

Whilst this was going on, Palfreman found his usual light wind boatspeed and sailed off into the distance to take the win by a considerable margin. It was helped in part by a mini-hurricane which capsized second placed Poston near the windward mark preventing other boats from rounding more quickly. Schooling and Martin sailed though Poston to complete the top three places.

Whilst Hilton managed to sail Cooper down the fleet, he was not able to sail back up to second – even after a bell ringing final beat – and finished the race in 5th place. This handed the overall event win to Cooper who sailed very well demonstrating consistency throughout the variety of conditions.

Many thanks to Datchet Water Sailing Club for running the full race programme. Next event is the Musto Skiff World Championships at Weymouth at the end of June – with record 104 skiffs entered to date it promises to be a legendary event.

Full results >>>

 

Bookmark and Share

 When you want the best ... you can have it
The Musto Performance Skiff is marketed world wide by Ovington Boats.
Please contact us on +44 191 257 6011 or
email us for more details.
Below are our key suppliers

Ovington BoatsHull
The highest standards by a gold medal winning builder
HarkenHardware
Harken, the best hardware available, it will never let you down
SeldenSpars
High tech carbon mast with "Step Down taper system" technology
HydeSails
One-design sails by the best in the game

  © 2002 - 2012 All rights reserved.   Ovington Boats Limited :  Privacy Policy : Terms and Conditions
This site was designed and implemented by Force 5 Marketing. trading as Marketing on a Shoestring

Printing: Select File, Page Setup, Tick "Landscape" then OK. Then click print.